Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Matthew Quick: Writer on the horizon

Matthew Quick has the interesting distinction of seeing all six of his novels optioned for film. One of them, "Silver Linings Playbook," is familiar to most movie-goers. 

A resident of Holden, Mass., Quick's most recent novel is "The Good Luck of Right Now." That book, too, has been optioned for film by DreamWorks.
A writer since his teen years, Quick wasn't published until age 34. But he's won several prestigious book awards and has finally attained a primary goal in his life: becoming a full-time writer. For several years, he taught literature and coached high school soccer, the kids nicknaming him "Q," a moniker that has stuck.
On Feb. 11, "The Good Luck of Right Now" was released by HarperCollins, his U.S. publisher. Little Brown & Co. publishes his Young Adult books—three so far for teens ("Sorta Like a Rock Star," "Boy21," and "Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock." His books are published internationally.

He's writing this summer, but says he loves seeing the finished product, once the writing is complete. "It's very exciting to put it ("The Good Luck of Right Now") into the world. 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." DreamWorks is busy with the book adaptation for film.

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. Author Garth Stein ("The Art of Racing in the Rain") calls it: "the greatest feel-good misfit road story." The protagonist is 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.