Interview: Brian Freeman
by Gayle Surrette / Joseph B. Hoyos
Gumshoe Review *Interview ISBN/ITEM#: INTBrianFreeman
Date: 28 April 2011
Links: Author's Website / Review: The Bone House / Show Official Info /
I contacted Brian Freeman and he was gracious enough to take the time to answer our questions about setting, the writing life, his readers, and his future projects. I'm sure you'll find his responses interesting and informative.
Gumshoe: Which authors inspired you to become a writer? Or, are there any particular authors you feel have had an impact on your choosing to write mysteries?
Brian: I grew up with writers like James Michener, Irving Wallace, James Clavell, and Leon Uris. They weren't mystery writers, but they were great storytellers. I learned so much about the power of drama from them. That may be one reason why my own brand of mystery is driven by the emotions and secrets of the characters, rather than classic mystery devices. I try to write suspense that's rooted in the intimate stories of real, complex people.
Gumshoe: Our reviewer felt that the setting of The Bone House was as much a part of the story as the characters. How important do you feel setting is to mood and impact on the characters? Brian: Yes, the setting in my books is as much a character as any of the people. That vividness of place enriches the drama and makes it more intense. I want to give readers a "you are there" feel, so I scout locations for every chapter much the way a film director would. My goal is for the reader to experience the book as if they've been dropped into the middle of a scene, where they can feel, touch, taste, smell, and hear everything that's going on around them.
Gumshoe: What is an average writing day like for you?
Brian: As much as I enjoy the creative process, on any given day I'd probably rather do anything except stare at that blank screen! So most days involve a combination of a chair, my backside, and some superglue. You just have to sit there and get it done. I was in the traditional work force for so long that I still tend to work a typical 9-to-5 day Monday to Friday. Plus, the writing process is so intense that I need to back away from the manuscript for a couple days on the weekend.
Gumshoe: Has the response of your readers to your novels ever taken you by surprise? If so, how?
Brian: So many great writers have played a role in my life that it's a real honor to have that relationship with readers myself. That's why I encourage readers to write to me by e-mail or Facebook. It's always deeply moving and humbling to hear responses from readers, because it's a reminder of the power that stories have to lift people out of their current circumstances. I've heard from soldiers serving overseas, family members dealing with the loss of loved ones, teachers working with students. They always inspire me to get back to work.
Gumshoe: What can you tell us about your next project? Will it be another in a series or a stand-alone?
Brian: I've got a lot planned in the next few years! My seventh book is another great stand-alone in the same classic psychological suspense style. My editor says it took her breath away, so that's what I like to hear. Readers will have a chance to see more of Cab Bolton from The Bone House soon, too. But my first job this summer is to get back to Duluth and write the next Jonathan Stride novel.
Gumshoe: Thank you Brian for your time.