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6 Things You Should Know About Matthew Betley

In the hopes of you getting to know me a little more intimately than my BIO, here are some things you should know about me:

  1. I’m a recovering alcoholic.  There’s a reason that Logan West is a relapsing alcoholic.  While I have 7+ years of sobriety and never relapsed – I still take it one day at a time – I wanted to give Logan the same issue that I struggled with for years and millions of others continue to struggle with each day.  As a result of my sobriety, I’m brutally honest with myself and others, often to such an extent that people who don’t know me might not believe me when I provide direct feedback or answer questions honestly.  Regardless, none of you would have ever heard of Logan West had it not been for my decision to face my problem head-on, fortunate that the Marine Corps gave me the opportunity to deal with it through an outpatient rehab program in the military to which I self-referred.  I didn’t get a DUI or arrested for some kind of bar fight – I just realized I was heading in the wrong direction that could only end in tombstone.
  2. I spent 10 years as a Marine officer.  Yes.  It’s true – I even once commanded a scout sniper platoon more than 15 years ago in what feels like a different lifetime.  I searched for the hardest military occupational specialty I could find and was privileged to be given the chance to get it.  During the first two and a half years of my Marine Corps, I had non-stop tactical training in one form or another.  While I thrived in that kind of environment, I can honestly say that I wasn’t the best Marine officer I could be.  I wasn’t what we called our “10 percent” by any stretch of the imagination, but I didn’t maximize my potential as a result of being a functioning alcoholic.  (I also wasn’t running around doing the things that Logan West is doing in the books.  It is fiction, which is why it can be dramatized.)  Ironically, it wasn’t until I got sober towards the end of my 10 years that I truly realized what it meant to be a Marine, to be a part of something larger than myself, where it truly is about the Marines you’re privileged to serve with and – if you’re lucky – lead.  There is no doubt I could have been a better leader and officer, and that is something that I try to remedy by who I am and how I act today.  I joke that I’m a better, more fit Marine officer now than when I was in, and the truth in that statement is a result of finally getting sober and recognizing the bond that all Marines share, no matter when or for how long they served.
  3. I’m incredibly sarcastic.  If you’ve read the book, I’m John Quick on a day-to-day basis.  The Logan West side of me only comes out when I’m truly outraged, which unfortunately feels like a perpetual state of being as a result of the way the world is today.  There is no topic off-limits to my sarcasm, often to my family and friends’ chagrin.  Fortunately, they’re all very tolerant.  🙂
  4. I have no formal English literature or Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing.  I never thought I’d be an author.  Ever.  I was on vacation in 2009 with my now-wife, had been sober for 6 months, and was reading a best-selling thriller that had me bored to tears.  I literally – there’s that adverb again – turned to my wife and said, “I can write a better book than this.”  A year later, after obsessing about it and fleshing out a story in my head, I started Overwatch and wrote a five-year plan on a small whiteboard on my refrigerator.  It just took that one thought, bouncing relentlessly around my head until the physical compulsion took over.
  5. I do not take my self seriously.  No.  Really!  I’ve had a serious life and done some very serious things, but at my age (44) and with a little sobriety under my belt, I’ve realized that life is just too damn short not to enjoy it.  You can’t do that if you’re walking around angry and resentful all of the time or think the world revolves around you (me) – it doesn’t.  Trust me – I lived that way for years, and it wasn’t until I looked at my priorities and how I was acting that I realized what a self-centered jackass I was.  It takes the joy out of the world, which can already be cruel and horrific as is.  There’s no need to make it worse with bad behavior.
  6. Lastly – and most importantly – all of this is about you, the reader.  It’s not about me.  I truly believe that.  At the end of the day, what matters most is the experience you have reading my books.  If that’s extremely positive, then I’ve done my job.  If it’s not, then I’ll try harder next time.  No author starts writing a book, saying to his or herself, Okay.  Let’s shoot for lackluster mediocrity this time around!  You can do it!  Since I know each reader can be a critic, I have to have thick skin, and I can take it.  Unfortunately, critics can be cruel, not realizing how personal writers can take things, but that’s part of the deal.  I’m a big boy, and I signed up for this ride along with you.  It is a two-way street.  Fortunately, 10 years in the Marine Corps thickened my hide, and I’ll try not to let my one feeling get hurt.  🙂

I hope this is at least slightly illuminating as to who your Logan West cruise director is (not Julie; sorry).  And as always – enjoy the ride!

Matt

36 Comments

  1. Mark on October 19, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Excited for you!

  2. Bobby on October 22, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Just want to say Good Job on OVERWATCH.. #Macy’s

  3. Guy Rollins on October 30, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Can’t wait for the for the Book Matt. Definitely at the top of my list.

  4. Patrick on January 19, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Looking forward to your appearance in Sykesville in a few weeks!

