Matt Ingwalson on the way genre fiction (in this case, horror) lets us examine relationships in a very immediate + personal way

The Baby Monitor received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Matt Ingwalson.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

The Baby Monitor: A Novella of Family Horrors, was published in February, 2017.

What’s the book’s first line? 

“In the dark there is a man.” If I had one wish, it’d be that everybody reread The Baby Monitor after understanding its end. Only then will they realize how many sentences – like this one – can be interpreted two or three different ways.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

Anyone who’s had a baby knows that the first year is terrifying. A child represents love and grace and hope. But never again will you have privacy, financial security, or a moment of rest. This novella is about a young family whose baby has extreme sleep terrors. And the constant state of anxiety and insomnia drags them into a nightmare world where they have to confront all the cracks and secrets in their lives. (Which is a long-winded way of saying it’s a haunted house story.)

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

The bills on my counter and the alarm clock by my bed. My car breaks down and as soon as that gets fixed, my dryer breaks down. Sometimes I suspect everyday life is trying to drive me crazy. So I wrote a book about it.

What’s the main reason someone should read this book? 

Genre fiction – in this case, horror – lets us examine relationships in a very immediate and personal way. Two adults fighting about their marriage? Yawn. Two adults fighting about their marriage while being stalked by zombies or vampires or serial killers? Now we’re cracking!

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? 

The Baby Monitor has an extremely limited perspective. You only see things through Richard or Lissa. Still, the main character in this story is their home. It is a metaphor for their relationship. It’s a new build, all white fences and fresh paint and it’s eerily quiet. But there are all sort of cracks and unexplored spaces that mirror the cracks and spaces in their marriage.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

I think Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan, both of Walking Dead fame, would make a fabulous Richard and Lissa Platte. He’s a fresh-faced jock who unexpectedly grew up. She’s a conventional beauty with an edge that reveals itself over time. If I could choose a director, I’d go with Nicolas Winding Refn. I’m so inspired by the way movies like Drive and Neon Demon find light and beauty before snapping into moments of extreme violence.


Is this the first book you’ve written?

Nope. Horror is a labor of love for me. I have a successful series of police procedurals on Amazon. And I hope readers of The Baby Monitor will give it a chance.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?

I have never considered finding a traditional publisher. I hear too many stories of people who have to give up six-figure salaries because they are contracted to go on book tours and things like that. Then again, traditional publishers aren’t big on novellas. So everybody is happier this way.