I am the international bestselling author of 13 novels. I've sold over 7.5 million books around the world and have done one AMA before. Ask me anything about this book or any of the others, I don't mind!

To grab THE GREAT ZOO OF CHINA, click on this link


Comments: 434 • Responses: 88  • Date: 

TooManyRegrets58 karma

Why did you have to do that to Elizabeth Gant?


Matthew_Reilly41 karma

These are thrillers and it keeps readers on the edge of their seats. That was hard to do, but it had to be done.

bsgordon41358 karma


Im a huge fan of your work, and have read everything you have done, sometimes even twice. I love the Shane Schofield series, as it has a fantastic level of bravery and badassery. But, I love the historical ties (very Indiand Jones-ish) feel of Jack West Jr series. Is there ever a possibility that the two universes could collide, or is that just too much action adventure to behold in one book?

Matthew_Reilly91 karma

I have been working on a mega-crossover idea. It can work...

AzBrah39 karma

Hi Matthew, thanks for doing this AMA!

I heard you are open to the idea of book-to-film adaptations of your novels. I personally would love to see Hover Car Racer turned into film. Which books of yours would you most like to see portrayed on the big screen?

Matthew_Reilly68 karma

I'd love to see all of them! I'd very much like to see the ice station from ICE STATION made into a set. I sold HCR to Disney but they didn't make it.

electricmaster2339 karma

Big Australian fan burning the midnight oil for this AMA. (The second one I've been on.) Over the years, much has been made about the inspiring way in which you secured your publishing deal. Anyway, if Contest was never picked up, and writing professionally was permanently off the cards, do you think you would pursue a career in law, or perhaps something else entirely?

Matthew_Reilly40 karma

Mate, kudos for being up at this ungodly hour! You know, I like to think I still would be writing books if I hadn't been discovered then. I had actually started ICE STATION when CONTEST was discovered in a bookstore. If not, yep, probably law.

bsgordon41328 karma

True fans who follow you know about your Han Solo frozen in carbonite, which you cherish. With your love for Sci-Fi and Story telling in general, have you thought about taking a story line in to space? Or is that a frontier that you are not interested in pursuing?

Matthew_Reilly24 karma

The Han Solo on my wall is my favourite thing! I once wrote a screenplay set in space, with planets fighting planets. It was very cool. No books as yet.

thephysicsguy2221 karma

Hi, I am a big fan of all of your books. I have a couple of quick questions:

  • If you could travel to any time period in your DeLorean where would you go?

  • Are there going to be four more Jack West Jr books?

  • Do Shane Schofield and Jack West Jr exist in the same universe? If so do you think there might be the possibility of a team up book?

Matthew_Reilly36 karma

Egypt in the time of the building of the Great Pyramid -- I wanna see the aliens that built it!! I'm trying to plan out more Jack West books, but it might take a while. And yes, a crossover is a very real possibility as they do exist in the same universe.

Bakkidza12 karma

If those two exist in the same universe, does that apply to any of your other books? Specifically Contest, and how that could apply to the otherworldly aspects of Jack West Jr's series.

Matthew_Reilly31 karma

Not sure about CONTEST. In AREA 7, the plot in TEMPLE is mentioned when the Marines gossip about conspiracy theories at the start!

BlinkHouse1419 karma

If you get the chance to create a film adaptation from any one of your books, which one would you pick? Also, would you dedicate the film to your wife Natalie if you got the chance to? From what I understand she was a major influence on your work.

Thank you for doing this AMA Mr. Reilly!

Matthew_Reilly22 karma

I'd like to see THE GREAT ZOO OF CHINA made as well as it's so timely. And I think a dedication to Natalie would be a good thing to do.

codemastercool19 karma

Hi Matthew! Real happy you're doing this, I missed your last AMA.

First, thanks for everything. I was introduced to your books when I was in the 7th grade (back in 2002) with Temple. And I was hooked! It's been a whole 13 years, I've bought everything you've written so far, and I'm eagerly awaiting delivery of The Great Zoo of China. And I still go back to being that awestruck child each time I read one of your books.

1) I'm sure a lot of people have spoken to you about film adaptations. I'm aware that in the past, Ice Station, Contest and Hover Car Racer were optioned, but never saw fruition. Do you think there comes a point where certain books just can't be adapted to cinema? Does it become an issue of creative control?

