The Wirral product engineer who manufactured some of the very first touch-screen computers has gone back in time for his first attempt at writing a novel.
Howard Matthews has been rewarded with a string of five-star reviews for his remarkable page-turning debut, Welsh Gold: Mrogi-Rixs Yr Riketo. (Lord of the Sky)
The imaginative 65-year-old’s first foray into fiction is a highly convincing adventure that stretches from present-day all the way back to almost pre-history.
Engineer Howard, who is currently developing a cutting-edge domestic turbine, has not only built a brilliant plot for his first novel, but he has also authentically charted the changes in language and society as the centuries passed.
He explained, “Most people are lucky if they can trace their families back more than five or six generations.
“In Welsh Gold: Lord of the Sky, Tom Jaeger needs to search forwards in time from the 7th century and find the descendants of eight people.
“I did a considerable amount of research into the structure and development of language.
“From Common Britannic – the language we all spoke before the Romans arrived – through Proto-Celtic to Old Welsh.
While Welsh Gold: Mrogi-Rixs Yr Riketo begins as a fairly ordinary adventure story of protagonist Tom searching for gold in the Welsh hills, it soon becomes a race down the centuries with the help of an ancient manuscript.
Linguistic experts, secretive religious orders, space physicists and even a national security agency become embroiled in Howard’s masterful suspense thriller.
As well as his meticulous etymology, the grandfather of four has also demonstrated his genealogy expertise by tracing family lineage through invasions by Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings and eventually Normans.
He added, “For Tom to trace the descendants in Welsh Gold: Mrogi-Rixs Yr Riketo they need to appear in the historical records, and to do that their relatives would need to have been wealthy, in positions of power, to have held an office of state or in the Church, or to have won a battle.
“That’s difficult to do, generation after generation.
“It might be easier if they still lived in the same area as their ancestors – but between the 7th and 11th centuries Britain was regularly invaded. “Every time this happened, people with wealth or in positions of power were wiped out.
“There were exceptions, thankfully for Tom, particularly around the edges of Britain, in Scotland, Cumbria, Wales and Cornwall.”
Following the success of Welsh Gold: Mrogi-Rixs Yr Riketo, Tom is working on a sequel, Welsh Gold: Briganti Yr Riketo. (Sky Maiden)
For more information, visit Amazon and search for Howard Matthews, where the paperback and Kindle versions of Welsh Gold: Mrogi-Rixs Yr Riketo are available.
Image: Howard-Matthews (Book mock-up for illustrative purposes only)