I asked Matt to give a short description of himself and he replied: “Author, Editor, Shamanic Explorer.” No Wasted Ink is honored to feature this writing instructor and author for your consideration.
My name is Matt Pallamary, a perspiring writer who has been teaching a Phantastic Fiction Workshop for the past 25 years at the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, The Southern California Writer’s Conference and many others.
When and why did you begin writing?
As far as dramatic writing and storytelling goes, I had a good friend killed on his motorcycle around 1982 or 1983, which prompted me to write a novel about a guy who gets killed on his motorcycle and wakes up outside his body caught up with dark forces in the spirit world.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have always loved words and language. I won first place in the school spelling Bee in the 6th grade and went on to a citywide spelling Bee. English was my favorite subject in high school and my writing caught the attention of my college creative writing teachers.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
DreamLand was written with legendary DJ Ken Reeth, who left the planet on May 9th 2005.
Fueled by breakthroughs in technology and neuroscience, the terminally ill, while in an induced slumber, in a pain-free, medically supervised environment, can literally dream their lives away in pre-programmed situations of their choosing, controlled by a super computer.
The well-meaning creators of computer generated dreaming plan to conquer the stigma of death by making its wonders available to all, so people can die in vivid, pre-programmed dream surroundings, reliving blissful moments from their past. All goes according to plan until the dream of DreamLand is shattered by the profit-seeking backer of the project.
What inspired you to write this book?
Ken and I were in writing workshops together and we became friends and fans of each other’s writing. He kept coming up with these short dream sequences that were vignettes more than stories and was wondering what to do with them. We got to talking and the next thing you know we were writing a book together.
Do you have a specific writing style?
My style is specifically my own that I consciously developed. As I tell my writing students. The brain is the canvas and the words are the strokes of the brush from a giant palette, and it must be dynamic, moving, and full of energy, making every word count. The act of reading is an act of co-creation between the writer and the reader. It is the writer’s job to paint the significant details of their story that the reader can hook into and fill in the blanks that come from their own subjective experiences and interpretations.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
It is the world where the story takes place.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Technology may seem to perform certain tasks flawlessly, but human motives and their skewed cross-purposes can bring dire consequences.
Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In a nutshell, I realized that my life was stranger than anything I could make up, so I wrote about it and the response has been gratifying. I have done extensive dream work and dream studies, so I know this territory well.
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
I was blessed to have Ray Bradbury as a mentor. Ray kicked off the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference for 35 years and through Sid Stebel I got to know Ray and learned much from him. Ray was not one to give out blurbs, but he blurbed my first book, a short story collection titled The Small Dark Room of the Soul saying “Bravo! More!”
My recent long overdue follow up to The Small Dark Room of the Soul, titled A Short Walk to the Other Side is dedicated to him. Ray always said, “Write for the love of it!” His opening speeches at the SBWC were epic!
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
I am proud to say that I designed the cover of my book and I had a lot of fun doing it.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
As a wise writer once told me: Writing = Ass in chair.
Believe in yourself and what you have to say and do it because you love it. Writing workshops and conferences are awesome proving grounds and wonderfully supportive environments to thrive in.
Ken Reeth & Matthew J. Pallamary
San Diego, CA
Cover Artist: Matthew J. Pallamary
Publisher: Mystic Ink Publishing