Saturday, November 15, 2014


An interview with John Matthews, author of A Game of Greed and Deception.


Hi! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us about your background as an author?

I'm a University Professor teaching English and have a background in creative and technical writing. As an avid movie lover, I started my creative book ideas as screen plays. Then I decided to put my writing experience and creative ideas together to develop novels. I also am working on some non-fiction books.

What got you into writing?

I have always loved written language and have a passion for story telling.

What was the first idea you had for your book, and how did the story grow from there?

I loved the idea of a young, beautiful woman planning to murder her husband for money, but then having him find out and plot revenge. So I decided to have this take place in an isolated cabin in the dead of winter time, with her and his daughter trapped inside. But I did not want to be cliche and developed several more layers to the plot, and nothing is as it seems. I love twists and making the reader guess in a novel. I planned the ultimate game of deception.

Among your characters, who's your favorite? Could you please describe him/her?

Tammy, the main character. She is something....psychotic, manipulative, yet charming and very clever.

What's your favorite scene from your novel? Could you please describe it?

When Tammy serves some tea to her stepdaughter, Maria, with evil intentions. It's quite intense....

What's your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue?

Coming up with a story that will blow the readers mind.

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it?

Six months. My process is: write, edit, review. Write more, edit, review. Repeat 20 times.

What is it about the genre you chose that appeals to you?

I love suspense and thriller that is unpredictable

Are there any books or writers that have had particular influence on you?

Yes, but too many to list here. I could put Stephen King up on the top.

Did you ever surprise yourself when you were writing your book? Characters who took on lives of their own? Plot elements that took unexpected turns?

Yes. The hidden hoard of gold in the underground tunnels. That whole "puzzle" kept developing as the story unfolded.


She was young and beautiful, and recently married to a very wealthy middle-aged man who considered her to be the ultimate woman for him and who held her out as a model for his beloved 10-year-old daughter. They had traveled to a mountain hideaway to celebrate their first year together as a family when things began to unravel. Her husband goes missing after a treacherous car accident, and the wife and daughter are seemingly trapped and isolated, and being stalked while inside the cabin. 

What ensues is the story of a woman driven by her soulless greed and self entitlement, and a man who was wronged and is apparently out to get revenge. This deadly game of cat and mouse will keep you on the edge of your seat. The macabre scenes include deadly traps and medieval torture devices, hidden doors and rooms, and an underground labyrinth of torture chambers built beneath the cabin. Add in the legend of a buried hoard of pure gold bars, and it becomes clear that someone has a much bigger plan in mind and will let nothing get in their way. But who? This is the story of a plot so devious that it is set up to fool the State police investigation. But can it fool you? Keep guessing until the final scene as to what is really going on and let your intuition guide you.


John Mathews is a tenured University Professor of English and living in Rome, Italy. As he moves toward retirement after a long and somewhat stressful career, he feels the desire to break out of the mold and delve into thriller fiction novels which focus on the dark side of human nature, both that which is unfeeling and indifferent to the fate of others and that which derives pleasure and a feeling of power from pain inflicted on them. With a background in dealing with all kinds of people and personal growth and development, he also writes non-fiction books that will inspire, aid, and promote happiness, success, and prosperity for anyone in their life. He believes that every human being has the potential for greatness.

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