God has laid it on my heart to highlight some up-and-coming authors who write young adult fiction. Recently I featured The Gift of Fate by Valerie King about a young female protagonist. Today I feature a book with a male protagonist in The Good Fight, by Matthew R. Horn.
I am thankful that more Christian authors are writing for twelve to eighteen year olds--we have an opportunity through Christian fiction to impact secular teenagers in a way that is often impossible with traditional nonfiction Bible stories and the Bible. Christian worldview fiction is powerful when well written. Please enjoy this short interview of Matthew R. Horn about his new book, The Good Fight.
Lorilyn: Tell me a little bit about yourself. Did you write a lot when you were young?
Matthew: I've always had a very vivid imagination. When I was young, my three sisters and I or my two neighbor friends would run around playing some game that we had concocted in our minds. I could always see the ideas playing out in my head. It probably helped me to be a writer, to never have really matured past the age of four.
I did not start writing, though, until college. Even then I only tried once or twice before giving up. I wrote my first full book only two years ago, but when I got the desire it hit me with great force.
Lorilyn: I was curious if the protagonist in your book The Good Fight represents parts of your life and past?
Matthew: The protagonist in The Good Fight is named Jeff. He is not a specific representation of any part of my past, but he is a representation of how I think I would act in a similar situation. Our pasts are very different and Jeff by nature must be much stronger in his convictions to have pulled himself up from where his parents left him. The Lord led us to the same place but through very different paths.
Lorilyn: How do you write fiction? Do you outline or create the story as you write?
Matthew: I would love to answer "both," but I do create an outline before I begin. I keep a book of notes on me most of the time to record inspirations and outline my ideas. That being said, my outlines are always extremely vague and don't detail specific events. They are used only as a guide to keep me on track. I find it very difficult to not visualize my end goal when writing as if my characters know the end as well as I do and are always working toward it.
Lorilyn: Is your book aimed at the young adult market or adults?
Matthew: The Good Fight is aimed more at the young adult market than anything. Jeff is pretty young and the main topics are vigilantes and fighting crime. My hope is that the symbolism and deeper meanings I try to convey are not lost on a younger market. My niece read this book as a book report book and I was very impressed at how much she picked up on.
Lorilyn:Is it part of a larger series of books you are writing?
Matthew: I had originally intended it to be a stand-alone book, although I did leave it with an open ending. When I first signed with Brighton Publishing, they told me I should start working on the sequel right away. The sequel, Nothing Good is Free, is currently in production at Brighton and is expected out this fall.
I also plan to complete a third book in the next year or two. Jeff is such a great character that I think he has relevance even as he ages beyond his crime fighting days because of his experience and the role God plays in his life.
Lorilyn: What has been the most rewarding part of writing The Good Fight?
Matthew: Writing a book is hard enough, but finding a publisher and selling a lot of books is even harder. The feeling of accomplishment from reaching each of these things is so empowering that it makes you feel like you can do anything. Sometimes I wish I could see the plan the Lord has for me, but then I realize how boring that would make everything. I have so many interests and desires and being able to do what I've done with The Good Fight makes me want to try them all.
Lorilyn: How can people connect with you and also purchase your book?
Matthew: The best way to connect with me is through my website www.matthewrhorn.com. You can see all of the groups I'm involved in, link to my publisher's page, email me, stay current on news, or jump over to Facebook or Twitter. The Good Fight is available not only from my website, but also at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.
The following is a small excerpt from the Prologue of The Good Fight. Jeff is a young boy and is startled by three thugs in an alley.
"Jeff watched as the figure on the roof produced a length of rope from somewhere near his side. The dark figure somehow secured the rope to the roof and began descending the wall above the three men. As the figure lowered himself through the shadows and the moonlight, his fluid form changed and Jeff could not tell where he was from where he was not.
Jeff tried once more to yell out but nothing came out of his mouth. The apparition on the wall quit moving about ten feet above the men, who had inched away from the wall and walked towards the center of the alley..."