Here is the first part of an interview conducted by Collette Scott about The Matadors series. The first interview is mainly about Veronasongs.
MEET SIMBARASHE, AUTHOR OF THE MATADORS SERIES
While working with Patti Roberts on her eBook giveaway, I dropped an email to a fellow writer and Goodreads friend, Simbarashe. During our back and forth communication, I had the pleasure to read the first two books of his series, and I have to say that he really ‘knocked my socks off’. I am proud to be able to share more about this multi-talented, beautiful writer, musician and photographer. Today we’ll talk a bit about Veronasongs.
Thank you so much for joining me this week, Simbarashe. I’d like to start with a little bit about you. Who is Simbarashe?
This is a difficult question to answer, so I’ll stick with the facts: I’m 32, I was born in California, and I’m tall. My father was an African diplomat for many years and my mother was a robotics tech. She remarried a teacher. I have spider legs for fingers. I only grow enough facial hair to shave but once a week. When I was 22 it was once every six months. I write a lot, but my writing is inspired through films and music and current events more so than other books.
When did you decide you wanted to write?
As a young person I kept refusing to write. I wanted to be a cinematographer. When I didn’t get accepted into any of the film schools I applied to I decided to pursue music after a few years. I was a guitarist in a few bands and enjoyed that immensely. But writing is hard-coded into my DNA. I would never get tired of shooting pictures or playing guitar, but I can write subconsciously. Therein lies the difference.
I understand you write full-time now. Can you tell us a little about your other writings?
I write a column for a website called Starpulse. They allot me the freedom to write whatever I want but my main gig for them is covering New York’s Tribeca Film Festival every year. Everything else I write for them is generally about music. I also am working on a project called The Musist (www.themusist.com) which will contain 100 essays about music from the past 30 years in all kinds of contextual subject matters. Did that last part make sense?
Absolutely! It’s a great thing to be able to do something that you love.
People should do what they love even if they get paid to do something
Tell me a little bit about your musical background.
I’ve been playing keyboard since I was about nine and guitar since I was fourteen. I have this uncanny ability to recall the most ridiculous bits of data pertaining to popular music in my lifetime. If it was a hit in the 80s I could tell you the year; if you want to know the record label that put out Madonna’s old albums I could tell you the imprint and its parent company. Some people think that I have a photographic memory, but it’s really just being able to preserve that information and associate it with everyday life events that have preserved many of my memories so well. If someone asked me what happened in the summer of 94, I would simply recall who had a hit that summer, and I’ll know exactly where I was then and what was going on in the world. (Brazil defeated Italy on penalty kicks in Pasadena on my 15th birthday; it was hot outside.)
Where did you come up with the idea for the Matadors series? Were you inspired?
I’d written a short story in high school back in 1996 called Christian and Donica and then turned it into a screenplay entitled Everybody Hates Donica Pine the next year before I graduated. That story is essentially Warsongs (Book 2). I didn’t have an inclination to do a series until I’d started writing Veronasongs in the spring of 2008, when I realised that I had a decent prequel to the original story. The original story was written as my way of coping with the death of a classmate. I dealt with my own depression during that time which was quite gnarly; what always astonished me though was how everyone who could help—teachers, administrators, my mother—were completely nonchalant about everything. Either that or they were thought we were bluffing. I’m convinced that kids who actually commit suicide are merely calling that bluff. It’s rather infuriating and humiliating at the same time. So does a kid lean towards feeling hopeless or insulted? For me it was the latter, and I suppose that’s why I’m still around.
You can read the entire article here: Clicky.