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Patrick Freivald

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, Patrick Freivald, courtesy of the author; 220x288

Patrick Freivald

On his web site, Patrick Freivald says, "I'm a lazy, ADD-riddled workaholic. I guess what it comes down to is that I don't like being bored. I don't watch much TV, though when I do I tend to chew through entire seasons in a weekend--Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Dexter.... I wake up in the morning between six and seven, go to bed around midnight, and don't take many breaks in-between. I don't like being idle..."

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Sure. Readers don't tend to be shy when telling you what they think, good or bad.

I've been fortunate to always have excellent critics before a novel or short story hits publication, but you can get a good sense of what's working for your audience and what isn't by how people react and what they say.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

My first piece of fan-mail from a complete stranger energized me in ways I didn't know were possible. I mean, I write because I enjoy writing, but publishing is a hard, often frustrating process, so that payoff is always a delight, and as they say, the first time is special.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

The hardest of usual questions, I won't try to limit it to one, and as soon as I finish I'll think of more I should have added. I've read a lot of Stephen King and Peter Straub, everything that Preston and Child have written, Tom Clancy, Dan Abnett, James Patterson, R. A. Salvatore, John Sandford, Clive Barker, H. P. Lovecraft, Larry Niven, Kaaron Warren, Jerry Pournelle, Neal Stephenson, Dan Simmons, Joe Lansdale, Ray Bradbury, Ramsey Campbell, Michael Moorcock, F. Paul Wilson, Robert McCammon, Joe McKinney, Jonathan Maberry, George R. R. Martin.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Richard Feynman, assuming a little magic could bring him back to life. I'm sure that's the first of an infinite number of fascinating things that we'd talk about.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Dennis Rader. I can't imagine that would end well.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

I suppose that depends on what kind of range I could get on a WiFi router. I'm not so much attached to things, but the internet is not something I'd like to be without.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

I want everything I write to be better than the thing I just wrote. I had no idea how much I had to learn when I started down this road - indeed, am a bit embarrassed at how much I didn't know I didn't know - and I imagine that in a few years I'll look back at my best work now and say, "Wow, I wasn't as good as I could have been."

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

That people enjoy the fruits of my efforts as much or more than I enjoy creating them. Writing for an audience is quite different than writing for oneself, and while I don't crave validation per se, it's nice to see that something I've done makes someone else's life richer.

submitted by Patrick Freivald

18 August 2014

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: 1976
Resides: Very rural Western New York.
2013 Bram Stoker Award® double-nominee.
2012 JournalStone Horror Fiction contest winner.

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