Friday, September 18, 2009

Author Interview: Mark Freeman

Mark Freeman, the author of The Kindling of Greenfyr, was nice enough to answer a few questions for me. My review of the book can be found here.

Author Bio (from Goodreads): Mark lives, works, and writes in northern Vermont with his wife and two daughters. Educated and trained as a wildlife biologist, when not writing, Mark has studied grizzly and black bears, bobcats, spiny soft shell turtles, and spruce grouse.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and why you began writing?

Well, educated and trained as a wildlife biologist, I've spent a lot of time in the woods studying all sorts of neat critters. However, I started writing back in high school. I had a fantastic English teacher my sophomore year who really challenged and inspired me. It was during that year that I really, truly, started writing and have never stopped. When I graduated high school and was looking at schools I decided to go to school for wildlife biology, ecology and conservation had been another passion of mine, knowing I'd continue to write, but at my own pace. I didn't think I needed a degree in English or Creative Writing to be a writer, although looking back on it now, I may have gotten published a lot sooner had I followed that path. Since the publication of GreenFyr I've become a stay at home dad and full time writer, which is really a dream come true for me.

2. You base part of your story in Vermont, why did you choose this setting?

I love Vermont. I wasn't born here, but there is no place I've ever been that I feel more at home than here in the Green Mountain State. As the characters, ideas, and thoughts about GreenFyr began to coalesce, Vermont just seemed liek the right place for Owen to live.

3. Did you base Owen's character on anyone in your life?

I love it when folks ask me this. There are two characters in GreenFyr who I can say had some real life basis. The first is Boone, and if you read the story you can probably figure out the basis for his character. The second is Owen. I have to say Owen is probably an amalgam of people, though. He's a bit me, as are all my characters really, as well as my four nephews, and probably what I think a son of mine would be like, had I one.

4. I loved the names of the characters and creatures in the book, particularly Orla, and the creature Vrok. What inspired these names?

Yeah, I'm a name monger. I collect them. I have folders full of post it notes and scraps of paper that I've jotted down names I've come across and liked. When I'm writing, and needing a name, I'll leaf through the folder and see if any strike me. The Vrok was actually just a demon name I found in an old mythology book. Orla, well, there's a bit more of a story there. I totally stole it from a woman I used to work with after I found out its origin and meaning. The character and co-worker have nothing else in common other than the name, but c'mon, when you're writing a fantasy story and come across the Gaelic name for Golden Princess, how can you turn that down? I'm pretty sure the co-worker still doesn't know I bogarted her name though, so let's try and keep it between us, okay? :)

5. Do you think your knowledge of wildlife helped you to better describe the various creatures in your book?
Well, I never thought of it that way! :) As I was writing GreenFyr I realized I was being pretty detailed in my descriptions and just hoped I wouldn't lose people in them. I think my over active imagination coupled with my biology background makes me see some things differently than other folks in my field.

6. What's one question you wish you were asked in interviews more often?

What has the best part of having your book published been?
Absolutely, hands down, being invited to discuss writing and my book with school kids. First, it's a tremendous privilege as a writer to be invited to a school to discuss your book with students and have the chance to watch them read and interpret your work. It's surreal, it really is. Then, on top of that, have a chance to speak with the students about your love of reading, what authors inspire you, and maybe, just maybe turn a kid on to reading who might otherwise never been bitten by the reading bug. That's a wonderful opportunity and one that never, ever, get's old.

7. Can we look forward to reading more of Owen's story? I know I want to read more!

Yes! The series is plotted and outlined for three more books. I'm hard at work on Book 2 of The ReUnification Conspiracy! Thanks for wanting more of Owen and Orla!

Author's Websites:, twitter (@greenfyr), and youtube: BooneVT

Thanks again to Mark for taking time to answer my questions!


Tales of Whimsy said...

He's a cutie. Reminds me of my husband. I have to put this book on my TBR.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again Lizzy!

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