AJ McGuire tagged me in the “Meet My Character Blog Tour” and, of course, now I’ve got to tag someone else. I’ve also realized that the questions asked here, don’t even come close to telling you who my character is. But just to make it easy for those who follow, I’ll leave the questions along and just expand my answer at the end. So, I tag, Joel Jurrens, Heidi Sprouse and Mary Ann Mogus. Good luck and have fun!
1) What is the name of your character? Is he fictional or a historic person?
Matt Steele and he’s very much a fictional person.
2) When and where is the story set?
The story is set during the final few months of a presidential election, mostly in Washington DC but also in a few other locations as well.
3) What should we know about him?
To start with, Matt Steele is a little different from most of the clowns we currently have running for office at the federal level. He is a man of honor and integrity, something that has guided him throughout his political life, but this time, he will be faced with a choice that means putting his political life on the line for a matter of honor. If he follows his conscience, it will probably cost him the election. Both of his opponents in the tight race for the White House also face a moment of decision. Those decisions will mark the character of the man and ultimately bring change to an unsuspecting Nation.
4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?
Just month shy of election day and closing in on his closest opponent, Matt Steele is given a photograph that suddenly jerks him back to a time he has done everything to forget, and to emotions he does not want to relive. He’s trying to keep the momentum going in his race for the White House, but his personal life is falling apart. Right now this is the last thing he needs, but right now is when it’s happening and it’s hard to ignore.
5) What is the personal goal of the character?
He wants to be president of the United States of America, but he doesn’t want to have to sacrifice his personal integrity to get there.
6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
This book is already available. Whatever It Takes, first published in 2012 is now available for Kindle and Nook for only $4.99. If you’re old school and want a print copy the best place to order is at Wings-epress.com.
7) When can we expect the book to be published?
It’s out and available. Kindle, Nook and Print
But as I was saying this doesn’t really tell you much about Matt Steele. Before I start writing a story, after I’ve created the basic main characters, I sit down and start writing their story. From the time they were kids or even from when they were born, right up to where the book will begin. In the case of Matt Steele, I wrote over 10,000 words – Before I began writing the story that ended up in print, I knew that Matt was a typical boy growing up in a small Maine town during that time when Andy Griffith’s Mayberry was a common kind of place. A time when mom’s wore dresses and baked cookies to be devoured when kids got home from school. I knew he was an adventurous kid who accepted a dare from his best friend to ride a chunk of ice down the river as it broke up in the spring, went swimming in the local water tower and played cowboys and bad guys, running over the low slung roofs of an abandoned chicken house. He was a typical boy, smart and inquisitive who could have gotten better grades in school, but was more interested in the things that came after school. Matt Steele’s biological father never knew he had a son – Matt was conceived in the emotional goodbyes before he shipped out to Europe and his father killed, never knowing he had a son. His adoptive father could not have treated him any different had Matt truly been of his blood, and as much as Matt loved that man, there would always be the questions about his real dad. When Matt reached high school, it was his best friend, Sam, who was outgoing and eager to date. San enthusiastically drew Matt into this new life that included girls, arranging a date for Matt whenever he was unable to screw up the courage to do his own asking. But when they went off to college and Matt spied the quietly beautiful Eve sitting the far side of the lecture hall, Matt knew this was the woman he would someday marry. It was actually his relationship with Eve that planted the seeds that would eventually propel him into the political world. That, along with the growing awareness that good men, honest men, seemed to avoid politics, leaving the running of the state and the country to men with ambitions uncurbed by notions of service and humility and honesty. I could tell you so much more about Matt Steele – How, as a raw young lieutenant, he was terrified by the hellacious reality of war and yet, in spite of his fear, learned how to be a good commanding officer. How he enjoys reading the Sunday paper scattered all over the covers of his bed, before getting up and going to a late mass and having breakfast at a diner on the way home. Or how much he wishes that the busyness of his political life had not robbed him of so many precious moments with his wife and children. Somehow his daughter has forgiven him all the times he could not be there for a recital, or a birthday or a father-daughter dance, but his son has not and that estrangement haunts Matt. He tries to reach across the gap that divides them, but never quite connects. And all of these things, important seemingly insignificant make up who Matt Steele is and color the decisions he will make in the book, Whatever It Takes.