It was about his brother Jared who was gay.
Being gay conflicted with the religious beliefs of the Deanes, who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Nearly five years ago, Jared, after struggling with his homosexuality, alcoholism and depression, committed suicide and left his brother to pick up the pieces and deal with a lot of anger and frustration.
That was the seed of Matthew Deane's first book, a memoir called "West of Independence," which was published in print and iBook form earlier this year to critical acclaim.
The book is about the Deane brothers' relationship, a road trip they took with their younger brother Connor and the things they learned about life together up to Jared's death.
This wasn't the book Deane had in mind to mark his publishing debut.
"I thought that my first book would be a collection of short stories about me and some of the weird things that I did as a kid," he said. "Then this experience happened, and I began writing."
A few months prior, Deane's wife had signed him up for a writers' group.
"I've been talking about being a writer for year, and my wife politely told me to either start writing or shut up about it," he said laughing. "Back when we lived in New Hampshire, she signed me up for a writers' group and I would write short things about my childhood that would make people laugh."
One month, Deane didn't have anything humorous to write.
"So I just sat down and began writing this story," he said.
The writers encouraged Deane to continue the story.
"I would write month after month and take a couple of months off at a time, because it was really hard to do," he said.
In 2011, one of the chapters from the book won the Non-Fiction prize in the Seacoast Writers Association contest.
Unfortunately, Deane's parents and other family members didn't appreciate the project.
"They knew I was writing it and, by this time, I'm sure some of them have read the book, but I think they feel like I ripped the cover off the cookie jar and let everyone put a hand in it," he said. "I don't imagine that they are thrilled, because it's hard to read about yourself and face what you did."
Deane said the person he really took to task was himself.
"I treated my brother very badly for a long time," he said. "Even though we reconciled and had some great experiences before he died, it wasn't enough. And I still feel a great shame for abandoning him over and over again."
Deane could not escape the heaviness of the situation, so he, his wife and three children moved to Oakley to get away from the sadness and grief in New Hampshire, to finish the book and start anew.
"We moved out here to escape the drama and the pressure of living so close to the rest of the family," he said. "We couldn't have picked a better place to heal."
Deane said in hindsight he still would have written the book
"My brother suffered from something that a lot of people suffer from, and we shouldn't be quiet about it," he said. "We should talk about the circumstances that surrounded him that affected him."
That conviction came from the different people Deane met in the three years it took him to write the book.
"I met a writers' coach and people from a road trip my brother and went on," he said. "Through them, I found that there is a lot of power in honesty.
"No one is entirely to blame for what happened to Jared, and he made some choices on his own, but everything around him had an effect, including me," Deane said. "So, I thought if I could help one person change the way they treat their loved ones over something like this to avert the same disaster, it's worth the vulnerability to go through."
From the feedback, including rave reviews by readers on www.amazon.com , Deane has received, the book has touched others' lives.
"I've received correspondence from people who have told me the book has changed how they are towards their nieces, their daughters, their sons or fathers who are gay or suffers from depression," he said. "The book doesn't tell people what they should do. It just conveys the story and helped me work through my issues, and I hope it will help others."
"West of Independence," a memoir by Matthew Deane is available at www.amazon.com , www.barnesandnoble.com and Dolly's Bookstore. Deane's other essays have been published on various writing websites and on his blog, www.frogsdontweartights.com.