Interview and Book Give Away with Matthew R. Horn

Tells us first how you came to faith in Jesus. 
My parents raised my sisters and I in the church.  I was baptized when I was nine, and have never looked back.  I think nine years old might have been a bit early for me, because it wasn’t really until college that I started reading and praying daily.  I’ve always had a relationship with him, and I plan on keeping it that way.

How old were you when you wrote your first real story and what was it about? 
Of course I had always tried my hand at writing stories, but never got anything real until 2009.  I was 29.  I’m not sure why the Lord had me ready at that point, but I had a powerful inspiration and ended up writing a 700 page epic fantasy novel titled Heroism.  It is as of yet, unpublished along with its sequel.  My main goal was to write a story where the hero is who he is because of God.  The world they are in is a future/past earth where certain men have special abilities.  The main characters ability comes directly from God and spends his time discovering what God’s purpose is for his life.  The symbolism is, as always for me, indirect allowing the reader to see it or not see it for themselves.

Where did you get the idea for your latest book? 
My latest book, Nothing Good is Free, is the sequel to The Good Fight published by Brighton Publishing in September 2011.  I got the idea for the series sitting with my wife and our church youth group at the 2009 Indiana Christian Youth Convention.  I was listening to the keynote speaker and was immediately hit with an idea to write a story about a young hero coming of age with the help of a mentor.  I wanted to use his story to symbolize how hard it is for a Christian to mature in Christ and make the right decision day in and day out.  My wife helped me tweak the storyline by adding some conflict with the mentor.  Three months later I had The Good Fight.  Since then I’ve added the second title, Nothing Good is Free, and am now working on the third installment, The Price We Pay.

What do you want readers to take away from your writing and this book in particular? 
First and foremost I want my readers to enjoy a solid adventure.  I hope they are simply happy to read about Jeff.  However, I also hope that Christian readers can see past the surface and into the symbolism of our Christian walk with Christ much in the same way that CS Lewis captured in his Chronicles of Narnia series.  It’s there for those who want to see it, and for those who don’t it’s still a wonderful read.

What part of this book did you enjoy writing the most and why? 
In the first book, the city’s vigilante is my hero’s troubled mentor.  He had no real relationship with the Police because he didn’t trust them.  My hero, Jeff, on the other hand builds a relationship with a detective.  As a result, Detective Martell, while not even having a name in The Good Fight, has an expanded role in Nothing Good is Free.  He is put at odds with Jeff by the department, and the conflict and resolution were both enjoyable and fully satisfying for me as an author.  

What is your favorite Bible verse? 
My favorite verse, and this is not a plug for my book, is I Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight for the faith. Keep holding on to eternal life, to which you were called and about which you gave a good testimony in front of many witnesses.”
I think it applies in a wonderful way and is very uplifting.

What is your favorite comfort food? 
Hands down, pasta.  I’m not sure how that happened, but I love it plain with some Parmesan Cheese or as a part of a dish. 

What are your hobbies other than writing? 
I’m a pretty active fellow.  I grew up on a lake so swimming and skiing are big hobbies.  I love playing basketball and tennis as well.  All in all, I think reading is my biggest hobby though.  I’m always in the middle of a good book.  I love to read before I go to bed and I always try to get time in the mornings to read the Bible.

How does your faith play into your writing? 
I like to write books where God exists.  My characters may not pray to him religiously or even profess to know him, but he exists and works on them none the less.  I think it’s important to create worlds like that as an author because readers that don’t know Christ can be exposed to him in a fulfilling and unobtrusive way. 

What is your favorite book by another author and why? 
Currently, because this has been known to change, my favorite book is Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.  I loved it and I think it’s truly amazing how that book single-handedly built the publics perception of pirates, incorrect as it may have been.  It’s a wonderful tale and truly well written. 

Favorite childhood book? 
I started really reading when I was in the 6th grade.  My father was reading Clive Cussler books at the time and I read his book, Pacific Vortex.  I went on to read all 19 of his Dirk Pitt books, but Pacific Vortex remained my favorite.

Which movie has inspired you the most and why?
I really like the recent Batman movies.  I like to think that my hero, Jeff, is a less broken hero and more realistic, but along the lines of Batman.  I think the way Christopher Nolan advanced the storyline and the way he ended it were very well prepared and thought out.  I hope to be able to achieve some of the same things just in different ways.

Where do you get most of your ideas for your books? 
Inspiration comes from strange places.  I am the type to keep a journal close by because the smallest things often create the largest ideas, and I try to write them down as they come.  Dreams, songs, commercials, anything really can stir an idea.  It’s a compilation of experiences and senses that come together.  The only other explanation is that God wanted me to write something down, and I want to be able to say that I did.

Out of everything you have written, do you have a favorite and why? 
My favorite is my first work, Heroism.  The hero, Mark, is based off of me and my experiences and dreams.  I used friends and family members for my characters and I simply love having done that.  It’s like telling your life story in Christ, but getting to do it in a fantasy book with special abilities.  It was so much fun.  It’s just such a large and special project that it’s taking me forever to get it read.

Have you ever had a mentor when you were first starting out? Who was it and how did they encourage you? 
If I had a mentor then it was my mother.  She has her Master’s in English, and although she never knew I was planning to write a book, she always encouraged me to do things like this.  It’s hard for her to read for anything other than content because I’m her son, but I usually push all my chapters past her desk for approval before I move on.  

Matthew R. Horn, Author

Nothing Good is Free Now in E-Book


  1. I want to thank Marlayne for interviewing me. I really enjoyed answering these questions. Thanks again!

  2. A fantastic interview, Matthew and Marlayne! I like getting to know these authors better ~ thank you for having him here, Marlayne.

    Matthew, as to your favorite verse, you noted that it wasn't a plug for your book. I wanted to say that it seems the verses or messages that speak to us the most are the catalysts that push us to do what we need to do. I find the very same thing! Love that verse. Thanks for sharing yourself with us here.

  3. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me. I would love to read this book.