Sex, Sin, and Scandal in a Small New England Town…
Interweaving the humor and mystery of Desperate Housewives with the drama and romance of Days of Our Lives throughout the novel, Matthew W. Grant breathes new life into the genre of small town potboilers.
From heiress Nancy Harrison fighting the manipulations and objections of her powerful family as she pursues a romance with mechanic Roy Trembley to Melinda Rollins, the minister’s daughter who is cheating on her millionaire fiance…
From the crazy old lady harboring a deadly grudge, to the young girl who finds herself pregnant, single, and stuck with a playboy boyfriend afraid of commitment…
You’re invited into the hearts, souls, and bedrooms of the residents of Slaters Falls where families of varying wealth and stature find their lives intertwined by sex, sin, scandal, and secrets.
Among the ensemble cast of spiteful busybodies, ambitious social climbers, sleazy hunks, conniving bitches, dirty cops, and scheming murderers, several achieve meaningful change. Secrets Of Slaters Falls is classic soap opera that tackles controversial topics such as abortion, racism, and drug abuse.
Not since best-selling classic Peyton Place has a novel so thoroughly exposed the secrets and lies that fester beneath the picture-perfect surface of every small town.
Secrets Of Slaters Falls was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semi-finalist.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I’ve been a soap opera fan for many years. I wrote a different version of the Slaters Falls material as the “bible” (as it is called in the TV industry) for a new TV soap opera.
Later, I discovered the infamous best-seller Peyton Place by Grace Metalious. That’s the first time I found out that there were novels written in the same style of a soap opera – small town potboilers with cliffhanger endings to all the chapters, intersecting storylines spanning different themes and genres, and a large, multi-generational cast of characters.
Since that’s exactly what I wanted to do with Slaters Falls, I reworked the material into a novel.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
That’s the first question my friends always ask. They want to know if the characters are “thinly-veiled versions” of people I know. My stock answer was always. ‘If you think you see yourself in any of these characters, then shame on you!” I was only half-kidding!
Luckily, I live in a different town now than I did when this book was released. Otherwise, I’d be fielding a lot more questions like, “Come on, you can tell me. Who’s this character really based on?”
It does help to picture a certain person or type of person in my head when I write. However, as far as choosing personality characteristics, I think of it as each character having bits and pieces of people and coming up with a completely new person that doesn’t exist in real life.
Nothing like this had ever happened before in Slaters Falls. Everyone was talking about it, especially those with little or nothing constructive to say.
“It’s that rap and rock music the kids listen to these days. They’ve all got Satan in their eyes,” said a childless woman in her fifties who was the wife of the town’s most prominent lawyer.
“There’s only one cause for things like this. Violence in movies,” another woman said. “Isn’t it obvious?” Several onlookers nodded their agreement.
Only one person in town knew that the whole ordeal at the First Trust Bank started earlier down the street at, of all places, St. Mark’s parish church.
Father Mulroy sat in the confessional at noon. He wondered what other priests thought about while waiting for penitents to arrive. He knew what he thought and he also knew those thoughts were of questionable propriety.
Why can’t anyone ever reveal anything exciting in here? If only the young people would come in and confess some of the juicy things they do and think about, now that would be entertaining, Father Mulroy decided. Yes, he had to get the Archbishop to transfer him to a parish in Boston where people actually did things worth confessing on a regular basis. Maybe he could get assigned as a chaplain at a Catholic college? That had potential.
Father Mulroy, about 35, knew how handsome he was. He had dark eyes and dark wavy hair, with sharp sideburns. He looked more like a priest on a TV show than a real man of the cloth. He imagined how popular he would be on a college campus, especially among the ladies. He would seem so available to them, yet be just beyond their reach. What if one of them had to confess that she lusted after him? Now that would be a confession worth hearing.
He heard the enormous front door of the church creak. Here we go, he thought to himself. Another laundry list of domestic un-bliss was about to unfold. Just once, he prayed, could something thrilling happen in here? The confessional door swung open rather noisily. This didn’t sound like a pious Slaters Falls housewife after all.
A man’s gruff voice began, “Forgive me, Padre, because I’m about to sin. It’s been, um, a hell of a long time since my last confession.”
Father Mulroy questioned, “Did you say you were about to sin?”
“What is it you’re thinking of doing?” the priest asked.
The voice was low, regretful, and serious. “I’m gonna kill someone this afternoon.”
Matthew W. Grant is the author of several screenplays and novels in various genres including the Slaters Falls series and the Northbridge series.
Publishers Weekly declared Matthew’s novel, Secrets Of Slaters Falls, “Tragicomic deliciousness!” noting that the “Bawdy, snappy humor catches spark right away.” PW also noted the novel’s balance between “Class-conscious dirty realism and the prurience of nighttime soap operas.”
Secrets Of Slaters Falls achieved semifinalist status in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Matthew’s screenplay adaptation of his novel, Zach’s Secret, was a finalist in a contest sponsored by Script Magazine.
Matthew graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Education and Mass Communications earned after his thesis, Sex On Soap Operas, raised eyebrows and pulse rates on campus. His material has appeared on numerous websites and in two newspapers.
Like most writers, prior to writing full time, Matthew paid his dues in diverse corporate positions. He worked as a producer at an AM talk radio station where he interacted with local media celebrities and politicians.
His career progressed to Corporate Training and Corporate Purchasing. He worked for many years at an international Boston based bank in which his media skills were utilized in many ways including creating training manuals, writing/producing/directing/performing in corporate videos, and writing corporate-wide communications.
Later, as an Independent Purchasing Consultant, Matthew consulted for a company that was named to the Inc. 500 list of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies twice during his time working with them.
As a resident of New England and a fan of its spectacular fall foliage, Matthew sets many of his works in small New England towns. While they may look picture-perfect on the surface, you can be sure they are teeming with secrets underneath.
Have you read this book or others by this author? Tell us in the comments how you liked it!