Larry Matthews asks, “Biography: Fact or Fiction?” at the July Montgomery Chapter Meeting

What are the differences – and the similarities – between what we call “creative nonfiction” and a fictionalized account of real people or events? When the subject is the extraordinary life of an author’s own father, how does the author decide which approach to take? Find out when veteran broadcast journalist, novelist, and podcaster Larry Matthews talks about “Biography: Fact or Fiction?” at the July meeting of the Maryland Writers’ Association Montgomery Chapter, on Wednesday, July 10th at 7:00PM, at Montgomery College, 51 Mannakee Street, in Rockville.

In his latest book, Take a Rifle from a Dead Man, Matthews shares a fictionalized version of his father’s life. In his youth, Larry’s father sought to escape the Great Depression by leaving home and riding freight trains across the country. He then joined the military and took part in every major post-World War I U.S. military conflict of the 20th century. He fought in two of the century’s most vicious battles. He was a Cold War spy.

Matthews’ father led an extraordinary and difficult life. So why did he choose to fictionalize such a dramatic story? What are the benefits and risks in writing a novel based on real events rather than a straight nonfiction account? Larry will discuss his reasons for deciding to write this account of his father’s life in the form of “a novel based on real events.”

The room assignment for the meeting is to be announced. UPDATE: The meeting will take place in the CC Campus Center (Workforce Development & Continuing Education) building, labeled as “CC” on the campus map. This building is right next to the Physical Education Building where meetings have been held in the past. It will be on the right of the PE building when you face it from Parking Lot 4. Guests are asked to please park in student parking as designated by the white lines.

About the speaker:

Larry Matthews is a former broadcast journalist whose investigative reporting earned him a George Foster Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting, a duPont-Columbia Citation, and many other national and regional awards. His memoir, I Used To Be In Radio, has been praised as “a funny and moving page-turner” and “a must-read in journalism schools, especially for those who aspire to be investigative reporters.” Matthews is also the author of the Dave Haggard thrillers Butterfly Knife and Brass Knuckles. Take a Rifle from a Dead Man is Larry’s seventh published book.

For directions or to learn more about the MWA Montgomery Chapter, visit


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