Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.
Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/782418
After getting his BA in economics, Matthew began his career as a financial analyst. He worked at several prominent investment banks— in Boston and San Francisco—during the dot-com era. "There's a lot of writing required in financial services," he said. "I took very complex situations and tried to distill them down into industry reports that were quick and easy to digest for traders," he said. "I may not have used flowery metaphors, but I basically had ten seconds to grab their attention. It takes a lot of practice to do that." And that's a skill he still uses in his writing today. In 2007, he moved from the West Coast to Wellesley with his wife and eldest daughter. A year later their youngest was born. When Matthew's wife went back to work, it gave him the flexibility to stay home with their two daughters, Isabael and Ella. "I was pretty burnt out from traveling, and my initial plan was to stay home for a year, but that turned into eight," he said. "It's been good for our daughters to have one of us home. I've enjoyed my time with them, and my wife has been able to focus on her career." Four years ago, when Isabael was in first grade, she showed an interest in writing, particularly poetry, which inspired Matthew to write as well. A PBS Nova program sparked an idea for a novel, which would later become Evolved. "Most science fiction books border on fantasy. They're not usually grounded in science. I wanted to write a novel based on actual findings, but also one that dealt with metaphysical questions like: What is consciousness? What is time? How does this relate to our lives? Science fiction is a great genre for exploring some of these questions." While Matthew had the desire and drive to write a novel, he knew he needed a better understanding of aspects of fiction writing, such as story arc, character development, and dialogue. So he took a few classes at GrubStreet, in Boston, a nonprofit creative writing center for writers in a range of genres. "I was a few chapters in when I started looking at theories of space, quantum mechanics, and Einstein's Theory of Relativity." Lisa Randall, a physics professor at Harvard, introduced him to String Theory—the concept that the universe has multiple dimensions including hidden dimensions—which inspired him to think more deeply about his own story. Matthew's first barometer for success was his wife. "If she fell asleep after the first page, I knew I needed to revise." Several other beta read- ers gave him feedback as well. After the fifth revision, Matthew had a feeling there was something "more to the story." He met with his min- ister at Village Church in Wellesley who told him, "There's a whole spiritual side of this you're missing." So Matthew read Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy and started researching early Christianity 188 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 7 Matthew McKay