  5. Howard on March 19, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Good book, just finished it. Any plans for a second? Seems to be set up for one. Any way to be notified when it comes out,,, if it comes out.

    • Matthew Betley on April 13, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      Howard,
      Book two, First Shot, is already in the second stage of copy editing for March 2017.
      It’s ready to roll. 🙂
      I’m glad you enjoyed this one.
      Matt

      • Sandi Sack on September 17, 2016 at 7:53 pm

        Thank you. I just finished Over Watch and could not put it down. I wanted to know the same thing. Will look for the book then.

        • Matthew Betley on September 19, 2016 at 4:44 pm

          Thanks, Sandi. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Oath Of Honor will be out 14 March 2017, and it’s more intense, more emotional, and more action-packed than Overwatch. 🙂

  6. Jeff on March 31, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Just finished ‘Overwatch’, hope there’s a lot more to come. Semper Fi!

  7. Mark on April 20, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Bengals stink… Overwatch good… Golf fun.. You – great leader, no matter what state you were in when I served under you.

  8. Jenny Milchman on April 26, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Looking forward to reading your debut! Congrats on a hard-won book–and life.

  9. DOm on May 2, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Just curious,
    Logan was a member of Force Recon. I know you said you were a part of a Scout Sniper platoon; where you a member of a Recon team? Did you attend Recon school?

    • Matthew Betley on May 2, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      I did not go through ARS. I had an all-too-brief command of a scout sniper platoon after I attended the infantry officer course, the scout sniper platoon commander’s course (a shortened version of scout sniper school with the same FINEX, at least back in 2001), and then a bunch of other schools. Since a scout sniper platoon was the reconnaissance asset organic to an infantry battalion, there was no point, as ARS was for Marines going into Recon Battalion or Force Reconnaissance Company. Several of my Marines ultimately ended up there, and I had several friends who were platoon commanders in recon. I hope that answers your question, and thanks for asking it.

  10. Vicky N. on May 3, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I am SO impressed that this is your first book. I can’t say that I am as familiar with modern warfare as my time in service was quite some time ago, but you were able to draw me into the environment with ease. I am so very excited for you and look forward to more of your work, which I will devour and recommend to all my patrons who enjoy the same genre.
    Thank you again for the good read!

    • Matthew Betley on May 3, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      Thanks, Vicky. I’m thrilled you loved it. I also saw your review on Amazon, and I really appreciate it. As a debut author, even with such a fabulous house as Simon & Schuster with Emily Bestler Books – home of Brad Thor and Vince Flynn – I can use all the Amazon and Goodreads reviews I can get. Again, thank you and stay tuned! Book two is already in production!

  11. Cordelia on May 6, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE

    Thanks also for the absorbing read, SLAINTE on your future and hope for more and more gripping books

    • Matthew Betley on May 8, 2016 at 6:33 am

      Thanks, Cordelia. I’m glad you enjoyed the ride. Stay tuned for book two. 🙂

  12. Jan Phillips on May 8, 2016 at 2:29 am

    hi Mr. Betley,

    Just finished your book…purchased at Barnes & Noble.
    Wanted to say that I LOVE your character LOGAN and John too!
    Wanted to thank you for a great read, look forward to reading more stories about Logan and John!
    Cheers,
    Jan Phillips

    • Matthew Betley on May 8, 2016 at 6:34 am

      Thanks, Jan. Even though I describe my novels as roller coaster action thrillers, it’s still all about the characters. Book two takes that even further. I’m glad loved it. Thank you!

  13. Rick on May 15, 2016 at 12:49 am

    Wow….you really did it Bengal Boy. You know I never doubted it would happen. Congratulations ! I haven’t read it yet…but I will very soon. Wishing you continued success.

    • Matthew Betley on May 15, 2016 at 6:25 am

      Thanks, Rick. It’s been a wild ride. I’m glad you’re still out there. 🙂 And now I’m Angry Bengal Boy – at the Bengals organization – after the abominable way the season ended and the fact that they gave Lewis an extension and did nothing to Burfect or Pacman. That front office is the epitome of bad leadership and cheap, antiquated thinking.

  14. Catherine on June 5, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Matt, I iften wonder what horrors war inflict upon those who serve so valiantly. My uncle, who served in the Navy, was on the first ship to last after the A-bomb. When he came home to us he was not the same person who left us! The war changed him dramatically. He never really talked about it, and we loved him too much to ask. One thing I do remember him saying was that the blood was so far out to sea that they floated in it all the way in. He said he will never forget the sights and suffering that greeted them! He was also affected by the levels of radiation that were still present when they landed, and his health deteriorated because if it.
    Your characters in “Over Watch” reminded me of him! Only someone who understands could have written this book!!! I read Over Watch when it first came out and just read it again!
    Our veterans deserve our every day appreciation and we need to understand the continuous horrors they experience and carry with them throughout their lives. I have tears in my eyes…..but they are tears of appreciation! Great book….great writing!
    Catherine

