Self-published local novelist, Matt Clarke, is celebrating the launch of his latest novel with a book party at Infinitea on February 22. Starting at 7 p.m., the event honours his accomplishment, while bringing awareness to the thriving community of local artists in Fernie.
The Dark Reflection is the young author’s third novel, an applaudable feat for Clarke, who balances writing with working as a manager for Big Bang Bagels.
“It is set in some kind of fantasy world with a parallel dimension, but I can’t say too much more about that because I don’t want to spoil it,” says Clarke about his newest adult fantasy novel, which was completed in a short two months. “There’s wizards, there’s dragons, there’s all those kind of ingredients–classic ingredients but written in what I think is my way.”
Owing much of his creativity to the community of artists residing in Fernie, Clarke seeks to encourage others to support local art through consciously consuming content, attending shows, or supporting related events.
“When I first got to Fernie, I found it very inspiring and very creative. There is a community here, there are a lot of artists here…We’re surrounded by all these creative people, and I was feeding off that and I just had lots of ideas,” says Clarke about the town he has called home for the last two years.
Touching on the importance of art in a place that is otherwise heavily focused on outdoor sports, Clarke believes that creative pursuits foster an essential balance to life. He hopes events like his will act as a catalyst for strengthening the community of artists in this town.
At his book party, attendees can expect an evening of easy drinking, delicious food, and toe-tapping live local music. Keeping festivities light and entertaining, Clarke will also be delivering interactive readings of The Dark Reflection throughout the evening.
“I was going to do it as a book launch for the new book, but then I thought that’s a bit pretentious. So I changed it to a book party, for starters because I’ve never been to a book party and I don’t think anyone has ever done a book party,” laughs Clarke.
Though Clarke’s passion lies in writing, he defines himself as a media creator, currently working towards producing both video games and a board game. He also hopes to eventually release a sequel to Lunaria, his first novel. However at the moment, Clarke is content to revel in the accomplishment of reaching his long-time goal of having published three novels.
“I mean can you see this grin? It feels good, it feels good,” Clarke said, beaming with humble pride. “It just feels really satisfying because it’s quite a big project to write a story from start to finish and get it done…And it’s the most liberating thing, because it means you can start something else.”
Each of Clarke’s books will be available for purchase at his event, as well as on Amazon for both Kindle and paperback. They can also be found in town at Big Bang Bagels. Links to purchase his novels online, along with more information can be found at tekamuttmedia.com, or on Facebook @maclarkewriter and @tekamutt.