Matthew Hole has been many things and he’s kept his eyes and ears open the whole time. He currently lives in the West Country of England, where he grew up, but has a history of not sitting still. He’s lived in capital cities (London, Rome) and little villages (Trull, England; Lousa, Portugal) and regularly potters around Cornwall in a campervan.
He’s worked in shops (from Sainsbury’s to Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks), offices (as an accountant and a probation services officer), classrooms (as an EFL and primary school teacher) and on film sets (as an extra). Once he even worked for free (with the homeless, in Cleveland, Ohio).
His greatest revelation was discovering the English language whilst training as a teacher of English as a foreign language. Invisible grammar rules he’d been using his whole life suddenly made themselves known to him, until everything made sense – a bit like identifying the clue that was hiding in plain sight the whole time…
His passion for language, characters, the English countryside and tricky whodunnits has led him to become the author of mysteries of his own.
Q: If you could travel back in time, which of the great writers would you like to meet and why?
A: Agatha Christie – just to see how much thought and agony she really had to go through to make her tricky plots work.
Q: Do you have a lucky writing talisman? If so, what is it?
A: A lapel pin from the V&A in London, in the form of three stacked books, with the legend taken from a sign at the museum: BETTER IT IS TO GET WISDOM THAN GOLD
Q: What superpower would you like to have and why?
A: Invisibility – being a writer I’m a natural eavesdropper anyway, but I’d love to be even nosier!
Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?
A: The children’s library in Taunton, Somerset with my mum, combing through all the books in her exasperation, ending up with the one we were supposed to be returning (Mrs Discombobulous by Margaret Mahy) for the hundredth time and watching her giggle anyway.