Ask the Author: Matthew Hanover
What would you like readers to know about you?
The most important thing is that I love a good story. I’ve always been a reader and my decision to take a stab at writing novels was born out of that love. I’ve had lots of ideas floating around in my head for years, and it’s been very liberating putting those ideas down.
What is Not Famous about for those who haven’t read it?
Not Famous is the story of Nick Forrester, who has just proposed to his longtime girlfriend, but after he proposes, she is overcome with guilt and confesses infidelity, resulting in their break-up. After a couple of months of being depressed and a one-night-stand, he realizes he has to try to move on, and then he meets Alli Conwell, a naïve and socially awkward singer/songwriter, and they start dating. Nick learns that Alli has a secret past she doesn’t want to talk about, and he’s also suspicious of the motives another musician who has been helping her get gigs and a chance to record an album. There’s a lot going on in the story that set in the indie-music of Boston.
What has been your inspiration for writing Not Famous?
Before I came up with the idea for Not Famous I knew I wanted to write about a singer/songwriter. I used to enjoy going to local clubs in my college days and when I’ve visited Boston I was really taken by settle and their local scene as well. It was interesting to take the experience as an observer and put my main characters directly into it, but it was a lot of fun.
What was your favorite scene or part of Not Famous to write?
I can’t so much say I had a favorite scene to write, but in general, I enjoyed writing dialogue the most. I tried hard to make the dialogue feel natural and realistic. In real life when people talk we interrupt each other, we stutter when during moments of intense emotion… we also don’t always have the best punchline at the tip of tongues in any given situation. Not Famous is written in first person present tense, so the only character whose head you can really get into the narrator’s. In Not Famous, Alli is very shy and has a big secret she is struggling to keep.
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
Without a doubt, Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity is the book that inspired me the most. When I first read it, I thought it was the kind of book I’d want to write if I ever wrote a novel. Of course, it was many years later before I even made my first attempt, but it was humbling (but not shocking) than many who read Not Famous have compared it to Hornby and other lad lit authors I enjoy like Jonathan Tropper and Matthew Norman.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
For starters, write a book you’d want to read, don’t write for the market. One thing I’ve learned is that lad lit is a hard genre to market. But, that’s the genre I like to read, and Not Famous was the story I had in me. I feel lucky that the book has sold as much as it has. I’m not getting rich of it, in fact, I’ve probably still lost money on it, but if Not Famous stopped selling, and I never wrote another novel again, I’d still be super proud of it, and get a lot of joy out of the reviews I’ve received from people who took chance on it and said they really connected with the story and the characters. It’s a great feeling when that happens, so it’s important that you love your story completely because others will too. If you want to write contemporary fiction, but write YA apocalyptic fiction because you think it will sell better, then I think you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Not Famous on Amazon (universal link): http://getbook.at/NotFamous