2) If you had unlimited resources at your disposal - which book of yours do you think would have the best potential to become a feature film?

Thanks for everything, Matthew! I'm a wildly imaginative 26 year old; and a lot of that is because of the entry of William Race, Shane Schofield and their various literary cohorts.

Matthew_Reilly13 karma

  1. Yes, there does come just such a point. Having movies made out of your novels is not necessarily a good thing. A bad adaptation would be awful for me to see! It wasn't creative control that was an issue for me. It was just the studios. Personnel changes occurred. Regimes come and go. You need all the planets to align for a big-budget movie to get made...plus you need Brad Pitt or Channing Tatum to want to be in it! 2. GREAT ZOO would be awesome. Literally.

lolz4catz16 karma

Hi Matthew, I'm a huge fan! I've read and re-read everyone of your books countless times since I've been about 14 years old and I absolutely love them! I would love to see ALL of your books made into movies, and so my question to you would be, who would you like to see playing the roles of Shane Schofield and Jack West on the big screen?

Matthew_Reilly36 karma

Chris Hemsworth and Chris Hemsworth. If you know him, please send him a copy!

geekybaker1915 karma

Hi from Kingston, Canada. Absolutely love your books! Are you planning on anymore Jack West Jr or Schofield books?? Or are you planning on doing any North American tours that take you up to Canada?

Matthew_Reilly13 karma

I'm heading to Philadelphia and NYC this week (weather permitting), but alas, no Canada at this stage. Now that I am based in the US, quick trips to Vancouver or the east are much more possible now! I'm enjoying writing some new heroes at the moment, but Jack and Scarecrow are always on my mind.

MrUnderlay13 karma

Hey Matthew, thanks for doing this AMA!

As a person that has grown up on your novels, I would like to know if did you have the ending to Five Greatest Warriors established well in advance? And also, can we see a possible return of Jack West Jr?

Matthew_Reilly21 karma

I have a single sheet of paper which has all seven plots listed. But they require the most research of all the novels. He will return. Just give me time.

Jimmybullard11 karma

How do you think ebooks have changed the industry for novelists? Good/bad?

Matthew_Reilly17 karma

They have allowed much more free books to be put out there, allowing readers to try new stuff: I did it myself with ROGER ASCHAM AND THE KING'S LOST GIRL. I love being able to put short stories out there, too. Travellers have led the way -- an iPad or Kindle is much easier to travel with that 10 books. As long as people are reading, I'm cool with it.

eisFace9 karma

Hi Matthew, I've read almost all your books and gotta say I love them. You mentioned in the interview in Scarecrow you might write a book for Aloysius Knight. Is that going to happen? Are you planning to write a book just for Mother?

Keep up the writing mate.

Matthew_Reilly13 karma

Knight might get a short story, to be released for free online (iTunes and Kindle). I like doing that. Maybe not a whole book. Mother will probably always stay with Scarecrow.

theOmnipotentKiller8 karma

As someone who knows nothing about the Great Zoo of China, can you tell what is special about this book?

Matthew_Reilly34 karma

It is a zoo filled with dragons. In China. Today. It's the greatest novel ever written.

OnlyJuanTaco7 karma

Have you ever considered doing a prequel for scarecrow? His earlier exploits as a pilot, maybe even a book from the perspective of the team who rescued him.

Matthew_Reilly10 karma

I have, but I have one problem: we will know that he survives. This is my only issue with prequels.

divadani137 karma

Again from my 3rd grader. Any possibility of a Scarecrow video game? If so, please give each book it's own stage, include all characters and make it available for Xbox 360. (Thanks, Matthew. Your AMA is making our drive from Philadelphia to New Haven seen much shorter.)

Matthew_Reilly6 karma

I've had a couple of video game companies approach me. It's tough. They like to tie a game into a movie, so I might need a movie first. Chicken and egg, sadly.

samc7117 karma

Stick your finger in each of your ears, take them out. Which ear has the most ear wax?

Matthew_Reilly15 karma


no_no_snoots_yo7 karma

I'm a Greenkeeper at Kingsbarns golf links and a massive fan. Would ever consider playing in the Alfred dunhill links championship? Also I re-read ice station whilst sitting in my drivers seat of my warrior apc whilst I was out in Iraq during the 2003 invasion, it kept me going during the quiet times! Can't wait to read the great zoo of China.

