Author Christian Warren Freed believes that life translates into our work, the good guys don’t always succeed, and some don’t survive. His goal is to provide an enjoyable ride readers will continue returning to throughout the years. Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.
My name is Christian Warren Freed. After deciding farm life in rural Pennsylvania was not my best option, I raised my right hand and joined the US Army. Ten days after high school, I was on a plane heading for Oklahoma and basic training. The next twenty years seemed to fly by and left me in a weird place- I was a retiree and looking for a new career. I enjoy fine cigars, better whiskey, and love spending time down in the woods with my Bernese Mountain Dogs. Oh yeah, I have also decided to make a go of being as close to a professional writer as possible. Last year I started my own company: Warfighter Books, and continue building my little empire.
When and why did you begin writing?
I suppose we can go with the cliché of starting young. I made goofy comic books back in the 80s as a kid, won an award for a very poorly written horror novel in 10th grade, fiddled with a few books in the 90s. It wasn’t until I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 that I wrote my first real book. After that the train picked up steam and I kept writing. I retired from the Army in 2011 and knew what I wanted to do.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I would say after putting The End on the last page of my first book. It runs in my blood though. My uncle is a historian who does a lot of work with Ken Burns and my aunt has a few books under her name aw well.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
My newest novel is a throwback to the classic film noir/ detective movies of the 40s and 50s combined with the action of James Bond and set on a galactic backdrop. One of my favorite themes is having characters who live unassuming lives that are suddenly upended by raw chaos. You never know what you’re going to get.
What inspired you to write this book?
Oh, the Lazarus Men had been stewing in my mind after a weekend of watching classic detective films and the whole noir theme. I added my style and a few scifi elements to ramp it up. The beauty of creating is I seldom know the direction my mind wanders.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I have been told to tell people I am direct to a fault. I prefer the in-your-face, straight down the throat approach. To life and writing. I enjoy writing epic battle scenes, whether it is with sword and horse or in a starship.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
I probably got the general idea from an old Batman graphic novel where his villain uses the Lazarus Pit to rejuvenate. I figured hey, what if my bad guy has that ability and builds a quiet empire of influence around it over the centuries?
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Nope, not even a little. I read a lot of books with deep philosophical messaging or questing for answers, but this is meant to be a good time, an escape from reality, and a thrill from start to finish.
Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in
your own life?
I think we as authors always insert a little bit of ourselves in our characters. I haven’t been to space yet so there’s not much influence there, but I’m willing to try!
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
Steven Erikson wrote a very lengthy series filled with complexities beyond imagination, thousands of characters, and multiple storylines that seemingly don’t make sense through each book but are beautifully wrapped up in the final three. I wanted to do that with my opus series (the Forgotten Gods Tales). Aside from him, I use David Weber, Terry Brooks, of course Tolkien, and Dennis L. McKiernan for inspiration. They have a way with words and can draw my attention for books well over 800 pages.
If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?
The tag team duo of Erikson and Ian Esslemont. While I haven’t spoken with either, I get so much fire from reading their books and through the world they created that I want to be like that, but in my own way. Aside from that, my mentor runs a publishing company and I bounce everything off of her before going for it. Kinda….
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
I have a handful of artists on hand to execute different styles of cover work. For this particular design I used Warren Design. It conveys the message I am putting out and themes well with the story.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Study the business. There is so much bad advice circulating, from you should write what you want to ignoring what the major publishers do because it’s your journey. Well, yes and no. There is a reason for bestsellers and a reason why yours isn’t. Follow the trends, study the business, and don’t be afraid to take chances.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Since starting out a decade ago I have had the good fortune of discovering some really die hard superfans from around the world. They know how I feel, but for everyone else: thank you for being part of this ride with me. I can string the words together, but you are the ones who determine my failure or success. Here’s to you, and the far horizon we have yet to reach!
The Lazarus Men