10 Questions With Mat Ridley

Welcome Leighgendaries to the twentieth edition of 10 Questions With…

Today, our guest is:


Mat Ridley

Before we get to the questions, tell us about yourself.

Hi, I’m Mat Ridley. I live in Cambridge, UK, where I work as the IT guy for a group of theological colleges. I’m also the author of afterlife fantasy novel The Book of Daniel, which I suspect is rather the reason I’m here today. Unless anyone has a computer problem they need fixing…?

Thank you for inviting me along 🙂

It’s time for:

10 Questions With Mat Ridley

1.) What is something that many people might not know about you?

Well, I’ve written a book. Does that count? Other than that, um… Rob Minkoff, the director of Mr Peabody & Sherman, once favourited one of my tweets. How’s that?

2.) What inspired you to write your first book?

Like all the best writers, and some of the worst, the idea came to me in a dream.

Ah, but which type am I, though?

3.) Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I can’t really pick just one, any more than I could pick a single favourite movie. But if you’re twisting my arm, then I’d probably (and boringly) pick Stephen King. I haven’t kept up with his recent material, but certainly his early novels were brilliantly vivid, and fascinating to read (I mean, in the truest sense of the word – he really has a knack for drawing you into his world and the minds of his characters).

4.) If you could have dinner with any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I’d rather the author was alive, to be honest. Dinner with a dead guy would be kind of creepy. Probably unhygienic, too 🙂

To pick a specific author, I’d probably say Roald Dahl. He seems like quite an enigmatic character, and it would be interesting to find out if there’s any truth behind the rumours about his politics, for example. He had a heck of an imagination, too, of course – not just with his children’s works, but his short stories and his screenplays, as well. I bet he’d have some great stories to tell (er, if you see what I mean).

5.) What book are you reading now?

Nothing at the moment, unless Dr Seuss (over and over again) counts. Reading is a habit I want to get back into, but right now most of my spare time is devoted to enjoying watching my daughter grow up. Soppy, I know, but I only get one shot at that.

I do still manage to squeeze in a bit of “proper” reading here and there, though. I just finished The Stand a couple of weeks ago… but that took me 7 months! Next up, I’ve got my eye on A Clockwork Orange.

6.) Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Sorry, no. I’m so out of the loop L Feel free to recommend something to me!

7.) If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in any of your books?

Please don’t tempt me. Seriously – it took me long enough as it is to finally push my book out of the door, and most of that delay was down to me wanting to make “just one last change.”

8.) Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’d love to, but at the moment, it’s only going on in my head, I’m afraid. I’ve got plenty of ideas, but I’m still new enough on the scene that I need to wait for a bit first of all, to see if people actually like what I’ve written so far. I’m cautiously optimistic about that…but as a pathological completer-finisher, I can’t commit myself to writing another book unless I know it’s going to be worth my time (and everyone else’s!).

In the meantime, I’m keeping my hand in with a few short stories (I used to be a big fan of the Twilight Zone, so that sort of thing). When I get enough of them, I’m sure I’ll publish a collection.

9.) If you were to get rid of one state in the US, which would it be and why?

To my British ears, this question sounds more like “which enormous group of people (who might, in a moment of madness, consider reading your books) would you most like to alienate and why?” So, um, none of them…?

Come to think of it, didn’t America already do this to England a couple of hundred years ago? What is it with you guys? Can’t we all just get along?

10.) A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

My wife works for the British Antarctic Survey (hey, can I have that as my answer to question one instead?), so I know for a fact that penguins can’t talk. If he says anything at all, shoot him – it’ll just be another one of those aliens in a penguin costume, trying to infiltrate our society. It’ll take more than a sombrero to make you blend in, guys.

Go ahead, pimp whatever book you want:

Well, I’ve only got the one for now, so that’s easy enough – if you enjoy a good afterlife adventure story (and don’t mind a few theological liberties), please take a look at The Book of Daniel, available now on Amazon! It’s a little different from your usual fantasy novel, but if you love Hollywood blockbusters and plot twists, I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

Thanks very much, Preston 🙂


GIVEAWAY:  Mat Ridley is going to giveaway 3 ebook copies of  The Book of Daniel.  All you have to do is answer the following question in the comment section:

You’ve hit the big time, and you’re working for a Hollywood studio! With all this power at your disposal, what songs would you pick to feature on the soundtrack of, say, the film adaptation of an afterlife fantasy adventure novel?
What are you currently reading and do you like it or not?  

The giveaway will run until Sunday, August 23, 2015, at 8:00 pm (est)

Daniel Stein is having the worst day of his life. The last day of his life, in fact. And things are only going to get worse for him tomorrow.

Death is only the beginning for Dan. Waking up to find that his wife, Joanna, has also been killed is bad enough, but then Dan also finds a sword shoved into his hand, and is told that the only way he’s ever going to get to Jo—and Heaven—is if he does as God tells him and fights against the forces of Satan’s army.

But demons are the least of Dan’s problems in the afterlife. There’s also his hatred of God to contend with.

And Dan is pretty sure that God hates him right back.

Welcome to Purgatory.


I would like to thank Mat Ridley for joining us for this edition of 10 Questions With…  I hope you enjoyed learning about him as much as I did.

If you liked this interview you might also like:
10 Questions With Ernie Luis
10 Questions With Paul B. Kohler
10 Questions With Hank Garner
10 Questions With Kevin G. Summers


8 thoughts on “10 Questions With Mat Ridley

    1. He didn’t, seems like he was saying that him picking Stephen Kind as his favorite author was boring. I think he meant cause it is a pretty common answer.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am currently reading Hell House by Richard Matheson. I like it, but I find it interesting how there are obvious parallels between it and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Matheson’s novel comes across as far more sinister and, at times, fantastical, and blatant sexual themes are also at work. It’s definitely a darker tale than Jackson’s.

    Liked by 1 person

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