Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Eric Matheny of The Victim - #interview

In the spring of 2003 on a desolate stretch of Arizona highway, Anton Mackey’s life was changed forever.  A reckless decision to get behind the wheel when he was in no condition to drive spawned a moment that threatened to destroy everything the 21 year-old had spent his life working toward.  In an instant, Anton made a decision to save himself.  A decision that claimed the lives of two people.

Eleven years later, Anton is a rising star in the Miami criminal defense community.  He is married and has an infant daughter.  He is earning a good living and steadily building a name for himself as an aggressive advocate for the accused.  Anton shares an office with veteran defense attorney, Jack Savarese.  A mentor of sorts, Anton strives to model his practice – and career – after Jack’s.  A Miami criminal defense legend, Jack’s accomplishments in the courtroom are second to none.  However, Jack remains burdened by the conviction of Osvaldo Garcia, a mentally-ill client from ten years earlier found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for the death of a troubled teen.

When Daniella Avery, the beautiful wife of a man accused of a heinous act of domestic violence, comes into Anton’s office seeking his services, Anton thinks he’s landed a great case with a great fee.  But when he succumbs to temptation, he realizes that Daniella is a figure from his past.

Anton finds himself caught between the possibility of being exposed and the fact that his client – Daniella’s husband – may be an innocent pawn in the victim’s attempt to carry out her revenge against Anton.  As Anton struggles to balance defending his client while concealing the secret he has sought to forget, he uncovers the truth behind what really happened on that highway eleven years earlier.  The truth that may be connected to the conviction of Osvaldo Garcia.



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’s 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 experience working 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 a tense, 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.

Readers can connect with him on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

To learn more, go to


1.  How did you get from lawyer to writer?

More like writer to lawyer.  I was writing before I even went to law school.  After discovering legal thrillers, however, I realized that I wanted to write books about police and prosecutors.  I think the fictionalized versions of what real police and prosecutors do is fascinating.  I loved being a prosecutor myself and would have stayed if the pay wasn't so bad.

2.  What's the best thing about living where you do?

It is calm, serene, and beautifully manicured.  I live in a community very much like the one that Anton and Gina live in in THE VICTIM.  It's far enough away from the city while not being so isolated that we can't go to the beach or to a nice restaurant on Las Olas (I live outside of Fort Lauderdale).  I also have two young boys so it's an ideal neighborhood for children.

3.  If you could invite any writer from history for supper and conversation, what would be on the menu and about what topic(s) would you chat?

It would have to be Will Beall, who is not necessarily part of history since he is still alive and well, but he is the author of my favorite novel of all time, L.A. REX.  We would eat bone-in ribeye's, salt-crusted potatoes, and caesar salad with homemade garlic croutons and really good dressing.  We would open several bottles of cabernet and I would pick his brain as to how he conceptualized the grittiest gangster/cop story ever written.

4.  Tell us one location in the world you would like to visit that you haven't already.

I would love to visit Tokyo.  I have never been to Japan, or Asia for that matter.

5.  Do you have any pets?

Two dachshunds, Napoleon and Leo, and one rat terrier, Caesar.

7.  Say one of your children comes to you one night and says, "Dad, I want to be a writer, too!"  What advice would you give them?

Make sure you have a "real" job in addition to writing.  I don't mean that disparagingly.  Becoming a writer who can sustain him or herself without any outside employment is like becoming an A-list actor.  Very few writers make it to the absolute top of the profession.  Most of us write but we have day jobs that pay the bills.  My oldest son, John, is just starting to discovery the Hardy Boys and is really into mysteries.  Maybe he will write.  I will do everything in my power to foster that interest but at the same time, I do not want him to put all of his eggs in one basket.  If I could ever write full-time and earn the kind of money I make as a lawyer, I would love it.  But that type of success is rare.  You always want to pursue creative endeavors while being practical.  Nobody wants to be a starving artist.

8.  Which writers have influenced your work?

I read a ton as a young kid, specifically Judy Blume.  She was and still is amazing.  Hunter S. Thompson was probably the first writer, though, whose work I fell in love with as a teenager.  I loved his style and raw prose.  In college I discovered John Grisham.  I have read about twenty of his books.  I have also been heavily influenced by Michael Connelly, Phillip Margolin, Lisa Scottoline, Stephen Hunter, Dean Koontz Stephen King, Jesse Kellerman, and Sonny Barger (Dead In Five Heartbeats is incredible).  Above all, Colin Harrison (The Havana Room, Manhattan Nocturne) and Will Beall (L.A. Rex) have shaped the way I write.

9.  What are the near future plans for "Eric Matheny, Author"?

Very busy in my law practice which is why I am not as prolific as I would like to be.  THE VICTIM just came out last month but I am still working on new material.  I have no idea if and when it will get finished but my pace depends on how busy my practice is.  Above all things, I must pay the bills and feed my kids.

10.  Do you have any 'writer's rituals' that you would care to share?  (Favorite snack to eat while writing, lucky coffee mug, that kind of thing.)

Not necessarily, but I never write in the morning without drinking coffee.


Don't forget to check out yesterday's review and giveaway of The Victim right here on my Back Porch!

Many thanks to Book Publicity Services (click the logo to visit their site) for the opportunity to read The Victim and interview the author, Eric Matheny!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This is fascinating, Luann. Great interview too. Thanks for sharing.