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Interview with Larry Matthews, author of Nine Millimeter Solution

Author’s Bio: Larry Matthews is a veteran of thirty-five years in broadcast journalism, working in radio and television in major markets and networks. He has published eleven books, eight of them fiction. He was a street reporter, investigative reporter, anchor, news director, editor and producer. His Dave Haggard thrillers have been top-ten sellers on Amazon.

What’s the inspiration for writing your book?
LM: This is the 4th Dave Haggard thriller. Each deals with a theme or crime. The first was about a psychopathic priest, the second about greed and corruption, the third about terrorism, and now the 4th is about human trafficking. All of the Haggard books are Washington thrillers. Dave is a D.C.-based reporter, as was I, so I use my own experience as a platform for the stories. Nine Millimeter Solution is also about the cynicism that has overtaken our political world. Many people don’t know who the good guys are, so I try to use that confusion in the book. But there are clearly some very bad people at the heart of this story.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
LM: Yes, but it had nothing to do with thriller writing. When I was a young man I read and was changed by Narcissus and Goldmund by the great German author Herman Hesse. It is a story set long ago about two men, one a scholar and the other a man of the earth who meet in a cloistered monastery. One, Narcissus, remains and lives a life of faith and scholarship. The other, Goldmund, goes out to experience the world and suffers for it, but he also enjoys all of the pleasures of life. To me the book is about the choices we all face when we are young.

How long did it take to write your book?
LM: This one took several years. I got about twenty-thousand words into it and lost the thread, so I wrote another book and then found my way back to Nine Millimeter Solution.

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
LM: Ah, the “pantser versus plotter” question. I’m 80 per cent pantser, meaning I tend to write by the seat of my pants. I do like to know where I’m going so I write the last scene first and then mull over how I will get there.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
LM: I sometimes listen to music, especially if it will fit the scene I’m writing. Dave Haggard is from east Tennessee, the mountain area, so I will listen to what is sometimes called Hillbilly Music. I can use the word Hillbilly because it’s my heritage, even though my cousins don’t like it.

What are the keys to success in marketing your book(s)?
LM: Oh boy! If anyone has a workable answer please let me know. Most writers I know scramble to find readers. Many, I’m sad to say, write truly great books that never find wide readership. Outlets like this blog are very helpful in calling attention to works that might not find access to mass audiences.

I am very excited about a forthcoming audiobook of Nine Millimeter Solution to be narrated by Dave Lawrence, a Hollywood actor and in-demand book narrator and voice artist. He’s done over 150 audiobooks, some best sellers. He’s also a longtime friend. Look for it in March.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
LM: The keyboard is your friend. Spend a lot of time with it.

How about sharing an excerpt from Nine Millimeter Solution?

“The boat was open and the rain soaked the passengers who bobbed in the Gulf of Mexico, some of them retching over the side. The man in charge, a scarred, hard Mexican, smacked a teenage girl who was crying and hysterical. “Shut up,” he said. “I will leave you to the sharks.” His English was rough and he spoke in the cadence of his native Spanish. “We will be there soon and you will be somebody else’s problem.” The man was a coyote, a mover of human beings. On this night he was delivering a dozen teenage girls to a trader in Texas who bought and sold women and girls to eager markets in the United States.”

What’s next for you?
LM: It’s hard to say. This is my 11th published book, so my idea bag is getting low. I’m working on a new book about two very amoral people, a man and a woman, who keep up appearances as community and church leaders but whose personal lives are awful. It’s a fun project but I don’t know if I will publish it. My early readers break two ways: men love it and want more, women hate it and one even urged me to stop writing it. So…

Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.





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