Author Interview: Matt Mason / Probetor's Children



JMR-Welcome to the Books Delight, Matt. Tell our readers where you live, what you do for fun and what does the perfect day look like?

MM- Hello, I’m Matt. I live near Falmouth in Cornwall, southwest England. When I’m not writing I walk around the countryside with a camera attached to my face taking nature and landscape photos. It gets me outside, that’s the main thing.

JMR-What’s your favorite historical time period? Why?

MM- The medieval period. It was the main focus of my academic studies. I love it because it was a great age of building. I love the towering monasteries and cathedrals, imposing castles, and the stunning architecture of the towns from that period.

JMR-Who is your favorite historical figure? Why? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

MM-Aethelflaed – daughter of Alfred The Great. She doesn’t get as much attention as some others. Even if asked “name a famous woman from England’s history”, I’m sad that so few people would actually name her because we owe her so much. Without her brilliant statesmanship, organization, diplomacy and negotiation skills there may never have been an England at all.

JMR- You have a degree in Archeology, how did you come to be a writer?

MM-I’ve always loved fiction writing even since I was a kid. But it’s only been the last 10 years I’ve really stuck at it. Graduating university in the credit crunch was not the ideal time and so I ended up doing other things. In 2013 I became a freelance writer. I feel going freelance really gave me the time to start writing fiction again.

JMR- How would you describe your writing style?

MM- accessible and open. I don’t like overwriting in the books I read and so I try to make my stuff as accessible as possible. The job of a fiction writer is to tell a good story – that’s what I always aim to do.

JMR- Have you traveled for research? Where did you feel closest to your characters?

MM- I tend to get inspired to write by places I’ve already visited rather than the other way around. An unpublished novel I wrote 20 years ago features Hever Castle, The Tower of London, and several other historical places I know. With web research far easier now, I like to visit places, but budget doesn’t always permit it.

JMR- Matt, tell us about your new book, Phobetor’s Children.

MM- Six retired gladiators cross the border of the Roman Empire on a secret mission for Emperor Vespasian (1st century) to visit a fort in Germany. They are to investigate why it has stopped reporting to the authorities on the other side of the border. This is no ordinary historical fiction book though because it contains elements of psychological horror and science fiction. There’s also social commentary on timeless issues like class privilege and mental illness.

JMR-What projects do you have in the pipeline?

MM- Right now, I’m awaiting beta edits on A Salmonweird Sleighing. This is a sequel to a supernatural cosy crime I released in 2019 called Salmonweird. This series is a labour of love, exploring 2000 years of England’s history and featuring colorful ghost characters from important time periods. In the autumn I hope to release the series spinoff Afterlife PLC which will take a humorous look at everything we hate about corporate culture and big business. Next year I expect to release the third Salmonweird book – Studio Salmonweird.

JMR- Tell our readers how to find you on social media and the web.

MM- Sure! Facebook: Instagram Twitter

JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?

MM- Asking about a favourite scene you’ve written. It gets writers thinking.

JMR- Thank you, Matt, for stopping by. Good luck with your books! Readers, I have included a link to Matt's book on Amazon.


  1. Good interview, I may well add this novel to my TBR list once I have thinned it down.


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