Author Q&A with Amy Mattes

Author Q&A with Amy Mattes

Get to know Amy Mattes, the author of debut novel Late September, which has been called "a courageous, vivid, gritty, and surprisingly redemptive portrayal of a young woman in emotional and physical flux" (Michael Christie) and "a breathtaking ride through an unbounded and sensual Montreal" (Susan Sandford Blades).

What books did you turn to while writing? 

I had Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. When I would get stuck, I would start reading somewhere random in its pages and it would bring me back on course, or surprise me with a new method.  

Is there a sense, memory or feeling that embodies your book? 

Oh boy, many…In keywords: Youth and naivety are powerful. Love is not an innocent word. Hurting oneself in the quest for approval. Journeys don’t have to be physical. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Read widely, write often, be a good literary citizen and always carry a notebook and a good pen. 

What lives on your writing desk? 

I’ve strangely rejected the idea of writing in one place. Half of my novel was written in my car, and my “office” is my bed.  

If your book were a meal, what would it be? 

After-the-bar poutine in Montreal! 


Late September: It’s the summer of 2000 when a grief-stricken skateboarder arrives in Montreal on a Greyhound bus. After the drowning of her sister, all Ines wants is to escape her sheltered hometown and her reputation as a mess. Armed with her journal and a Discman, Ines quickly falls in with a group of Quebecois skaterslike Max, a magnetic filmmaker who captures the kind of beauty Ines craves.
When April, a voluptuous goth, gets Ines a job as a cam girl, Ines stumbles through her own desires and insecurities while performing for chat room patrons. Meanwhile, Max’s tenderness hardens as he struggles with mental health challenges. As the intoxicating bliss of summer slips away, Ines finds that loving herself first requires trial and error and that love is not always an innocent word.

Amy Mattes holds a degree in anti-oppressive social work from the University of Victoria and is currently enrolled in a bachelor of arts in creative writing at Vancouver Island University. She is working on a second novel, writing poetry and raising a child. She won second place in the Islands Short Fiction Review Contest in 2023 and has been previously published in The Globe and Mail and Portal Magazine. Mattes lives in Nanaimo, BC, and Late September is her first novel.