I'm honored to have Matthew Horn visiting my blog today. Matthew's most recent book is Nothing Good is Free. In his interview with me, Matthew talks about what makes a hero. Leave a comment at the end of the interview and we'll enter you in a free book giveaway for Nothing Good is Free.
Tell us a little about your new book.
My new book is called Nothing Good is Free and is the sequel to The Good Fight. It continues to follow my vigilante hero, Jeff, after the death of his friend and mentor, Jim. Before Jim’s death, he was struggling with his moral compass using weapons and tactics that Jeff didn’t approve of. Jeff, having now accepted his role as a vigilante, is searching frantically for signs of what caused Jim’s change, hoping that the same thing won’t happen to him. Meanwhile, the Chicago Police Dept. has come up with a scheme to catch the city’s vigilante, and put Jeff’s only friend with the police, Detective Martell, at the head of it. Martell must balance his relationship with Jeff with trying to keep his job.
The story also revolves around Jeff and Brooke’s romance as it continues after the end of The Good Fight. Brooke’s job often has her away and her new boss, Rick, is spending more time with her than Jeff is. It’s a story with a unique ending and is packed with adventure. I’m hoping that readers will get to continue reading about Jeff and Brooke in this the second installment of the The Good Fight series called Nothing Good is Free.
What audience did you have in mind when you wrote it?
I would almost call the first book, The Good Fight, a young adult reader based off of the content. I think this story is more mature than its predecessor. Brooke’s role is expanded and the romance plays a much larger part in the storyline. Also, Jeff’s maturation is a central theme, and I think that a slightly older audience will have a much better appreciation for it.
What do you hope people will learn from it?
First and foremost I want my readers to simply enjoy a good adventure novel with action, romance, etc. That being said, I hope that readers can also look past the basic storyline and see something deeper in Jeff and his world. I try to emulate Tolkien and C. S. Lewis when I write, and I’ve given this book what I hope is a deeper, spiritual level. Maybe it will never be seen, but I think it’s there if the reader is looking for it.
Where can people purchase your book?
My books are available on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and can be ordered from nearly all book stores across the nation. Also, readers can follow me on Facebook and Twitter and can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
What makes a good hero?
What makes a hero great; anonymity, a broken past, power? Once you’ve got your hero, what makes him or her the best? In modern writing few heroes come from a blessed background. If they do they’re often seen as weak or soft. Heroes hailing from backgrounds of loss or failure are seen as tough, strong, persistent. So why do we find ourselves wishing we were them? Who dreams of being a guy that watched his parents be gunned down right in front of him when he was a boy? Of course I’m talking about Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s Batman, the quintessential tragic or broken hero. Maybe, however, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Superman had it worse than Batman. His whole planet, parents and all, was destroyed leaving him the last of an entire civilization. This all happened when he was a child who was too young to know his family. He never truly knew what he missed. Maybe the question of “who had it harder” is one for the reader to decide.
The more interesting question for me is what is the ‘best kind’ of hero? Using a sampling of my followers on Twitter, I asked this question and monitored the results. Answers seemed to vary about how or why a hero does what he or she does, but a majority of the responses did have a central theme. A hero is one that does not try to cash-in on his actions; a person who doesn’t contemplate the after-affects of being a hero, but instead acts without thought of reward. My memory takes me to visions of the Three Amigos. “Our reward is that justice has been done,” says Ned Nederlander as he throws the bag of money back to the innocent villagers.
What about all the other thousands of characteristics that make up heroes? Could someone that was gifted with strength or speed still be a hero if he used his skills only for reward? What about Mel Gibson’s character in the movie Payback? He was a thief and killed people to get his money back. He also went out of his way to save his girl, and oddly he took nothing that hadn’t been taken from him already. It wasn’t a reward.
I think the answer is no. The underlying theme that makes a hero great is that in the end his goals were something other than reward for himself. In my new book, Nothing Good is Free, Jeff Scott is a vigilante in Chicago. He can fight, he’s smart, and he has an advantage of being lucky, or blessed depending on your point of view. However, he’s also a mid-twenties kid with a job and a girlfriend. He does what he does without any thought of rewarding himself. It’s almost a requirement in order to be considered the best kind of hero.
Where to Buy the Book:
link to barnes and noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nothing-good-is-free-the-good-fight-sequel-matthew-r-horn/1113863507
link to amazon http://www.amazon.com/Nothing-Good-Fight-Sequel-ebook/dp/B00AEYFJ58/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1
web address www.matthewrhorn.com