Lake Oswego grad writes his first book, 'the title is what i put in quotation marks'

by: EMILY HOARD - Andrew Mathwick sits in the middle of the street, just like his character did in the book. “Will Peeslee learned how to ride a bike when Will Peeslee was 7 years old. Will Peeslee was now almost 17 years old. Will Peeslee was riding his bike to a Walmart Neighborhood Market. Will Peeslee thought about all the times he fell when he was learning to ride his bike. Those thoughts made Will Peeslee feel depressed and very embarrassed.”

And so starts the novel titled “the title is what i put in quotation marks” by Lake Oswego’s own new author, Andrew Mathwick. The book is meant to give a humorous look at modern American culture, especially concerning social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

“The book is a satire; that’s why I have bad reviews on the back written by me,” Mathwick said. “It is about a boy named Will Peeslee who is depressed then meets a girl named Sophie and they run away to Maine.”

The main characters also happen to run into Ellen Page, James Franco and Spider-Man on their way.

Mathwick was not interested in writing during the time he attended Lake Oswego High School, but when he began college at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, he found that he enjoyed reading and writing. One of his favorite authors, and inspirations, is Tao Lin, who has a unique writing style. Lin’s work influenced Mathwick’s choice to not use pronouns often, and in fact, the name “Will Peeslee” makes up one-30th of the book.

Mathwick also received inspiration for the story through Facebook and Twitter. by: SUBMITTED - Andrew Mathwick's first book is called 'the title is what i put in quotation marks.'

He took creative writing classes, and one story he wrote got published by the Rock River Review; another story won the August Derelith Award at his school. After the award, he began writing the book.

“Basically, in six months I went from not caring about writing to completing a novel,” Mathwick said.

He described his method of creating the book as writing in snippets, adding a few hundred words a day. He wrote the first chapter as a short story to stand on its own, but then he added to it and kept adding to it. By the time he reached 10,000 words, he decided to complete the novel.

His advice for other aspiring writers is to “not worry about setting a goal, but to take it day by day.” This writing method is meant to be more manageable and realistic. Mathwick followed his own advice and completed the entire book in just four months this spring.

Zane Sparling, a close friend of Mathwick and a Review intern, is a big fan of the book.

“When I read Andrew Mathwick’s work, I wanted to write ‘I’m so mad’ or ‘What the (heck)’ in the margins ... but in a good way,” Sparling said. “If most people took the time to read the book, it wouldn’t remind them of any major author they’ve read recently. ... As a writer, I am jealous of Andrew Mathwick because he wrote a novel at age 20, and it’s a big thing he just did. I enjoy his writing because it is funny and I like the motive behind it, not just because of the friendship obligation.”

The cover of the book has an interesting story as well. The art is a picture of his father from about 20 years ago. Mathwick chose it because it appears to be a bleak setting in New England, where the story ends. The title came to Mathwick when he was chatting with someone on Facebook and asking for advice for the title. His friend gave him an idea and then clarified that “the title is what I put in quotation marks.”

The book was published through Dont Hate Me Press, which he described as a small indie publisher in Milwaukee that has an open submission policy. Readers can find it on Amazon for paperback and Kindle for the e-book.

As Mathwick is enjoying the recognition he is receiving from the book, he is also working on another novel written in the same type of experimental style. He said it is about “a sad kid in San Diego who wants to be a crab fisherman, so he moves to Alaska and becomes a crab fisherman. It’s called, “i want to sit in a pit full of crabs.’”

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