Matthew_Reilly8 karma

I've played Kingsbarns. Awesome golf course! Love those holes down by the water. You need some serious connections to get an invite to that -- but I would play IN A HEARTBEAT!!! Glad the book kept you going in Iraq -- that's what they're for, to help you escape. So pleased to hear that. Go Kingsbarns!

BenJovi20156 karma

You gave us The Tournament, Troll Mountain and The Great Zoo Of China in two years which, for you, is fairly prolific! Can we expect this to continue?

Matthew_Reilly9 karma

I went through a bit of a purple patch there. And a really varied patch, too, now that I look at it! Chess, trolls, dragons. I enjoyed getting away from the sequels, too. Be prepared for some more historical books.

UnholyDemigod6 karma

Hey Matt, it's well known you own a Delorean. It's also fairly well known that Deloreans have terrible performance issues. Do you have many troubles with yours?

Matthew_Reilly6 karma

I found a great mechanic (who loves a challenge) and it's been driving well the last few years. A friend is using it in a movie now.

bsgordon4136 karma

Matthew, one more final question. Thanks for doing this AMA by the way. I live in Houston, and would love for you to make your wary through here while in the states. But I am curious that with your love for DMC (DeLorean Motor Company and their fine autos) combined with your fanciful imagination and knack for telling gripping stories full of excitement, twists, humor and action, one has to assume you are a big fan of Back to the Future. Have you ever thought about doing a stand alone, or a new series, which could be based around time travel? (like Dr. Who or BTTF or even Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure) thanks!

Matthew_Reilly7 karma

I have always wanted to do a time travel novel. But time travel is tricky. It must be internally consistent. I have some ideas, but I won't do that book until I have the internal consistency required.

r4richi35 karma

Hi, greetings from Thailand! My brother and I are huge fans of yours! We just wanted to ask,

"Personally speaking, who is YOUR favorite character from all the books you wrote?"

Also wanted to say, I loved The Great Zoo of China but we're more of the suspense and mysterious type so were eagerly awaiting the next Jack West novel, or maybe something along the lines of The Tournament.

Again, big fans!!

Matthew_Reilly5 karma

Mother is fun to write. Hamish in Great Zoo was fun, too. Lucky in Great Zoo is a favourite, too.

guustavoalmadovar4 karma

Hey Matt, thanks for the AMA. Long time fan so I have loved your recent push into writing strong female leads. I am wondering if there are any other strong, war/action based historical females you may be inspired to write about?

Matthew_Reilly8 karma

I really enjoyed writing about Elizabeth I and CJ. I'm always on the lookout. In fact, I've been researching another great historical figure lately....can't tell you which!

TitaniumLeagueJoe4 karma

G'day Matthew, do you have any advice on budding authors who want to make it into the business, and also, what do you expect to gain from your recent move to the States?

Matthew_Reilly4 karma

Write what you love and your enthusiasm will shine through! I needed a change a scenery and moving to the US has provided that. I'm loving it here. Lots of inspiration.

way3104 karma

Your an author, Most have alot of eBook Piracy/Illegal Downloads of your book.

Do you care?

Matthew_Reilly13 karma

It pops up occasionally, but my publishers try to catch it early. For some retro piracy: Once I was told that in a youth hostel in Vietnam, there was a photocopy of ICE STATION...the whole book had been photocopied!

NameIzSecret4 karma

Hello Matthew, huge fan here, with a quick question. Why did you decide to be so ruthless in your books when it comes to character deaths? Even when they're 'main' (Scarecrow's girlfriend for instance), it seems nobody is safe. Personally this is one of the reasons why I like your books so much, but I can imagine readers being scared off. Would you mind explaining your reasoning behind this?

Matthew_Reilly7 karma

These are thrillers, so no-one can be safe. The death scene in SCARECROW reverberated for years. I received hate mail for that. People still mention it at signings. My job is to keep you on the edge of your seat and this is one way I do it!

Tnahdiss6 karma

Honestly, that's the best thing about Matthew Reilly's books. Because lets be real here, this ain't your Overrated Mission Impossible film. Your heroes are not invincible, they have to die someday, somehow. If you keep on saving the main characters you might as well term them as The Hulk, wouldn't you?. Because ain't nobody gonn' kill hulk?

