Today I’m pleased to welcome Paul Freeman to Off the Page to chat about his new book Tribesman.
Paul Freeman is a warrior, adventurer, and zombie hunter. He is from Dublin, Ireland, where he now works, plays and writes. In the past he has lived in Germany and America but is now content to keep his roaming to the worlds he creates and writes about. Tribesman is his first published novel. He has also published a short story in the steampunk anthology, Strange Tales From the Scriptorium Vaults. A horror book, Season of the Dead, written with three other writers will be published by Spore Press in spring 2013.
He is currently working on book 2 in the Tribesman series.
1. Tell a little about yourself, what you do when you’re not writing, what are your aspirations for the future?
I’m a warrior, adventurer, and zombie hunter… at least that’s what it says in my bio so it must be true. As for the future; nothing special, just wealth fame and amazing luck. Actually, I’d just like to be successful enough as a writer to not have to work at anything else. Just enough to get by and I’ll be a happy camper. My true reward will be to spend all my time in the worlds I create.
2. When and why did you start writing?
I don’t remember any specific moment where I said, hey! I should write that. I do remember being very imaginative as a youngster constantly inventing games and stories. As I got older it was just a natural progression to write, short stories at first, and then books.
3. If you could only read one book over and over again for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Oh, that’s a hard one. As a child I was blown away by The Hobbit, as a teenager the books I loved were Lord of the Rings, and The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, and later Legend by David Gemmell. But if I was to pick one book it actually wouldn’t be a fantasy book it would be A Long Long way by Sebastian Barry. It is the story of a seventeen year old who enlists with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and goes off to fight in WW1. A very moving story, it was shortlisted for the Man booker prize in 2005.
4. Give us some back story about Tribesman, where and when did you write it?
Tribesman is actually the third book I’d written, I’ve since written another with three other people called Season of the Dead, a zombie apocalypse book which will be published by Spore Press in spring 2013. My first book is best forgotten, and we’ll quickly move on, the second is a gritty drama called Taxi. It is the story of a Dublin taxi driver who is involved in a road traffic accident where a teenage girl dies. Although he was at the wheel of the car it was not his fault, even so he blames himself and his life spins out of control from there. After writing that I wanted to write something completely different, fantasy, particulary epic fantasy has always been a great love of mine, so I started with a line – ‘Wake up! Wake up, you bastard!’- and watched it grow from there.
5. What inspired your story?
I love fantasy, and historical fiction. There is a link between the two, mythology. Mythology is the fantasy from the past, tales of heroes and magic, of gods and demons. Much of Tribesman is inspired by Celtic mythology. 6. What was your favorite part of Tribesman to write?
My main character Culainn is a complex character, although he tries to live his life by a code of honour, situations he finds himself in, very often manipulated by others, constantly challenge his beliefs. I loved being inside his head, seeing how he will react. Although his sword often does his talking he is also capable of deep thought.
7. Your book’s going to be made into a movie, who would you cast in the main roles?
You know what, I’d actually love to see unknown actors take the parts, to come at it without any baggage, and completely make it their own. I could say someone like Viggo Mortensen would make a great Culainn, but he’s already Aragorn. I want someone people will say, oh yeah he’s Culainn.
8. Are you a Pantser or Plotter? Why?
Complete panster. I keep telling myself I need to plot these stories out, but it never seems to work that way. It would be nice not to have to sit down at the computer everytime and wonder what the hell happens next? But then again, it’s also pretty cool to be there as it unfolds.
9. Do you have any tricks to your trade, bottomless coffee, a magic pen, a special muse?
Guilt. No matter how hard I try I can never shut my inner voice up if I don’t get some words down.
10. If you could be any fictional character for a day, who would it be and why?
Jaqen H’ghar. All the girls love him!
A warrior in exile seeks a path home.
Banished from his homeland, a warrior of the Northern Clans grows weary of life in a harsh, alien land. With the dark god Morrigu haunting his dreams, and a desert princess as a companion, Culainn, a warrior and champion sets forth on a journey north in search of a merchant’s daughter abducted by clansmen and taken back across the mountains. Through a land baked by a scorching sun, where bandits roam free and dark beasts stalk the night.
An ancient evil is rising from the desert. A Benouin myth of a ghost city inhabited by the souls of their ancestors, a bridge to the Underworld is unleashing demonic creatures on an unsuspecting world. Culainn and Persha, warrior and mage stand alone against a tide of darkness. All the while, Morrigu, the dark war god of the north seeks to use Culainn as her own tool, her own champion.