Matthew Lovecraft is more than a writer. He’s also an illusionist, gleefully romping about the playground of the human mind.
The Davenport author’s literary charms are poetry and prose, but the character and image he has created conjure up much more. Lovecraft’s book signings also have him doing tarot card readings, psychic prognostications and magic tricks. It’s all part of the spell of mystery and fun he’s casting with his public persona as Matthew Lovecraft, the author formerly known as Trent Matthew England.
“I bill myself as a mentalist and an entertainer,” Lovecraft said. “I don’t claim to have any psychic powers. Everything I do is purely for entertainment, including my books. I offer people a package deal where I’ll charge them a certain amount for (telling) the fortune and the book.”
Lovecraft will be signing his latest book, the poetry collection “Inside Out,” on Saturday at Readmore Books in Moline.
“I started doing this in March, but once I added the mentalist and psychic aspect to it, it really started doing well,” he said. “It was all part of the creation of a fun persona that started with the Matthew Lovecraft name. It’s all about showmanship and entertainment. It’s not enough to write and print books. You have to get them into people’s hands. That’s the challenge, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Lovecraft’s fascination with the allure of mysticism began at an early age.
“When I was a kid, I was always into magic,” he said. “When I was 5, 6 years old, my grandma, who was a huge influence on me as a writer and a person, would take me to the library, and I was always drawn to the magic section. Once I read about Harry Houdini, I was hooked. I became a big David Copperfield fan, then started reading tarot in my late teens and got into New Age and stuff like that. When I became an author, I was looking for a way to market myself and came up with the Matthew Lovecraft name because it was catchy.
“My stuff isn’t scary. It’s dark, but it’s grounded in reality,” he said. “It’s all about realizing the way we all feel is the same, we all share the same feelings about relationships. When others tell you they’ve read something of yours and they can really relate to it, it’s a feeling of elation and validation for me.”
The next literary spell he’s casting will be “13 Terrible Tales,” a collection of short stories due out April 1.