Matthew Munson: Putting others in the hot seat

Matthew takes on the role of interviewer

I’ve always wanted to be a fiction writer, but that has led to so many other opportunities; ones I can’t imagine ever having if I wasn’t involved in writing.

One of the things I’ve been “roped into” (like I would have been forced into the role if I didn’t actually want to do it) is to be an interviewer for Thanet Writers. This is a friendly group of creative sorts who decided some time ago to move beyond the remit of a standard writer’s group and begin bringing people together, making writers of all strands and types think about their creativity in more vibrant, active ways, and allowing people the freedom to explore their writing in their own ways.

It’s lovely to see the group developing, and I admire the group for being innovative in their approach; we have a flourishing scene here in Thanet that can only benefit from increasing the connections between groups, individuals, and types of writer.


One of the things they are doing is running an active Youtube channel, and I act as one of their interviewers. I’ve got to interview some really interesting people; Jessica Rhodes, Connor Sansby, Nigel West, Stefan Gambrell, Mark Holihan, Catherine Law, and Maggie Harris.

What is a particularly interesting challenge is my own approach to deadlines. I thrive foremost on living life rather close to the mark; the quote by Douglas Adams, “I love the sound of a deadline as it rushes past” so often applies to me in my creative life. I sometimes don’t feel entirely alive and excited unless I’ve got a deadline breathing down my neck, but I recognise – in a way I didn’t entirely recognise before – that other people don’t work entirely like that. So as I hope people can tune their antennae to “Radio Munson,” there are times when I need to tune my antennae to “Radio Wider World” and plan for the interviews further in advance.

Camera work

So, I am an interviewer for Thanet Writers, and I’ve even delivered a talking heads New Year type programme once upon a time. That was rather fun, although I soon discovered something else about myself; I have the memory of a goldfish. All I can say is that I am eternally grateful for editing equipment; the editor in charge – Seb Reilly, a fellow columnist here in the News, deserves a medal of some description, as I couldn’t remember anything more than about thirty seconds ahead of where I was currently speaking.

Please bear in mind that it was me that devised the script, and that makes it even more worrying. If you watch the programme, however, you wouldn’t even get the merest hint of that memory lapse, merely some clever camera work that cuts away just at the right moments. Very clever.

So, in the meantime, being an interviewer is rather a lot of fun, I must confess; I never thought this would be something I’d want to do, but now that I’m involved with it, you wouldn’t peel me away from the interviewer’s chair. There’s even talk of having someone interview me at some point, but I’m not convinced; I rather like being the one who’s asking the questions.