by SARAH NACHIN
HERNANDO SUN WRITER
Seventeen year-old Matthew Laskoski recently accomplished something that many people only dream of.
The Nature Coast Technical High School senior has published his first novel.
No Brakes is a fast-paced mystery thriller with many plot twists. As Matthew explains the novel:
“‘My book is about two friends, Hudson and Rhea, who go searching for Hudson’s sister who is missing. What ensues is an onslaught of mystery, misdirection, and action that seemingly has “No Brakes.” Their family history and the identity of characters are being questioned; a family can be reunited or split apart; and no character is safe.”
Writing the book was not a fast or easy process. Matthew started writing the novel the summer before his sophomore year. During the course of two years, he overcame many challenges.
“Writer’s block, frustration, hesitation. You name it, I had it,” Matthew remarks.
However, these did not deter him from his goal and his persistence paid off.
As you would expect, English is one of Matthew’s favorite subjects in school. He got interested in writing around the 4th grade when his teachers assigned creative writing to his class and he was told he had a talent for writing.
“From elementary school at Challenger K-8 to Nature Coast Technical High School, my teachers encouraged my writing. My parents did as well, so I was inspired to write No Brakes, but I didn’t know how it would turn out. I did this to challenge myself. I wanted to see what I could do.”
In addition to writing, Matthew is also an avid reader. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus and The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan got him into reading.
“That kind of characterization was something I hadn’t before witnessed in books aimed towards my age range at the time. I fell in love with the characters.”
His all-time favorite book is Simon vs The Homo-Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli. He has also enjoyed reading A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, as well as What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera.
Apart from his two passions – writing and reading – Matthew likes to dance, hang out with friends, read tarot cards and listen to all genres of music. His tastes range from Aretha Franklin, Queen, K-pop (Korean Pop) and Heavy Metal to tango and swing music.
Matthew displays a maturity and purposefulness that is not always common in teenagers.
“My role models include my sister, Lauren, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. My parents, Maria and Gregg Laskoski, have raised me to be compassionate, organized, free-thinking and kind to all. I owe part of who I’ve become to them.”
The first-time novelist plans to continue writing and has started working on his second book already.
“Now that I’ve experienced what it was like to write one, I know what I can improve on. The next book revolves around the supernatural and the possibilities we, as humans, don’t comprehend. The book will be somewhat like a parody of The Exorcist, but with a lot more humor, emotion and heartfelt moments. I’m not afraid to take risks. I want to write something that can influence people, make an impact on someone the same way the books I read, influence me.”
In August, Matthew will continue his education at Pasco Hernando State College. He hasn’t decided on a major but wants to try different things and see what catches his interest. Besides studying and his other activities, you can be sure he will be working on his novel.
Matthew’s book, No Brakes, is available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.