    • Matthew Betley on June 5, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      Thank you, Catherine, for the very thoughtful sentiments. I’m glad that the book – although an action thriller – had the impact on an emotional level that I hoped it would. Your uncle sounds like he saw quite the sights, and no one who saw that could remain unaffected. While today’s threats are different, they are no less horrific than WWII. I feel horribly for young servicemen and women being sent to the Middle East and Afghanistan as part of a “holding” force – it’s unconscionable. IMHO, we should be either all-in or not at all. The half-assed approach to warfare only gets our troops killed or wounded. And as horrific as it was for your uncle, I’m sure he understood that harsh reality and the need to drop the bomb. Regardless, I’m thrilled the novel had such an impact. I will tell you that Oath Of Honor, finished and ready for March 2017, is more intense, more emotional, and more action-packed. Follow me on Twitter or my fan Facebook page for updates. 🙂 And again, thanks for the kind note – it made my day. Take care. Matt

    • Matthew Betley on June 5, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      Almost forgot – Google “Matthew Betley Memorial Day Speech,” if you haven’t already. I guarantee you’ll appreciate it.

  15. Mike on August 30, 2016 at 12:17 am

    Matt,

    What a great book, can’t wait for next one. Bought on iBooks.
    Coming up on 2 yrs in program, escaping into your novel and getting a reminder at same time made my days better. Thank you for writing it……….Mike

    • Matthew Betley on September 19, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Thanks, Mike. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Keep taking it one day at a time, and the time will start to pile up. Best, Matt

  16. Marco on November 18, 2016 at 5:45 am

    Hey Matthew,

    awesome, thrilling book. Just read it the last days as a proofreader for the publishing company, which will release it over here in Germany early 2017. Still looking for a German title – any special wishes? 😉

    Best regards,
    Marco

    • Matthew Betley on November 24, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Thanks, Marco. I’m glad you loved it. Standby for Oath Of Honor, which makes Overwatch feel like a slow boat to China (which might no longer be politically correct in today’s day & age; who knows) when it comes to emotion, intensity, and action. And S&S should be in touch with you regarding the title. Happy Thanksgiving!

  17. Jon on November 21, 2016 at 11:49 am

    On alcoholism, it seems the Corps is a conducive environment for functional alcoholism. I too saw myself going down a path of destruction during my time in the infantry (filthy squid Corpsman here). On that note, bravo Zulu Sir. I was referred by a nurse at the VA ER and I look forward to reading the series. Out of curiosity, when were you in Djibouti?

    Semper Fi,
    Doc

    • Matthew Betley on November 24, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Doc,
      First, thanks for your time as a corpsman. One of my two went on to become a SEAL. Dude was hard, but then again, his dad was a Marine O6. 🙂
      I was a plank holder for CJTF-HOA and helped set up Camp Lemonier from the USS MOUNT WHITNEY from Dec 2002 to July 2003.
      For me – since I didn’t realize I was a highly-functioning alcoholic before the Marine Corps – I was attracted to the ultimate work-hard-play-hard environment. Hope you’re situation is good. I’ll have 8 years sober in March 2017.
      Thanks the VA nurse for me for the recommendation.
      Happy Thanksgiving!
      S/F,
      Matt

      • R.G. Ray on April 10, 2017 at 11:15 pm

        I just finished Oath of Honor and read Over Watch. Both, outstanding books Matt! I look foward to the next book in the series, I can’t wait.

        Semper Fi, Marine!

        Ooh Rah!

        3533
        7th Motors
        7th Engineers
        Schools Batallion
        76-82

        • Matthew Betley on April 17, 2017 at 6:33 pm

          Semper Fi, R.G. That’s awesome. I’m glad you enjoyed them both. I just finished writing this weekend the third one for next March. I’m a bit ahead of the power curve. 🙂 Hope things are good and stable on the west coast. Stay in touch, Marine. S/F, Matt

  18. LB on August 11, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Just started reading OATH OF HONOR and can’t put it down.

    • Matthew Betley on August 19, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      I’m thrilled to hear it. Thanks for hopping onboard the Logan West Train. Buckle up, and stand by for FIELD OF VALOR for Memorial Day 2017. 🙂

  19. norman degutis on August 23, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    read both books, loved them both. I was also an officer in the service,Army 1st lt. infantry,one tour viet nam. thank you for your service. one question I have for you is when is the next book coming out?

    • Matthew Betley on August 23, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Thanks, Norm, for your service, especially during such a trying time for our country. I’m glad you loved the books, and FIELD OF VALOR is finished and in production for a Memorial Day 2018 release, AND I’m about to start writing book four for 2019. So standby to standby, as we say in the Marine Corps. 🙂

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