The Southern Standard’s former high school correspondent has written his first novel, a psychological mystery which he will release Monday before he begins his freshman year at Vanderbilt.
Matthew Austin will debut “As Jamie Saw Things” during his release party at Topz Frozen Yogurt on Main Street from 5 to 7 p.m. this Monday. He will end his week on campus at Vanderbilt University in Nashville where he intends to major in either engineering or English while also working on future books.
“I wrote ‘As Jamie Saw Things’ during my senior year,” Austin said, noting he kept his high marks in school while working on the manuscript at night. “I would do my homework and then I would work on the book, staying up to 2 a.m. some mornings.”
Austin admits his novel will not be an easy read since he challenges the reader to look into the mind of a young boy who is suffering from schizophrenia. The reader sees the world through the mentally ill boy’s eyes as the title character Jamie tries to come to grips with something that has happened to him in his life.
“I’ve always had an interest in psychology,” Austin said, noting he did considerable research into juvenile schizophrenia while writing the novel. “In the book, the mystery is trying to figure out what Jamie has done. It makes you think.”
For Austin, “As Jamie Saw Things” is the first in what he hopes will be many novels. The 126-page debut book will be available for $7 and signed by the author during his Topz appearance Monday. The title can also be found on Amazon and is available for $2.99 in digital form on Kindle.
Austin’s next book, which is to be much longer, will be called “War Story” and will be reminiscent of “Gulliver’s Travels.” The book will follow two countries, one to the north and one to the south, who are engaged in a war and look at what caused their escalation into battle.