Matthew_Reilly5 karma

I have real issues with the Hulk. He can't be killed. So what's the point?

divadani133 karma

Hi Matthew! Another book to film question from my 3rd grader: any chance that a Scarecrow book will hit the big screen?

Matthew_Reilly11 karma

I've tried twice. ICE STATION was once optioned and wasn't made. Then SCARECROW was optioned and not made. I'm thinking a TV show, like GAME OF THRONES, could be great. Yay for 3rd graders.

Tnahdiss3 karma

Dear Matthew, After all this our Hero (Shane Schofield) has been through, are you considering a book where we know how exactly does he feel. Like He's been through Libby's death, He's been targeted by the world's former richest people. Maybe a Vengeful book with a more of a monstrous depiction of Shane or him turning Ice Cold, like Katniss, trying to not care about all that has happened? Because c'mon do you still expect him to keep on doing his duties as if nothing ever happened. Maybe this time, Scarecrow gets to choose his targets instead of getting assigned to them or them chasing him and he gets to chalk out and plot plans?

Matthew_Reilly8 karma

I tried to go that way in SCARECROW AND THE ARMY OF THIEVES and discuss how he got over the events in SCARECROW. I really liked exploring how heroes feel in those two books: in SCARECROW, for instance, the villain says to him: "No-one will know of your heroism and your sacrifice, so why do it?" That's a good question for every hero to answer. Scarecrow did stick a gun in his mouth, too, only to be saved by Mother (God I love her!).

Downunderjane3 karma

Will you write a sequel to the great zoo of China? As I want to know what happens to the yellow dragon family.

Matthew_Reilly1 karma

Thinking about it right now. Or maybe a historical book.

ptouchstone3 karma

How does one get a finished piece to a publisher for the first time? What's the process?

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

That's hard. Every author finds a different way in. I self-published. Now, you could put your work online and get spotted. One method: go to a writers' festival: often publishers go to them. Read the acknowledgements page in my books and you'll see my publisher's name there: don't just send a TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN letter. Send it directly and clearly.

lleelloo3 karma

Hi Matthew! I LOVED The Great Zoo of China! Just wondering how excited you are to see Jurassic World?

And also, do you have any favourite tidbits of research for the book that you'd like to share?

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

I'm keen to see JURASSIC WORLD, too (although trained velociraptors? Hmmm.) As for GREAT ZOO: I gave all my dragons the hunting skills of real animals, like sharks, snakes, crocs and hawks. That was fun. And all the stuff about China in it is true!

Leoncelli_33883 karma

Would you ever host Saturday Night Live if given the chance?

Matthew_Reilly3 karma


D2WilliamU3 karma

Hey Matt loved your books since i was a kid, i still have my beloved copy of ice-station bound up with bodge tape because i broke it.

I have many many question to ask about all your books, and i feel like a gimp for asking a question already answered in the back of one of your books but..... Why did you have to do that to Book man, why ;_;

Also any more news of William Race? I loved that guy.

And i must say man, as much as i love my Beloved copy of Ice-Station that i have read so many times it is falling apart at the bindings, and Hover Car Racer because it was the book that introduced your writing to me, Area 7 Man, i think is my fav book of yours, and i feel is under appreciated. Any comments you would like to make on Area 7 would be amazing. Like what theme you were trying to set, what you were doing with the characters? Plot devices. Book II, etc.

Matthew_Reilly5 karma

Regarding Book: I had to set the tone right from the start: NO CHARACTER CAN BE SAFE, NO MATTER HOW NICE THEY ARE. And so Book had to bite the dust! As for Race, unlikely. TEMPLE was the hardest book to write, easily, and I don't think I can do that split-story any better.

Robert_M_Hughes3 karma

Hi Mathew TGZOC great read. Have you experienced

any difficulties around the world as you have

included a fair number or goverments/ countries

especially France and China in a negative role

against your lead characters?

Matthew_Reilly6 karma

I went to France last year, so they seem to be okay. Haven't tried to enter China since GREAT ZOO was published! Not sure they'll let me in now...!

alwaysoverneverunder3 karma

The Jack West Jr. question has been done already I see, so I'll have to ask another question: with the current zombie (e.g.: World War Z)/post apocalyptic (e.g.: Hugh Howey's Silo series or Sand)/dystopian (e.g. Hunger Games) craze; is there any change we'll see you write some story that goes in that direction?

