Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer of Interviews: Michael Matson

Today I'm pleased to welcome Michael Matson!

1. What was your inspiration for your book? Can you tell us about how your own experiences influenced this story?

I suppose many current events had an influence on The Dancing Boy.  Vietnam, certainly.  But also the war in Afghanistan and the effects of that war.  Human trafficking  most certainly and the prevalence of individuals and even groups who prey on children. Using these influences I wanted to create a story that also highlighted the complex beauty and picturesque uniqueness of the Pacific Northwest. This is an area I’m fond of and have spent much time exploring.
As to the main character, Treat Mikkelson, I suppose all authors lend a bit of themselves to their characters and I admit to some of his many faults.

2. Would you classify this series as plot driven or character driven?

The Dancing Boy is the first of the Treat Mikkelson mysteries.  Each of them will be primarily plot driven.

3. Can you tell us a little about your main characters?

Mikkelson is not exactly a burnt-out case but has seen too much of the world and its problems and only wishes to live peacefully on his small island. He can’t suppress his natural tendency to help people, however and this leads to his getting involved in things he’d prefer to avoid.
Suniko Yamada is a brilliant and beautiful computer expert who embraces challenges and has a healthy sexual appetite without having any desire for a permanent relationship.
Cassie McLaren is a possible romantic figure in Mikkelson’s life.  An art gallery owner and the one who gets Mikkelson involved the mystery.

4. Without giving away too much, tell us about the main conflict.

The story involves smuggling young boys into the US and Canada. Finding the source of the smuggling is critical, but there is one boy in particular who  drives the search.

5. What do you hope readers take away from this book?

I would hope they would have a better understanding of the horror of child exploitation and, on the brighter side, have a deep appreciation for the locations.

6. What song best describes your writing style?

Yikes! Never thought of that.  Some of the music mentioned in the book might qualify. Mississippi Delta Blues and Hawaiian Slack string guitar.

7.   Night Owl or Early Bird?
Neither.  Early morning coffee and pastry and time on the computer. Sometimes write later in the    day when an idea strikes.

8. Skittle or M&Ms?
 Hersheys dark chocolate.

9.  Who are your favorite authors?

For mysteries….John  Sandford and Jo Nesbo.

10. Can you tell us about any other future projects?

A second Treat Mikkelson mystery is underway. This one also is set in the Pacific Northwest  but is more heavily influenced by drugs and Mexican cartels.

More about Michael Matson

After formative years spent on the east coast, in California, Hawaii and Japan, Michael Matson earned a journalism degree from the University of Washington in Seattle. Following a brief military stint in Oklahoma, he worked as an advertising agency copywriter, creative director and video producer.

In 2007 he moved to Mexico to have time to write and has since published The Diamond Tree, a fairytale for all ages;  Bareback Rider, an inspirational adventure for children; and Takeshi’s Choice, a mystery novel.  His short story “Gato” was selected for inclusion in Short Story America’s 2014 anthology.  His second mystery novel:  The Dancing Boy will be released by Oak Tree Press in April  2014.

He lives with his wife María Guadalupe (Tai), in Morelia, the colonial capital city of Michoacán. Website:

What do readers think of "The Dancing Boy?"
David Greene
(Your novel brought back a) flood of memories of my years in the Skagit Valley. How much fun to return to those places hidden away in the cobwebs!  But the MOST fun was the enjoyment of your story!  How many anecdotes your tale triggers in my mind!

Michael La Brooy
What an excellent story, and how well you maintained the tension continually from chapter 1 right up to the epilogue! Each time I thought it was all over and you were going to wind down, a new crisis reared its ugly head, and the excitement continued

Carolyn Lawson
Wonderful character descriptions, realistic locales;

this book is a page turner.

Get your copy of THE DANCING BOY here: