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Monday, March 11, 2013

Matthew R Horn and Nothing Good is Free


MATTHEW R. HORN learned the value of a good imagination at an early age, growing up in north-central Indiana. Bob Kane and Bill Finger's Batman, Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt, and Ian Fleming's James Bond were constant visitors to Matthew's imaginative world.

At the age of 14 Matthew began taking writing classes from none other than his own mother. Having a Master's in English, she wanted her children to be able to communicate properly with the written word. Of course, Matthew hated this. However, nearly twenty years later the lessons learned combined with the imagination born from sheer boredom have cultivated a desire to share his imaginings.

To better tell his adventure stories, Matthew began taking lessons in Martial Arts in 2011. Having achieved a Red Belt in Tae Kwan Do and having broken his nose during a sparring session, Matthew has a unique ability to combine his imagination with real-life experiences to tell stories in a way that are creative and adventurous, yet gritty and realistic.

In September of 2011, Brighton Publishing made Matthew's second book, The Good Fight, his first published novel. The sequel, Nothing Good is Free, is now out in eBook and will be released by Brighton in paperback in March 2013. The final installment, The Price We Pay, is currently being written and is tentatively scheduled to be released during the summer of 2014.

You can contact him by clicking the "Email the Author" link from the homepage of his web site. You can also follow Matthew on both Facebook and Twitter.

by Matthew R. Horn
Published by Brighton Publishing


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?

Readers, buy your copy of Nothing Good is Free today!

*If you order this book between now and March 16, make sure you visit the John 3:16 Marketing Network launch page and enter your sales receipt in the rafflecopter for a chance to win a Kindle, a $50 Amazon gift card, and a $10 Starbucks card. Must order by March 16 to take advantage of these great prizes.


Fictional Storytelling: Not as Easy as Advertised

How many obstacles are there in fictional storytelling? Lots. Of course if your goal is to tell stories orally to your children then consider yourself nearly obstacle free, unless you lose your voice or forget the story you were going to tell. If you have ever dreamed of being a writer however, you are going to have to face the facts; it’s hard. The first obstacle to consider is the same barrier you might consider in anything you do. You must learn the fundamentals. Don’t go and challenge Michael Jordan to a pick-up game of basketball unless you know how to shoot a jump shot. No one is error-free, but knowing the difference between a predicate and a participle is more than helpful. It’s required.

The second obstacle to consider is figuring out if you even have a story to tell. How many times have you tried to tell a story to a friend or loved-one that made you roll on the floor laughing, but left your friend or loved-one wondering why you bothered to retell it? It has happened to all of us at one time or another, but when it happens trying to retell a joke it’s no big deal. If it happens with a five hundred page epic novel then it’s no laughing matter.

The third obstacle is actually a combination of hundreds of smaller obstacles. Now that you know your fundamentals and have decided you have a great story to tell, you have to actually start telling the story. Creating settings, characters, dialogue, etc. hopefully comes easily to a writer, but what about the initiative to get started and keep going on a regular basis? Simply finding the time can be a challenge, especially if you have a job that is not centered on writing.

The number of obstacles continues to the point where even a writer creating an article about obstacles will eventually choose to quit counting. Why would anyone go through all of these obstacles without a guarantee of success; love. I wish I had a more tangible answer such as: financial security, international fame, etc. The truth is that it is important to the writer. It becomes more than just a hobby. Readers who close a book and say to themselves, “That was wonderful,” have just had an experience that will never be exactly equaled. It was created by one person and fully enjoyed by another. It’s personal and satisfying.

Think of the last great book you read. Do you recall the author? In my experience, I can remember my age and sometimes even where I was when I read certain books. I recall just getting a Kindle Fire for Christmas two years ago. I downloaded Treasure Island on a whim, and now feel that it’s one of my all-time favorites. I read in bed before going to sleep, on lunch-break at work, and at the breakfast table until I finished it. The author is not alive enough for me to contact him and thank him for creating such a work, but if he were he’d get a pretty nice email from me. I might even follow his blog.

Consider these obstacles the next time you decide to write something or even the next time you sit down and read a book. There’s probably a lot more to the creation of it than we give it credit for. Is it coincidence that you are holding this particular book, or is it Divine intervention?

Reader Question: What is the most memorable book you remember reading and why?

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Thank you, Matthew, for sharing with us today.

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name [at] domainname [dot] com) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a free eBook copy of the book featured above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the drawing is open to anyone worldwide.


Unknown said...

I really want to thank Tiffany for featuring me here. I had a lot of fun writing the article, and really hope fans will visit for a chance to win their free Kindle!

Martha A. said...

Interesting post!! I think the most memorable book that I have read would probably be one from my younger years. Hidden Rainbow by Christmas Carol Kauffman. I loved it and read it more times than I could count. The story of a poor family in Yugoslavia, who became believers despite knowing they would lose everything if they did, and to top it off, the story was true. I used to daydream about going to meet the family members!

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Matthew, it's my pleasure to have you here on A Fictional Life.

And a truly memorable book for me would be Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. The premise of that story sticks with me even today, nearly 25 years later.

Another would be Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, as my grandfather owned a barber shop on Chincoteague Island (the setting of the book) and there are streets on that island named after my family, some of whom still live there. It was like reading a piece of my family history. :)