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

I'm not really a zombie writer -- I like my villains to have strategy and thoughts. I do like "empty city" stories like I AM LEGEND and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (and the Walking Dead scenes in empty places), so that could definitely work.

madeanaccountforMR2 karma

I don't seem able to keep my promise so here's another question. Your younger characters are all very charming and child-like (Lily, Holly Swain, Alby, et al) and Elizabeth's POV in the Tournament was beautifully written, but your adult characters are so dizzyingly adult and equally awesome. Who is easier to write?

Also, will we be seeing Teenager!Lily in the next Jack West book? :P (If my hints were any stronger they'd be the Hulk)

Matthew_Reilly5 karma

Kids are great fun to write mainly because kids tell it like it is. Adults hold back. Kids don't. And yes, when Jack returns, Lily will be older...and have suitors.

[deleted]2 karma


Matthew_Reilly2 karma

Loving it. Australia and the US a similar, but it's the scale that gets you. The US is so big! And LA has great collectible stores!!

ShaneSchofield2 karma

Hey, Matthew. I'm a huge fan, and thanks for doing this AMA. Currently re-reading my entire collection of your books. Two questions!

Will we see Marius Calderon vs. Scarecrow any time soon? Any plans for another Australia tour in the near future?

Matthew_Reilly5 karma

Marius Calderon has the distinction of being the first villain to survive a Scarecrow book -- this was very deliberate. I want him and Scarecrow to clash again, for sure. No tours for two years. I need to sit down and write another book and that'll take the next year.

claphersunt2 karma

Hi Matthew, my question has to do with research behind the sets in which your character's stories are set. I read somewhere that during the process of writing of Contest, you were able to work with the library in New York, being able to have access to said library in order to more accurately capture the feel in your finished work. I am wondering to what extent you did the same sort of research when writing Area 7?

Matthew_Reilly6 karma

I did scout the NYPL when I rewrote CONTEST for the US edition. Getting into secret underground bases for AREA 7 is a little harder! I found a cross-section of NORAD, which helped. But mainly it was my imagination.

NokkonWud2 karma

You really are a fun writer and went through a phase of constantly reading your books and loved both Contest and Ice Station.

These stories never seem to take themselves too seriously and instead seem more focused on just being fun for the reader and is something I have found across all the books of yours I've read.

This is more of a thank you than a question now that I've written it out.. So, yeah... Sorry.

Contest reminded me of video games such as Unreal Tournament, was this intentional, were you influenced by video games and if so, do you play regularly and what are your favourites?

Matthew_Reilly4 karma

They are fun and I don't take myself too seriously. It was strange when I started writing, because some reviewers (especially the snobby ones) just didn't get it. They couldn't understand reading for fun and enjoyment. No, video games weren't an influence, but I can see the similarity.

sd5512 karma

Hi matt! I really loved your "ice station" My question to you is,can you explain the process that goes into writing a book? Like how do you come up with the core story based on which the entire novel will be based on,et al. Thanks for doing this!

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

You actually ask a question starting with "what if". What if you discovered something that looked like a spaceship buried in the ice in Antarctica. The answer is the story. I.e. You'd send in a badass team of troops to protect it while several other countries sent in their badasses to kill everyone at the station and get it!

AlexCourt3892 karma

Who is the author you admire most and why?

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

Michael Crichton, because he wrote novels, TV shows and movies, and he even directed movies. That's what i want to do.

madeanaccountforMR2 karma

Hi Matt, I'm one of your biggest fans from India (insert fervent wish for an MR-Indian book tour here). You are my favourite author bar none, and I'm so glad my father introduced me to your books! I'd just like to ask two questions: Please don't laugh, but are you aware of fanfiction existing for the universes you've created? You'd be surprised at the rabid following you have! And also, when is the next Jack West Jr book coming out? (It's my favourite series: I really miss Zoe, she's my favourite character, out of all the books I've ever read! Promise you'll keep her safe.)

