Happy Wednesday, Booklovers!
It's time for this week's Coffee Chat and a chance to meet another author. Today's guest is crime writer, Stefania Mattana.
Welcome, Stef! Why don't we start by introducing you to readers?
Stefania Mattana is a crime fiction author whose stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, websites and anthologies. Her self-published mystery and detective series, featuring the former MET Police Detective Chase Williams, was first published in 2013 and was welcomed by readers with great acclaim.
Stef works for Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, and is also very active on open source projects such as WordPress.org. She blogs a lot for Chase, in her own DailyPinner and in other webzines.
Contact the Author:
Chase Williams blog
Twitter Chas2 @ChaseWilliams78
Instagram Chase; britoninitaly
Ally: Tell us what type of books you write, your intended audience, and why you chose this genre.
STEF: When at first I started writing Chase’s stories, my goal was to create a series of cozy mystery novels, short stories and novelettes. I grew up idolising Agatha Christie, so it goes without saying that I’d liked to imitate her writing and settings. All went as planned with Cutting Right to the Chase Vol1 and Into the Killer Sphere, which both respect the rules of the cozy mystery.
However, after I wrapped up Cutting Right to the Chase Vol.2 and Vol3, as well as Pull the Trigger (the book No2 of the Chase Williams murder mysteries series) I realised they hadn’t much of the cozy mystery. My character and the plots twisted in a way they can’t be labelled as ‘cozy’ anymore. They went down a thriller road, although I can’t label them as pure thrillers. It’s safe to say that my novels and short stories are detective stories with mystery and suspense.
The reading target remains quite wide; anyone of any age can enjoy my books as there are no gore or sex scenes, nor violence.
Ally: What is your editing and publishing process? From the time you complete your first draft to its appearance at booksellers, what happens to your book?
STEF: The process is pretty much the same for both the fiction (in English and Italian) and non fiction (in Italian only) I’ve written so far.
I normally write a first draft, then leave it alone for a couple of weeks. After some rounds of revisions (usually 2 or 3), I send it to my alpha reader Chiara, who is also the Italian translator of my mystery books. After she leaves her notes, the last draft goes to my editor Steph for the English version (I write in English and she edits what is too Italian). The final writing is pushed then to my beta readers, who read and review it. At this point the book is ready to be officially published and launched.
Ally: When and where do you do the bulk of your writing? Do you have a writer's cave? If not, what would your ideal cave be like?
STEF: I like being quite structured in everything I do, especially when creativity is involved. It may sound like a paradox (and maybe it is) but following a strict process allows me to plan my writing sessions and deliver my drafts in time for their official launch. I find the writing process easier when the plot pillars are in place.
I usually first draft a concept (or two), then develop every scene so to create a storyboard, just like a movie. I use Ginko App for that - it’s spot on and can be used for everyday tasks as well, so I suggest anyone to give it a go ;)
Once everything is ready and storyboarded, I can go banana with my writing.
I don’t have a specific place for writing: my upcoming new mystery novel was drafted during a holiday at Canary Islands. My ‘cave’ is my sofa in my living room, where I like lying with my computer on my lap, plug myself in and get my writing done.
Ally: Give us a few hints about your next writing project.
STEF: I am writing two stories at the moment.
The book No3 of my Chase Williams murder mysteries series which is going to be a long length novel, and a short story about a real event that happened in Tursenia in 1500 in which Raffaello Sanzio painted one of his famous painting.
And now for a few short answer questions:
- a. favorite sport: All of them! If I have to pick some, I’d say athletics, rugby, football, tennis, gymnastics, skating
- b. a book you wish you had written: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- c. a tv program you hate to miss: Gotham & Silicon Valley TV Series
- d. What is the name and breed of your pet? Giuliano is a chihuahua and pinscher mix breed.
- e. an event you'd love to attend: A Gland Slam final
Ally: I looks like our time is up, but it was a delight having you visit the blog. Before you go, show us one of your book covers.
Short stories Vol. I
What if you are an ex Scotland Yard British detective stuck in a stunning medieval Italian city?
Chase Williams's life seems to be filled with crimes and mysteries to solve, even if he is not working at Scotland Yard anymore. In Tursenia, a pretty, Medieval city in the heart of Italy, Chase tries to live a normal life as an import/export executive for an international cashmere firm, but it's not as easy as it appears.
Chase's investigative eye never stops catching glimpses of crimes despite his career change. Throughout these six detective short stories of 1000 words each, Chase deals with a sequence of mainly minor but baffling offences that anyone could stumble upon.
Strange flights, teenagers at the mall, quirky neighbours and a special mission with Chase's childhood friend, Inspector Angelo Alunni, will introduce you to the Tursenian world, where other, nastier crimes can happen.
All links on Author's Website:
CUTTING RIGHT TO THE CHASE VOL.1
CUTTING RIGHT TO THE CHASE VOL.2
CUTTING RIGHT TO THE CHASE VOL.3
INTO THE KILLER SPHERE
PULL THE TRIGGER