20 Questions with: Matt Doyle
1. What celebrity do you have a secret crush on?
They’re not really secrets, but I’ll give you two. First up, Sigourney Weaver. She was actually one of my earliest crushes, and has remained such ever since. In particular, I absolutely loved her in Alien 3 when she had a shaven head. She has one of those facial structures that really suites a myriad of haircuts, which I love. Second, Japanese musician Miyavi. Even putting aside the great music, he comes across as a ball of really happy energy! Like Sigourney, he seems to be able to naturally adapt himself to so many different looks too.
2. With whom would you like most to go Trick or Treating with?
My kids. Two of them are actually too old to go now, but my youngest is still really into it. We always have great fun wandering around in our costumes, then coming back and answering the door to little ones.
3. What is the most hilarious childhood memory you have?
It really depends on what you define as hilarious! Okay, I’ll go with this one. My brother and I have done some daft stuff over the years, and our Dad is sometimes the target of our silliness. On this particular occasion, we’d noticed that he’d fallen asleep in front of the TV. Now, this was a regular thing for him; he’d fall asleep, and the moment you turned the TV off, he’d wake up and declare that he ‘was watching that.’ As long as the TV remained on though, he would remain asleep through most things. So, we had this great idea: mummification! We grabbed a couple of rolls of masking tape and spent the next half hour carefully tearing strips off and attempting to entirely cover him in the stuff while he slept. I think that my Mum may have walked in at one point while we were doing it and just decided to leave us to it. Anyway, once we’d covered his legs and made it part way up his body, we decided to split our efforts. I moved up to his head. That was mistake because, without the clothes to mask what we were doing, he felt it when I put the first couple of strips on him and he woke up. It was good effort though, and his face when he came to enough to realise what we’d been doing was brilliant!
4. Scariest movie you’ve ever seen?
Hmm … there have been a few that really creeped me out over the years. Off the top of my head, there are two that I can think of that consistently leave me a little shaky though. The first of those is the original . That was the first horror film that I ever saw, and I was way too young. My babysitter actually let me watch it with them, then sent me to bed and proceeded to intermittently sing the nursery rhyme up the stairs to me until my parents came home. As a result, it still affects me now. Next came , which is a South Korean psychological horror that was remade as The Uninvited. There’s a scene in that one with a girl under a kitchen sink that legitimately caused me to whip my legs up onto the sofa when I was watching. The room that I was in was connected to the kitchen too, and I really struggled to walk through there to get to the stairs and head to bed afterwards.
5. Name a Villian that gives you the creeps?
Eugene Victor Tooms from the X-Files. He was in two episodes of the first series of the show, and , and both of them caused a lot of discussion in high school. His ability to stretch himself and squeeze through any gap means that there isn’t really any safe place for you if he’s decided that it’s liver that he wants. When there’s no chance of escape, becomes claustrophobic.
6. Can you name a movie title that explains your life?
Heh. Nothing serious. or both work to a degree though. Those mutant ninjas were a constant in my life as a kid, followed me into my teens, and remain favourites now that I’m adult thanks to the awesome work done by both IDW comics and Nickelodeon.
7. Favorite drink?
Tea. I like most kinds, provided it doesn’t have mint or liquorice in. Oh, and lapsang souchong; that tasted a little too woody to me. Pretty much any other kind of tea works well though.
8. Do pineapples belong on pizza?
Absolutely! While I tend to prefer seafood pizzas, there’s nothing wrong with a nice Hawaiian.
9. Who would you have lunch with living or not?
If we’re talking real people, then probably Terry Pratchett. I started reading the Discworld novels when I was about ten or eleven, and the City Watch books in particular have given me so much joy through the years. I’d love to chat with him about writing and the world in general. If we’re including fictional characters too, then Akane Kowata from the anime would also be an option. The show itself is really relaxing, and well worth checking out if you want to chill out for a bit. Akane is an outspoken and immensely talented witch, which is cool. Even if you took out all the magic stuff though, she’s also really well traveled, and picking her brains about different cultures would be great!
10. If a Time Machine was created, where would you go?
This is going to be a weird answer … there’s a film called that follows a pair of guys who accidentally create a time machine. When they realise what they’ve done, they do try it out a few times, and initially, they’re too worried about altering stuff to try to do too much. They end up wreaking absolute havoc on the timeline. If my understanding is correct, the time travel only works between periods where the machine actually exists though. In a similar way, the anime follows a group that learn how to send text messages back in time. Again, it will only work if there’s a device in existence in the past that can accept the message type. Honestly, if time travel ever exists, I do think that the necessity of a ‘receiving machine’ will be the most likely scenario, which kinda limits me in terms of how far I could travel. Even without that though, I’d still be terrified of causing irreparable damage to the timeline. It’s a boring answer but … I’m not sure that I could actually bring myself to carry out the travel, simply due to that fear.
