Matthew Thomas was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he has an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, where he received the Graduate Essay Award. He lives with his wife and twin children in New Jersey. We Are Not Ourselves is his first novel.
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Matthew Thomas talks about writing his debut novel, We Are Not Ourselves
Congratulations on publishing your debut, We Are Not Ourselves. What has the experience of having your book published been like? Did you find anything surprising? If so, what?
I'm thrilled to have my book published and grateful that it found a home at Simon & Schuster, with the extraordinary Marysue Rucci as its editor.
What has surprised me is just how many people play a vital role in getting a book into the hands of readers. Once its writer is done with it, a book owes it eventual existence on shelves to a remarkable team effort by untold talented peopleeditors, copyeditors, jacket designers, production editors, sales reps, book reps, publicists, even publishers themselveswho make crucial, often unsung contributions.
You've said it took you more than a decade to write We Are Not Ourselves. What made you keep writing? Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I kept going because I didn't want to regret not finishing it. I'd invested a great deal of time, energy, and spirit in it and passed up many other opportunities while working on it. I think of that famous line of Macbeth's: "I am in blood/...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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