Matt De Reno, looking kind of clean cut. Circa 2015.

Matt De Reno, looking kind of clean cut. Circa 2015.

Matt De Reno is a fiction writer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is writing The Midas Protocol, a science fiction thriller series, which is undergoing final revisions and a search for representation or a publishing solution that is better than the black-wire waste paper basket next to his writing desk.

Matt was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he grew up with a bunch of die-hard sports fans that lived and breathed all things Pittsburgh Steelers—and still do. He remembers when the Pirates won the 1979 World Series and where not a laughing stock as they are today. He recalls when Terry Bradshaw was beloved in Pittsburgh.

At North Hills High School Matt was a sophomore on the fabled 1987 North Hills High School Varsity Football team that finished No. 1 in the nation by USA Today. That was a great team.

On that starting team of 11 players on offense, 7 were Division 1 recruits. Matt was NOT one of those players. In fact, he was more or less a punching bag on that legendary team. Still, being part of something that was the best across the entire nation, left in indelible impression upon Matt: the value of teamwork, striving for excellence, dedication to craft, and what it was like to be part of something truly special. He aims to emulate that success as a storyteller.

After graduating from North Hills High School in 1990, Matt attended Wheeling Jesuit University, after turning down lucrative football recruiting offers from Thiel College and Salem University.

Salem, it should be noted, promptly canceled its football program while it was in the process of recruiting Matt to play football. He ultimately choose Wheeling Jesuit University because they didn’t have a football team and therefore couldn’t cancel a program during his recruitment. So that was it for football. Wait a second. Wheeling Jesuit didn’t have football, but they had rugby.

Matt fell in with a hard Rugby gang and drank a whole lot of beer—for sport. He wrote for the campus newspaper, after being talked into it by his roommate, who was the editor. 4-years later he made it out of Wheeling Jesuit with a history degree and a newfound confidence that maybe he could do more writing and possibly, just maybe, he could make money by doing it.

Matt began writing for the North Hills News Record, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on a freelance basis. At this time, he took a job at Alcoa, which it should be noted, is the inspiration for his fiction Unaclo company in The Midas Protocol Book Series. He started out in payroll and then ended up as a corporate communications administrative assistant.

In the 1990s, he also worked as a freelance writer for RealPittsburgh.com (now defunct). Highlights included hobnobbing with NHL hockey legend Mario Lemieux at a celebrity golf invitational. In the 2000s, creative pursuits including improvisational acting in a production of the Off-Broadway hit, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding when it ran for about six months in Pittsburgh. He played an inebriated priest and sometimes the best man.

Eventually, he would do a bunch of content writing for a variety of websites for an LA guy who gobbled up a bunch of domain names in the late 90s and made a fortune. But, sometime in the mid-2000s, Google changed their algorithm and said to website owners that they better put some freaking content on those domains. So the LA man paid Matt to write about haunted houses, conspiracy theories, silly satire stories, financial planning, even dating advice.

Around that time, Matt started writing for a professor who studied terrorist networks at Carnegie Mellon University. His job was to explain how analysts could use this professor’s software for understanding how to destabilize terrorist networks and thus, after much trial and error, found a legitimate job as a technical writer.

Later, he joined IBM and then spent years writing about IBM Watson enterprise search engine technology. More recently, Matt worked at SAE International where he wrote news and feature articles about autonomous vehicles. Today, Matt works as a regulatory affairs technical at Philips Health in Pittsburgh, while building his career as a fiction writer.

The need to write has never left Matt. He dabbled in developing his own community websites and other creative content web efforts, but now, presently, he has decided to travel back in time—to that eight year old boy, who always wanted to be a writer; not because it might make him rich or famous—but rather because by doing so he could bring joy to people through storytelling. That sentiment is an an idea of which he never let go.

Matt is married to the lovely Monika. He and she were engaged on New Year’s Even on Y2K. A stork delivered his super smart daughter Izabella in 2002. In 2010, that stork came by with another package, his incredibly imaginative son Samuel, who dreams of monsters and making a career one day as a comic book artist. His daughter has already fretted about how long it is taking her Dad to finish The Midas Protocol series and desperately hopes it will not be left as some sort of inheritance task to her and her brother Sam. Matt can’t guarantee that won’t happen, but he is committed to publishing The Midas Protocol Book Series soon, very soon—or die trying.