Matthew_Reilly6 karma

No, I wasn't aware of the fan fiction. That's very flattering! (The weird thing is, I can't read it, because people might think I ripped off their ideas...even though they were using characters I created!) I'm still planning the next few Jack Wests, so it may be a while. As for Zoe...NO ONE IS SAFE!!!

bec192 karma

Hi Matthew, thanks for the AMA. You said earlier on that the Jack West books take the longest to research, how much longer does that usually take? Iv read your books for as long as I can remember, and buy them straight away no matter what. Do you have any authors that you have to buy their book asap? Thanks for your time, from a huge fan :D

Matthew_Reilly2 karma

Months of reading. I will buy a Michael Lewis book without even reading the dust jacket.

andrtro2 karma

Hi Matthew, love your work!

Any chance of seeing the Tournament adapted to a movie/tv-series? Will there be a new book focusing on Roger Ascham?

Matthew_Reilly2 karma

I would love to see that. Fingers crossed.

fakepunju1 karma

Hi Matthew, a big cheers from India! Would we see more of Scarecrow and Veronique in the future? Would Calderon's protege or Calderon himself be the Moriarty/Joker to our Sherlock/Batman?

Matthew_Reilly1 karma

That's the plan. He was designed as a returning villains like Moriarty.

bec191 karma

Hi Matthew, I really enjoyed Temple, it's my go too book when on holidays long drives etc. Do you think you would have another story for professor Race? The way it's combined two stories in one is awesome. Would that be a writing style you'd do again?

Matthew_Reilly1 karma

I love TEMPLE, too, but a sequel is unlikely. I don't think I can do the dual-story any better than I did there.

smellycaat1 karma

Do you have any advice for aspiring young writers? Or advice for young people in general?

Matthew_Reilly2 karma

Write what you love. Your enthusiasm will show. For young people: chase your dreams now. Don't wait till you're older. Best thing I ever did was start writing young.

Bunny361 karma

Hi, just managing to stay awake in Australia. I have a rather battered and much read copy of Contest that I love to pieces. Your books are so easy to visualise. Do you think a tv series could happen some day?

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

Well done for staying awake! I think TV is leading the way these days (whereas so many movies suck). I sold 7 ANCIENT WONDERS once to a US TV network but it was never made. I'd love to see ICE STATION made into a cool eight-part TV series.

molecul31 karma

What are your 3 favorito books?

Matthew_Reilly1 karma

Jurassic Park. Fatherland. Silence of the Lambs.

the_mysoginator1 karma

Hi Matthew, huge fan since I picked up Contest nearly 20 years ago, thanks for doing what you do.

My question is why do you seem to hate Mother so much? She always gets the shitty end of the stick, leg bitten off, presumed dead more than once and (supposedly) in the way of a nuclear warhead!! Hasn't the woman suffered enough?

Seriously though, thankyou for so many great reads.

Edit: 2nd question. I love the zombie genre but this has been overdone in the last few years, everything feels a bit samey. I reckon you'd be able to do it justice though, any plans to do a zombie book in the future?

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

Mother got the best line in any of my novels, when she calls Scarecrow "Shane" and tells him why he's a hero. She's awesome fun. Probably no zombie books in my future. It has been done and zombies don't come up with plans.

ozinlondon1 karma

Hi Matt! long time fan and avid collector of your books.

Rumour has it that a few years back you used to play touch football (rugby) down at Artarmon. Is this true?! Cheers mate

Matthew_Reilly2 karma

Yes, I did.

therobdoggg1 karma

Sydney fan checking in for my second AMA with my favourite Australian author.

My question this time is who wins in an arm wrestle between Jack West Jr and Scarecrow, given the only condition is that West Jr has to use his biological arm?

Matthew_Reilly2 karma

Jack wins. Titanium arm.

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

Oh, sorry, just saw the condition. Maybe Scarecrow then...

Thenipplelord1 karma

Hi Mathew!!

I can't believe you're doing this AMA and that I'm even awake now to ask a question. I'm a WA uni student and have been reading your books for as long as I can remember. My first book of yours I read was ice station when I was 12 years old and it was my first young adult book. The scarecrow and JWJ series are my two favorite book series to date tied with lord of the rings and asoiaf.

I have always been interested in writing stories and poems but in school I never found how I could excel in doing so. So my question is what are ways I can turn an interest in writing into a passion to be a author? And to follow up what do you do to be able to start a novel fresh and keep the passion to follow with that spark?

