Out of Office: Matthew Farrell

Matthew Farrell’s next book, I Know Everything, comes out Aug. 6. Photo: Dan Bigelow

The vice president of commercial banking at $1 billion-asset Tompkins Mahopac Bank moonlights as an author of thrilling novels, including a debut that landed on The Washington Post’s national bestselling fiction list.

There’s no point in my life I remember not writing. I think I was just born with the ability and drive to do it. Even as a kid, I would write stories in a notebook. It took a little longer to get published, but here I am. I got one book out, one book coming out, and it’s been a spectacular debut so far. I always have been writing, and it’s just a part of me.

I was raised on Stephen King novels. That was a huge part of our family, the fun horror movies, the scary and suspenseful stories. That’s where my love for the thriller genre came from. As far as the procedural aspect of my books, my dad was a police officer, so I saw that dynamic where other officers become extensions of your family, because the camaraderie is so close. That kind of played off in my book What Have You Done (2018). The main characters are brothers, but they’re also cops. But my inspiration has always been drawn from writers like Stephen King, Harlan Coben, Dean Koontz, and the movies.

It’s absolutely surreal. You chase your dream for 20 years and it comes true. You think you’re prepared, and you’ve fantasized about that moment, but it’s not reality. I go to these writing conventions, and I’m hanging out with authors that I’ve read, and I’m kind of, like, in the club now. It’s so weird! It’s an awesome thing to happen, but strange at the same time.

Rebecca Lubecki