The day I have hoped, worked, and waited for has come.
West Of Independence by Matthew Deane (that's me!) is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You do not need a Kindle or a Nook to purchase and read them. You can use the free readers for PC, MAC, Iphone, Ipad, and other devices. I have also ordered a proof of the printed version, stay tuned for its availability.
I sent the following emails to two people that were instrumental in making this dream a reality, in spite of the fact that I haven't seen either one of them in more than 20 years.
To my College Freshman English Professor
Hi College English Professor, my name is Matthew Deane. I was a freshman at UNH in 1992, and you were my English Professor. I had just returned from spending two years as a missionary in Paraguay, and for your class I wrote some terrible essays about the experience. You may recall my description of a beautiful Latin girl's eyes as being big, black, and cow-like. How romantic and literary...
Nevertheless, you were very kind and encouraging. I had never really believed in myself, and your faith was inspiring. I have never forgotten your kindness, or your unique way of teaching. You cared, and it has stuck with me.
One afternoon, you walked through the classroom door just as I was climbing in the second floor window. Rather than call the campus police, you asked me what was outside the window, and if I thought we could have class out on the roof. "We could," I said, and so we did. Other memories include your guitar playing, the day you shaved your beard and waited for us to notice it (details, people, details!), and forcing us to think so far outside the box that we couldn't even see it anymore. It is because of you that I suffer severe allergies to cliche, adverbs, and over-used metaphors.
I still have my "Writing Down the Bones" book.
The very last words you said to me were "You can write a good book, I know you can." I promised you that I would, and that you would one day read a good book that I had written.
It has taken twenty years, all of them filled with more experience than I often care to ponder, but after several failed starts I wrote what I believe to be an excellent work, and I hope that you read it.
With thanks for your belief in a student that had a big wish but very little talent with which to make it come true,
To my High School English Teacher
Hello Mr. High School English Teacher, my name is Matthew Deane. I was a student in a few of your classes back in the late 80's. I was quiet, nervous, and awkward, but for an hour each day inside your classroom, I was transformed into a happy and hopeful young writer that paid no mind to his insecurities.
You probably don't remember the piece I wrote about why I thought a nuclear missile silo should have been installed in my backyard. In it I promised the government that I would avoid eating too many Twinkies and getting a sugar high that would send me running to the launch button. I also collaborated with a few students on a story about a limo-driving revenge killer at the Senior Prom. We had a lot of fun with that one, and with your encouragement we included a great deal of blood and mayhem. I had a serious crush on one of the girls that worked on the story with me. Her name was Heather. I thought she was perfect, but she thought she was in love with some tall blonde with a weird French name.
I loved your class, and since then I have dreamed of becoming a writer. Years of insecurity and a lack of initiative stood in my way. It wasn't "Writer's Block" however, because you taught me that it doesn't exist.
And it doesn't.
It took a long time, several failed starts, and some serious life experience, but I have done it. I have written a book, and I think it is very good. I hope that you want to read it.
I just wanted to let you know that you inspired me. It has been more than twenty-five years, but I have not forgotten you.
With thanks for the time and attention you gave to a young student with big dreams and very little faith in himself,