If I told you that there is a conspiracy within the government, would you be surprised? Probably not. It's pretty much a given. But, if I told you that a Christian man wrote a novel that describes the conspiracy in vivid detail and even introduces a hero into the mix, would you buy the book? I know I would.
Don Mathews has written such a novel and has received quite a few good reviews for his efforts. In fact, I even told my husband that he should read it. (He's a conspiracy nutcase!) I interviewed Mr. Mathews and this is what he had to say about his experiences as a writer.
Me: Can you tell us what you're working on right now?
DM: Right now I am working on the next book in the Berk Renner Series called Zealots. I'm also working on a spin off series from Berk Renner as well as a Sci-fi and a fantasy book.
Me: How did you come up with the concept for your newest novel?
DM: My ideas for my stories come from several sources. Sometimes it's a news story, sometimes something I hear on the radio. Sometimes it just comes from a conversation I'm having with my wife and I'd be like that would be an awesome idea for a story. Zealots comes from a story I read a few years ago about eco-terrorist burning down mansions. It spiraled out from there to what would happen if the eco-terrorist took it to the next extreme level.
Me: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
DM: The toughest criticism was also the best. I put my first thriller on Amazon and thought, great, now lets get the reviews. Well I did get a review. It was an awful review. But that review lead me to re-evaluate my process. I thought I could just throw something on the internet without being edited properly. Well, at the time I also sent it out to Bob Hamer for a blurb. He pretty much told me the same as the review. He sent me a name of an editor who was great with working through all the holes and major mistakes in my story. I have two great compliments. The first is from my wife, who is constantly encouraging me to continue writing even though we haven't seen the fruits of my labor. The second would be from Bob Hamer who did write a blurb for me. Here is a man who wrote a couple thrillers and non-fiction books. He even co-wrote a couple of books with Col. Oliver North and he read my book and enjoyed it enough to write a blurb for it.
Me: How do you reach your readers? (Social media, giveaways, etc.) And, which has been the most successful?
DM: I do have a presence on most of the social media sites. I've tried tweeting about free downloads or countdowns. That didn't really move the needle. Right now I'm trying Facebook ads to get people on my mailing list by giving them the book for free. That seems to be working. I've added several emails to the list and even had a spike in actual purchases. I think the real test will be when I release the second book in the series.
Me: What inspired you to write your first book?
DM: I'm a political junkie so right now I feel like it is the Super Bowl every week. So, politics was a major part of what inspired me to write subverted. Another thing that inspired me were the warriors who were coming back from Iraq and Afghanastan. I wanted to create a character that showed how awesome our men and women of the military are, especially the warrior who risk it all not on the front line but behind the lines, the tier one operators. And lastly, I was inspired by one of my cousins. In the book Subverted, Berk Renner is fighting to save a friend on death row. The character John Callaghan was based on my cousin who was on death row in Tennessee. His size and gentleness are what I remember of him from the one time I visited while he was in prison. To be honest, I wouldn't be doing any of this if it wasn't for God. He is the reason I write everyday. He is the reason I started writing in the first place. I hated writing growing up. One day I heard a talk show host talking about reading scripts so I thought, hey why not give it a try. Next thing I know I was reading anything I could find on writing. I truly believe that God had this all laid out in front of me, and I just needed to be dragged kicking and screaming but I am here now.
Me: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
DM: The hardest thing for my in writing is patience. Once I'm done I won't to get it out into the world and begin the next project.
Me: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
DM: People can find me online on twitter at @donmathews70 or Facebook at Don Ernest Mathews, but the best place is to go to is my website www.donmathewsbooks.com they can go there and sign up for my newsletter and I'll send them a copy of Subverted.
You just can't go wrong with a free book! And Subverted sounds like an interesting read. Go check it out! -AJ