11. Name something you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark forest or in an abandoned building.
A mass of spiders. I find spiders to be fascinating, but ultimately scary creatures. Oh, except jumping spiders. They have so many things that make them adorable: they’re tiny, curious, friendly, do cute things with their mandibles, and get photographed wearing raindrops as hats. Other spiders scare me though. Seriously, a single spider is enough to make me flee in terror. A large group of them would probably leave me paralyzed in fear.
12. Which urban legend scares you the most?
It’s funny, but in general, they don’t. Urban legends intrigue me more than anything, in much the same as cryptozoology does. If I had to pick one that would be scary to get caught up with though … probably Japan’s Kuchisake Onna, aka the Slit Mouthed Woman. Basically, she’s a woman in a surgical mask that wanders up to you and asks, “Am I beautiful?” If you say yes, she rips the mask off to reveal a grotesque, teeth filled mouth that runs from ear to ear, and says, “Even like this?” She then pulls out a machete and slices your face to match hers. If you say no though, she pulls out the machete and does the same thing anyway So really, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t!
13. Favorite Season?
Autumn, definitely. I’m awful when it comes to the weather, and don’t deal too well with heat cold. Autumn gets a good balance with that though, and it comes with the added bonus that it makes everything look pretty! The different colours of the leaves over here are a highlight of every year. We get a lot more fox activity during the Autumn too, which is always welcome.
14. Favorite Food?
Of late, miso soup. It’s a traditional Japanese dish made with dashi stock and miso paste, and it accepts pretty much anything that you want to add in to it. We’ve had fresh vegetables, meat, rice, spices … it’s actually deceptively diverse for such a simple thing.
15. Have you ever played Bloody Mary?
Oh yeah, way back when I was a teen. It was one of things that pretty much every boy in my year group tried at least once, if for no other reason than to avoid being picked on for wussing out. Looking back on it, I suspect that a lot of people probably lied about trying it. It’s not like there were any witnesses, after all. I did actually try it, but nothing happened. I think that I was half relieved, half disappointed with that. I remember trying this optical illusion around the same time where if you stare at your reflection in low light, it eventually fades out. That one actually worked, and freaked me out something rotten. I’d read that if you kept staring long enough after your reflection faded out, then something else would fade into view, but I could never stare long enough to see if it worked.
16. You’re home alone but you hear footsteps in your house, what do you do?
This was actually pretty common back in my parents’ place, whether you were alone or not. Back then, my reaction would have been to huff to myself and try going back to sleep. We’re pretty sure that the place is haunted. In my current house though? The first thing I’d do is listen. Our walls are quite thin, so there’s always the chance that it’s someone next door. If it wasn’t though, then I’d have to go and look, especially if my dog isn’t making any noise. She only barks if someone she knows comes into the house. Any other time, she just goes quiet and starts trying to make herself look as cute as possible so she’ll get a fuss. Some guard dog, eh? Good job the cat is less accepting of people. Mysterious footsteps means checking for intruders and spooks though.
17. In a zombie apocalypse what is your weapon of choice?
If I could find one, a chain whip would be nice. They’re used in Chinese martial arts, and if you’ve ever seen them used well, they’re not easy to break through without disrupting the movement first. Given that zombies aren’t likely to be working towards that, it would probably be a good way to deal with them at a distance. I suppose there is the problem that I’m not exactly proficient in using the things though. Maybe something a little more familiar like a crowbar or a small blade would work, but I’d rather not get that close to the shambling dead, especially if they can transmit the zombification with a bite.
18. Coffee or Tea?
I drink both, but as per my answer to question seven, it’s gotta be tea.
19. Write a horror story in Five Words
Your dead friend holds you …
20. How old were you when you saw your first horror movie?
Ten. Like I said above, my babysitter let me watch . I think that he was probably trying to be a cool sitter. I’d seen the advert, asked about it, and he’d decided to let me watch it with him. To be fair, as much as the whole thing freaked me out, it did make me a fan of the series in the long run, so I guess some good came from it? Sort of?
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Matt Doyle lives in the South East of England and shares his home with a wide variety of people and animals, as well as a fine selection of teas. He has spent his life chasing dreams, a habit which has seen him gain success in a great number of fields. To date, this has included spending ten years as a professional wrestler, completing a range of cosplay projects, and publishing multiple works of fiction.
These days, Matt can be found working on far too many novels at once, blogging about anime, comics, and games, and plotting and planning what other things he’ll be doing to take up what little free time he has.