What is your book all about?
What happens when two wounded people with secrets come together and fall in love?
That is the question of Not Famous, my debut contemporary romance novel.
Written from the male point-of view, the story is told by Nick, who’s depressed and humiliated after his girlfriend confesses her infidelity after he proposes to her. When he finally decides he is ready to “get back out there” he meets a barista named Alli. Although socially awkward and naïve, Alli is an ambitious, and extremely talented a singer/songwriter trying to make a name for herself in Boston’s indie music scene.
But, Nick, still wounded by his failed relationship, becomes extremely jealous of a fellow musician who offers to help Alli record an album. Alli also has a mind-blowing secret, something that could make or break her career—not to mention their relationship.
Enthusiastic reviewers have called Not Famous a “brilliant, uplifting debut novel” for its “pitch-perfect story” and “well-developed characters that … tug at the heartstrings.”
What inspired you to write the book?
Lots of people talk about “writing a book one day,” and for years, I was no different. I had ideas for stories but never really felt confident enough to write them down, but at one point I decided “Why not?” and gave it a shot.
I’d been a fan of the novels of Nick Hornby and Jonathan Tropper for several years, and, unfortunately, they just weren’t writing new novels fast enough. So, it seemed like a good reason to try.
What is your target audience for the book?
I consider myself to be a lad-lit author. Lad-lit novels are typically about young men and their emotional and personal lives, and generally are considered to target young male readers. However, women typically read more than men, and I’ve found a large percentage of my readers are women, and that’s okay. I’ve had both male and female readers reach out to me to say how much they enjoyed Not Famous, so even though I still consider myself a lad-lit author, Authors’ Lounge readers will find my novels do have wider appeal than just male readers.
What do you hope readers could get out of your book?
Not Famous is a story that can be a lot of different things to different people, and it’s been an honor to see readers respond positively to my work. Putting a novel out there for the world to read can be a scary thing. I told a story I wanted to tell and knowing that so many have enjoyed it is an amazing feeling. One recent review on Amazon called it “a story that I will never forget.” I hope everyone who reads it feels the same way, and I’d like thank Authors’ Lounge for giving me the opportunity to talk about the book with your audience.
What are your future goals/plans for the book?
Not Famous took me seven years to finish, and I honestly was so thrilled that I actually completed the novel that for a while I felt that it was enough for me. Just get it out there, and see what happens. Of course, what I found out rather quickly was that it was difficult not to write more. As much as I wanted to revisit the characters, I didn’t really have any desire to do a sequel, but instead, I decided to make it a series and wrote another novel set in the same universe. I’ve now written three books in the series, with a fourth on the way. Each book since Not Famous features some character crossovers.
And something more about yourself.
I’m a marketing professional in my forties who finds time to write contemporary fiction novels on the side. You can find out more about me and my novels at my website MatthewHanover.com and catch me on Twitter @MatthewHanover.