Robbie Matthews started writing seriously after Aussiecon III in 1999. He made his first paying sale early in 2000, and since then has been heavily involved in the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild (CSFG). He has had stories the CSFG anthologies Nor of Human… and Machinations, and was a founding member of the Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Co-operative Ltd, becoming involved in editing and publishing Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. In March 2003, Robbie won the Peter McNamara Convenors Award (part of the Aurealis Awards). He also won the Best New Designer Award for my Role Playing module "And Now Presenting: Murder!!!" at the Phenomenon 2003 roleplaying convention. Most recently, Robbie had his collection, Johnny Phillips, Werewolf Detective: the Collected Case Files, published with ASF – the collection was shortlisted for the 2009 Aurealis Awards for Best Collection.
1. You must have been delighted to see the /Collected Werewolf/ on the Aurealis Awards shortlist – how much did it mean to you to have it recognised like that?
I was extremely chuffed … although there was it also felt a bit unreal, because most of the actual work of writing was done years previously. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback, too, which is nice. The shortlisting for the Aurealis was unexpected but welcome. (Winning would have been even more welcome, given the competition, but I can’t complain :P)
2. You’ve been involved in Australian small press for a number of years, most notably with Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine – what have you learned about the Australian publishing community through this experience, and has it supported your career in any way? If you could tell us a little about your experience as GoH in New Zealand last year as well, that would be great!
That’s three questions in one, you cunning interviewer. I’m not entirely sure how my involvement with the Aussie publishing community came about … it all just happened, although it all kind of made sense at the time. I learned there are many talented and enthusiastic people in the local scene. I feel I was instrumental in getting ASIM off the ground (and we’re up to issue #42, which I feel is pretty damn impressive!) but I’ve now cunningly organized it so that most of the actual work is being done by other people and I’m just a lazy figurehead. New Zealand was fun. We got a chance to do a driving tour of the North and South Island before the convention itself, and that was a lot of fun. NZ fans turn out to be laid back and fun… ASIM also turns out to be quite influential over there, too: ASIM short stories have dominated their "Sir Julius Vogel Awards" for several years (their equivalent of the Ditmars). I got to meet such people as Julie Czerneda and Nahlini Singh, and caught up with Russel Kirkpatrick again. I also got to meet Norman Cates of Weta Workshop (who was there as a fan).
3. So what’s next for Robbie Matthews? Is publishing still high on your priority list?
I’m … toying with the notion of a Johnny Werewolf novel, later this year. It hasn’t got beyond the rough notes stage, though, so only time will tell. As to publishing, I’m editing issue #47 of ASIM. I do find that Small Press publishing takes it out of you, so that would be the limit for this year. You know, until the movie deals roll in, of course… 😉
4. Which Australian writers or work would you like to see on the Hugo shortlists this year?
I’m going to wimp out on this one. There are so many to choose from…
5. Will you be at Aussiecon 4 in September? If so, what are you most looking forward to about it? If not, what do you think Aussiecon might do for the Australian publishing industry as a whole?
Still umming and ahing at this point. I’d like to, but have budget constraints to consider. I guess I’ll make my final decision a bit closer to the date. I had a ball at the last one, though…
This interview was conducted as part of the 2010 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from Monday 15 February to Sunday 22 February and archiving them at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews at: