AUTHOR Neil Daniels has pulled the plug on rock music to write a biography of Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey.

The 33-year-old, who lives in St Helens and works at Rainhill High School, has authored around 15 musical biographies of bands and artists including Robert Plant, AC/DC, Bon Jovi and ZZ Top.

Neil, who has a degree in film studies, said he is a big fan of McConaughey’s recent performances and it felt like the right time to try something different.

He said: “I have always been a film buff, but mostly I just wanted to branch out and try something different.

“It seemed like the right time. McConaughey’s career had just taken a turn in fortunes with a string of successful films such as Dallas Buyers Club and Killer Joe as well as the HBO series True Detective, and now the Christopher Nolan film Interstellar.

“Those silly late 90s and early 00 rom-coms seem like a long time ago now. There was the occasional obscure gem like Frailty but most of his films were throw-away.”

He added: “I never met him but that doesn’t deter from telling a good story. He became famous quite quickly and with seemingly little effort. However, he chose a number of lacklustre roles after his big break in A Time To Kill that never showed off his potential as an actor, so it’s great to see him back on form right now. It’s only recently that we have witnessed his versatility as an actor.”

The biography starts with McConaughey’s childhood in Texas and sees him take a year out in Australia and move to Los Angeles.

Neil describes the young McConaughey as a “free spirit”, likening him to “a character from a Jack Kerouac novel”.

“It’s not so much what he has said, but done, that is interesting,” he said: “Before he settled down and had a family he was quite a free spirit. He would often disappear for weeks on end, travelling to some far flung part of the world.”

Neil has been writing since leaving university, starting out with magazines, fanzines and websites, before getting his first book deal on Judas Priest which was released in 2007. As he works full-time, he writes during school holidays and evenings.

His next project — a biography of actor Martin Freeman who is best known for his roles in The Office and Sherlock — will be out in April 2015.

Matthew McConaughey - the Biography was released last month in hardback and can be found at book shops and on Amazon.