Lee Mather lives in Manchester England with his wife and new baby. Similar to Edward M. Erdelac, (my last guest) Lee is in a few anthologies being considered for a Bram Stoker Award in June 2013. Lee is coming out swinging, here is the good stuff.
1) Hi Lee. If you had three words to define yourself, what would they be?
If I could describe myself in three words I’d be a better writer than I am.
I’d only mess it up and throw in an adverb or something…
2) My first ‘Lee Mather’ experience was through the short story Wrath from the anthology Fading Light. Tell us a little about that fine gem?
Wrath is pretty dark, even for me. Primarily, it’s an apocalyptic tale about the wrath of God but it’s also about the concept of whether it’s ever too late for a second chance. It was hard to write. We had our first child this year and I think some of my angst at being a father came out in Wrath.
3) I’ve got an anthology sitting here on my desk named Corrupts Absolutely. It is ready to be cracked open and read. Your contribution is Crooked. What can I expect from Crooked as well as in Corrupts Absolutely?
Corrupts Absolutely is about superheroes that aren’t necessarily heroes, and the notion of whether their powers would corrupt them. I know you enjoy Ed Erdelac’s writing and Ed has another cracker in Corrupts…
As for me, I was excited about the concept of a play on power and that’s why I wrote a story specifically for the anthology. My effort, Crooked, is about Leon, a stroke victim who is also a thief. He’s on the run from an angry mob boss who assumes Leon is helpless. There’s a twist, and not the fact that Leon has a secret power (that’s kind of obvious).
I have an urban fantasy novella out from Lyrical Press called First Kiss, Last Breath. It’s about a teenager who believes he has brought a demon into the world from a mural he has painted.
I wanted to write something where the reader can’t quite trust the viewpoint of the protagonist to create an ‘is it really happening vibe’. I hope I’ve managed that with First Kiss, Last Breath and, so far, reviews have been kind.
I also have a dystopian sci-fi short included in No Place Like Home, a forthcoming anthology from Angelic Knight Press. My contribution is Natural Selection and it’s about the response to a pandemic in an alternate Britain where the soul of a person is externalised in the form of a youthful twin.
5) Getting pissed in the US is a bad thing but in England it is fun ––are you a drinker? If so, what is your poison?
It’s a big rite of passage over here to go out drinking when you’re young / underage which means our town centres are full of drunken sixteen year olds. This is not always as fun as it sounds.
I am partial to a drink but not so much this last year due to my wife being pregnant and us subsequently having our first child. These days it isn’t a good idea to be drunk! If I do, it’s usually beer – Weissbeir or something like that…
6) A time machine travels back five years offering you a brief chance to meet yourself, what would you say?
I’d pull up in my Delorean and shout, “Mather, where we’re going, we don’t need roads!”
7) I’d recently read Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 for the third time. I love that book. If books were banned in the UK, which book (or books) would you protect at potential danger to your own livelihood? List as many books as you think you could smuggle safely, or would you agree that books are dangerous to the cohesiveness of a working society?
Yes, any art can be dangerous. You only need to look at what happened to the US Embassy staff in Libya following the release of the Innocence of Muslims film earlier this year. The film did not cause the underlying problems between the Arab world and the West, nor did its contents excuse the actions of the protestors. But let’s be honest. It lit the flame on the dynamite.
So I do think an element of censorship of our art is required. That might start with the artist (a la Kubrick and A Clockwork Orange – he withdrew the film from circulation in the UK) or it might be through governing bodies or transparent regulations.
I’m not envisaging the fascist states of Orwell or Bradbury here, either. Who in their right mind would want a government with that level of power? We still need enough freedom to challenge the establishment, as long as it’s in a constructive way…
As for a book I’d risk my life for, well, the pregnancy guide we bought has proven pretty useful…
Find out more about Lee and his writing at www.leemather.org.uk
Or follow Lee on Twitter, where he moralises about all sorts of things.
“First Kiss, Last Breath” is available now from Lyrical Press.
“Bloody Parchment“, featuring Lee’s story, “Masks”, is available now from Amazon.
“Fading Light“, featuring Lee’s story, “Wrath”, is available now from Angelic Knight Press.