Matt Myklusch is a middle-grade fantasy / adventure writer and the creator of Seaborne and The Jack Blank Adventures. When he’s not busy writing about kite-boarding pirates, superheroes, and robot-zombies, Matt hosts The Other Side of the Story Podcast, speaking with other authors about their creative process and path to publication. Matt lives in New Jersey with his wife and family, where he is always hard at work on his next book.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
I fell in love with comic books at an early age. X-Men, Batman, Spider-Man, Avengers…you name it. I read them all the time and my vocabulary exploded (as did my imagination). I’m still finding pieces from that explosion today, and I spend my time trying to turn them into books.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“All human wisdom is contained in these two words—wait and hope.”—Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
I love J.K Rowling, Stephen King, Ernest Cline, Michael Harvey, and Max Barry. I’ll try any book they write.
Jim Lee – Co-Publisher of DC Comics, prolific comics creator, dazzling artist, and the man who got me back into comic books.
Bill Watterson – Calvin & Hobbes. Nuff said.
Jack Kirby – Co-Creator of the Marvel Universe. Unsung hero.
Honorable mentions: Darwyn Cooke, Mike Mignola, Joe Quesada, and any animator who ever worked on a Disney film.
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
For some reason, when I was a kid, it was never enough for me to simply watch the TV shows or movies that I loved. I always felt the need to “get in the game” and create my own versions of those things. I always had a sketchbook and pencil handy so I could bring my own super-heroes, pirates, and such to life.
The way I see it, creativity is a compulsion. That feeling that you something inside you that needs to come out, be it a story, a picture, a song…whatever. That’s what drives people to bring their art into the world. I wasn’t blessed with instant talent, but I did have passion, and that plus dedication will take you far.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Write for YOU. Write the story you want to read—the one you’ll have the most fun working on. (If it’s not fun for you to write, chances are it won’t be fun for anyone to read.)
Also, finish your stories. Whatever else you do, finish them. Don’t think about the odds, and don’t give up. If you want to write or draw for a living you CAN get there, no matter what anyone else says. And, if they say it’s not easy? That’s true, but you only fail if you quit. Have faith in yourself and your story. You can do it.