Twenty Questions for Matt Garatti from Hyphema

Hi! I managed to get Matt Garatti off of the Hyphema pages long enough to answer some questions that I thought would interest our readers, but, ssh… he doesn’t know that I am the one asking questions — he thought he was making time for some famous journalist. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about him.

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  1. What is the name of the book where we would meet you? What genre is it?

My story is in Hyphema; a hyphema is blood in the front chamber of the eye usually from an injury and the story’s title comes from a line in the book. English is my wife’s second language and she has trouble with some common American idioms; at one point she refers to the expression “an eye for an eye” and she comments that makes for bloody eyes. I actually was introduced in the book Final Sin, another Chelle Cordero novel. Both books are EMS-based thrillers.

  1. What do you think of the author? You can tell us the truth.

Once you get past her ego, you realize she is very passionate about what she does. I have to say as one of her characters, she really loves us, we can feel that and I’m sure the readers can, too.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself. How would you describe your appearance? Give us enough detail to get a clear idea of how you look.

I think I am sort of average, my wife thinks I am “handsome in my uniform” — I’m a flight paramedic so I wear a uniform every working day. I’m pretty fit, I have to be considering my line of work, and I’m trim, again I have to be as a flight medic. Other than that I have dark hair, I keep it cropped pretty short, I stand about five-eleven, and I’ve been told I look a little like that actor Justin Chambers… I think he’s on some TV medical show, I don’t see it.

  1. What character are you in the book? Are you the hero, the best friend, the side kick, the hero/heroine’s child or someone else?

In Hyphema I’m the hero, in Final Sin I’m the best friend.

  1. Who was your best friend in Final Sin? What brought you together as friends?

I was best friends with Julie Jennings, the female lead character in Final Sin. Julie and I were paramedic partners and we rode together for our job. When you spend a lot of time with someone in a job like that you learn to depend on each other while you work to save lives. It’s very high stress and your partner is the one who understands because they are there right alongside you. There’ve been a lot of jokes about your EMS partner being the equivalent of a work spouse.

  1. Is there a specific reason why you’re in the story? Don’t give us any story spoilers, but you can share some teasers if you want.

By the end of Final Sin I had met and married my wife, Sudah. I was also looking for some kind of career advancement. When Hyphema opens, we’ve just moved to North Carolina and I have a job as a flight medic. Like the tagline indicates, I worry that I brought my family to a new place where we deal with unexpected prejudice and possible danger.

  1. What time period do you live in?

It’s pretty much contemporary, that’s the kind of stories that Chelle writes, although I have a really ironic story about that. My wife was born in Pakistan and she’s a practicing Muslim; we run into quite a bit of prejudice because of 9/11. There’s a scene where my buddy’s wife yells at Sudah that the Pakistanis are hiding Osama Bin Laden; ironically the e-book came out the week before Bin Laden was finally found… in Pakistan.

  1. Where are you from?

I was born and raised in New York State, central New York to be exact.

  1. Do you live in the same place now?

Nope. Sudah and I, and our son Aden, moved to North Carolina. We’re a bit inland from the Outer Banks. It’s a really nice area and I love to take them exploring.

  1. What special skills or abilities do you have?

I’m a paramedic turned flight medic. Being a paramedic is never boring. I enjoy the excitement and I meet a lot of people in my work. I’m there for them when they need help; I use the skills I’ve been taught to save lives, offer reassurance and sometimes just offer comfort. I admit, I feel good when I get to help someone.

  1. Are you happy with the story?

Yes I am. Chelle was a NYS Emergency Medical Technician for almost 30-years so she is really familiar with the type of things EMS responders do. The story is all very realistic. The way she deals with the cultural differences and prejudice is really down to earth and significant.

  1. Do you have some ideas that the author should consider about the story? You can share them with us. We’re all friends here.

I know that Chelle is busy writing some other stories with other characters, they’re pretty good also, but I would love to see another EMS story. Maybe Julie and Jake could come down from New York and I could get to work with Julie again. That would be fun.

  1. Tell us about your past. Can you share one really good experience and/or one really bad experience? I know that bad experience can be tough, but it would tell us more about what you’ve been through.

Well the bad part of my past, I used to not be able to talk about it, was that my father abandoned us when I was just a little kid. I was always afraid that I was going to grow up and be like him. I was really scared of having a family. When Sudah first told me that she was pregnant with our son I was really scared, but she showed me that I could be a good dad. She helped me to see that there is a difference in fathering a child biologically and being a dad who really loves his kid.

  1. Who is the most important person in your life?

I’d have to say that my wife is the most important person. She really has opened up a whole new world to me. She taught me how to love, I know that probably sounds sappy, but, she has made me very happy.