Thank you so much for your novels, they bring so much happiness and imagination to read to me, especially now that I don't read many series as time gets harder to find. Your last book rocked! Keep up the great work!!

Your fan in the west

Matthew_Reilly2 karma

Those are some big-issue questions! So, I did terribly in school writing competitions...precisely because I didn't write about waterfalls and Grecian urns. God. Schools for some reason don't like action thrillers! My passion comes from this: wanting to do it better every time. That's it. That's all. Starting a novel: I just want to read a story that I've not seen or read before. Oh, and get the ending in your head before you start. That works for me!

Niick1 karma

OMG Hi! I've loved your books since I read Ice Station when I was 13 :) still love them at 28! I had no idea about The Great Zoo of China until I saw it in a bookstore yesterday. Can't wait to read it.

Will we ever see William Race again or did his character/adventures morph into Jack West Jr.? There were some great characters in Temple.

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

Race could make an appearance in a Jack West book, but I don't see him morphing into a hero like Jack. He was more an ordinary guy in extraordinary circumstances

casamundo1 karma

What book or books would you recommend as the best resource for young writers in regards to the creative aspects, like plotting and style?

Matthew_Reilly1 karma

You know, I say to writers: to understand plotting and story, just read books, see movies and watch TV...and then do it better! As for style, that will simply come from you.

theOmnipotentKiller1 karma

If you had to take a vacation where would you go? Which grave would you first visit - Jesus or Genghis Khan?

Matthew_Reilly1 karma

Egypt. Went there back in 2004. It's just stupendous. But a little dangerous now, sadly. I got some angry emails about Jack West Jr finding Jesus's tomb in 5GW, so I'd better say Genghis Khan.

jsabo1 karma

Your books are written with breakneck pacing-- are you an adrenaline junkie yourself, or are we more likely to find you sitting with your laptop in front of a window with a view of a pastoral meadow, sipping a cup of tea?

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

I once jumped out of a plane and I do like sports cars. That said, I love sitting in Arizona and staring at cacti. So peaceful.

DarkeKnight1 karma

Hey! My friend wanted me to ask you, are you planing on writing a sequel to Hover Car Racer?

Matthew_Reilly2 karma

Unlikely. It was a oncer, I think

luthmagoof1 karma

Hi Matthew ! I just wanna say hi from Indonesia!. Are you open to the idea of book to video games adaption? I think it would be awesome!

Matthew_Reilly2 karma

LAST FEW QUESTIONS, FOLKS! Yes, I am up for that. They did it so well for Tom Clancy. I'd love to see one made.

Bonkzzilla1 karma

What a coincidence! My wife and I just both finished listening to the audiobook of "Contest". What degree of control do you have over the choices of narrators for your audiobooks? I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and have often noticed that matching a good or bad reader to a book can make or break the experience. Some readers just don't "fit" the style of the book, others are so perfect that they elevate an audiobook from good to great. The reader for Contest was great, BTW, and good at conveying urgency.

Matthew_Reilly2 karma

Everyone loves my reader! I got to pick the young lady who read THE TOURNAMENT. They sent me audio files of voices and I liked hers.

Downunderjane1 karma

Morning Matthew (2nd of July birthday buddy) it's just after 4am Melbourne time here. Loved your latest book. Have there been any serious discussions with any movie makers to adapt any of your novels to film of late (as this seems the latest craze)?

Matthew_Reilly4 karma

The problem is the cost. My stuff would be very expensive to make into a film and movie studios like "sure things": hence the plethora of comic book adaptations. (The 2nd of July: the choice of champions.)

DarkeKnight1 karma

What are you more hyped for Star Wars: A New Hope or Avengers: Age of Ultron?

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

I think Marvel has shown everyone how to make a kick-ass blockbuster. I love STAR WARS, but it has to be modernised, brought into the modern movie world. JJ Abrams can do it. So I'll say Avengers.

CoenArmstrong1 karma

Mr Reilly, thanks for doing this AMA. Massive fan from Perth (it's 1am here). Just a few questions. What would you rather keep if you had to choose, the DeLorean or Han Solo? Are there any plans in motion to release a Scarecrow movie? And when will we be seeing Shane Schofield return to our shelves in a new adventure? Thank you again :).

Matthew_Reilly1 karma

Han Solo. I can get another D, but I don't know if I'd find another Han! No Scarecrow movies on the horizon for now. As for another book with him, yes, but maybe not the next one.

