Matthew A. Merendo


Ironically, it is almost impossible for me to write about my being (or wanting to be) a writer.

Like many shy, intelligent children, I fell in love with books at an early age. I can’t be more specific than that, because my earliest memories flutter around books: listening as my parents read Don’t Forget the Oatmeal to me; reading the Boxcar Children series in my upper bunk far after bedtime, cheap plastic Booklite the only illumination. I’ve always imagined that I sprang forth from my mother like Athena from Zeus, though I came with a novel and a Booklite rather than armor and a sword.

If I’m being truthful, though, it wasn’t the books who stole my heart. It was the stories. It was always the stories. They took me out of my shyness, out of my intelligence, out of myself. Not that being in myself was that bad, mind you! But something about the multiplicity of other stories, other worlds, other people took hold of me and never let me go, that I could live these other lives just as easily — sometimes even easier, actually — as I lived my own.

But this, though, is not the story of why I’m a writer, is it? I’ve said so far that I love stories, which describes basically every avid reader on the planet, and not every avid reader on the planet is a writer. (We hope.) The difference, of course, is mimetic: I felt stories in me. Not just my own, either! Dozens of others, and the je ne sois quoi to get them out — it’s more than an urge, it’s more than desire, it’s more than need — hasn’t left since then.

So I write these stories, and if you like them, I’m glad. If they change the world, I’m thrilled. If they affect a single person in any positive way at all, I’m ecstatic. But I don’t write for those reasons. I write because I have the stories in me, and that’s all the reason I need.

Eternity in an Hour

My first published novel, Eternity in an Hour, is set in the Coquels, an archipelago saturated in elemental magics. When the foreigner Tristys lands accidentally on the Coquellian shores, he must travel through the islands to tame the nascent magic that’s slowly infusing his body. When Tristys meets Rami, his guide through the Coquels, he realizes that the islands may change his life in more ways than he originally thought.

Read more about Eternity in an Hour, including the reasons I’m not surprised that people either love it or hate it, no in-betweeners!

Anthologized Work

My anthologized work includes two short stories and one poem. Topics include mermen (“The Calm Tonight”), tall men (“Sun-flower”), and sleeping men (“Geography IV”)! Oh my!

Matthew A. Merendo