Sunday, March 3, 2013

Interview By: Author Christian Warren Freed


Where were you born and where do you call home? I was born in Buffalo, NY but, after spending twenty years in the US Army I retired outside of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Tell us about something that has just happened or is about to happen in your life that you would like to share. I’ve taken the last year and a half to really focus on my writing career and have been rewarded with two contracts. Both books are coming out in the next few months. Really exciting times.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say? My most recent title is A Long Way From Home: Memories and Observations from Iraq and Afghanistan. The title pretty much sums it up. I deployed three times in 4 years to fight the war on terror.

If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say? There is no room for weakness in the world. One must stand up and take what belongs to him or the world will roll right over you.

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is this book part of a series? My second contract is the first in a series of 6 planned novels. It’s an epic fantasy story with Viking inspired themes entitled: Hammers in the Wind.

What books have influenced your writing? Definitely the Lord of the Rings, Terry Brook’s Shannara series, and Steven Erickson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet? Steven Erickson

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover? There is no substitute for the feel of a real book, hard or paperback. I have several titles self published on the Nook and Kindle but never once thought about buying one of the machines.

Where do you prefer to buy your books? Huge lover of Barnes and Noble but support as many independent book stores as possible.

Are you a self published (Indie) Author? Yes and no. I started out self publishing but have been rewarded with two contracts from smaller publishing houses.

What book would you like to read again? Where do I even begin? I have close to 500 books and would like to reread most of them!

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version? Not really. Movies, by law, have to be different from the books and often leave out important scenes due to time constraints.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)? I just finished a book called Fallen by Tim Lebbon. Interesting take on horror, exploration, and the quest.

Are there any Authors that have grasped your interest recently and why? Not authors so much but concepts. I must admit that I have a weakness for the Black Library’s Horus Heresy series. There is something about what makes a man turn against all he knows and has fought to uphold.

Who designed the cover of your book? A very young artist and personal friend, Melissa Kalbfleisch. Her artwork is featured on most of my books and is scheduled to do all six covers for my Northern Crusade series.

Do you buy a book by the cover? Covers certainly influence my decisions but I also read the genre and back cover. There are some great covers but the book is in a genre I am not interested in.

Do you have a book trailer? Nope, I’m old school.

What are your thoughts on book trailers? Can’t say as that I have many thoughts. I’ve never actually considered doing one.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Don’t take no for an answer and never be afraid to keep your voice. Too many aspiring authors sell out to try and take advantage of popular trends.

Do you write under a pen name? Heck no. I’m proud of my work and want people to know it!

What date were you born? - you can leave off the year if you like. Jan. 11.

Do you have a nickname? Smoke. It comes from one of my jobs in the Army. No one really knows where it comes from but every artillery platoon sergeant is nicknamed Smoke.

Did you have a favorite toy as a child? Star Wars action figures. Broke em, fought with em, and loved em!

An early childhood memory - My father took us to see the original Star Wars in the drive in when I was four. It was a game changer for me.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s? All the time. Who doesn’t? It’s all about being comfortable!

What are your pet peeves? I absolutely despise the sound of people eating. That and when they stand too close to me. Ugh.

Any pets that you would like to tell us about, share a pic? I have two Bernese Mountain Dogs (pic in email) and absolutely love the breed. Best dogs I’ve ever had.

White wine or red? Wine??? Seriously… give me some good old Kentucky Bourbon and we can be friends.

Coffee or tea? Coffee. I’m a New Yorker after all.

So you like to cook?  Do you have a favorite food? I love cooking but am a man of very few favorites. I cook whatever whim I have at the moment.

Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Strawberry…..

What do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work? Coffee and cereal. Work can wait.

What are 4 things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)? I relish the chance to LEAVE my phone at home. About the only things I never leave home with are my shoes.

Sleep in or get up early? I have to get up early. Kids need to go to school and the dogs need to go outside.

Laptop or desktop for writing? Laptop, though this is a new development. Until recently I always wrote my books in pen!

Your favorite gadget -  I don’t do gadgets very much. They tend to get in the way of life. I prefer the open skies, a good cigar and taking my dogs for walks.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing? I think trying to limit when and where I write isn’t conducive. I write when the mood takes me. The story tells me when it’s ready to come out.

Your thoughts on receiving book reviews - the good and the bad – Every author should be prepared for good and bad reviews. It is the only way any of us can become better writers. I once learned that there is no positive or negative feedback. Feedback is simply that.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you? This is a tough one. I don’t have very many favorites. Heidi Klum, Abraham Lincoln and Josh Gates.

Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday? I want to go back to Germany and get the chance to explore the castles and what not. My family came from there and I only got to spend 4 days en route to Afghanistan. Not exactly a fun trip.

One of your favorite quotes – If you can’t keep up don’t step up.

List 3 books you just recently read and would recommend? I really enjoyed Tony Ballentine’s Twisted Metal. Also David Weber’s Safehold series and Peter Oreullian’s the Unremembered.

List 3 of your favorite movies? Hands down the 13th Warrior (I’m a professional soldier after all), Lord of the Rings and Kelly’s Heroes.

An actor or a book character you have a crush on – Nah, I’m a little too old to have crushes on people.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and really enjoyed? I really liked the concept of Zero Hour but found the execution less than desirable. I am, however, thoroughly looking forward to the upcoming Defiance in April.

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?  Feel free to add pics. That’s a tough one since most of my characters tend to be younger, meaning the actors wouldn’t be well known. I can say that I absolutely would NOT want the kid who played Anakin Skywalker in parts 2 and 3 of Star Wars.

Where can your readers stalk you?

My Goodreads author page:
Twitter: @Christian_Freed
Is your book in Print, ebook or both? I have the majority of my titles on ebooks but two (Armies of the Silver Mage and Hammers in the Wind) are about to be in print.

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