Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of Dial M for Mutants! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Mat Thorne: Dial M for Mutants follows Buck Vincent, a down-and-out-tabloid reporter, and rookie photographer Betty Roy as they stumble upon an honest-to-god monster on one of their assignments.
When I was in high school, I worked for the town newspaper, and I studied photojournalism in college. Both were familiar and comfortable for me, so I knew they could make a good foundation for a story. As for the story itself… well damn it, I love monsters. Creature features, b-movies, pulp horror, all that stuff. I can’t get enough.
So, it only made sense to write my own.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in bringing this story to life, and what (or who) have been some of your creative influences?
MT: I think the most important thing is just committing time to writing and not letting anything get in your way, which is a lot harder than it sounds. I feel like I have to take the act of writing seriously, almost reverently, even if I’m writing something that isn’t serious at all (like a book with a two-headed cat on the cover). Other than that, I just need a good spot, a giant cup of coffee, and a notebook of ideas. Oh, and patience. That really helps.
As for influences, I love so many authors, but I try to put myself in kind of a vacuum when I’m writing. I don’t want anyone else’s voice to spill over onto the pages, which I think can happen if you aren’t careful. When I’m not writing, I love alternating classic books with pop horror and sci-fi. It keeps me motivated and grounded at the same time. So, I’ll suffer my way through Faulkner and then burn through some Clive Barker or Dan Abnett. Rinse and repeat.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Buck’s story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
MT: Buck is the embodiment of giving up. He had ambitions and promise, but all the fight is gone from him by the time the book takes place. So now, he simply exists, and he’s bitter about it. Throughout the story he sees glimmers of something better in life and slowly gets his shit together, and I think that’s a story worth telling. I actually just heard from a reader today who said that my silly book helped them come out of a difficult patch in their life, which was wonderful to hear.
BD: Do you foresee expanding the novel into subsequent books or even into other entertainment mediums, if given the opportunity?
MT: Absolutely! I get messages from readers asking when the next book will be released, so I’ve gotta make that happen. And other entertainment mediums? Of course! Tell Coscarelli to give me a call.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
MT: I’m considering a special edition of the book with some fun extras. (I’m a nut for enamel horror pins, and I’m looking for an excuse to make some.) I’m also putting together some additional content for The Midnight Extra which is a blast. You can check out the link below to see an archive of covers and some other fun stuff.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Dial M for Mutants!?
MT: The book takes place in the '90s, so I made a retro website for The Midnight Extra that will be home to the growing world of my books. There’s a link there for Instagram, as well, which is where I share a lot of content.