Thursday, April 03, 2008

Author Matt Bronleewe - ILLUMINATED

When I started hearing about this book, I knew I wanted to interview the author, so I contacted him.

Welcome, Matt. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

The people that know me best say there’s much less of me in the characters than they were expecting. (I think they say this because my characters are smart and charming, bearing little resemblance to me! Ha!) What seems to be happening is actually the reverse – I’m becoming more like my characters, especially my main character August Adams. He’s enthralled with ancient books…mysterious books, and I certainly am taking on that characteristic more all the time.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I once took a meeting as an “alter ego”, wearing zany clothes and calling myself “Rockefeller.” My stunt failed miserably as my manager failed to go along with the ruse. Oh well.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

Am I a writer? Really? I still don’t feel like I belong in that club. AUTHOR. The title still sounds so daunting, so beyond my ability. But I LOVE writing. I know now that I’m hooked, that I am forced by some uncontrollable urge to WRITE. It was around my 30th birthday – nearly four years ago – that I first felt like tackling the impossible task of writing a novel. Now, after just finishing my second – called HOUSE OF WOLVES – I’ve discovered that it is, indeed, possible. But still incredibly hard!

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I’m reading a biography about John D. Rockefeller right now. (Rockefeller! There it is again! He’s a distant relative…so now you understand the reference.) I really love any biography about people who lived near the turn of the 20th century. I read lots of fiction – vampire thrillers, historical thrillers, serial killer thrillers, etc. It’s really no surprise that “Illuminated” is a thriller! I also read TONS of books for research. I just finished one about medieval marginalia…fascinating stuff!

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

is my first! It’s such a strange feeling, having a book come out and having NO IDEA how people would react to it. It’s been such a rush to see so much enthusiasm and support for the book! Definitely fuels me to do even better the next time around. And I promise you, HOUSE OF WOLVES will be an absolute thrillride!

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Sanity? What’s that? Truly, there is nothing sane about this whole endeavor. I sit in front of a computer screen making up a story that people are going to BUY AND READ?? It seems impossible. So I just have to push reality aside and run ahead in a state of complete delirium that everything is going to be OK. See what I mean? Insane!

How do you choose your characters’ names?

This question has come up many times for me because my two main characters are named AUGUST and APRIL. There are many somewhat secret reasons for the names. In the end, any character name just has to sound right in my ear…it’s a very musical thing for me, actually. I lean on my experience in music to find the right tone for any name. I just want something DIFFERENT and COOL.

Actually, my grandfather was August M. Nelson. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Finding a woman that agreed to spend the rest of her life with me, share a home with me, raise children with me…that comes before anything else!

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

A tiny furry woodland creature. As for a reason, I have none. None that make any sense, anyway!

What is your favorite food?

Depends on the mood I’m in. Pizza is always RIGHT UP THERE, especially if it’s from New York or Chicago! Any good Italian rocks. Indian food, in my humble opinion, has the capacity to yield some of the tastiest dishes on earth. Don’t get me started on food!!

Matt, what is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

It’s always tricky for me to find enough hours in the day, or week, or month, to write as much as I’d like to. I’d write all day, every day, if I could. But there are a lot of other things I need to take care of, too. I’m still doing music full time, and I like to spend as much time with my wife and kids as I can. And then there’s church, and my friends, and…there’s always too much going on! But I love it. I’m learning to live a disciplined life, to set aside the proper amount of time for everything.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

First, believe that it’s possible. If I can get a book on the shelf, anyone can! I’m a farm kid from Kansas. I didn’t graduate from Harvard. I’m not a speaker on national television. I just had a vision and a passion that wouldn’t let me sleep at night! Plus a ton of blessings I never deserved. If I could tell anyone just starting out anything, I would say this: FIRST, write the book. You’ll never get anywhere talking about the book you really, really want to write. No one’s going to do it for you, so get to work now. And SECOND, surround yourself with people you admire, with people better than yourself, because they’ll encourage you, help you raise your game, and provide you with the opportunities to rise to the next level. You can’t do this alone! And you might as well take this journey with people you enjoy!

Very sage advice. What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

is a flat-out thrill-a-minute page-turner that will grab you from the beginning and keep holding on until you’ve abandoned sleep to reach the epic conclusion! Am I overselling it? Read it and tell me for yourself! I had a freaking BLAST writing Illuminated and I believe you’ll have a blast reading it!

How can readers find you on the Internet?

And the book can be found at any local bookstore and WWW.AMAZON.COM

Thanks! Peace. Matt Bronleewe.

And thank you, Matt, for spending this time with us.

Readers, check out all Matt's spaces. Then get a copy of Illuminted.

You can win a copy by leaving a comment on this interview. Be sure to check back to see if you win. Sign up for FeedBlitz (under my profile) if you're afraid you'll forget.


ForstRose said...

Sounds like a great read. Please enter me.


Carolynn W. said...

Would love to read this book, please enter me, thanks!

CherryBlossomMJ said...

He's fabulous! The book is fabulous! I already have an autographed copy, but know plenty of people who would benefit from reading it. I thought the whole interview was neat, but I was shocked to find no mention of his band and music career other than his mention of a "musical thing". I might have missed it though. Please enter me on the off chance that I can share this book with a friend!

Abi said...

Sounds like a good book. I like suspense stories. Would love to add this to my TBR stack that is growing ever so high.

ChristyJan said...

Thanks for the introduction to another new (to me) author.
I enjoyed this interview/spotlight.
Please enter me to win a copy of ILLUMINATED.

luv2read said...

This sounds like a book I definetly want to win because if I don't I'll have to buy it. I was impressed that he just started writing 4 years ago and already has a book out. I'd like to know if he sold it to the first publisher he showed it to.

Lynette Sowell said...

OH, I heard about this book months ago and I've been waiting, and waiting, and waiting to read it. I think it's AWESOME this is a first book. And when I heard about the premise, my initial reaction was, "DARN, I should have thought of this first." And my second was to put in on my CBD waiting list. :)

Grateful Gramma said...

Matt is a new author to me but I'd love to read the book. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!


Sonya said...

Sounds like another great read! I loved the interview too! Sounds like a fun guy!

Eileen said...

I am blessed to work with Thomas Nelson and I just read House of Wolves. Whoa. Great books!! Become a fan, because this guy's going a long way!

windycindy said...

Greetings! Sounds like a block buster first book! The cover is great looking. Who can resist a book that sounds so spell binding?! You gave a very good interview with him. Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks,Cindi

Dona Watson said...! (Hand raised) I read about this book and it's definitely on my TBR list. I even downloaded the few related "soundtrack" sounds off Matt's website. Pick me!! :-) Seriously, I'd love a chance to win this book. Thanks & great interview.

light stone writer [at]mac [dot]com

Miralee Ferrell said...

I liked what he had to say about his book...a thrill a minute ride that you can't put down. Sounds like the kind of book I'd enjoy, sign me up! Miralee Ferrell

Audra Marie said...

What a fun interview. I'd love a chance to win the book. :)


Lisa Harris said...

I'd love to win a copy of this book. Great interview!


stampedwithgrace said...

sounds like a must read!!
please enter me, thanks.