Matthew Munson: Beginnings – and endings

Matthew says goodbye,,,for now

Most writers – me included – always hope to get feedback from people reading their work. More than anything, I keep my fingers crossed that any comments are honest, as I learn more from a range of opinions.

The overwhelming positivity from last week’s column – where I discuss my impending fatherhood – was more than I ever expected, and I appreciated all of it. March 2019 is now looking likely as the month when my son comes home, so preparation is key … and I know that no amount of preparation will be sufficient for the topsy-turvy world of parenthood.

Coupled with that big change is my writing career; I’ve got another book coming out at the end of this year – the latest in a series about a group of people rebelling against autocratic rule. There’s the occasional spaceship (not that many) and a bit of magic, as well as a green-skinned alien called Rachael, so I suspect you know what genre that is.

Getting published – a feeling like no other

Science-fiction and fantasy are my favourite genres to write in, although I love reading a good thrilled or murder mystery from time to time. I grew up in a house where those type of books formed the backbone of our bookshelves, complimented by non-fiction books on history and politics. I love reading, and sharing that love with other people; hence the stories I create that that emerge slowly out onto the page.

The young man who will become my son likes creative writing and reading, so you can imagine – I hope – how much that excites me. We’ll share common bonds when we form a family, and if I can help fan the flames of his creativity even more, then I will take that as a great privilege.

Matthew and his mum

For me, my own personal creativity was never questioned; my dad was an award-winning journalist of some note (I just wish he’d still write now, but he’s happily retired and too busy corralling the garden into an ever-evolving shape), and my mum was a skilled and sharp-eyed organiser at whatever role she put her mind to – and was well-respected for it (and still is terribly organised and well-respected in her own retirement). They both allowed me the freedom to just be me, which they might have regretted for a while in my teenage years when they realised that my back-chat wasn’t enough of a reason to silence me with duct-tape until I grew out of it.

Matthew and his dad 

But family and friendship has always been important to me; I’ve talked about some people over the last two years in my column, and the laughs I’ve had. My parents, of course, and Di – my marathon buddy who is now ensconced in Bournemouth and will be running the place in the next few months, I’m sure of it. Kirk and Chelby and their kids – to whom I’m Uncle Mamoo – will be forming a vital part of my support network when the Munson family increases by one, and I am grateful beyond words for it. Others who I haven’t ever mentioned in this column – Lynda, Helen, Phill, Heather, Lisa, Charlie, Julie, Barbara, and more – will also be there for me, as I will be for them.

Matthew and Di

Parenthood is changing my life already, and this pleases me; marathons will slip back into my life at some point in the future, and books will never go into abeyance. But some words will, hence this being my last regular column for The Isle of Thanet News. I need to give thought and time to parenthood right now, so I won’t feature here every Sunday after today.

I’m sad as I write that, but I know it’s the right decision for now; whatever I write deserves my full attention, and for some time, my focus will be elsewhere. However, that doesn’t mean you have entirely seen the back of me; our esteemed editor, the inimitable Kathy, has allowed me the opportunity to drop back in from time to time and keep in touch through an occasional column. I shall absolutely take her up on that – so, whilst this is a bye-bye for now, it’s certainly not a goodbye forever. I’ve appreciated making contact with so many people during my two years of writing this column. Thanks for being so supportive. It’s been a pleasure.


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