An Interview With Matthew R. Corr

An Interview With Matthew R. Corr, Author of Land On Me

Quill Hawk Publishing talks to Matt Corr, author of Land On Me, the wonderful debut novel akin to the drama of Christopher Rice and the coming-of-age brilliance of Alex Sanchez. 

QHP: What steps did you take to prepare yourself for this venture into writing?

Matt: I became a sponge. I soaked up all the knowledge I could. I'd been writing since I was a kid but had never published anything. So, while I think I'd already found my writing style I knew I still had a lot to learn. I had no idea how to publish a book, how to format a book, or how to find a cover artist. It was a lot of reading and researching and reaching out to other established authors with questions of 'how did you go about this or that?' Of course, I'd also refined my knowledge of how to write a novel. There are so many free resources out there if you're looking for them. What I took away from all of this were the tools that worked for me, for what my goals were and for the kind of story I wanted to tell.

QHP: What was the most surprising thing you experienced as you made the shift?

Matt: So many things! But two of the biggest ones were how much time it takes to finish a book, and the people I met while writing it. I wrote most of my first book during quarantine, but for the sequel it got a little tougher, because I entered the 9 to 5 life and it slowed down the creative process a lot. But I learned that that's okay. When you're indie publishing, your timeline is your own. Of course, it's still important to keep yourself in check because if not you'll step away and never come back. But the drive and excitement to entertain and tell another story with characters that I adore, pushed me through. And I wouldn't be here today with QHP if I hadn't spent time randomly reaching out to authors on social media and joining writer groups. I'm an introvert, so It's much easier for me to network online than it is in person. So, I had no trouble sending people messages, the worst I could get was no response. But luckily for me, most people responded, and I gained a ton of knowledge and friendships that way.

QHP: What was something that you didn’t plan for but proved to be a blessing?
Matt: I think one of the biggest fears an author can have while writing is 'will anyone even read this?' That thought crossed my mind a lot while writing Land On Me. Of course, my family and friends were going to read it, but will anyone read it who is outside of that circle? That's where more research came in. I started to find more tools but this time for marketing yourself. I used Instagram a ton to try and reach a greater audience than just my personal circle. For months leading up to the release I was promoting almost every day that all led to the virtual launch event. And after that launch event was over, my book had already hit #1 in the LGBT Coming of Age category on Amazon. That was not something I saw coming, and I was so grateful to everyone who helped make that happen! Reaching a wide audience almost felt impossible, but now I have strangers reaching out to me all the time clamoring for the sequel. What more could an author want?!

QHP: Your first book, “Land On Me" was a great success when it launched.  What are your hopes for the sequel, Land on Him?
Matt: My hope is that the sequel is even better received than the original! This second book is a bit more grown up with a lot more action and thrills. When I think of a sequel I think bigger and better, higher stakes. And I hope I accomplished that and can bring the reader on an even more exciting journey with characters they already know, and a few new ones who pop up along the way.
Land On Me book

QHP: What feedback have you received that really delighted you as an author?
Matt: Older folks have reached out to me saying they wished they had a book like Land On Me when they were younger, and that is one of the best compliments I could ever receive, because it means they saw themselves in my characters, that they connected to Landon's experience of finding himself. It's also special to hear, now in the present, because there are so many queer stories out there that you can easily find anything you're looking for. So to hear someone say they wished they had my book specifically makes me feel warm inside. I rememeber when I was in early high school and first discovering queer fiction and how much it meant to have that representation. We are all the same. We all just want to feel represented and have our stories told without judgment. I'm delighted to know I accomplished that for some people.

QHP: Many authors go years with little if any recognition. To what do you attribute your success for the first book?
Matt: I told a story that interested me, and kept me excited to keep going. Throughout my research and seminars I attended, I'd heard a lot of authors say things along the lines of, 'tell the story you want to tell. Don't write for anyone else, write it for you.' Or something like, 'If you're crying while writing something, someone is going to cry while reading it.' I wanted to tell a story that felt authentic to the queer experience but also one that was a little bit more dramatic to keep things interesting, you know? I wasn't doing this to make money or to get recognition. I was doing this because I had a story in my head for years that I wanted to finally set free. And I told it because I needed to, everything else that came after was the cherry on top.

