Author Spotlight: Eric Matheny
1. Sometimes you read a book and think "Wow, this would make a great movie." To me this was one of those books. I have to ask who would you have to play Anton, Daniella, and Jack if you had to choose the cast? Anton: Taylor Kitsch without a doubt. He matches Anton in terms of age and appearance but he is also a dynamic actor with tremendous range. I thought his performance in Lone Survivor was incredible and I feel he has a mastery of the emotional spectrum necessary to pull of a complex character like Anton. Daniella: Leighten Meester. Not only is she my celebrity crush, I think she has the look and on-screen persona to play both predator and prey. Jack: Dustin Hoffman. Legendary actor with one of the best cinematic performances of all time (Rain Man). Has played a lawyer before - Runaway Jury - and is incredibly likeable, which Jack certainly is. Also has the name recognition to carry a film. 2. I understand that you have worked in law and that helps me understand how this book was so detailed and realistic. To me it was also so complex. How do you keep it all in order? Do you have a process you go by? Or is it just easy because you have worked in law and have seen so much in your work? The technical aspects to the novel were the easiest and the parts where my fingers were typing the fastest. As a practicing defense attorney, I have experienced nearly all of what was portrayed in the courtroom in The Victim. I have tried lots of cases, including murder, and have an almost instinctual understanding of the process. When the courtroom scenes were playing out in my head, I put myself in each character's shoes to think - how would I react? I have been a prosecutor, so I could "play" the role of Sylvia very well. She is much older than I am and far more experienced but I have with and against prosecutors like her, so I could imagine how they would frame their arguments and ask their questions. Also, Sylvia is aggressive and a little vindictive, which I see in prosecutors quite often. As for Judge Sonia Morales, she is a former prosecutor, very pro-prosecution judge, so I simply had to put myself in positions where I have been in front of judges like that. Regarding the order of the story, The Victim was so linear it just sort of flowed without much outlining or forethought. A lot of the plot twists didn't come to me until the moment I introduced them. It was a cerebral experience writing this book. My only fear is that I won't be able to do it time and time again. 3. I have to say that by far Anton was my favorite character. Even with the wrong he did he was also a good person. Who would you say was your favorite character? I loved Anton because of his complexity. Also, we are very similar, which made writing him sort of like writing me, which I guess would explain the depth. We both went to Arizona State. We were both fraternity presidents. We have both been camping in the mountains of Payson. We are both criminal attorneys with young families living in South Florida. Anton was a challenge because he has done wrong but he is still your main character, which means that readers must be able to relate to him. While I loved writing Anton, my favorite character was - and still is - Jack Savarese. I have been dabbling with Jack Savarese for years. I even put him in an unpublished novel that I got about halfway through a few years ago, except in that book Jack was a down-and-out pill addicted has-been. In The Victim, I wanted him to be larger than life. A Roy Black/Tom Mesereau/Johnnie Cochran-level attorney. A guy with an impeccable reputation and resume. He was the resident adult in the room, so to speak. The voice of reason, the calming presence. When everything in Anton's world was falling apart, Jack's wisdom and experience was very comforting. Jack wasn't based on any particular person I know. He is an embodiment of a charming, old school courtroom brawler from a bygone era. I loved writing him. 4. What gave you the inspiration to write such a complex and intriguing read? A true story. A guy I went to college with got into a drunk driving crash and killed two people. The victims' car caught fire and this guy took off on foot. He was caught, tried, and sentenced (26 years in Arizona state prison). But I thought - what if he had gotten away. As a lawyer, I find the fictitious accounts of what we do to be entertaining, so I worked the idea into the framework of a legal thriller. 5. Im a stay at home mom and you seem to be a family man, lawyer, and writer. You seem to have such a full plate. How do you juggle it all? The more you do, I find that you actually have the time to take on more. I get up early, I stay up late, I pace my writing to about 1500-2000 words per day. I love running my own practice, I love writing, and above all, I love my family. When you have things that you love, you find the time.
Eric Matheny was born in Los Angeles, California, where he lived until he went away to college at Arizona State University. At ASU he was president of Theta Chi Fraternity. He graduated with a degree in political science and moved to Miami, Florida, to attend law school at St. Thomas University. During his third year of law school, he interned for the Miami-Dade State Attorney' Office, where he worked as a prosecutor upon graduation. In 2009, he went into private practice as a criminal defense attorney. He is a solo practitioner representing clients in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Broward County, Florida. He has handled everything from DUI to murder.
In his free time, Eric enjoys writing crime fiction, drawing from his experienceworking in the legal system. He published his debut novel Home in 2004, which centers around a successful drug dealer catering to the rich in Orange County. His second novel Lockdown, published in 2005, follows a law student trying to prove that an inmate serving a life sentence in one of California’s toughest prisons might actually be innocent. Eric’s latest novel The Victim, is atense, fast-paced, legal thriller/psychological suspense novel that centers around a young defense attorney whose horrifying misdeed from his college days comes back to haunt him. It was published by Zharmae in August 2015 and is available for sale on Amazon.
Eric lives outside of Fort Lauderdale with his wife and two young sons.
To learn more, go to http://www.ericmathenybooks.com/