Who is Matthew Ryan Davies?
I am an author and freelancer editor. My first novel, This Thing of Darkness, was published by Scholastic Australia in 2018, and my new one, Things We Bury is published by Pan Macmillan Australia. I’ve been freelancing since 2006, and these days my editing work is mostly for the health sector. I’m also a husband, a dad, a son, a brother, an Elvis Presley tragic and a word nerd.
What would you do differently from what you do now?
There are so many things I’d like to fit into every day, but who has the time? (Or maybe it’s just laziness?) I’d love to spend more time working on my own creative projects and on learning stuff – piano, Mandarin, how to stop eating junk food. I really need to do more exercise.
Who inspires you and why?
Writing wise, I’m loving Mark Manson at the moment – he just says whatever the hell he wants and most of it makes a refreshingly lot of sense. I wish I had some of his wisdom and bravery. Also, the Australian writing community. We’re a pretty small bunch, and everyone is so generous and inclusive.
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I’m trying to make a difference through my fiction. Novels have a way of cutting through issues that you can’t achieve in nonfiction. Closer to home, I’m trying to be a good role model to my own kids and the other young people in my sphere. Parenting is the most important job in the world, and not enough of us get the support we need to do it well.
Favourite holiday destination and why?
I love Paris. There’s something magical about it. I love the architecture, the culture, the ambiance and the food. I also love Taiwan. I lived there as a kid, and whenever I go back I get a sense of nostalgia and belonging that I haven’t found anywhere else outside Australia.
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I love the precinct around Flinders Street station and all the way along Southbank. There’s great restaurants and bars along the river and it has a year-round vibe that feels very Melbourne. The laneways opposite the station are very Melbourne as well.
What are you currently reading?
Dinner with the Schnabels by Toni Jordan and A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders.
What are you currently listening to?
I listen to lots of writing podcasts (Words and Nerds, The First Time, So You Want to be a Writer, Final Draft, The Readings Podcast), but I also love Stop Everything! and mental health–related ones like All in the Mind.
Hanging out with my people – my family, of course, plus I have different groups of friends who I connect with because of some shared interest, whether it be writing, school, places I’ve lived or Elvis. (Go to Bendigo and check out the Elvis exhibition before it closes on 17 July!)
What does the future hold for you?
Writing and travel – separately and together. We’ve been locked up for long enough, and I can’t wait to get out and meet readers and booksellers.
Image: Matthew Ryan Davies – courtesy of Pan Macmillan Australia