QHP: You are in the process of wrapping up your second book.  Can you share any details or behind the scenes with us?
Matt: I have a very cinematic way of thinking because I've been obsessed with movies my entire life. I love connected universes, sequels, and continuity. The idea for the sequel, Land On Him, came when I started to plant little seeds in Land On Me about Caleb's father who'd disappeared without warning when Caleb was a kid. In the original book it was a way to get to know Caleb's life better, hearing stories of his dad and seeing pictures. But Caleb had always felt unsettled and unresolved by where his dad could be or if he was even still alive. The only thing Caleb's dad had left behind was a small key with numbers etched into the side. It was really fun to set up that mystery and then to have it come full circle in the sneak peek at the end of Land On Me for the next book.
Land On Me was very much Landon's story and his personal journey, and that still is the case in the sequel as it's still told from Landon's POV, but Caleb's personal journey takes sort of a front seat as well. The stakes are just as high for him as they are for Landon. The two of them need each other more than they ever have while navigating some bumps in the road within their relationship. The sequel also moves our characters from a small town in Texas to NYC, which was so exciting for me. I live in NYC, it's my favorite city in the world, so I always wanted to set one of my stories there, and it felt like the most natural progression. It's a fun sandbox to play in.
Then there's a new character named Isaac who shakes up Landon and Caleb's relationship in the best way. I had a blast writing Isaac and his backstory. Just like in Land On Me where there was a lot of mystery surrounding Caleb, there are also some things to be discovered about Isaac that I really love. Healthy Polyamory is not something I often see portrayed in media, and as a person in a strong polyamorous relationship, I wanted to change that. The sequel was the perfect landscape to explore those themes and relationships. There are some wild set pieces in this book, ones which sort of blend different genres, so I'm just really excited for people to get their eyes on these pages!

QHP: Who has been the most influential person/people in your writing career? Tell us about them and how that relationship helped you grow.
Matt: For me, writing has always been a secluded, solo venture until I didn't want it to be. Like I'd mentioned before, I'd reached out to so many authors who were very kind and willing to give me advice and answer my constant questions. I wouldn't be where I am though without Amy M. Le. We connected first over Facebook, through a writers' group I think. We got to chatting and weeks, maybe months later, I attended her virtual launch event for her third book Snow's Kitchen, during which I learned the inspiring story of her life. Watching her and hearing her stories of writing and publishing, it was the first time I was like 'wow this person knows what they're doing, I need to ask more questions!' So, I became the squeaky wheel. We ended up forging a friendship that led into a professional partnership when she offered to open her independent press to other authors who had similar voices that needed to be heard. Having her expertise to lead the way through my first-time publishing was a true blessing. Amy had the hands-on experience that I needed to succeed. I'll be forever grateful that Amy believed in me and gave me the chance to shine!

Amy M. Le and Matt R. Corr at Bonchon in New York

QHP: What advice do you have for others who may want to pursue writing?
Matt: It's really hard not to sound cliche here, haha. I've said similar things already but I have two big pieces of advice. First, write a story that interests YOU. Write for you, because you love it, not because you want to sell five million copies. Second, start in the action! Start with a car chase, or a dead body being found, or a breakup. Plant the seeds but don't give away the whole plant for free. Hook the reader as soon as possible. Create a puzzle with missing pieces and allow the reader to find those missing pieces as they go. It makes for a much more exciting journey. :)
About the Author:

Matthew Corr was born and raised in beautiful New England. Coming out as a gay man in high school in his small town fueled his big-city dreams. Matthew moved to New York City, where he gained a degree in musical theater. After countless performances on stages across the country, his passion for writing finally stepped into the spotlight. Matthew is a huge nerd for film and everything Marvel related. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. Land On Me is his debut novel. To learn more about Matthew, and the release of his next book, please visit

Matthew R Corr

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