5 questions with Matthew Quick

5 questions with Matthew Quick

In Author Conversations by Katie Winters

5 questions with Matthew Quick

We love any opportunity to get to know our favorite authors better. So a lightning round of questions sounds like a good place to start. Here, we ask five quick questions (with one wildcard) about books, genres, reading preferences, writing style, and their secret to success. 

Matthew Quick’s books are a hit with readers and critics alike. The author of The Silver Linings Playbook (adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper) tackles tough subjects like mental illness, mass shootings, and loss — but his books are ultimately about human decency, kindness, and the power of people helping each other. In his latest novel, We Are the Light, Quick once again proves he’s uniquely adept at writing quirky, traumatized characters supported by strong communities.

Here, Quick shares his favorite books right now, how his writing motto has evolved, and the author he’s dying to ask about cats.

1. What are your all-time favorite books?

Matthew Quick: What comes to mind this morning: Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

2. What’s your favorite genre to read?

Matthew Quick: First-person voice-driven character studies.

3. Which do you prefer: ebook or audiobook?

Matthew Quick: Hard-copy real books for me please. I will listen to audiobooks. I don’t think I’ve ever read an entire ebook in my life.

4. What’s your writing routine or process? 

Matthew Quick: Lately, it’s been years of failure followed by a few glorious months of success. LOL. I try to work on some aspect of my career every day. I’m a voice-driven writer, so I’m always listening for the next voice. When it finally arrives, I just get out of the way and let it talk.

5. How much of your writing success is due to hard work, talent, or luck?

Matthew Quick: My motto as a young writer was this: You can outwork talent. I’ve since learned that’s not always true. But it kept me working hard enough for luck to find me. Hard work is the only part of that trinity that’s within our control, so maybe it’s best to focus on it.

Wildcard: If you could have coffee/tea with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Matthew Quick: I’m a green tea man. I’d jump at the chance to speak with Haruki Murakami. I bet he’d have a lot to say about Carl Jung and our inner worlds. I’d ask about those talking cats too.


About the Author: Katie Winters

Katie is an Everand editor who digs weird westerns and hidden histories and never says no to noir. She loves putting her librarian training to work connecting readers with good books. And dancing to Dolly Parton.