The Divining Wand

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Matthew Quick Shines A Writer’s Light

April 20, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Guest Posts

Given that author Matthew Quick (The Silver Linings Playbook releasing in Paperback on April 27, 2010, and SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR YA officially coming May 1, 2010) is also known as “Q,” one would expect that the lone initial refers to his last name. While that’s most likely, after reading Matt’s guest post, a case could be made that “Q” stands for “quirky”…in the very best way!

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Messed-Up Fairy Tales

When Larramie (aka the Author’s Fairy Godmother) asked me to write a guest post, I immediately recalled the words of a filmmaker. Kent Green of Emerald Productions read both my novels in preparation for shooting the SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR book trailer. While planning, he said something like, “Q, I love your work. You write messed-up fairy tales.” I write realistic fiction—no magic, no Fairy Godmothers—but I knew exactly what Kent meant.

My stories have been called quirky. I usually write about people who are overlooked or ignored by others. My protagonists have good hearts and are generally likeable, but they also tend to be people others might label as freaks. The heroes in my novels try to fit into the world and often fail. So my stories are quirky, or as the filmmaker says, messed-up.

A fairy godmother is usually a kindly magical woman who comes to help an overlooked or unfortunate young person. In the case of Cinderella, a goodhearted young woman is down-and-out and seemingly without hope when her fairy godmother shows up and provides an opportunity. Magically, the fairy godmother conjures a carriage, a dress, and slippers. She transforms Cinderella, unyokes her from her low social ranking and highlights Cinderella’s admirable qualities, giving her the courage to attend the ball.

Metaphorically, the fairy godmother shines a light on something beautiful that no one else saw before, and empowers Cinderella.

My new book SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR is about a young woman who constantly finds beauty where others cannot see it. Even though Amber Appleton is homeless and in need herself, she looks after her classmates, performs comedy routines at the old folks’ home, uses R & B music to teach Korean women how to speak English, and trades haikus with a Vietnam War veteran. And in the process, Amber carries a metaphorical light with her everywhere she goes. It is the light of hope. Those who bask in the full glow of Amber’s hopeful outlook cannot help but be transformed for the better. She illuminates the best attributes of many people who were previously unnoticed.

When a fatal tragedy occurs, Amber falters, and falls into a deep depression. Her light goes out. At this point in the story, the people Amber cared for are called upon to be the caregivers, to lend her their collective light and to remind Amber that she can still shine.

I won’t give any spoilers here, but what results may surprise you—perhaps like a messed-up fairy tale would.

In my opinion, it is always the writer’s job to believe in seemingly impossible things and to shine a light on what was previously hidden in darkness. Projecting a light and creating a movie in readers’ minds—one that makes them feel, reflect, and maybe even act—that’s magical to me.

I would like to thank everyone’s favorite literary Fairy Godmother for posting my words here at The Divining Wand.

I hope you will read SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR and I hope it will fill you with a euphoric sense of wonder and goodwill, and maybe even increase your faith in seemingly impossible things.

Please visit me @ http://matthewquickwriter.com

And here again is the SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR book trailer.

6 Comments to “Matthew Quick Shines A Writer’s Light”


  1. The characters in Sorta Like A Rock Star take care of each other, hold each other up. It’s a beautiful book written by a beautiful person. True? True.

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  2. Oooh, that sounds so intriguing. Will have to be looking for that one!

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  3. Nancy Watson says:

    Well, I never thought about why “Q” was your nickname. I do find it funny that I posted this on my Profile about one of your reviews – “Love Amber….but I do love quirky girls. They make life interesting!” True? True.

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  4. Sorta Like A Rock Star is considered a YA book. However, its message and story is so universal that even this 34-year-old male with a penchant for horror movies and punk rock records was left in awe. It leaves you wanting to be a better person.

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  5. Sorta Like A Rock Star is one of those rare books that, when you finish reading it, you sit there for a minute and say, “Wow”. While it is a delightful story filled with wonderful characters and great humor it is also very inspirational without being in your face about it. Amber makes a difference and what better praise can there be than that? Well done, Q, well done.

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  6. Thanks, all! Was fun to stop by The Divining Wand!

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