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Friday, June 6, 2014

Inside the mind of Matt Whyman: A Guest post [Book Nerd Tours]

Matt Whyman is the author of  SAVAGES, which details the strife between a family of cannibals, and a family of vegans, who's two eldest children (wait for it) - are dating. With such a ingenious plot, It's impossible not to wonder about the mind - and process of the man who created it. Here to take you through that very affair, is the writer himself!                                                                  


I always like to take on new subjects from one book to the next, but over the years I’ve seen a theme emerge. I’ve come to realise that I’m drawn to exploring why people do bad things for what they believe to be just reasons - from contemporary cannibalism to computer hacking. I want to understand, and even empathise, which can create an unsettling relationship between the character and the reader. Lately, following THE SAVAGES, I hear young people discussing the pros and cons of eating human flesh like it’s a potential lifestyle option. I’m not sure how I feel about this.

As for the process, I am a planner but I also like to undermine that side of things. So, before I start writing I’ll put together a structure. Then, I’ll brainstorm ideas and slot those in. Eventually, with the story set out from start to finish, I’ll fold away my plan and never look at it again. Basically, I like to know that I can reach my destination, but rather than follow precise instructions I’ll take the scenic route – and all the surprises that brings. It’s always worked for me, so now it would be bad voodoo to try any different approach. 

I have to fit my writing into school hours, and aim to get at least 1000 words written by lunchtime. I always write with music, but never music with lyrics. I tend to listen to stuff so ambient it sounds like a breeze against the window and doesn’t distract me. When I reach THE END, that draft tends to be in reasonable shape to send to my editor, Emily Thomas. I trust her judgement completely, and take on board every suggestion she makes. She never tells me what to do, however, but flags up points and then I’ll find my own way to act on them. After that, I could spend forever shifting commas about, but by then my family will be living out of skips and so I have to strike a balance between being creative and losing the roof over our heads.


They’d love to have you for dinner . . .

Sasha Savage is in love with Jack – a handsome, charming … vegetarian. Which wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that Sasha’s family are very much ‘carnivorous’. Behind the family facade all is not as it seems. Sasha’s father rules his clan with an iron fist and her mother’s culinary skills are getting more adventurous by the day. When a too-curious private detective starts to dig for truths, the tight-knit family starts to unravel – as does their sinister taste in human beings . . .



Matt Whyman is a bestselling author, also known for his work as an advice columnist for numerous teenage magazines.

He has written two novels for adults, Man or Mouse and Columbia Road, as well as both fiction and non-fiction for teenagers, including Superhuman, XY, Boy Kills Man, XY:100, The Wild, the So Below trilogy, Inside the Cage,Goldstrike and The Savages.

His most recent books, Oink! My Life With Minipigs (also known as Pig in the Middle), and Walking with Sausage Dogs, are both comic memoirs about family life with problem pets, published by Hodder and Stoughton.

Matt has worked as ghost-writer for the recent autobiography of a celebrity dancing dog, and under the pen name of Carnegie-nominated mystery writer, Lazlo Strangolov, author of Feather and Bone and Tooth and Claw.

A graduate from the University of East Anglia’s MA in Creative Writing, Matt is often invited to teach the subject for writers of all ages. Recently, he has hosted workshops across Russia and the Middle East.

In 1995, Matt became the first agony uncle for 19 magazine, and has subsequently written regular advice columns for B, Fox Kids, AOL UK and Bliss. He often appears on television and radio in this role. Over the years he has co-presented a series of ITV’s cult Saturday morning show, Love Bites, and a live weekly phone-in on LBC. He is currently resident agony uncle on BBC Radio 1′s The Surgery

Matt is married with four children, and lives in West Sussex, UK.


2 Winners will Receive a Copy of The Savages by Matt Whyman.
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