Saturday, February 15, 2014

Matthew Quick launches 'The Good Luck of Right Now' to follow 'Silver Linings Playbook'

Matthew Quick, Holden resident and author of the novel-turned-film, "Silver Linings Playbook," has begun a book tour to promote his latest novel, "The Good Luck of Right Now." That book, too, has been optioned for film by DreamWorks. In fact, all six of his novels have been optioned for film. 

That's pretty good luck as well. 

Though Quick wasn't published until age 34, he's written since his teens. He's won several prestigious book awards and finally met a primary goal in his life: to be a full-time writer. For several years, he taught literature and coached high school soccer. The kids nicknamed him "Q," a moniker that has stuck. 

On Feb. 11, "The Good Luck of Right Now" is being released by HarperCollins, his U.S. publisher. Little Brown & Co. publishes his young adult books: "Sorta Like a Rock Star," "Boy21" and "Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock." His books are published internationally. 

Quick will appear at Porter Square Books in Cambridge at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 to give a talk and sign books. He'll do the same at 6 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Boston Public Library, and at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport. No appearances have yet been scheduled in the Worcester area, though the tour is just getting started. 

Quick loves seeing the finished product. "I'm thrilled," he said. "It's very exciting. I worked so hard on this book; it's exciting to put it into the world. DreamWorks is busy with the adaptation as well. It's still wonderful to me to open up a finished book when I have received by box of new books. A book tour is a nice time to celebrate and mark the occasion of finishing another story. Most writers will tell you it's almost like giving birth." 

Although he keeps writing — his next book is in the wings — Quick finds book tours a wonderful distraction. "The schedule involves traveling every day on airplanes, cars and trains. For me, it's hard to write fiction when I'm not alone in a room. I love talking with people (about the book) but writers mostly sit alone in a room all day by themselves. When they're thrust into society, as they are on tour, it takes a different kind of energy." 

"The Good Luck of Right Now" is written as a series of letters to actor Richard Gere. Reviewers have used terms like "quirky," "off-beat" and (from author Garth Stein): "the greatest feel-good misfit road story." It deals with Bartholomew Neil, a middle-aged man who lives with his mother and is poorly equipped to find his own way in life. When she dies, he finds a "Free Tibet" letter from Gere in his mother's underwear drawer and sets out to find the answers to life from Gere. (Do we see a starring role there?) 

Quick likes that his books are finding their way into film. He's open to looming opportunities to do screenplays, saying, "I will probably try that at some point." In the meantime, he's happy to be living in Holden with his wife, novelist and pianist Alicia Bessette. 

(Ann Connery Frantz writes about authors and book clubs for the Telegram & Gazette, Worcester, and blogs at this site).