Hello, I’m Matt Ferraz, I’m a Brazilian author writing in English.
My newest creation is the cozy mystery series Grandma Bertha Solving Murders, which started May this year with the release of The Convenient Cadaver.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Always, since I was four. My first short story was written when I was four, in a sheet of paper where I was supposed to be making a drawing. It had flying castles, wizards, an evil army and a quest for a magical relic – and it filled almost the whole page!
Tell us about your book, and the story behind writing it
The Convenient Cadaver was written in the UK, while I was taking my masters. I decided to write a cozy mystery inspired by my grandmothers and by my dear late friend Silvia. It was also a way to spend my time between academic essays.
Grandma Bertha is a wacky old lady who decides to investigate a murder that happened near her son’s backyard, where she’s living in a remodeled garden shed. The family doesn’t like the idea of grandma Bertha doing such a dangerous task, but she wants to prove everyone she still can kick butt. And trust me, she does!
What’s the biggest challenge about being a writer?
Keeping focus on what to write and – most importantly – what not to write. Sometimes you have ten different ideas for ten different books while taking a shower, and sadly you won’t be able to write them all. You have to pick the best ones.
Do you have a specific writing space?
I wrote The Convenient Cadaver on the kitchen of my college accomodation. Since I was taking a masters, I only had classes once a week, so I liked to wake up at four o’clock and write for three to four hours while most people were still asleep.
What’s your number one piece of writing advice?
Be harsh with yourself. Your readers sure will be.
What books do you currently have on your bedside table?
I’ve read a lot of Agatha Christie this year, and right now I’m reading some great independent cozies – you have to read what you write! I also like to read at least one huge book every year, and in 2017 it’s going to be Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo.
Who have been your biggest writing influences and why?
My greatest writing teacher is Stephen King. Nobody writes about writing like he does. I’ve mentioned Agatha Christie, and I’m also a big fan of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.
How do you market your writing?
I spend A LOT of time sending releases to blogs and websites trying to get reviews, interviews and guest posts. It’s not easy, but to be fair I kinda like it. There are people you can pay to do this for you, but I don’t see any fun in that. It’s far more rewarding to know that you got that review by your own effort.
Lastly, something fun. What’s something our readers might not know about you?
I’m a rare case of a Brazilian who doesn’t like to party! I rather spend my evening with a book, a cup of tea and my cat purring on my leg than going to a concert or a nightclub.
By Matt Ferraz
When Grandma Bertha moved to her son’s place, she brought along three dogs, several cases of beer and many, many horror film DVDs. While her daughter-in-law insists on the idea of sending Grandma Bertha to a retirement home, a dead girl appears near the house, shot three times in the back. Many years ago, Grandma Bertha let a murderer escape for not trusting in her own detective abilities.
Now, armed with her wit and wisdom, she decides to solve that crime before the police.
Could this crazy dog lady be a threat to a cold-blooded killer? And for how long can the family stand that situation?