Inspired by Stephen King, Local Author Publishes First Novel

by | Oct 2019

Woodbury author Matt Schafer, who wrote "The Triggerman"

Photo: Chris Emeott

Matt Schafer’s “The Triggerman” is a suspense-filled novel that follows the escape of a cop-turned-assassin.

When Utah native Matt Schafer found a copy of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary at his grandmother’s at age 11, he knew it was coming home with him (even though he was told no). Fast forward a few decades later, and he’s now the self-published author of The Triggerman, a suspense-filled novel that follows the escape of a cop-turned-assassin.

“I couldn’t sleep for days and days [after reading Pet Sematary]. Every shadow looked like the evil cat [on the cover],” Schafer says. “I thought, if I could write something that could make someone that afraid, that would be amazing.”

So Schafer began reading every Stephen King novel he could get his hands on, and he credits King, plus other suspense novelists, as his inspiration. He started writing The Triggerman nearly 16 years ago. But after his first son, Ronan, was born, things slowly crept to a halt.

Schafer and his wife, Shelly, moved to Woodbury 14 years ago after he was stationed with the Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. Now, he continues his work in government relations, but has found time to finish up his novel.

He finished the first draft in May 2017, and had friends read through it and make edits. He started sending the manuscript to different publishing houses. “I accumulated an impressive pile of rejection letters,” Schafer says. “But everyone kept saying, ‘This is a great book; you should publish it.’ So, I decided to self-publish.”

Schafer’s sold dozens of copies of his novel and couldn’t be happier. Plus, he’s garnered all five-star reviews on Amazon. It’s safe to say that he’s already begun working on his next novel. Schafer adds, “I hope that folks pick it up and have as much fun reading it as I did writing it.”

Find The Triggerman on


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