I've recently finished a first draft of a new stand-alone novel, a murder mystery set in a strange town in the rural Pacific Northwest... more to come.
Has murder gotten...nicer? I explore the role of empathy in the mystery genre in "How Crime Fiction Evolved in Fourteen Murders," published online by Humanities Washington and in print in SPARK magazine.
I’m on the roster for the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau for the 2021-2023 season. For two years, I’ll be zooming & traveling around beautiful Washington State, visiting libraries, schools and other organizations and speaking about the evolution of the victim in the mystery genre, and the role of empathy in contemporary crime novels. Orgs in WA who are interested in hosting me, please follow the link. Humanities Washington is a fabulous organization that brings knowledge to every corner of the state!
"Pixel Beach" A short story about a questing widower, now available in the Spring '21 issue of Sou'Wester lit journal.
“Peebags for Manboy” A tragic little short story I wrote for The Spokane Spokesman-Review’s annual Summer Stories series. This year’s theme was the 40th Anniversary of the Mt. St. Helens eruption, so the story follows the three stages of the catastrophe: Rumblings, Apocalypse, and Aftermath. Also read for Spokane Public Radio's THE BOOKSHELF program/podcast, and available in an anthology as a fundraiser for Spark Central, an arts nonprofit based in Spokane.
How to Stop Breaking Up: An essay I wrote about my wife and I, dating as booksellers, for The New York Times' Modern Love column. Also translated for Vanity Fair, Italy.
Blood on the Prairie: an essay I wrote for The Daily Beast about the origins of the Hammerman and the real crimes that have finally be solved. (Update: In August, 2021, Alex Ewing was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences for the murders of the Bennet family.)
"With Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, Matthew Sullivan has written a smart, twisty crime novel filled with compelling characters set in a world that book-lovers will adore."
- JESS WALTER, author of the New York Times Bestselling Beautiful Ruins and The Cold Millions
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
**Book Club Discussion Guide is available here**
Matthew Sullivan grew up in a family of eight children in metro Denver, Colorado. He received his B.A. from the University of San Francisco, his M.F.A. from the University of Idaho, and his short stories have been awarded the Florida Review Editor's Prize and the Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize. In addition to working for years at Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver and at Brookline Booksmith in Boston, he has taught writing at colleges in Boston, Idaho, and Poland. He is married to a librarian, Libby, and has two children and a scruffy dog named Ernie. For 17 years he taught creative writing, literature, and film at Big Bend Community College in the high desert of rural central Washington. These days, he and his family live in Anacortes, on Fidalgo Island, in the Northwest corner of Washington State, where he is teaching online and writing.
A few other recent publications:
- Reading Habits: An interview with Humanities Washington, and another with the KREM-2 Book Club.
- Radio Interview with KGNU/Boulder Book Store, and After Hours at the Radio Bookclub.
- Radio Interview on Colorado Public Radio: He Worked at The Tattered Cover. Now His Mystery is Based There. Click to listen.
- Story: Roxane Gay recently selected my short story, "Little Men," for inclusion in The Masters Review anthology, Volume VI.Recommended reading: I wrote a guest piece for "What They're Reading" on BookPage.
- A blog piece for The Page 69 test for the Campaign for the American Reader.
- "Indies to Die For" in THE STRAND MAGAZINE
- a piece about getting a bookstore job in SHELF AWARENESS
- TWO DECADES OF READING BESIDE THE WOMAN I LOVE published in LIT HUB,
- interviews in THE BIG THRILL (with E.M. Powell); in THE QWILLERY; in TRUNK SPACE; and as GOODREADS Debut Author of the Month; with David English of David's Book Talk.