Matt Kendrick, whose story ‘Under an Aurora Sky’ is published in the third issue of Lucent Dreaming, is a writer and illustrator based in the East Midlands. His writing is influenced by his itinerant childhood, his university study of modern foreign languages, and his general fascination with the human psyche. His work has been published in STORGY magazine and elsewhere. In this interview we find out what inspired his story and why everyone is capable of writing a brilliant story.
What inspired your piece, ‘Under an Aurora Sky’ and how did it find its way to Lucent Dreaming?
‘Under an Aurora Sky’ was inspired by research I was carrying out into various mythologies for another project. I came across the animistic beliefs of the Inuit population almost by chance and I was immediately enchanted by them. From there, I started to explore the harsh realities of the Inuit way of life and looked into their complex language system, fragments of which are peppered throughout the story’s narrative in an attempt to make the tone of voice feel as authentic as possible. When I was writing the story, I always had it in mind that I would send it to Lucent Dreaming and I’m really happy that it has found a place amongst the pages of this stylish magazine.
What does creating art mean to you?
I think it’s really important in our busy modern lives to have a creative outlet. Writing, drawing, painting, playing music or whatever artistic endeavour you’re into – they allow an escape from any stresses you might be under. I find that writing can be a great way of processing pent-up emotions and it’s also a brilliant channel for expressing my identity. And, whilst writing for me has morphed into something that is no longer just a therapeutic pastime, I also dabble in creating illustrations and playing the piano.
What writing/creative projects are you currently working on?
I always have several short stories/flash fiction pieces on the go and these currently encompass a piece about an adverb going to a job interview and a slightly twisted tale that starts with a line about anthropomorphic octopi – so pretty varied! I’m also working (very slowly) on a novel called ‘The Cadaver’s Carnival’.
What are you most excited about right now and for the future?
At the beginning of 2019, I made two solid resolutions to do with my writing. The first was to spend more time being/thinking outside the box. Whilst it’s a slightly scary place to spend time, I’m really enjoying experimenting with writing in new ways and from new perspectives. My second resolution was to set up a virtual writing group to help connect emerging writers (like myself) with other like-minded writers for the purpose of swapping stories and providing each other with constructive feedback. More information about this group can be found @BBludgers on Twitter.
How and where do you find inspiration to do your craft?
I find that inspiration comes in fits and spurts. Sometimes I can go weeks without getting an idea for a story. Other times I’ll think of three or four ideas in a day. I get inspiration from all sorts of places – listening to music, reading the news, people-watching on the bus etc. I also find that inspiration has an uncanny habit of striking at 3 o’clock in the morning!
What advice would you give those who want to do what you do?
I think a good place to start is to know that everyone is capable of writing a brilliant story. The first step is to put pen to paper (or fingers to computer keyboard) and to have a go. Your initial attempt might not be a masterpiece but that doesn’t matter. If you want to improve your craft, my top advice is (1) to read as widely as possible to get ideas on subject matter/different stylistic approaches, (2) to start with short flash fiction pieces and make your way onto longer works after that, (3) to experiment with different approaches until you find your niche, and (4) to find someone you trust who is willing to give some constructive feedback on your writing.
Where can people see more of you and your work?
I have had several short stories and flash fiction pieces accepted for publication. Links to these can be found on my website: https://www.mattkendrick.co.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication! Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.