Phonixrmf1 karma

Hello Matthew, big big fan of your works!

Will we see CJ, Huntsman, and Scarecrow work together? Maybe against some militarised ancient dragons? :D

Matthew_Reilly1 karma

I've considered it!

munkeybutt1 karma

Hi Matthew! Huge fan of all of your books. I specifically love all of the chase scenes. They are my favorite scenes - so much action jam-packed together. Hovercrafts in Ice Station, cars in Scarecrow, buses with Jack West, etc. Of all of them, which was your favorite to write? And any new chase ideas to come?

Matthew_Reilly2 karma

I loved writing the garbage truck chase in GREAT ZOO. So much fun!

madeanaccountforMR1 karma

Matthew, thanks for doing this AMA, just one last question: any possibility of a book tour to India in the future? Probably promotion for the next JWJ? hint hint Also, I adore your writing, and I think you're an overall wonderful person.

Matthew_Reilly1 karma

You know, I'd love to come to India. I once toured Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. Call Orion Publishers in London and tell them to send me to India!! I may also have done some research on India...

bambye1 karma

I like your scarecrow books, do u plan on making more books with scarecrow?

Matthew_Reilly1 karma

Yep, but maybe in a year or two.

Tnahdiss1 karma

Dear Matthew, Can't you let me help you in writing a great book? I'm an aspiring author :)) Also, Best of Luck for all the books you write in future, you never fail to surprise me :D -Love.

Matthew_Reilly2 karma

Just keep at it, and you'll get it done. Remember, your enthusiasm leaps off the page to readers and I am nothing if not enthusiastic!

OnlyJuanTaco1 karma

Met you in Perth this year, cool guy.

Are you still thinking of doing the Knight and Scarecrow crossover?

Also any news from Disney on Hover Car Racer?

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

Thinking of a Jack West and Scarecrow crossover, which would feature Knight. It has to be simply MEGA. Alas, Disney's rights on HCR expired late last year, so the rights reverted to me.

OnlyJuanTaco1 karma

Totally got my books mixed up D:

  • I meant a standalone for Knight :)

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

Probably won't get a whole novel for Knight. Maybe an online short.

theOmnipotentKiller1 karma

Will Jack West ever meet Scofield? And when are you planning to release the fourth installment of the Jac k West Series!? Is the Great Zoo of China according to you among your greatest works?

Matthew_Reilly1 karma

Yes, they might meet. Jack 4 may feature Scarecrow. And GREAT ZOO rocks. It's just a relentless rampage of a book!

theOmnipotentKiller1 karma

Where did the idea for the Jack West series originate from? PS Big fan!

Matthew_Reilly3 karma

I wanted an Indiana Jones-type, working in the present day and I wanted to create cool booby traps! I just love history's mysteries, too.

BenJovi20150 karma

Met you in London in 2007 and asked what the closest to artistic satisfaction you'd achieved was. You mentioned Hover Car Racer. Has this changed at all after more published books?

Matthew_Reilly2 karma

The Tournament gave me great satisfaction -- to write an entire novel from the point-of-view of a 13-year-old girl was a challenge that I enjoyed.

BenJovi20150 karma

Original Contest is on Abebooks.co.uk for £2000! I can't afford that, so can you just, you know, give me a copy?! 😄

Matthew_Reilly1 karma

I only have six copies left myself. I love seeing them appear on sites like that. All those copies once sat in my bedroom! In a huge pile of boxes!

DanArlington0 karma

Hi Matthew, love your work. Read it ALL. Anyhow, how do you stay up-to-date with all the mad and crazy variety of technologies you employ in your books? There's tons of different weapons and gizmos going on...

Matthew_Reilly2 karma

I read the newspaper a lot. Wired magazine helps. Sometimes, military people tell me about new stuff. Keeping up is half the fun!

geekybaker190 karma

Is it difficult to kill off your characters? When reading Scarecrow for the first time, the scene with the guillotine was so hard to read i had to put it down for a while. Is there a process you do to get through it without changing your mind?

Matthew_Reilly1 karma

It is hard and that scene in SCARECROW was really hard to do. It's different for every book. It has to MEAN SOMETHING. If it doesn't mean something, then it's just mean and I'm not like that.