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Write it Yourself: An Interview with Matthew Taylor, author of Hot Air Rising

Taylor Matthew 1

Matthew is a life-long learner, has worked in construction, education, banking, hospitality, and is a yoga teacher. He is amazed at how much he can learn and fit into his brain. Matthew found yoga to be very rewarding. He attributes looking and feeling young to practicing yoga (unless it is all the food with preservatives he ate when he was younger). Teaching took Matthew on a learning journey to five different countries, and therefore he likes to write adventure novels based on his experiences. Matthew currently lives in Sài Gòn with his wife and cats. His children are in different parts of the world. Matthew likes to spend time with his wife and family, jog, ride, swim, travel, be adventurous, enter the occasional triathlon, and learn.

You can buy Hot Air Rising here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

I started with Gone Bush based on an experience I had while working in Northern Victoria, Australia. Slowly, as I wrote the first couple of chapters, the title changed to Hot Air Rising as I felt I could slip in a reference to it in each chapter (in a different context), to tie a scene back to the title.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

I was asked to view various book covers, by searching the internet or bookshops, and give feedback on what I liked. I did more than that; I decided to design the book cover the way I wanted it, and after several reviews, to see my design actually printed on the front of my book was absolutely thrilling. Look closely at the eye-catching details and layers—it makes you wonder what the pages are going to reveal.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I have always liked adventures and action in my personal life, as well as in books and on the big screen.

When in secondary school, I wrote a story for an English assignment. The teacher gave me an A. I said to my teacher I had the idea to write the story based on a scene in a novel I had read, but adapted it to the surroundings I had experienced. For some reason, I thought it was cheating. The teacher said something about it being creative. However, with the thought of me cheating, I limited myself, and did not write a decent story for a long time.

I then traveled and started to write about my experiences, emailed my writing to friends and family, who said I write very well. Life got in the way, and therefore no more writing, until…

I heard someone say or saw written something like this: “If you want a different action film/book, then write it yourself.” So I did. I threw away my limiting belief and got on with it.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I started out studying civil engineering, moved to building, and stayed in that industry for six years before moving on to teaching, with a major in mathematics, after four years of study. I have been teaching math now for over twenty-six years, and hence, the cheeky bit of math throughout the story.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

It removed a limiting belief about my abilities.

Oh! And I had a lot of fun writing Hot Air Rising, and now the book is published. I know other people could enjoy the fun and adventures.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

There are many beautiful places in this world to visit, and many wonderful cultures to immerse yourself in. I hope the readers feel this in the book and are inspired to travel.

My personal takeaway is standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, hence the book’s dedication: “This book is dedicated to all the people you could have, and I could have, stood up for.” I would have liked to have done, when I was younger, what the three friends in the book are able to do.

The perfect reader is one who takes away from Hot Air Rising what they need at that time.

Each person I have spoken to so far has taken from the book something different.

How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?

Go for it, publish with Atmosphere Press. They are very good and very patient, as they listened to my ideas and changes, and implemented them.

You can buy Hot Air Rising here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.