Q&A With Blue Matt Jeff


In this interview, we speak to Blue, a social activist and software engineer who grew up in the conservative Middle East. Blue talks about their passion for writing, how they developed their characters and storylines, and what inspired them to become a writer. They also discuss their first English novel, “Out of the Shadow,” and how they had to overcome censorship and immigration restrictions to bring it to publication. 

First and foremost tell me about yourself.

I am Blue, I grew up in the Middle East. The country I grew up in is very conservative, and they have all these weird rules and segregation. I always felt like I do not belong there. I am a feminist in a misogynist community. I care about human rights in a place where humans are worth nothing. I am an activist, and in that country, that is an outlier. For all these reasons, I consider myself a social activist, and I always felt like a stranger when I was in that country. 

 I came to the US in 2010 for school, and now I am working here as a software engineer. I saw it as a chance for myself to get myself out, so I held onto it with all my power. Unfortunately, with the recent changes in the world, I had some complications, and now I am moving to Germany in February. I speak two languages fluently and learning the third language currently. 

What inspired you to become a writer and how did you get started in the industry?

I always felt different from everyone around me. As I mentioned earlier, I grew up in the Middle East, where the word really carries its weight. I felt writing was the best way to express myself over there. Of course, over there, my writing was for myself in my own personal notebook. In fourth grade, we had our first creative class at school. I really enjoyed the class. However, my father was called into school for what I wrote. I do not remember the details, but I critiqued our lifestyle, government, and mentality. It was a huge scene at school that day. 

After that day, my parents started to discourage me and keep me away from writing. I took it as a challenge, and I started writing more. Although I enjoy and enjoy writing, I barely passed my creative writing class at school. Following my incident, I believed that it was not a creative class because you can’t really use your creativity. 

The other thing that really inspired me to write was attending with my father his writing sessions, workshops, and production locations. I was inspired to work in the field, but at the same time I did not want to do it while living there. I always dreamed of saying what I wanted without censorship or being afraid of going to jail or worse for writing something that might anger the government. 

For years, I have been writing but kept my writing to myself, and nobody has ever read what I wrote. Not because I was shy or anything, but as I grew up, I realized how brutal the place I was living was. I am glad I have not gotten caught yet. Until I stopped writing when it became too risky for me. I deleted my novels and articles. That hurt me because I wanted to share them. 

In 2019, I read an article about chromosome Y and how the men’s count is declining because of a communication issue between the chromosomes. At that moment, the world of “Out of the Shadow” was built in my head. I saw the environment, characters, and plots. How men will react and deny the fact. I opened Google Docs and started outlining the story. For the first time in years, I felt my passion for writing was back, and “Out of The Shadow” is my first English novel. 

Usually, before I do anything, I check the immigration law first, except this time. For some reason, I did not, and I am glad I did not. I checked them after I finished the manuscript. Because if I did, maybe I would not have started “Out of the Shadows”. The story sat on the shelf for two years. Due to the law, I was not allowed to publish. I shelved it and started working on other projects. The circumstances have changed now. I hope for the best.

Can you tell us about your writing process and how you develop your characters and storylines?

Before I start any project, I outline the entire storyline. I need to know the beginning and the end of the story. After I do that, I decide where I will start and where I will end. For example, in “Out of the Shadow” the world is so huge. I start around 100 years after a big event affects the world at large. That gives me room to expand on the story in the future. 

Then when I am done with the storyline, I divide the timeline. I pick my characters for this time period. At this stage, I do not name my characters. For me, naming is a time-consuming process. Depending on the story. I set the theme of names aside. When I start developing the character’s personality, I see what name I feel fits the character the most then I pick it. I tend to pick names with four letters. They are just easy to remember, but that is not always the case.

The third step is to reach out to some of my trusted and close friends to be my Alpha readers. Because I do have ADHD, I tend to start many things and stop in the middle of them and not finish them. So, my Alpha readers’ job is to keep me on schedule and make sure I reach the finish line. They understand that, and I appreciate their support. I am a part-time writer, so I do my best to finish a chapter a week. Sometimes life gets in the way, but if it is not urgent, nothing stops me from writing. They provide me with feedback, notify me of errors in the content, or discuss with me something in the chapter, trying to get the most effective output. They also help me when I have writer’s block.

My method may seem different or weird to other authors, but I found it works best for me. I like to plan and outline everything ahead of time, but if I see room for improvement or a need to pivot, I will do it. I care about the story, and I do not just write to write. Since I enjoy writing, It doesn’t matter if I have to rewrite something to accommodate the new change.

How do you approach research for your novels and how do you incorporate it into your work?

That depends on the type of research. Sometimes I spend quite a time before I even start writing and researching a topic, especially if it is in a sensitive medium like mental illness, for example. My next project will touch on that topic. I am not a psychiatrist, nor do I have a degree in psychology, but I will try to be as accurate as I can be. In the end, I will not provide a diagnosis or a prescription, but a light comedy novel that will spot the light on a problem many of us may not think about. As I mentioned in the last question, I have ADHD, and it bothers me when someone tells me, “Just clear your mind”. At the moment, besides querying, building my website, finding my WIP, and preparing for the move, I am researching why it is so challenging for people with ADHD to clear their minds.

Alternatively, if it is something small, I will mention it in the story or it will be a small part of it. I try my best not to think about it until when it is time for it. That way, I won’t have to do research twice.

