Saturday, May 5, 2018

Matt Killeen

Matt Killeen was born in Birmingham, in the UK, back when trousers were wide and everything was brown. Early instruction in his craft included being told that a drawing of a Cylon exploding isn’t writing and copying-out your mother’s payslip isn’t an essay “about my family.” Several alternative careers beckoned, some involving laser guns and guitars, before he finally returned to words and attempted to make a living as an advertising copywriter and largely ignored music and sports journalist. He now writes for the world’s best loved toy company, as it wasn’t possible to be an X-wing pilot. Married to his Nuyorican soul mate, he is parent to both an unfeasibly clever teenager and a toddler who is challenging his father’s anti-establishment credentials by repeatedly writing on the walls. He accidentally moved to the countryside in 2016.

Killeen's new novel is Orphan Monster Spy.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
I’m in the midst of research for the sequel to Orphan Monster Spy so that’s eating up all my reading time, not that I’m the best reader – a hangover from a childhood when I was the youngest and poorest reader of my brothers, a great example of why you shouldn’t shame children over their reading abilities or choices.

Recent loves include The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber, The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James and Annabel Pitcher’s The Last Days of Archie Maxwell. Wing Jones is a magical-realist take on racial identity, the fragile nature of popularity and the sports novel. The Loneliest Girl is a teen Silent Running with online grooming / abuse. Archie Maxwell is a coming out story that deals with toxic masculinity. I had to read these for an author panel I was on, and I’m so glad I did. Need me a deadline.

Right now, I’m trying to fit in the rest of The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven, which is a withering condemnation of misogyny, slut-shaming and online bullying, that manages to be funny at the same time. I’m not sure that’s available in the US yet, but keep an eye out for it.

I’ve also started Shannon & Dean Hale’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World. I don’t do super heroes, they just don’t move me. At the moment that leaves me with very few options, culturally speaking. I was on a plane the other day and of the 22 sci-fi / fantasy / action movies offered, 18 were super hero movies. I’d never heard of Squirrel Girl before and coming across her – someone tweeted at Shannon Hale about it – I was intrigued and checked her out. The brief description cracked me up, it sounded positively Japanese, difficult to believe she's a long-standing character. It sounded like an antidote to all those hypermasculine power fantasies. I’m loving it, so I guess that’s me onboard the Marvel wagon, right?
Read more about Orphan Monster Spy.

Follow Matt Killeen on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue