Introducing: Matt Harris

Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.

Anne McCaffrey

My secondary main character is Matt Harris, who meets Grace early in the story. Matt is two years older than Grace and is an only child in his family. He has curly brown hair and brown eyes – in my head, he’s sort of like Shawn Mendes. Maybe that’s just due to my love of Shawn, but Matt would look similar (just with blue eyes).

Matt had a rather uneventful childhood. His mother was a primary school teacher at the same school he attended. They lived away from the major cities in a small country town. Matt’s father was in the military and would be deployed for months at a time. He was a sporty kid and enjoyed playing most sports. He wasn’t the best at schoolwork, but he also wasn’t the worst. Sport was his passion though, and he was intending on being a professional football player when he could.

When the war hit, Matt and his family didn’t feel it as bad as the cities did. They knew a war was ongoing, but were largely unaffected for the first few months. His father was deployed when the war broke out, and Matt didn’t hear from him since – he was presumed to have died. About 6 months after the war first broke out, Matt’s town was attacked. His mother was killed and Matt fled with his grandfather.

They lived on their own for approximately a year, surviving off anything they could find and sleeping in shifts. One day, they stumbled across a survivor’s encampment. Matt’s grandfather was a doctor, so they joined the camp and became valuable members of the group. Despite the safety and security in the camp, Matt grew restless. He didn’t like being confined and wanted more to do.

Matt would often spend months away from the camp, travelling around the country and finding supplies to bring back to the camp. He enjoyed feeling useful and wanted to contribute more to the group, and possibly find a way to restore the world to what it used to be.

One day, on one of his many departures from the camp, he stumbles across Grace. The two soon bond over their desire to restore humanity and begin the task together.

Matt appears throughout most the novel and is a good contrast to Grace. Grace is quite sullen while Matt is happier. Matt helps Grace to not focus on the bad in the world, but also the good. He helps Grace grow as a person so much and, after a rocky start, they get along really well.

Matt is quick to anger (like Grace) so it causes some explosive arguments. He is a little idealistic and wants to see the good in everyone, which can cause issues as people tend to take advantage of him. He’s also quite cocky and arrogant – he was spoilt as a child and that still shines through. Despite this, he is quite calm and a kind boy. He takes care of his friends and family and is sympathetic to the plights of other people. He balances Grace out and becomes the clear head she often needs.

Shawn Mendes

Matt is the most stable character in my novel. He centers the people around him and remains a kind person through it all. He is one of my favourite characters and it’s been really rewarding developing Matt as a character and bringing him to life in my novel. It’s really shown me how rewarding writing can be and how amazing it is to be a writer.

Writing is its own reward.

Henry Miller

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