Can you speak to any challenges or obstacles you’ve faced while writing and how you overcame them?

The biggest challenge for me is English grammar and sentence structure. For me, English is my second language. Sometimes it looks correct to me, and I use tools like Grammarly and wordtune, but I still struggle with them. Rather than being shy about it, I decided to go out and make more connections and expand my reach. It will only get better, but if I allow it to stop me, I will not progress. 

The weirdest thing for me, as much as I love writing, writing took the longest to learn for me when I was learning English. I came here, I did not know anything about English at all. When I was in school, we weren’t taught English because it was seen as an “infidel’s language”. I learned English from FRIENDS. It is my favorite and I have watched it multiple times. So by the time I came here, I was able to understand and speak. Not properly, but at least I was speaking. However, reading and writing took me longer to learn the two skills, but writing took the longest.

Since I am sharing this, I just remembered when my uncle got me “A Game of Thrones” book back – I did not know it was a series until the show started – in 2007. It was the first English book I read in my life. As I said, I did not know how to read English. I used to type page by page in Google Translate to know what the story said. It was a very difficult process to do, and it took me a very long time to finish the book. At the time, it was the first and only book I read that was written in English. I am happy that is not the case now.

How do you handle writer’s block and maintain creative inspiration?

Like many writers, I sometimes struggle with writer’s block. I have three methods that I use, and they never let me down. As if one did not work, the other would, but it never occurred that the three did not work at the same time. 

First, I try to step away from the WIP by doing another activity for thirty to sixty minutes. For example, I will do the dishes or take a shower (my favorite and the worst at the same time, lol)

If that didn’t work for me, I read the related chapters prior to that. In my work, usually, each chapter is about a character or place. So, I refer back and reread the previous related chapters. I don’t look too far back in chapters one or two. 

The third way is if the two steps above do not work. I will have a conversation with one of my Alpha readers. We will engage in discussions that will either make me think about things I hadn’t considered, or help me see things from another perspective. 

Usually, by the third method, the writer’s block will be unblocked, but I try the first two steps first. Because the third one depends on the availability of the Alpha reader. 

There is a fourth method, but I have not tried it yet. Which is to work on another WIP. 

How do you handle criticism and negative reviews of your work?

Weird enough, I enjoy them early on. That is one of the reasons I enjoy having Alpha readers for each project. I like them to point out flaws and plot holes early on. I think it is better that they catch errors early on rather than, for example, agents. In that case, it will be too late. The agent may or may not notify you. However, there is a huge chance you will lose a chance with an agent because of that. 

As for the negative reviews, I have not yet experienced them. So long as they are meaningful, I won’t mind. They are not attacking me personally, bullying, or being rude. I will take their notes as recommendations for things to look at in the future to improve the quality of my work. If everyone provides five-star service, then there will be no need for a review system. At least, that is what I believe in.

Can you talk about any particular themes or messages you hope to convey through your writing?

I enjoy building dystopian worlds. My motto is “A dystopian world is Blue’s utopia”. We live in such a difficult period, from the pandemic to the Ukrainian war. Many innocent people pay the price for selfish, ignorant, and narcissistic politicians. As a writer, my opinion will always be affected by what is occurring around me. Growing up in the Middle East also influenced my writing. Some of the darkness in my story is a reflection of that.

I hope that this will be over soon and that we get back to NORMAL. We have not been normal since 2019, and that is too much for some people. I hope as a writer to shed light on things either to ease the pain or to be an eye opener for others.


How do you balance the creative and business aspects of being an author?

It depends on the story and the theme of the story. I do not think, for example, “Just Clear Your Mind” will have any hidden messages. In contrast to ‘Out of the Shadow’ or ‘Online Rebellion’, I seek to shed light on multiple subjects that I care about besides creativity. Like gender oppression, domestic violence, nonconsensual encounters, and many more.

How do you see the publishing industry evolving in the future and how do you adapt to changes in the market?

As I have not published yet, I do not believe I can answer this question at this time. I have made my observations about some flaws in the agents and writers relationship. However, if I get this question again in the future, I will be happy to answer it.

Can you recommend any books or authors that have influenced your writing or that you currently enjoy reading?

Is it a coincidence or not, but according to my Alpha readers, my style is like a blend of Margaret Atwood and George Martin. Because they were among the first authors I read in my life in English, I wonder if it is a coincidence. I know as a debut writer, I should not compare myself to big names, but I am not comparing here. These two authors have inspired me a lot, and to hear my Alpha readers saying that about my style or my idea, really makes me happy and proud. I believe nobody in the entire universe can compete with George Martin’s imagination, not even to be compared with him. However, the darkness in Atwood’s fiction always amazes me. Therefore, these two have the greatest influence on me. 

Here are some books I recently read I really enjoyed the list will include authors that I must have their books as they release:

Tales of the Gloaming by Kate Seger, one of my favorite authors

Escape From Manhattan by Kate Seger (it is on the way. I did not read it, but sure it will amazing)

Fix by Melodie Bolt

Built to Last by Erin Hahn (I enjoyed it though I am not a big fan of the romance genre)

Who Runs the World? by Virginia Bergin.

Anything by Victoria Aveyard

Anything by K.D. Ellis 

Connect with Blue today!




 I would like to thank you for taking the time to spend with me. I hope your blog will be a success. The same goes for your book and website. I hope this will not be our last cooperation.

Thank for reading......

Jacob Keiter

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