Writing to Success: Matthew Betley

“He never imagined it would go this far, although it was always his intent from the beginning. Thunder Road Pictures and producer Braden Aftergood are set to make a movie based off of the thrilling book OVERWATCH, the first in the Logan West thriller series by Marine Corps veteran Matthew Betley.

It all goes back to one extremely boring book. While reading a “thriller” while on vacation, Matt got frustrated, turned to his wife, and said, “I could do a better job than this.”  And so he did. 

The year was 2009, and Matt was slated for his next command-level school for the Marine Corps, but he was miserable. As a newly-recovering alcoholic, he needed to move forward. He had chosen the Marine Corps instead of law school in 1999, and life hadn’t quite turned out how he had liked at the time. He needed to change, he wanted to change. It all started with that one boring book. A year later Matt sat down and heeded the advice he gives to aspiring writers today. 

“You have to decide what you want to write and what is your goal.  Everything you do should be designed to help you accomplish whatever that is.”

Matt Betley

Within 18 months, he had the rough draft for OVERWATCH. It was a methodical and regimented process. Publishers go through hundreds and thousands of manuscripts, rejecting 99% of them.  The odds were stacked against Matt, but he pushed on, knowing full well the cathartic release that writing can have. It allows for all of the inner turmoil to be released onto paper. The authenticity, the grittiness, the inherently angry release all pours out onto the pages like keys unlocking shackles on the mind.

The perseverance paid off. Thunder Road Pictures intends to bring to the big screen the creative and therapeutic product of a man who wanted to be better and to be more than what he was. We asked Matt that if he could choose, whom would he pick to play his main characters, Logan West and John Quick.  “In the beginning, I envisioned an angry Chris Evans – think SNOWPIERCER – but as the books have evolved, I’d love to see someone like Chris Pine for Logan West and Jon Bernthal as John Quick.  I think that would be a powerful dynamic.”

Matthew Betley

The last bit of advice Matt had for aspiring writers, “Have thick skin, be comfortable with rejection – you’ll get plenty of it – and have a plan B, C, D…and maybe E.  Just never give up.”

“For more, you can follow Matt on Twitter at @MatthewBetley.  Additionally, the mass market paperback of his second novel, OATH OF HONOR (with a bad-ass Eagle, Globe, & Anchor on the cover) comes out 24 April, and his next hard cover thriller, FIELD OF VALOR, drops right before Memorial Day on 22 May.

Know what we're sayin fam?

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