We have recently seen another festive St. Patrick’s day pass by. AuthorHouse thought it would be fitting to prolong this year’s feast by featuring an author with Celtic blood, Matthew Smith Jr.
Whenever South Boston (or Southie as it is commonly coined) gets mentioned, one can’t help but think of seedy bars with objectionable characters, Irish-American accents, illegitimate business dealings, and Hollywood films such as Departed and The Town.
As untoward as all this sounds, there’s no denying that there is a candid attraction to the mystique of the Southie underworld, as Mr. Smith will attest to.
Mr. Smith resides in Northern California, a devoted husband to his beautiful wife and proud father to four wonderful children. Although he holds down a full-time job, his strong ties with South Boston, his pure love for writing, his infatuation with crime genre books, and inspiration from authors such as Dennis Lehane and Chuck Hogan have provided him with the motivation to find the time to pen his first novel, Celtic Thugs.
He describes his novel as a story set in the early 1900s. ‘It starts out with the main character, Anthony Griffin, in deep thought about the ugly life that he has lived and the horrible person he has become. As he does, he reflects back through his life, all the way back to his time as a kid running around on the streets of South Boston, his introduction into the Irish mob, his long stint in prison, his rise to power when he is finally back on the streets, finding the woman of his dreams, falling in love with her, and waging war on rival mobsters from the North End.’
It is evident that Irish-Americans hold great pride and prestige in their ancestry. Irish customs and traditions were one of the richest and most distinctive in Europe; however, assimilation in America throughout the 1900s and the homogenization of Western cultures throughout the world has rendered much of these customs obsolete. When writing his book, Mr. Smith wanted his audience to observe ‘the rich Irish culture of the characters at that time in America, such as the Irish language and Irish traditions.’
With regard to his self-publishing experience with AuthorHouse, he was extremely surprised at the efficiency and simplicity of the whole process, so much so that he has already begun the sequel to Celtic Thugs, which concentrates on the next generation of Griffins. His book marketing arrangements consist of a number of book signings and plans to attend the LA Book Festival to get his name out there.