Mark Freeman is the author of The Kindling of Greenfyr, which I read and reviewed here. Graciously, Mark has agreed to an interview with me! Learn a bit about Mark below and if you have any further questions, you can check out his website or tweet him greenfyr on Twitter.Onto the Interview!Tell me one interesting quirky fact about yourself.Hmmm, good question! Well, even though I’ve been writing since high school, I never went to college for writing; I’m educated and trained as a wildlife biologist.
I’ve studied grizzly and black bears, tracked cougars in Arizona, song birds and waterfowl, turtles, and bobcats. I think much of my wildlife work has influenced my writing. It’s pretty easy for your imagination, especially when you have an over active one like mine, to run wild when you’re alone in the woods for 8 or 10 hours a day. It’s funny, I was reading a journal paper on Stellars Jays the other day, the research for which was done in and around Forks, WA, and I immediately thought of Twilight.
I think I’m the only biologist alive who laughed when I read that paper and immediately thought of vampires and werewolves.What inspired the fantasy realm your book is set in?Again, I think a lot of of it is credited to my field work as a biologist. I first started to imagine Parathas, the world Owen travels to, while working in the Canadian Rockies. Those mountains are amazing and it was easy for me to imagine myself in places like Middle Earth or Narnia. The seeds for the book really started to germinate while I was studying grizzlies in those mountains.
That, coupled with my love of the fantasy genre, and I think it just sort of took on a life of its own. I carried Lord of the Rings with me, re-reading it by headlamp in my tent at night, so I credit much of it to Tolkien.The characters in the book are very different and original. Did you base any of the characters off of people you know personally? Great question! I have to say, with the exception of two, no. The first is the main protagonist, Owen, and is really an amalgam of me, my four nephews, and really what I envisioned a son of mine – if I had one – would be like.
The other character is Boone, who was very much based on a “person” I once knew. I should also say, though, some of the characters are based on many from mythology, theology, or previous fantasy works because of one of the underlying themes of the book. I’ve always loved and been amazed by the traditions and similarities of so many fantasy books. And even though some of those similarities can be written off with simple explanations, I’ve always wondered wouldn’t it be cool if there was something more or what if? For example, the similarities between characters like Odin, Dumbledore, Merlin, and Gandalf may simply be written off as something as simple as white hair and long beards connote wisdom, but what if there was something more to those characters, or a connection between them?How many books can we expect in this series and do you have a timeline for when they’ll be available to read?
The series is outlined and plotted for 4 books total. The next of which, The Welling of Wisdom, I’m hoping for an early 2010 release.What types of book do you enjoy yourself?I am a HUGE YA and Fantasy fan. I do enjoy sci-fi also, as well as other sub genres within the two. I’m currently reading the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins and Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Teeth and Hands. With that said, however, I’ll really read anything should it catch my interest.What advice do you have for aspiring writers?WRITE! Write, and keep writing. Find some honest and trust worthy people to read your work and have them really tear it apart and then go back and write it again. Develop thick, very thick, skin and send out your work to every appropriate agent and publisher.Anything else you’d like to tell your readers?Yes, thank you for reading and reviewing YA literature! YA and children’s literature is finally beginning to gain some respect and becoming more mainstream and it’s in no small part due to you!Thank you Mark for taking the time to answer my questions! 🙂 Don’t forget to check out his website and my review of The Kindling of Greenfyr!