Monday, April 26, 2010

Interview with Cell phone novel phenom Matt Reeves

18 year old Matthew Reeves resides in the beautiful state of California along with his family and cat. Always game for a good conversation or story, you can usually find him talking, writing, imagining or something that falls in between. Having started writing at 14, he has a strong affection for the written word and hopes to be able to share with people the same joy he has received from reading the works of others. A big fan of Japanese animation, Manga, and fiction, he hopes to somehow bring over the creativity currently thriving overseas to American shores.

Magan : So for those people who don't know what cell phone novels are can you describe them a bit more?

Matt: Sure. The simple answer is that they are novels written on a cell phone or written in a style that can be easily read on a cell phone. The more complex answer is that they are written in a specific style of writing that is usually done in a first person POV and is defined by it's simplistic and minimalistic approach to storytelling.

Magan: Since we kind of met through text novel...Why cell novels? How did you discover them and what drew you to them?

Matt: Ah, well, it was really by accident to be honest. I hadn't even heard of the things before. As I recall, it was night time and I was googling random information on some Japanese novels I was interested in reading. I somehow came across an article about Japanese Cell Phone Novels. I think it was the article on the New York Times website. I then googled the term and began reading more. I was pretty interested in the concept and the idea of how unpublished authors could get a chance to stand out using this unique new platform.
I'm not sure if I found out about through google or if I saw one of Mr. Soper's replies to one of the articles. Either way, I visited TextNovel and realized that the idea had come to the English speaking world as well.

Magan: Do you think it's something that's going to become popular in America or how would you compare it to the Japanese cell phone novels?

Matt: I absolutely believe that Cell Phone Novels have the 'pottential' to become popular in the Western world, but whether they will fall's on the newly launched websites and the early adoptors who join. It also relies on the news media. If you google for articles about Cell Phone Novel's, you'll see there is almost no mention of the fact that the trend has begun to come over to the West. This lack of information and recognition makes it harder for it to gain popularity or traction. So do I think they will? I certainly hope so, and I think there is good reason to believe they will.

Matt: As to how American Cell Phone Novel's compare to their Japanese counterpart...
They are both starting out very similarly. When Cell Phone Novels started out in Japan, they were unheard of and grew out of the already existing idea of writing a 'blog novel'. Just as English language Cell Phone Novels are proving to be a grassroots supported format, so were the original Japanese novels.

Magan: How do you feel about the lack of readership with cell phone novels in America right now and what are you doing to sort of ‘fight for’ the trend?

Matt: The fact is, that right now there is an illiteracy epidemic hitting America. Young people across the country are falling out of love with reading and beginning to associate it with things that are un-enjoyable to them. These young men and women are then becoming adults and continuing to dislike books in their later years and subsequently putting more strain on the publishing industry. As I remember, there is a statistic that say's that nearly half of all American's don't read a single book in a year's time. This is definitely something to be concerned with. So my feelings regarding Cell Phone Novels also stretch forth into the other area's of literacy as well. I feel that books as a whole are in dire need of a revival. I believe that Cell Phone Novels could be a part of that revival. The fact that they aren't popular yet should come as no surprise to anyone. After all, the trend only recently came over several years ago, and it still isn't widely known. It's going to take a strong grassroots movement along with the push of different websites and hopefully a willing publisher to help bring the format into the spotlight.
As for me, all I can do is write my stories and try to provide some of my ideas and thoughts for the format as a whole to the websites trying to bring it out.

Magan: Have people’s opinions changed now that you have one of the most read cell phone novels in America?

Matt: While my story has been viewed enough to make it one of the most read of its kind in English, the fact is that there are not that many people reading the novels period. I have seen a few comments left by people who were excited by the new style, and I have also seen people who disliked it. So while I think it's possible that there are people who have had their opinions changed for the better, I also think there are people who have merely had their opinions validated. But as with any genre or writing style, different people have different tastes. So to be blunt, I don't think my story has been read enough to be able to tell if it has significantly changed anything.

Magan: Where do you go from here? Are you currently seeking representation for your work?

Matt: Where do I go? Forward. It's the only place to go.
As the novel is still being written, I have not sought any representation for it. I would think I'd need it to be finished before an agent or publisher would take interest. Of course, I'm not against representation, so if anyone is interested, I'd love to hear from them. I am however hoping to gain representation for some of my other novel's that I have written in private. These however, are not written in the Cell Phone Novel style. Hopefully you'll be seeing one of them eventually in a bookstore near you.

Magan: Do you have any famous last words or anything else that you would like to share?

Matt: Beside's writing novels, I am working on a possible Manga project with an artist, though it is still in the very early creation process.
As for some quotes, here are just a few of my favorites that help to inspire me each day:
"Move forward. You've got a good strong pair of legs. You should get up and use them." ~ Edward Elric (from the Anime Fullmetal Alchemist)
"Everybody get's knocked down, how quick are you gonna get back up?" ~ from the song 'Ali in the Jungle' by The Hours
"I have not failed 10,000 times, I have simply been succesful in having found 10,000 ways it won't work." ~ Thomas Edison
"...Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." ~ Luke 11:9

You can find Matt Reeves on text novel or as my Twitter BFF Mattreeves17!

You can also find his cell phone novel "Once upon a Christmas wish" at

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