Please welcome Matthew Horn, author of The Good Fight and Nothing Good is Free. He’s graciously agreed to an interview about his writing, his life and his new novel.
Matthew, thank you for joining us today. When did you start writing?
I first started writing in August of 2009. I’m not sure exactly what got me started. I know I’ve always had the desire to tell stories, and I had tried once to twice in college to put something on paper, but it never amounted to anything. I recall that I was reading The Sword of Shanarra by Terry Brooks, and for some reason I had an overwhelming urge to try again to put something on paper. This time, however, I wrote a 5 page outline rather than try to just start writing a book. The next thing I know I had a 700 page epic fantasy novel. As of this date it’s still unpublished. It’s a daunting task to go back and revise it all, but it was my first work.
I think several of us have those first tomes that we plan to edit one of these days. Who has been most influential in your writing style?
My mother has her Master’s in English, and she is the one who taught me to write. I remember having to sit through summer “classes” with her because she didn’t think my sisters and I were learning enough in school about writing. I didn’t know it at the time, but she was helping to fashion me into a future author. Secondarily, CS Lewis is the author I try the most to emulate. He tells amazing stories while at the same time having true spiritualism in his depth. It’s amazing.
CS Lewis’ writings are very deep. I love his fiction and non-fiction. Is Matthew Horn your real name or a pseudonym?
Matthew R. Horn is my real name. I chose not to use a pseudonym because I wanted to see my name on the cover of the book. I’m proud of the accomplishment, and I didn’t want to hide behind a false name. I think that if I ever achieve major writing success I may look back and wish otherwise, but I don’t want to assume that will happen.
I know we all would like to have that major success in our writing careers, but even if we never achieve that kind of success, it’s still awesome to see our names on the covers, isn’t it?What is the best advice you’ve received as a writer?
Revise, revise, revise. I am one of those naive authors that tried to send his work to agents and publishers immediately after I finished writing it. I can’t believe I tried that. It’s amazing how much revision goes into preparing a work to go before a critic. I was told once by a colleague “once you finish your work, write a completely different one before going back to edit the first.” It helps to take your mind away from things and help freshen your point of view. It was great advice.
That’s very good advice. How do you balance writing with the ever-growing need for self marketing?
This question is nearly impossible to answer. Basically marketing takes priority in my mind. I love to write, but I also have a regular full-time job. I write when I have free-time only. Otherwise I use my time at my regular job, and at marketing myself as an author. Of course having a wife, being a father, a Christian, etc. all have to fit in there as well. It’s quite a hassle to add writing in, but I love it so much that it just ends up happening.
If you find that balance, please share. Those of us who work in addition to writing have a full plate. Tell us a little about your upcoming novel.
My upcoming book is called Nothing Good is Free and is the second book in The Good Fight series. It continues to follow my vigilante hero, Jeff, after the death of his mentor, Jim. Jim strayed before his death and Jeff is striving to find out what caused it. His friend, Detective Martell, uncovered a case involving police corruption and has asked Jeff to help find evidence. Meanwhile, the police department has cooked up a scheme to catch the city’s vigilante, and has put Martell in charge of it. Also, Jeff’s relationship with his girlfriend, Brooke, is being strained by distance and her new, attractive boss Rick. Jeff has a lot to balance and a lot to learn about living a double-life.
That sounds very good. Another series to go in my ‘to be read pile’. Where can readers find you and your books?
The best place to find my books and I is at www.matthewrhorn.com. There you can see a list of all the books I am working on along with links to buy them. I also have a news section to show my 2013 Nothing Good is Free blog tour as well as links to articles and interviews that I have done. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Detective Martell of the Chicago Police Department has a big problem on his hands when he discovers a connection between a recent drug bust and a case he worked on in the ’80s. Not sure if he can trust his peers, Martell goes to the one person he knows he can count on: Jeff Scott.
Jeff has taken over as the city’s vigilante after Jim, his predecessor, was killed in a drug bust. Toward the end, Jim’s demeanor took a turn for the worse as he became more violent in his work and went after bigger thugs, which ultimately led to his untimely demise. The last thing Jeff wants is to let a life of violence get the better of him and end up like Jim. So, in a pursuit to avoid the same destiny as his mentor, he seeks the truth about Jim and the life he led before the two joined forces.
In his heart, Jeff knows right from wrong, but in his work, the distinction isn’t always clear. He doesn’t want to let the vigilante lifestyle take him over, but he has responsibilities: to look out for the little guys.
Being the city’s vigilante, however, becomes a bit more complicated after he’s spotted doing what he does best. An assignment from Martell puts him under the microscope of the Chicago Police Department. Vigilante work is supposed to go unnoticed as Jeff intends to stay anonymous to the public and criminals alike…
…but now he’s gotten himself noticed—and in a very big way.
His do-gooder, crime-fighting ways put him in the wrong place at the wrong time and now he has the Chicago Police Department on his trail.
To complicate matters further, when he isn’t wearing the vigilante suit, he’s trying to maintain a relationship with his girlfriend. But now her new job is taking up all her time, just when Jeff needs her most. He fears he’ll lose her to her hectic schedule and a schmoozing boss, and the only way to make things right is to be the best vigilante that he can be.
To add to the mess Jeff has gotten himself into, there is a new vigilante in town—and it isn’t Jeff. Now, the only question is…
Will this new vigilante work for good or for evil?
Thank you so much, Matthew, for joining us. I hope you have incredible success with your novels.