Not to mention, he’s a murderer.

Dave Matthes
Dave Matthes Author Interview

A Cage for the Wind is the story of a man who has been through a lot, done a lot, and most of all, gotten away with a lot. What inspired the idea of Jerry’s character and the life that’s shared in this book?

Originally, the book itself was simply going to be a new poetry collection to toss onto the stack of my previous collections. The poems in this book, however, started to take on a different sort of life of their own separate from what I’d written before. Eventually, I started filling in the spaces between the poems with little bits of story which in turn began to tell a tale of sorts of a man who would eventually become “Jerry”. I’ve written a lot of solid characters in the past, solid in that they have a very defined line, a route of progression, flawed, absolutely, but they’re mostly all very concrete; you can almost reach out and touch them if you thought about it hard enough. I wanted to write something different, not just a new character, but a new kind of character. Jerry is shattered, in pieces, and in probably will never be put together in a way that makes sense to himself or others around him. So the structure of the book reflects that, as it is written from three different points of view all centered around him.

Jerry is a provocative yet compelling character. What was the writing process like to create that balance in Jerry’s character?

Jerry’s evolution came about very, very slowly during the writing process, right up to the very last day before publication. I wanted a character that didn’t just leave the reader wondering more about and then shrugging off, but rather a character that had many different dimensions of possible existence. Jerry’s story is told from the points of view of three different styles and formats, but they are all “him”. My goal was to leave the reader having some idea of who or what Jerry is, while also in a way, having no idea at all. In that sense, Jerry can be whoever the reader wants him to be. The more people who read Jerry’s story and come to that realization, the more versions of Jerry will come into existence, and I think that’s an amazing thought.

What were some themes that came up in the book organically and surprised you when you were finished?

Flawed characters exist everywhere and are written every which way. I myself have never really gotten any joy out of writing a character who isn’t flawed or fractured in some way. But with Jerry, I wanted to create a character who the reader could sympathize with, maybe even empathize on some level, but couldn’t decide why, because he’s actually a pretty bad guy. He has his glimmers of goodness, but really, he’s a rotten, hole of a man with most likely no real light at the end of his tunnel. Not to mention, he’s a murderer. I think the main thing I wanted to get across, is that no matter how good or how bad someone is, they can never truly be 100% good or evil. I’ve seen a lot of this world try to argue with absolutes, and it makes me sick to my stomach to know that many people out there think so harshly and so absolutely about being “one way or the other”, or “if you’re not with me, you’re against me”, leaving no room to move either way. It’s sickening. And so maybe Jerry is more bad than good, but also, maybe there’s enough good in him to come back from all that darkness. Maybe. Probably not, but maybe. And that’s the point.

Have you pursued any other formats to tell your stories in?

A Cage for the Wind is the most “out there” I’ve personally gotten in terms of style and format. I’ll probably attempt writing another book I the future in a similar way with more tweeks and turns and twists, bending the ways a book can be read. I really like the idea of someone picking up a book and assuming one thing, then when they begin to read it they’re suddenly swept off their feet in a way they didn’t expect.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Jerry is a writer, a box-truck driver, a desk-jockey, sometimes a murderer, but more often than not, he’s a liar, and no one in his circle of associates, acquaintances, or lovers can ever be sure when, and more importantly, if he’s telling the truth. But over the course of the next few days (or weeks, or months, or years, who can really be sure?) he will go on a journey, maybe, of self-discovery riddled with mind-transporting drugs, childhood-rooted romances, and ancestral malarkey. Or, maybe he’s returning home from a journey he can’t remember anything of. The only thing he can be sure of, is that he’s not sure if he’s leaving to or returning from, or if he’s even gone away in the first place.

In this story, Jerry’s life is told from three points of view of gradually-intensifying insanity. His melodramatic world is seen through his own eyes, narrated in the nameless voice of another, and finally, through anecdotal poems which serve as thoughts, musings, reflections, and more.

So come along, hop on board, join Jerry in his quest for… whatever. Maybe you can make sense of the mess, if, of course, there is any sense to be found at all.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on November 24, 2021, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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