Please welcome Paul Freeman, author of the published novel, Tribesman, as well as several other works (see his Amazon page for the listing with prices).
Paul is from Dublin, Ireland, where he now works, plays and writes. In the past, he has lived in Germany and America but is now content to keep his roaming to the worlds he creates and writes about.
Tribesman is his first published novel, an epic fantasy with hints of Celtic myth. He has also published a short story in the steampunk anthology, Strange Tales from the Scriptorium Vaults. Season of the Dead is a novel about the zombie apocalypse, told from four different perspectives by four different authors. Season of the Dead is published by Spore Press.
First question and it’s a simple yet complicated one: why did you become a writer?
Paul: I think the jury’s still out on whether or not I’ve accomplished that yet. Seriously though, it’s never a conscious decision, you are or you aren’t.
Pretty profound for a first answer, Paul. What is the hardest part for you about writing a novel?
Paul: Switching on the laptop and coming up with the next line. I tend not to plot anything out before I start, and with each new novel I curse myself for the entire duration of writing it that I haven’t done so, promising myself I will plot the next one from start to finish…of course, I never do. Who needs an easy life?
Indeed! If a writer wanted an easy life, they wouldn’t choose to be a writer, am I write…er…right? Any favorite authors or books that you like to turn to for inspiration?
Paul: I’m a huge fan of Bernard Cornwell–he writes historical fiction. I write mainly fantasy, but they are not that far removed. Intrigue, battles and bloody mayhem, what’s not to love? I’ve also been a massive fan of David Gemmell since I first read Legend nearly thirty years ago.
If you could go back in time to when you started writing your first novel, what practical tip(s) would you give your younger self?
Paul: Put that pen away (yes, the first book I wrote was written in freehand, 140,000 words of utter rubbish) and go have a beer.
Heh, that’s the advice I give myself every time I sit down to write…but I only sometimes listen.
So tell us about your books? Any you’re particularly proud of more than the others? Any new works-in-progress at the moment?
Paul: I’m proud of them all to be honest. My fantasy series (currently at two books) is an epic fantasy with hints of Celtic mythology running through it. It is about a warrior who finds himself exiled a long way from home, in a harsh and strange environment. He’s handed an opportunity to return home in search of a missing girl and takes a chance. Needless to say, the course of his journey does not run smoothly. Book 2, titled Warrior, continues the adventure. Tribesman and Warrior are published by Cogwheel Press.
Season of the Dead is a zombie apocalypse novel written with three other authors, each writing from their own perspective, in their own part of the world, about the same event. As we are based in three different countries, it gives the story a very global feel.
I do have a work-in-progress (there always is). It is another epic fantasy; happily, it’s nearly finished.
Sounds like you’ve been busy! Is there a character, or aspects of a character, in any of your novels that you most relate with?
Paul: Yes, the sword-wielding, axe-rampaging, zombie-hunting, adventuring, free spirit ones…sort of.
What’s the toughest bit of criticism you have ever received from a reader/reviewer–something valid, not from a flame review lacking credibility?
Paul: If it’s a valid criticism and something that actually helps me improve as a writer, I don’t think it’s tough at all. At least, I suppose nobody likes to be criticized at all, particularly from a stranger in any sort of public forum, but none of us are perfect…sadly.
Sneaky way to avoid the question, Paul :P. OK, OK, I give…then what’s the best compliment you’ve received?
Paul: Anybody who tells me they got lost in my story does it for me.
What’s your favorite cure for writer’s block?
Paul: To just keep going–one word leads to a sentence; a sentence leads to a paragraph…it might be rubbish and you may end up deleting it later, but it gets the ball rolling.
When you’re not writing, what do you do for fun?
Paul: I like to read and I’m a big football fan (UK football, which is “soccer” to you Americans), although my playing days are, sadly, long behind me.
I absolutely loved my couple visits to Dublin. I hear there are some 90 pubs in the city alone! Assuming you drink, any one you’d recommend to tourists?
Paul: Oh, there’s tons of great pubs in Dublin. The first thing I’d advise is to stay about from Temple Bar. In the city centre, I like a pub called Bruxxelles. You can’t miss it–it has a statue of Phil Lynott outside the door.
Do you have a favorite motivational phrase?
Paul: No, not really. I suppose I could try and make one up, though.
I won’t put you on the spot with that :), but anything you’d like to say to readers/fans?
Paul: Yes. Although, I can count you all on one hand, and most of you have the same last name as me–thank you.
Any tips you’d like to offer to others attempting to write novels?
Paul: Just write the book for yourself, and tell the story how you want to. There are plenty of people out there willing to offer advice and tell you how it should be done–a few of them even have good points.
Thanks so much, Paul, for spending some time with us today.
Folks, be sure to check out Paul’s works, available for purchase on Amazon.com.