  1. What do you see in your future?

I love working as a flight medic, I dreamt of doing this kind of work ever since I rode in an ambulance for the first time. I also like the company I’m working for. Eventually I’d like it if Sudah and I had another child or two. I just want to provide for my family and watch our children grow with my wife.

  1. Do you like being a character in a book?

You know, I really don’t think of myself as just a character in a book. My life, my job and my family feel real to me. When Chelle created each of us in her mind she didn’t just give us lives for the beginning and end of the manuscript — she came up with real histories for each of us. I feel like I existed long before Hyphema’s epilogue, even long before I first appeared in Final Sin.

  1. If someone ever decides to make a movie based on your story, who should play you in the movie and why?

I guess we could give that actor Justin Chambers a crack at it, after all people think he and I resemble each other anyway, and I’ve seen a show or two he’s been in and he’s not too bad an actor either.

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Meeting Sally Kirkwood from Housebroken


part of the River’s Edge series

by Charmaine Gordon

Sally Kirkwood, the heroine in Charmaine Gordon’s novella Housebroken, took time from her hectic schedule as a busy reporter and devoted wife to answer a few of my questions today… she really understands what an honor it is to be granted an interview, so thank you Sally…


The Interview

  1. What is the name of the book where we would meet you? What genre is it? Who are you?

Housebroken is the title. It’s the story of what happens when your last child leaves home and you’re alone with your husband for the first time in thirty years. Empty nest syndrome. Romance/Suspense and I’m the heroine.

  1. Who wrote the book?

My sometimes friend, Charmaine Gordon. We argue a lot.

  1. What do you think of the author? Tell us about her… all the nitty-gritty.

She’s bossy, always telling me what to do. And what not to do.

  1. How would you describe your appearance? Would you do anything to improve it?

Average height, kind of slim, right now I’m working on getting a job as a reporter so I pay more attention to make-up and clothes.

  1. Who is the most important person in your life, past or present?

Since Ms. Gordon created me, yes I admit it, she’s the VIP but I love my husband and always will. The kids are on their own now. It’s my turn to spread my wings.

  1. Is that person in this story? What is your relationship? What do you WANT the relationship to be?

I consider Charmaine to be the director of the story but I’m the number one lead and I want to be with my husband only; but life gets complicated.

  1. How does this person change your life? Would you do anything different if this person weren’t important to you?

When I get a well paid job with this handsome guy who owns a cable station and seems to think I’m smart and hot, my life changes. In the long run, I say NO when he wants more than the working relationship.

  1. Do you have any children? Or pets/fur-babies?

We have three kids all out of the house and by chance, I was given a gorgeous abandoned Siamese cat. Love at first sight.

  1. What are your future goals?

My goal is to dazzle the cable TV world with amazing interviews . My husband, Steve, who lost his great job, helps with editing. It’s a new phase of our life together.

  1. Do you like your name? Were you named after someone?

Sally Kirkwood sounds fine to me. The author said names float by like on a ticker tape, if you can believe it.

  1. Tell us about your job/career? Did you choose this profession for yourself or did it just “happen”? Are you happy with what you do? How important is your job to the story?

Being a reporter is what I yearned to be so I enrolled in a few classes. Not much but something to get me started.. I LOVE my work, big bucks if I get great interviews and my head is spinning. Why just the other day in the third book, I had an idea… My lips are sealed and so are the author’s.

  1. Are you happy with the story? How and what would you want the author to change in a re-write?

She did a good job of introducing me to the world and Steve’s problems came out as we sold our old house and moved to River’s Edge, Upstate NY. I came close to having an affair with the boss but I think the author saved me so good job, Ms. C.

  1. If this book were made into a movie, who would you want to play you? Why?

Julia Roberts. She’d know how to transition from plain housewife to dynamic reporter.

  1. Tell us about the “villain” in your story. What makes him/her bad or evil? What problem(s) does he/she cause? How do you honestly feel about this person?

Wealthy Lance with his fancy car is a womanizer. Predatory and so smart, Lance has created  a cable network and is well known. In some ways , he’s a boy with toys to discard. In the end he’s no match for the faithful me. I do like him and in my latest story, I’ll call on him for help. Shh. Don’t tell Ms.C.

  1. Tell us something important that happened to you BEFORE the book started?

Our youngest son got married. Instead of feeling joy at our empty nest, I cried. Steve consoled me in his special way.


I want to thank Sally and her (bossy) author friend Charmaine Gordon for allowing this interview – Housebroken and the rest of the River’s Edge series are available on Smashwords, AllRomance and Amazon-Kindle.

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