Welcome, Matthew. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
While I am sure I have a very skewed/biased view of myself, I do write myself into at least some of my characters. Many of them are specifically based off of people I know, but some of them are also based on me. I find it is a window into explaining and understanding their actions.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’ve got several strange stories I suppose from my childhood that fall under this category, but the first one that comes to mind took place when I was about ten. I had a huge fascination with He-Man at the time. I was playing in the backyard at a neighbor’s house when I decided to crash headlong through a wooden gate. I still get made fun of to this day for that incident. If He-Man could do it, why couldn’t I, right?
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I tried several times between high school and college to put a story down on paper, but I never got past the first page. It wasn’t until 6 years after graduating from college that I actually sat down and wrote a story. I really don’t think I was capable of the planning and forethought necessary to build a story like that until after college. I just didn’t have the commitment level before that point.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love reading all types. If I had a singular favorite it would probably be fantasy because The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia are probably two of my all-time favorites. However, The Last of the Mohicans and
are really close as well, and I’ve always had a soft spot for Louis L’Amour. I’m
not a big Romance guy and I really love a good action sequence. Every now and
again I’ll get gritty and read a Noir novel. I just love reading in general.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I have a solid family, a great wife, and I truly depend on the Lord to back me up. I know everyone has their own ways of handling things, but it’s hard for me to understand how to cope with a world like ours without knowing God loves me so much. I need an example of love and strength like him in order to know how to act with my family and friends. It really is my only way through the muck sometimes.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
For some reason character names and titles come to me rather quickly when I decide on a story line. Auxiliary characters are harder. Sometime I use a name generator, but mostly as a last resort. I just find that when I get an inspiration for a story that the names of the people involved come to the surface from the beginning, they just seem to fit with the story I want to tell.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My wife and I just gave birth on 1/31/12 to a beautiful baby girl named
We call her Ella. I think up to that point that college and this book were two
of my top accomplishments. Now, however, those seem totally blown away by our
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I feel like a Bear would be a good representation of me as an animal. I stand about 6’ 5” but I’m not overtly aggressive. I like to use my height to intimidate when I can, and when I get stuck on something I might chase it all the way up a tree, but if I can I’ll avoid trouble first. Plus my wife always tells me I just a big cuddly bear.
What is your favorite food?
Hands down, pasta. I love going to really good Italian restaurants and getting their top pasta dish. Crème based, tomato based, whatever. I can’t get enough.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I think my greatest roadblock is true control over what I write the first time. I often can see what I want to write, whole sequences, before I write it. It’s a huge benefit except that when I put it on paper it flows faster than I can write. It makes editing a real headache that I often try to avoid. I get myself into binds where I have entire chapters that are just poorly written because of how fast I flew them. Honestly, I haven’t really come up with a solution to stop it. I am trying different ways to slow myself down, breathing techniques, and outlines, but I always feel guilty for stifling the creative process.
Tell us about the featured book?
The Good Fight is about a young boy named Jeff. By the age of nine he is living on alone and on the streets after being passed around by family members and orphanages. He gets himself into some trouble one night and is saved by a vigilante. The moment is defining for Jeff and he starts to pull his life back together. Sixteen years later Jeff has the chance to return the favor to the vigilante by helping him to hide him from the authorities. Jeff learns the vigilante’s identity and soon learns that he is not quite the hero Jeff had hoped he would be. As the book continues Jeff reaches a crossroad where he has to decide if he can ignore what is going on behind the scenes and live his life the way he wants or if he must become the vigilante himself in order to stop his once teacher from doing something horrible.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Jeff had a giant smile on his face. He was squatting in a pile of garbage next to a large dumpster in the alley just behind Marcino’s Italian Restaurant. Marcino’s was quite popular right now, and every evening they threw out bag after bag of leftover food.
The dark alley was long, full of animals, trash, and broken pieces of wood and glass. Lights located on the buildings were either out or broken, allowing little more than reflected moonlight onto the alley floor.
For Jeff, this gold mine of discarded food remained his secret stash as many of the other homeless people in the area seemed to stay away. He was glad to keep it that way, and marveled at the amount of food people left on their plates.
Suddenly, three men rushed into the opposite end of the alley. They put their backs to the wall and Jeff could hear them panting.
“We’re in huge trouble,” one man said in a panic. “He’s gonna kill us for sure.”
“Shut your mouth,” the large man in the middle growled. “There’s three of us and one of him. You’d better pull yourself together, ‘cause if this guy doesn’t kill us, the boss will.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can look up my website at www.matthewrhorn.com. They can also look up by author bio on Amazon. The Good Fight can also be found at www.amazon.com , www.barnesandnoble.com , and at www.smashwords.comI am also listed in the authors section at www.brightonpublishing.com and am on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Anobii, along with several yahoo groups such as the ACFW book club, Café Libri book club, and BooksAMonth book club.
Thank you, Matthew, for the interesting interview.
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The Good Fight: A Fight for Truth and Justice - paperback
The Good Fight - Kindle
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