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Matt Bronleewe

Author of  Illuminated

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Matt Bronleewe's Bio:

Matt Bronleewe is a former member of the award-winning and platinum-selling band Jars of Clay, who has earned numerous awards as a songwriter and producer, working on albums that have sold a combined total of over 20 million copies. He has worked with Grammy Award-winning artists such as Rebecca St. James and Michael W. Smith, and has also leant his musical and producing talents to international pop singer Natalie Imbruglia, Disney pop sensations Aly & AJ, American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke and Heroes star Hayden Panettiere.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Bronleewe was raised on a farm in Kansas, where he lived until he left for college in 1992. At Greenville College in Illinois, Bronleewe formed the band Jars of Clay with his dorm roommate and two neighbors, and the group soon found success. Though Bronleewe opted to leave Jars of Clay early on to pursue an academic career, he soon found himself in Nashville, co-writing, producing, and playing music professionally. The Jars of Clay self-titled debut album sold over two million copies.

Bronleewe continues to work in the music industry today, writing and producing for Christian and mainstream artists in Nashville. In 1998, he produced the Grammy-nominated Natalie Imbruglia album “Left of the Middle,” which went triple platinum in the U.K. He has won multiple Gospel Music Association Dove awards for his work with artists Tait and Plumb; and, most recently, the song “Healing Rain,” he co-wrote and co-produced with Michael W. Smith sold over 500,000 copies. One of Bronleewe’s most recent producing and songwriting collaborations, the new song “Miracle of the Moment,” with popular artist Steven Curtis Chapman, is set to be released this fall. He is also working with popular new band Rush of Fools.

Bronleewe recently delved into the literary world, utilizing the storytelling talent he honed as a songwriter to author a book on the Gutenberg Bible and the history surrounding this important cultural landmark. His new novel, Illuminated, is a fast-paced thriller about a rare book dealer caught between saving this priceless work of art and rescuing his family from secret societies vying for the power hidden in the Gutenberg Bible illuminations.

“The main idea was quite Seinfeld-ian—a book about books,” says Bronleewe. “I was fascinated by the idea of a novel whose main characters were all card-carrying, certified bibliophiles – people who loved books.  And so then the question became, what book would they care about most?  That’s what led me to the Gutenberg Bible – the rarest book in the world. “

For his debut novel, Bronleewe researched ancient, religious societies known as the Order of the Dragon and the Orphans, whose roots date back to the 15th century. Illuminated combines modern technology with deeper historical truths in a race-against-time to decode the illuminations of the Gutenberg Bible.

Bronleewe currently resides in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife and three children. He continues to write and produce music, and he also volunteers through his church to help disadvantaged youth in the community. Bronleewe enjoys reading, taste-testing good food and watching sports, as well as indulging his interests in art, architecture, design and science.

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