The Book Folks interview author Matt Lenz
TBF: What started your passion for writing crime fiction?
ML: Writing any kind of popular fiction was my initial passion. I’ve entered the realm of crime fiction because I want to see the criminals caught. And I get to do it.
TBF: Was there anything in particular that inspired you to write Defenseless?
ML: Over a period of ten years, our house has been broken into four times, all of which occurred when no one was at home. I expect that it may happen again, and worse, that it would happen in the dead of night when we are asleep. My first crime fiction novel, Defenseless, evolved from my thoughts and fears if a break-in did occur while we slept.
TBF: What are the main challenges you have found in creative writing?
ML: It sounds cliché, but finding the time to write is the toughest challenge. I’ve got stories and story outlines lined up and have no problems with creativity, but often, my day job takes well more than a day, leaving barely enough time to eat and sleep.
TBF: You work as an engineer in systems for entertainment and theme parks. Has this work influenced your writing?
ML: Yes, as a seasoned engineer, I often see the application of the physical sciences as tools in solving problems in a story. In addition, almost everything I do is one of a kind, never been done before kind of final product. While the stereotype of an engineer is a mathematical dork, my work requires me to be highly creative in order to solve design issues to meet the customer’s needs. That creativity translates well into story writing.
TBF: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider as a mentor?
ML: Lee Child followed closely by Nelson DeMille. Sorry, that’s two.
ML: Once I have my plot fully detailed, or some may say outlined, it is very easy for me to enter my protagonist’s world and the writing comes quick and easy. And it is a lot of fun. Fully detailing the plot is time consuming but it is essential to my process. But then, I really enjoy that part, too.
TBF: What do you have in store for readers to look forward to in your next crime thriller?
ML: Merciless is the sequel to Defenseless. It’s in work and is my top priority. It seems that there were some loose ends, some quite serious loose ends, at the conclusion of Defenseless. Mark Stone, the story’s protagonist, will use some of the experience from his first foray into crime solving to make him better at tracking down and tying up those serious loose ends. In the process, some other entanglements will begin to shake free, exposing a nasty common denominator in both Defenseless and Merciless that will create the fundamental problem driving the sequel to Merciless, as yet un-named.
Matt Lenz’s Defenseless is available in paperback and kindle from Amazon: