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Matthew Reilly

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Matthew Reilly

Matthew Reilly
Born Matthew John Reilly
(1974-07-02) 2 July 1974
Occupation Novelist
Genre Action/thriller

Matthew John Reilly (2 July 1974)[1] is an Australian action thriller writer. His novels are noted for their fast pace, twisting plots and intense action.

Early life

Reilly was born on 2 July 1974 in Sydney, the second son of Ray and Denise. He grew up in Willoughby, an affluent suburb on the lower North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Reilly graduated from Sydney's student law society publication "Poetic Justice".


Reilly wrote his first book, Contest, at the age of 19 and self-published it in 1996.[1] It was rejected by every major publisher in Australia, leading Reilly to self-publish 1000 copies using a bank loan. Reilly was discovered when Cate Paterson, a commissioning editor from Pan Macmillan found a self-published copy of Contest in a bookstore.[3] Pan Macmillian signed Reilly to a two-book deal. Reilly wrote his second book, Ice Station, while studying at the University of NSW.[7] It was quickly picked up by publishers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. He has since sold over 7 million copies of his books worldwide, in over 20 languages.[8] Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves was the biggest-selling fiction title in Australia in 2011.[9] Three more of Reilly's books have been the biggest-selling Australian titles of their years of release: Seven Ancient Wonders (2005), The Five Greatest Warriors (2009) and The Tournament (2013).[10]

In 2007, Reilly wrote a half-hour television script titled Literary Superstars. The script was picked up by Darren Star (Sex and the City) and bought by Sony Pictures for the ABC Network. Jenna Elfman signed on to play the lead role. The pilot episode was at the casting stage when the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike began, paralyzing Hollywood. The pilot was placed on indefinite hiatus before ultimately being dropped by the ABC.[11]

Personal life

In 2004 Reilly married his childhood sweetheart, Natalie Freer. Freer attended a nearby high school, Loreto Kirribilli, and also went to the University of New South Wales, where she studied Psychology. Reilly credits Freer with encouraging him to self-publish his first book. In early December 2011, while Reilly was in South Australia on a book tour promoting Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves, Natalie, who had suffered from anorexia and depression, committed suicide.[3] Reilly subsequently cancelled his remaining book tours and announced his intention to take a break from online communications for a while.[12][13]

Reilly owns several movie prop reproductions such as a life-size statue of Han Solo frozen in carbonite from Star Wars, a golden idol from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and a DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future.[1][3] A big fan of Hollywood blockbusters, Reilly hopes to one day direct a movie adapted from one of his own books.


Stand-alone novels

Shane Schofield

See Shane Schofield
  1. Ice Station (1998)
  2. Area 7 (2001)
  3. Scarecrow (2003)
  4. Hell Island (2005)
  5. Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves (2012), re-titled as Scarecrow Returns in the United States.

Jack West Jr

See Jack West Jr
  1. Seven Ancient Wonders (2005), retitled as 7 Deadly Wonders in the United States.
  2. The Six Sacred Stones (2007)
  3. The Five Greatest Warriors (2009)[18]

Hover Car Racer

  1. Hover Car Racer (2004)

Published as three mini-books in the United States:[19]

  1. Crash Course (2005)
  2. Full Throttle (2006)
  3. Photo Finish (2007)


  1. ^ a b c " Author Biography". Retrieved 10 January 2009
  2. ^ "Author Profile: Matthew Reilly". Retrieved 19 October 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d Overington, Caroline (23 June 2012). "It's a door that she's gone through, and I can't follow". The Weekend Australian Magazine ( 
  4. ^ Contest – Reilly, Matthew – 2000 paper back edition – An interview with Matthew Reilly – pg 349 Retrieved 10 January 2009
  5. ^ – Biography. Macmillan. Retrieved 7 February 2009
  6. ^ [1] Guest Speaker, UNSW Law Awards Evening 5 May 2011
  7. ^ Scarecrow – Reilly, Matthew – 2004 paper back edition – Biography – first page – Retrieved 10 January 2009
  8. ^ Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves, author biography
  9. ^ The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 January 2012
  10. ^ The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 December 2005 and 2 January 2010
  11. ^ "Film and television". Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "Latest News". Matthew Reilly. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Official Matthew Reilly Facebook Page". Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  14. ^ Reilly, Matthew (13 October 2012). "October Update (13 October 2012)". Retrieved 23 October 2012. I'm very sorry for the delay between updates! The reason: I’ve been lying low, busily doing revisions on my 1500s novel. I’m really pleased with it – it absolutely rockets along and the mystery-thriller plot is a cracker. That book is set to be released in October 2013. 
  15. ^ Reilly, Matthew (13 October 2012). "January Update (21 January 2012)". Retrieved 23 October 2012. First, in October, there will be the release of my new novel, the one I have mentioned before that is set in 1546. It has a title but I can't reveal that just yet. 
  16. ^ The Tournament, interview with author
  17. ^ Reilly, Matthew (13 October 2012). "January Update (21 January 2012)". Retrieved 23 October 2012. I have also thrown myself into writing a new book. It's not a Scarecrow novel or a Jack West Jr book. It's got a whole new hero, some of the best scary creatures I've ever written about and it rocks [...] If I get it done by the end of this year, maybe I'll do a double-header and release two books in consecutive years, 2013 and 2014. 
  18. ^ Reilly, Matthew (17 March 2009). "Five Greatest Warriors Release Date & Cover, Movies Books & TV". Retrieved 19 November 2009. 
  19. ^ – The Novels. Retrieved 1 February 2013

External links

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