FQ: Tell our readers a little about yourself. Your background, your interests, and how this led to writing a book?
MATHEWS: Well, I have been going by Mika for ten years, and have been writing far longer. I enjoy reading and writing, obviously, but also trying new things in general. Research, learning and all that entails makes me really happy. All myths and science YouTube videos or documentaries fill me with joy.
FQ: Have you always enjoyed writing or is it something you’ve discovered recently?
MATHEWS: I've wanted to write since I was four, when my late grandmother made wonderful stories that filled me with joy. I used it to cope with a poor life, and then it became a passion through fan-fiction and later through my own original works. I love writing, it really is what makes me whole.
FQ: Tell us a little about your book – a brief synopsis and what makes your book unique.
MATHEWS: Born Mistakes is about two very different, and yet very similar souls finding peace in a world that has been so unkind. I am extremely pleased to say it lacks some of the nastier tropes that fill romance. It is a genuine love story between people that need it, want it, and are brave enough to ask for it.
FQ: What was the impetus for writing your book?
MATHEWS: Born Mistakes, well...it's my first attempt at romance, queer romance at that. I had never even tried to write something not fantasy. I wanted to challenge myself, and what I made was something beautiful.
FQ: Who are your favorite authors?
MATHEWS: Rick Riordan for his incredible voice. Garth Nix for his powerful characters and utter lack of sexism. Brian Jacques for the raw joy of his stories.
FQ: Which do you find easier, starting a story, or writing the conclusion?
MATHEWS: Starting by far, but I find that if I have a good idea of the ending than I can master the middle. It is a mixed bag really. I actually have an issue starting stories and not finishing them, sadly.
FQ: Where do you think you’ve improved the most in your writing process and ability and how do you think you have evolved?
MATHEWS: I think my pacing had gotten better. I have wicked ADHD ad Autism, my brain has issues with flow as a general concept. Many people have commented that I had made massive strides here, but I want to get even better.
I'd like to think my characters have improved as well, I mean after six books it kind of has to...
FQ: If you were to teach a class on the art of writing, what is the one item you would be sure to share with your students and how would you inspire them to get started?
MATHEWS: Draw on real people, not by copying and pasting them, but by realizing that real people are more complex, interesting and contradictory than made up people. If you want to make great characters, this is key. Boring characters kill a reading experience.
FQ: Where did the idea for your story come from?
MATHEWS: The idea that love does not have to be toxic and abusive. It can be sweet and simple.
FQ: Did the story change as you wrote the book?
MATHEWS: Very much so, and yet not at all. I struggled a lot to write this, as it was so different than my normal style, but it also means more because of that.