WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START WRITING? I recall vividly the desire to write, but I have no idea where it came from. I was reading The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks when I had this feeling well up inside me that I knew I could describe a scene in a similar fashion. I stopped mid-chapter and went to my computer. By the end of the evening, I had a 5-page outline and the first few pages of the first chapter already finished. I really believe that I had had that story inside of me all these years and just never knew it.
WHAT AUTHORS HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING STYLE? Hands down, the most influential were C.S. Lewis and J.B. Phillips. I strive to to write enjoyable works of fiction that have God not only existing, but playing a real role in my characters' lives just as he does in my life. I think its possible to read my works and just enjoy them, but for a Christian, I truly hope they speak much louder and on a deeper level.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING AUTHORS? Don't ever let yourself feel alone as an author. There are so many people out there who are going through or who have already gone through what you are that it is relatively easy when using the internet to find help to almost every question. Ask questions and the Lord will lead you to the answers.
DOES YOUR "REAL JOB" EVER INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING? Come to think of it, it does. I am a Chief Financial Officer for a small family company, and the experiences I've had with government, lawyers, employees, etc. come into play when describing real situations. I've never really thought of it, but I really do believe that the experiences I've had with my "real job" have helped me tremendously as a writer.
WHAT DOES YOUR WRITING SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE? It is absolutely all over the place. My wife gave birth to our first child, a baby girl, on January 31st so my work and home life have been ridiculous anyway on top of still trying to find time to write. I'm at work everday by 8 am, I leave at lunch to bring my wife (who works with me) and my daughter to work with me for the afternoon, and then we spend the evening trying to get dinner and get our daughter to eventually go to bed. I try to find time to write either early in the morning or late at night. On top of it all, the marketing that goes a long with being an author consumes much of my available time to write. It's very hectic, but it's also extremely rewarding.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST RELEASE. In September of 2011, Brighton Publishing released my first book, The Good Fight. It is about a young boy named Jeff who at the age of 9 finds himself alone, abandoned, and in a dark alley at night. He stumbles into some trouble and has his life saved by a dark-suited vigilante. The event is traumatic but influential for Jeff who 16 years later finds himself on the cusp of college graduation. One night he is given the opportunity to save the life of this same vigilante. He discovers the man's identity only to learn that he is not quite the hero that Jeff hoped he would be. Jeff becomes the hero's reluctant protege but continues to learn disturbing facts. Eventually, Jeff must decide whether to wear the dark suit himself to prevent his "hero" from doing something horrible, or to just let things be and live his life as if nothing were wrong. His decisions will affect his career, his girlfriend, and his life.
The Good Fight is 200 pages long and is a suspense/thriller novel that received 4 out of 5 stars from Baron Book Review. The sequel, Nothing Good is Free, is currently under production at Brighton Publishing and will be ready for release this fall.
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND IN RESEARCH BEFORE YOU WRITE A STORY? I would guess that 25% of the time I spend writing a book is research. It's amazing how many things we generally take for granted in movies are completely untrue. When you write your hero into a corner, it's easy for the mind to come up with some fantastic method of getting out. It's the details of getting it done that are difficult. For example, cars don't explode by shooting the gas tank, and you can't fall 30 feet and expect rolling will help avoid injuries, etc. A good author really has to take his time and research how these things actually happen before you can write them into your book. Or maybe you could just watch a lot of Myth Busters, hehe.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM YOUR RESEARCH? In The Good Fight, there is a scene where Jeff uses a small explosive device that his "hero" built for him. I felt very strange during the research process because I found myself searching the internet for "bomb building methods." I was a bit worried that an FBI agent was going to kick in my door and seize my computer. However, I did learn how to make a small bomb. I really don't see myself ever needing to have that knowledge, but it was certainly the most "interesting" thing I learned.
HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN? I have 4 competed books: 1 currently published and a second that will be out this fall. I also have 4 other projects currently being written, and I don't plan on stopping. I love to write, and I hope one day to have 20 or 30 published books out there. I love telling stories, and I really hope that everyone will enjoy reading them.
HOW CAN READERS CONTACT YOU AND/OR LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR WRITING? The best place to find me is at http://www.matthewrhorn.com/. I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, aNobii, YouTube, Bebo, Flickr, LinkedIn, and at several Yahoo Discussion Groups such as ACFW. I can also be emailed at email@example.com.
To watch the trailer for The Good Fight, click here.