• Staff Spotlight: Chris Mattix

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN News & Events     Comments 1 comment

    Chris Mattix, consultant and coachToday we’d like to introduce you to the newest member of our wonderful staff of consultants and coaches, Chris Mattix. Chris is a transplanted Montanan living in Austin, Texas, where he runs Weekly Weird Monthly and co-hosts our favorite local show, Writing on the Air.

    Below is a Q&A with Chris Mattix, followed by a brief bio.



    Where are you from?

    I was born and raised in Montana, and currently live in Austin, TX.


    Where did you study?

    I received my undergraduate degree in Journalism from Carroll College in Helena, MT, and my Master’s degree in Mass Communication from North Dakota State University, in Fargo, “the coldest place on earth,” North Dakota.


    How did you get your start as a writer?

    I started writing in high school because I thought our school newspaper class sounded like an easier grade than Art; I’m terrible at art. I didn’t fancy myself much of a writer, but I was a rabid music fan, so I started reviewing records. After years of reviewing records for my high school and college newspapers and a short stint writing editorial pieces for Stylus Magazine, I finally enrolled in a creative writing class and started to explore poetry. I didn’t start seriously writing prose until graduate school, because it was a nice way to feel like I was being productive when I should’ve been writing research papers. After grad school I moved to Austin, TX and fell in with a group of writers who had a weekly workshop, and that’s when I started getting published.


    List some of your influences.

    My major influences are: Mark Helprin, Kay Ryan, Charles Bukowski, Joe Haldeman, Herman Hesse, John Kennedy Toole, Joan Didion, Donald Barthelme, and Elmore Leonard.


    What is your strangest writing experience?

    Being told by an ex-girlfriend that she overheard me plotting a murder in my sleep; I was writing a story about a murder at the time. The worst part is that she couldn’t remember what I said and neither could I.


    What’s the last book you read and what did you think of it?

    The last book I read (meaning finished, because I’m in the middle of Knausgaard’s 2,700-page My Struggle) was All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews, and I absolutely loved it! It’s a tragicomic novel about two sisters who grew up in a Mennonite colony in rural Canada, and their struggle to stay connected. It is by turns hilarious, and heartbreaking; easily my favorite book of 2014.


    What’s the last movie you saw that was based on a book and how was it?

    I recently watched the movie adaptation of Joe Hill’s novel Horns. It was okay. Not bad, but definitely not great. I think it serves as a prime example of how a narrative structure can work really well in a novel, but not translate to the screen. I’m a big fan of Joe Hill’s work, so I was a little hesitant to watch the film, but I think they did the story justice; although I’m sure someone who is unfamiliar with the novel will be confused at times.


    Any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?

    Don’t be afraid to show your work to others! I meet a lot of people who tell me they write, but never show it to anyone because they feel it’s no good. I always tell them the only way to get better as a writer, other than writing a lot, is showing your work to others and getting their opinions. Workshops are the single best thing for me as a writer. They force you to not only produce more work, but to let go of your writing and allow others to critique it; and other people always notice something you don’t. So show your work!


    Chris Mattix received his MFA in Mass Communications from North Dakota State University in 2011 and quickly moved from the coldest place he’s ever lived, to the hottest. He works as an adjunct Communications professor at Texas State University, co-hosts Writing on the Air on KOOP Radio, and is the co-founder and editor at the Austin based small press, Weekly Weird Monthly. His writing has appeared in
    Thuglit, Kindform, Stylus Magazine, Slagdrop, and as part of the oral storytelling series Testify.


    If you like Chris Mattix’s style, express interest in working with him now


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    […] is the perfect title. Much like a sports coach, Chris motivates and inspires me, cheers for my successes and talks me through my failures, gives me […]

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