Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Author Feature and Interview with Robert Friedrich

Robert Friedrich is an Author who writes in a multitude of styles which include Novella's, Short Stories, Poetry and even Screenplays. His books are famous for taking an unconventional route through the darkest of places and emotions, and are generally driven by fast paced action and direct-from-heart dialogue.

His current releases include: The Darkness Within: A Novella, Enlightened by Darkness Anthologies, The Book of Metal Lyrics and Seed of Evil, which is the first part of an entire up-coming Saga. Robert surprises his audience by how different, each of his book's tone, message is and how they are visually descriptive. He also designs his own book covers and trailers.

"A fictional Dystopia is better than a fake Utopia." -- Robert Friedrich

 An interview with our guest:
Where are you from?
First, let me thank you for having an opportunity to cooperate with your fantastic team and communicate my views to the readers of The Book Nymph. It is both a pleasure and an honor.
I am from Slovakia, but been living the latter part of my life in Egypt.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I felt an urge to express myself for a long time. And writing came along as a natural way; I didn’t poke this way or other. All my stories I wrote and rewrote in my mind many times. One day came and I couldn’t keep them there: I sat and started to write.
Officially “The Darkness Within: A Novella” was not my first book/story idea, but I decided to publish it as first because I believed it will be a great start.
Simply, I write stories that I enjoy personally. All of my books are written in that way.
Do you write full-time or part-time? How do you balance your writing life with your family/work life?
I write full-time besides being a designer. I work from home so it’s not that complicated to balance my life. I am not married and I have no children.
I can say that my work life is interconnected with my ordinary life. Writing is something I enjoy and thus I don’t consider it as a “job” but it’s a significant part of my life, incorporated as my predominant every-day routine.
How did you come up with the title?
Giving titles to my books is actually pretty easy; usually they just derive themselves from the context directly or during the inception of the idea. This also counts for stories which I contribute to anthologies/collections and collaborations.
For example: The Darkness Within since its inception has had the word “darkness” as a designation.  When I was close to finishing, the word “within” clicked: fitting perfectly.   The Darkness Within is deeply twisted psychological narrative, which in the grand context leads to a dark side of just one person.   
Seed of Evil likewise; that title was assigned to a story since I got the idea, over 10 years ago.  Fits well and rings in the ear; for me at least. In this first part of saga, the military element is prevalent, but the concept deals with the ancient “origin” of evil, in the distanced galaxy which brings to the fore a sci/fi tuning. Occult powers in the battle with the advanced military and scientific technologies, space and time travel in a monumental background leads again to one – single point in the life…
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That depends on the readers, since they choose after reading, what they take. There is always message or thought or purpose in each of my books or stories, I just let everyone decide for themselves. Every book is a part of me, part of my life path; I’m sure that others walking their own path would not have the same “message” to convey, so if my writings serve as a point for discussion or rejection, it is result of reader’s subconscious sending a message, what he/she needs to get. 
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The Darkness Within for example has experiences that I know about from the people who dealt or still deal with. I do have a bond with many of my stories and yes there are some things in each book that I know or have experienced personally to a point.
My Enlightened by Darkness series has certain stories that I know will touch, effect and even offend perhaps, but that comes with the territory. Publishing my books worldwide for particular people some of the content may be helpful, for some strange, while for others it will just be a form of entertainment, etc.
As a Horror/Sci-fi author I touch on a lot of different, unpleasant and even disturbing situations, but it’s also a way of expressing myself. Everyone has a voice; and there will always be people that don’t want to hear or know, however their attitude don’t change that situation, it is still there and can’t be denied.
What books have most influenced your life most?

Hard to choose a particular one, since not only books but all kinds of media have influenced me over the years to such an extent that define me now. If I had to choose one, it would be Clive Barker’s Books of Blood because each story is just completely different. They all have a tone, a voice and presence that just resonates through the book and that is something I also try in my “Enlightened by Darkness” books.
What book are you reading now?

These days I am kind of short on time so flash, short stories and graphic novels mostly.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Yes, and I worked with some of them: Alex S. Johnson, Angel Cox, Thomas Price, Sammy Cassella… There are so many, the easiest way would be to grab the anthology Deathmongers: Where the Light Dies, which I collaborated with twenty talented writers and read the contemporary definition of horror.
I’m  also part of  “Demonic Visions” series, “Axes of Evil II” , and “Flash It! “  anthologies, altogether many talented authors with unique voices.
Anthologies are interesting; every single story is as a whole book. Readers instead of one book enjoy many.

What are your current projects?

Right now I am working on multiple titles:
“Enlightened by Darkness – Vol.4 Foretold Salvation”, which is the continuation of my short stories anthologies.
“Welcome to your Death: Part 2” – Part 1 was released just a few days ago.  It is my post-apocalyptic mini-series. Rather adventure, not my typical horror and I found the great interest about between the teenagers.  
And the sequel to my saga “Seed of Evil”.
There is also a new book in works that is not a sequel or a part of something and will be a stand-alone novella/novel.  I am so excited about it and hope to complete before this year ends.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Other great Indie Authors.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Nope, it would remain unchanged. I would have only made more effort to write sooner and faster.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

“Welcome to your Death: Part 1” of a mini-series, recently released. Easy, fast and enjoyable reading, with each part you will want more and more. The story is more or less based on the survival/surviving the new and harsh world, set a number of years after the Yellowstone Volcano eruption.
My current work in progress – “Enlightened by Darkness 4” – will be darker, longer and will raise the stakes and bar even higher than the previous three books.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Writing is the easy part for me.  The editing and formatting take the challenge cake.  When it’s all done well and a book is finally polished and ready to go -  oh, this rewarding feeling erase immediately any heavy heads from the way and can be compared to a winning a lottery. 
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Well, I already mentioned Clive Barker, Steven King, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Alan E. Poe, and many other. All horror authors I would call Indie Authors, even they have publisher. What is striking on them all - they are persevering and write in such an “easy” way about the deepest fear of others, fears that evidently no one else would admit nor be able to experience.
Who designed the covers?
As I mentioned earlier, I am also a designer and I create my own covers. Recently, I branched out and now I design covers for other authors, too. 
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I can’t remember any particular or outstanding difficulty with any of my books. Once you are used to it, it’s pretty simple and works just like clockwork.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned a lot of things and become a more experienced person. Most important thing that I learned and will keep saying forward is that writing will test you and you should never give up. Keep going, crush the opposition, the naysayers and just go on.
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Besides the one I have given, a good advice I got many years ago when I was studying screenwriting. I apply it also in my book writing: friends and family are not the people you want as beta readers or opinions from. Now, this is not meant as anything bad, but the best advice you will always get from unbiased people that have no personal relation with you.
The other thing that I use in general and that is the most important thing to me:  “I” have to like what I have written and enjoy it. I’m not writing for someone else, I’m writing for myself, so let my voice be heard.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for your loyalty and support. Keep on reading and enjoying, more is on its way.
 What do you think about e-publishing versus technical publishing?
I use both methods and each one has its ups and downs, but by using both I can reach everyone. The ones that like to read digital will have the e-book while the ones who prefer the smell and feeling of a printed book will have that. Win - win situation for everyone.
Do you have an agent or publisher? How did you go about finding one?
I have neither but I am opened so feel free to reach out, I don’t bite.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I am trying to move back to Slovakia so that is my current goal; get there and start a clean slate.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Does being rich count as a super power? I mean Bruce Wayne is rich and is Batman. Then I could solve a ton of other problems, not just my own but world problems. 
If that is off the books I will go Wolverine style healing and aging mixed with flight and Adamantium for bones and teeth – no more dental visits – ever. Yeah!

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