Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Patrick Freivald Bio

This week's special guest is...Patrick Freivald!  

Patrick's a fun guy that I had the opportunity to meet and hang with at BEA in New York City this past May.  We discussed books and writing and beekeeping (see below) and of course, zombies.  He also featured one of my short stories on his awesome blog:

I'm a busy guy. My "day job" is high school teacher--physics, robotics, and American Sign Language--in a tiny Western New York town. As part of that I put in 600+ hours a year running a FIRST Robotics team (www.team1551.org), and I teach night classes at a community college. I'm on three committees at work (and chair one of them), sit on my local School Board, and am Vice President of the Ontario Finger Lakes Beekeeping Association (www.ontariocountybeekeepers.org). I'm a self-employed beekeeper and, what brings me here, I'm also a novelist. I'm an outspoken, opinionated, unapologetic geek, fascinated by nature and people in equal measure.

I live in the middle of gorgeous nowhere and I love it here. You've heard of a one-stoplight town? We don't have one of those. What we do have is tens of thousands of acres of state forest, including two of the most beautiful lakes in the country, and great Buffalo wings.

The Redhead(tm) and I grow most of our own food (much of which she cans), I make my own wine (some of it drinkable), try to read at least one book a week (though lately it's more like one a month), and still manage to squeeze in the occasional game of Warhammer 40K with my friends. At home we have two dogs, a parrot, a cockatiel, six cats, and several million stinging insects. We're thinking about adding chickens. Maybe some sheep.

The question that this information usually provokes is, how? And more importantly, why? Why not just relax a bit?

Well, 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, I don't like just doing nothing, and (in the interest of complete honesty) I sometimes half-ass things like yard work, tend to neglect my friends, and don't have kids. (The Redhead(tm) gets neglected too, but that's the secret of our happy marriage--we try not to spend too much time together!)

I like Stephen King more than Dean Koontz--though Koontz's writing is tighter and cleaner--because King's fiction is messy in all the right ways. Koontz is fun to read, but [spoiler alert!] the good guys always win, even if they're quite worse off for the victory. George R. R. Martin beats out Robert Jordan, because Jordan's fight scenes are perfunctory--you know that nobody important is going to die, and no amount of well-written battle scenes will make a foregone conclusion as exciting as an unknown one. There's no script immunity in King and Martin (and Straub and Barker and so many others), and it brings real, visceral tension to their work. I've been known to sit through books and movies I don't particularly enjoy if I don't know how it's going to end up, and I'm usually glad I did.

I don't consider myself a Young Adult author, or a zombie author, or even a horror or thriller author. I write what I feel like writing, and I don't much care what genre other people decide it is. That said, I've always enjoyed things that are a little off-center. Fantasy and Science Fiction are great, and I do love them, but they don't have that certain something special you get from horror. Horror is a slight left-turn from everyday life. Horror is that feeling that we're all just one closet door away from the cenobites. Horror is that creeping, late-night sensation that everything might not be what it seems...and you don't want to know the truth.

Be sure to check back Thursday for the full interview.  And in the meantime, visit his GoodReads page or follow him on Twitter

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