David Matthews -
A Well of Prolific Creativity
By Carin Chea
It is very apt that David Matthews should write about a baseball phenom in his upcoming novel Texas Heat.
Matthews is an abundantly prolific writer, and that's putting it mildly. Much like the protagonist in Texas Heat, Matthews is disciplined and unrelenting in the pursuit of his passions.
He typically spends an average of 12 hours a day writing, which proves the point - it doesn't necessarily take a fellow athlete to understand the mind of a baseball legend; it takes a dedicated writer.
I understand you graduated from Los Angeles Film School. Are you a filmmaker by trade?
I started out as an actor. I've written screenplays, teleplays. I'm working on my 9th novel right now. Since 1994, it has been me literally sitting in front of a Mac and writing constantly. I write anywhere between 10 to 12 hours a day, every day.
My brain doesn't shut off, so I go to sleep around 10 pm, and I wake up at 3 am. I sit in front of my computer until my wife and kids wake up. I always carry a tablet with me at all times so I can write ideas down. Sometimes it looks like chicken-scratch until I sit in front of the computer and it all just comes out.
My 9th book is this crazy, wild commercial fiction book called Heroes and Heroin. It's an extremely exaggerated version of my life in high school. I was a very bad kid in high school. But, I've grown up.
In just 9 days of writing, Heroes and Heroin is sitting at 68,500 words right now. My dad has always called me a machine. He says I can take a tiny little topic and turn it into a 300-page book.
Have you always been a writer?
Since my senior year of high school, it has been constant. I got very tired of the acting scene around 1994 or 1995. I had been in it from the age of 5 to 17. My agents wanted me to go to LA for pilot season, but my parents didn't want me to because they were scared I might get into drugs or something like that.
Most of the things I write about take place in Texas, the east coast, or California - places I know a lot about. I love surfing, so I went to California for film school. I would classify myself as a writer. I started writing poetry at about 11 or 12. It was dark, emotional poetry, which was really strange because I had such a good upbringing. My mom and dad are the best parents you could ask for. I guess I liked danger. And now, I have an array of stories that just sit there.
I have a step-daughter who has 22q, which means the 22nd chromosome is deleted. She looks like a normal girl, and you'd never know she has issues. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. In January 2020, she will be undergoing her 5th open-heart surgery.
I have a new series I'm writing called The Normals. All this pain and torture my wife and I have been through, we want to put it out there. It's like This Is Us, but on acid. We show the audience our first meeting. We met on a single-parents website. When we first got together, I was going through a massive custody battle with my ex for my daughter and son.
What was the impetus to write Texas Heat?
I started writing this thing in 2010, and originally as a TV series. At the time, the Houston Astros was the worst team. I decided that, as the team wasn't getting any love from the fans, they needed encouragement.
Texas Heat is about a young man who has to bury his mother and father at the age of 12. He gets adopted by his uncle and aunt, living the fantastic life until they move to Hessburgh, TX. He finds out that his biological uncle was a big-time gambler and is possibly behind the death of his family.
During this time, he's having an affair with his high school English teacher. There are 6 books that go through this journey, and I'm done with the first three.
I had my first book signing the other week, and someone asked me how I come up with so much stuff. Writing is not a difficult process. Writing is easier than dealing. Sometimes we need a break from real life.
One of the things I feel that I truly have is originality. A lot of originality seems to have gone out of Hollywood. Hollywood is dying for some new blood, and I feel I am that new blood. Baseball is not as popular as it used to be. We're feeling the sting of our national pastime no longer being our national pastime.
Tell us about your book's protagonist, Avry Harris. Is he based on anyone you know in real life?
Avry has a little bit of myself, and also a few friends that I know. Texas Heat is a metaphor for life. We've all felt like giving up. There's always something in our lives trying to bring us down. Here's this kid who lost his parents in a severe car accident and he perseveres and turns into the greatest pitcher of all time.
Avry's also a conglomerate of all of my favorite pitchers that I watched growing up, up until the present day. I'm a huge Houston Astros fan. One thing that makes this a really crazy fictional story is that he can throw a 106-mph fastball.
But, this is a completely fictional story. No one is copied off of everyone else. They're designs of my own. This book is wild. It will really make you think, especially the relationship between Charlie [his high school English teacher] and Avry. I put that in the book because that's something that happened to me.
But, for Avry, it turns out as something different. By book four of the series, Avry and Charlie are together. Charlie will be pregnant with Avry's twins.
I'm currently working on book four of the Texas Heat series. I'm about 50 pages into it. Avry gets screwed over 9 ways from Sunday. He has mobsters trying to take him down. It's an insane journey this guy takes. We get a little bit of baseball. We get a lot of romance. And, we get a lot of life lessons. People who have bought the book have told me it works for both men and women.
Are there any other projects you are working on you'd like our readers to know about?
The Dark of Knight, the live-action Batman TV series, is one of my proudest achievements. It's a storyline that has never been told. It has the same background, where Bruce's parents are killed after a Broadway show. But, what happens after that is something no one has ever envisioned, which is his involvement in the League of Shadows.
In The Dark of Knight, Bruce Wayne, at the age of 14, makes his first kill for the League of Shadows. When Bruce returns to Gotham as an adult, we get to see him develop his first batmobile and his first 3 bat suits.
We also meet the Joker and his friends, the people he works with, and we discover why he does that he does. It's significantly different from the Joaquin Phoenix Joker. This is beyond anything we could ever dream of seeing.
It took me a decade to get it where I wanted it, and other than The Normals and Texas Heat, is the best thing I've ever written.
Who would play Avry Harris if Texas Heat was made into a movie?
Avry is one of the toughest characters to cast. It would have to be someone who has a baseball background. But, off the top of my head, Jared Padalecki is someone I like. Debbie Ryan would play Charlie. Francis Bean could also play Charlie.
For the latest updates on David Matthews' current and upcoming projects and events, please visit DavidMatthewsWriter.com.
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