From alumni to author


Matt Anderson, Contributor

I started at UW-Whitewater back in 2006 after I graduated from Monona Grove High School and switched my major around multiple times. I first was in journalism, then went to broadcast journalism, then physical education, and then went to public relations. I always had an interest in writing. I actually got into writing back when I was seven-years-old. I remember my aunt giving me a shiny, ball point, pen in this little pristine case for Christmas and I kind of just got interested in writing all the time. I would write little short stories and send them to another aunt of mine who lived in Florida and she always inspired me to write and give me feedback and we would do that about every month or so, just go back and forth. That eventually got me interested in writing for my high school newspaper so I started writing for them as well. 

I’ve always been a big fan of Steven King books and they gave me that interest to write a manuscript. So my book that is coming out now – I actually started writing when I was 18. It is a thriller novel about three teenagers and they all have promising futures for college. They have this interest in stealing street signs, so that they can decorate their college apartment. They don’t expect anything really serious to happen, but then it does and they have to face the consequences. I feel like this book is inspired by ‘Stand By Me,’ which is the film adaptation of the ‘The Body’ by Steven King. I hadn’t finished it for about 15 years, but then about two years ago I decided to finish it. 

I graduated from UW-W in 2010 and I’m 34 now. I really wanted to reach out and talk about my book to inspire young adults who are just getting into the weeds of what they want to do with their futures. A lot of artists like writers, painters etc. just want to inspire creativity. I think everyone has a talent and I just want to encourage everyone to explore other avenues to promote those talents and their well being especially during this time. The pandemic has made it really hard for people to find a job and so I just want to give a voice to those students who may be struggling to go out and chase their dreams. Sometimes it takes difficult circumstances to figure out what you want to be.