We talk to Matt Wingett about his new book, Turn The Tides Gently…
“A YOUNG man encounters what he thinks is a mythical creature living in the seas around the island city of Portsmouth. Is he going mad? Or is his encounter set to change his world in ways he never expected? This story of transformation tells his compelling story with deftness of touch and warmth of heart.”
TURN the Tides Gently, the new supernatural fantasy from Portsmouth writer Matt Wingett, is an ebook that explores subjects ranging from psychiatric health and magic realism all the way through to time travel and mermaids.
The spooky tale is a far cry from Wingett’s usual work as a copywriter and sometime television screenwriter for classic TV shows like The Bill.
Matt Wingett is a master of neuro linguistic programming (NLP) – the study of the mind. He uses the skills learned from likes of hypnotist Paul McKenna and NLP co-creator Richard Bandler to weave elaborate and creative undertones into his work.
A Quick Chat with Matt Wingett about Turn the Tides Gently
Spooky Isles: Matt, would you class Turning the Tides Gently as a ghost story?
MW: Some people believe ghosts are imprints of a past memory on a place, others that they’re a spirit wandering loose and others still that they’re a figment of the imagination. Going with any of these, then, yes, you can see Turn The Tides as a ghost story – though one with a difference…
Spooky Isles: Is it spooky?
MW: It’s not a goosebumps story – it’s more like it’s filled with that strange sense of not knowing quite what’s going on around you. Which a lot of us experience, I think!
Spooky Isles: What are your main writing influences?
MW: A wide, wide list. From hypnotist Richard Bandler to Mary Shelley to Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Mark Gatiss, I’ve taken lessons from everyone I’ve ever read and watched.
Spooky Isles: Mental illness and horror/supernatural have never been too far apart in fiction, what does your new ebook bring to the mix?
MW: The central character is on shifting sands when it comes to reality, and we are never quite sure all the way through that he’s seeing ghosts or just more tuned in to his location than everyone around him. Unlike The Shining, his mental illness doesn’t make him a psycho – he’s a real rounded person struggling with several distinct and overlapping realities …
This psychological drama is best explained via the book summary:
“Every nook and cranny of the island city of Portsmouth is filled with history, and Dave is more sensitive to it than anyone. Troubled by the death of his brother and rejection by his mother, he has withdrawn into a world of his own in which he hallucinates a safe and comforting past.
“But one night as he walks the island’s shore, he encounters something that disturbs his dreamy world forever. Dave cannot quite tell whether this new vision has come to open new possibilities, or to upset his world completely. A tale woven with magic and delight, this novella will hold you and entertain you as it takes you on an adventure around the island, and around the inside of one man’s mind.”
If you get a chance to read “Turn the Tides Gently”, give it a go. It’s a short book but I think you will find the Portsmouth tale of mermaids and time travel quite weird and rewarding.