On the Couch with Matthew Ryan Davies

Matthew Ryan Davies AAR On the CouchWho is Matthew Ryan Davies?
I am a husband and a dad of two grown kids. I work as a freelance writer and editor, mostly for the health sector, and am a big Elvis fan.  (And now an author of three published novels!)

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I have a problem saying no to people, so I constantly take on too much. I need to get better at using that ‘n’ word because I always seem to end up spending more time on things I don’t want to do and less on the things I do.

Who inspires you and why?
I have a friend who is currently studying for a law degree. She started it in her early 50s having previously never studied beyond high school. Whenever I think that I’m getting too old to start something completely new that might take years to accomplish, I think of her. I started learning to play the drums this year.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Better people is the only thing that will make a better world. I’m part of a volunteer program where we mentor at-risk kids (usually in Year 8). I also volunteer at a youth detention centre in Melbourne. I’m a big believer in the idea that there are no bad kids – maybe they’ve done some bad things or come from bad circumstances, but we owe it to them and the rest of the community to help them become better people.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I love Europe. I went a few years ago, but there’s so much I didn’t see. I love all the history embedded in those countries – in the buildings, the food and the culture. Greece, Spain, Croatia and the Scandinavian countries are all on my list.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Melbourne has so much to offer, so it really depends on which friends. For food and ambiance, I would take them to Southbank and the city laneways. Given The Broken Wave is set in Queenscliff, I would have to take interstate or international friends to the Bellarine Peninsula. My favourite spots on the peninsula, other than Queenscliff, are Ocean Grove and Eastern Beach in Geelong.

What are you currently reading?
I always have a few books on the go. Currently they are Norwegian Wood (Haruki Murakami), Our Missing Hearts (Celeste Ng) and The Torrent (Dinuka McKenzie).

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve mostly stopped listening to podcasts because I have swapped what used to be a morning walk to going to one of those structured gyms where everyone exercises together, so it’s not conducive to listening. But the radio is always on in my house. It’s usually tuned to talkback or to an oldies station like Magic 1278 (don’t judge me).

Happiness is?
I like what Brad Pitt had to say about happiness: “I think happiness is overrated. Satisfied, at peace – those would be more realistic goals.” I strive for that.

What does the future hold for you?
More novels, definitely, but I also want to branch out into some other creative areas like screen and theatre. I have a few ideas that I’m developing – one for a stage musical and another for a reality TV show.

Matthew is the Author of The Broken Wave – which has just been published by Pan Macmillan Australia. For more information, visit: www.panmacmillan.com.au for details.

Image: Matthew Ryan Davies (supplied)