I know many readers love to get their reading teeth into a series so it gives me very great pleasure to welcome Matt Doyle to Linda’s Book Bag to stay in with me today as he has a couple of books in his new series on the go. Those who know me well will, I think, find the events of the evening amusing!
Staying in with Matt Doyle
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Matt. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
No, no, thank you. It’s always fun stopping by new places.
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I’ve chosen Addict, which was released last May by NineStar Press. It’s the first book in my crime noir / sci-fi series, The Cassie Tam Files, and the sequel The Fox, The Dog and The King just came out in July, so I wanted to get the first book out there a little more in the build-up. It’s been well received so far, which has been absolutely thrilling, so I’m hoping more readers start picking it up and enjoying too.
(How exciting to have two new books out in the world. Congratulations Matt.)
What can we expect from an evening in with Addict?
For one, you can expect a coherent mix of genres. A couple of reviewers have described it as Sam Spade meets Blade Runner, which is great because I binge watched both said cyberpunk classic and The Maltese Falcon in preparation for writing the book. It’s also had a bunch of other comparisons which I really liked too; the leading PI Cassie Tam has been compared to Jessica Jones (which actually gave me the kick to start watching the Netflix show), and the setting has been compared to the anime Psycho Pass before now, both of which really made me smile.
(Crikey – that sounds like an eclectic approach. Sounds really interesting and not my usual genre!)
What can we expect from an evening in with Addict?
You can also expect a journey through a near future world full of tech that’s a realistic advancement of what we have now. We’re talking VR being used for business, but also becoming an addictive add-on to drug use. We’ve got animal roleplay using metal exoskeletons that have also been adapted for law enforcement. There’s AI pets that range from cats and dogs to miniature gargoyles. It’s all kinda derivative of a few modern favourites, but that was important for me, because I wanted to make this seem like a viable, albeit dark, future.
(It all sounds scarily possible to me.)
And let’s not forget Cassie herself! With her, you can expect the three S’s: smarts, stubbornness, and a lot of snark. She has a strong sense of justice, and is well established in her job, but she’s far from perfect. She’s also an out lesbian whose sexuality is not part of a coming out story, but rather just a part of her. The romance in the book isn’t a plot device for her to find herself, but rather a longer tale designed to be built over the course of the series.
So, to summarise … except pulp style sleuthing, cool tech, and a diverse lead.
(I like the sound of Cassie. I think we still don’t have enough diversity in fiction.)
What else have you brought along and why?
I’ve brought a couple of things with me.
These songs actually link with the book a little. Even putting aside that Cassie is Chinese-Canadian and the band are from Canada, they lyrically deal with the concept of giving in to and being dragged down by temptation. New Hopeland, the fiction city that the series is set in, was designed to be a hub for world progress in technology, but it fell into corruption quite quickly. Now, the people who live and work there are faced with the temptation of the underworld every day, even if they sometimes don’t even know it. These songs were the ones that I listened to the most when working on the worldbuilding relating to the city itself. In a way, they’re kinda like the unofficial anthems of New Hopeland City.
(Many authors tell me they are inspired by music so it’s fascinating to hear why you’ve chosen these two pieces Matt.)
Next, I’ve brought a selection of horror films.
(O-oh! So not my genre. Pass me a cushion to hide behind.)
I’m thinking American Werewolf In London, The Exorcist, Insidious, and Nightmare on Elm Street.
(All totally terrifying Matt – and there I was enjoying our evening up until this point. Why did you bring such a selection?)
The reason is, Cassie Tam herself loves horror films … they just don’t love her. She’s drawn to watching them, and despite spending large amounts of time hiding behind pillows during, she does enjoy them. But they cause her to suffer from nightmares a lot. You’d think she’d stop watching, but there’s no way she’d give up something she enjoys just because of a few bad dreams.
(She must be mad. You make a start on the viewing and I’ll go and er … put the kettle on. It might take several hours to boil…)
Thank you, for the most part (!) for staying in with me to tell me all about Addict Matt. I was having a really good time until you brought out the films! Congratulations again on having The Cassie Tam Files out. Good luck with the series.
When PI Cassie Tam is hired to investigate the death of a local virtual reality junkie, she thinks it will be easy money. In New Hopeland, VR junkies die every day, and the local PD already declared it an accidental overdose on synthetic stimulants. But the more she digs, the more that things don’t add up.
To make things even more complicated, her client, the deceased’s sister Lori, is a Tech Shifter – someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal – and Cassie has always been wary of that community. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with her ex.
Easy money, huh? Yeah, right.
About Matt Doyle
Matt Doyle lives in the South East of England and shares his home with a wide variety of people and animals, as well as a fine selection of teas. He has spent his life chasing dreams, a habit which has seen him gain success in a great number of fields. To date, this has included spending ten years as a professional wrestler, completing a range of cosplay projects, and publishing multiple works of fiction.
These days, Matt can be found working on far too many novels at once, running his pop culture website, and plotting and planning what other things he’ll be doing to take up what little free time he has.