It was not until author-entrepreneur Christian Warren Freed was deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 that he wrote his debut novel Hammers in the Wind. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, the fifty-year-old former soldier, who has been to war three times, says that he always wanted to do two things in life: join the army and become an author. Having written over twenty-five science fiction and military fantasy novels, combat memoirs, a pair of how-to books, a children’s book, and several short stories, Mr Freed lets us know that his latest series is a cross amongst Star Wars, Dune, and The Malazan Book of the Fallen. ‘Under Tattered Banners is book five of the Forgotten Gods Tales. It follows the heroes and villains in a universe of seven hundred worlds as they vie for control of it all,’ he tells us.
Influenced by Erickson and Weber
The American author, who is based out of North Carolina, shares with us that he generally fleshes out the first half of the book before putting pen to paper. ‘Additional characters and situations pop up as the story takes a life of its own. Part of the fun in writing is seeing where the story develops,’ he says.
On being asked if he derives inspiration from any authors, Mr Freed, who has a masters in digital communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says that he grew up on Heinlein, Tolkien, Brooks, Asimov, and the other classic sci-fi and fantasy authors. ‘My recent additions to the list are Steven Erickson and David Weber. Their books have had a great influence on how I develop my stories,’ he lets on, sharing with us that since starting his own imprint Warfighter Books, he has been taking care of admin and marketing business in the mornings, following which he tries to write two thousand words a day. ‘The business side of writing demands more time and has the propensity to steal time,’ he concedes.
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Up-close and Personal
Giving us a peek into his personal life, Mr Freed, who is fond of smoking cigars and drinking fine whiskey, shares that having spent over a decade as a leader of soldiers, he learnt how to manage time and assets to affect great results. ‘When I step away from the computer, I spend time with my two Bernese Mountain Dogs, enjoy a great cigar, poker with the boys, and ballroom dancing with the Mrs,’ he tells us, adding, ‘Life is good, my friends’. Be that as it may, the author also divulges that he has recently signed a five-book contract for a sci-fi storyline he has and has three other books in various stages of production- from writing to publishing.
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‘Discover Why You’re Writing’
When asked if he’d like to say something to budding authors who lose motivation if their works don’t do well, Mr Freed pronounces, ‘Discover why you’re writing, ignore reviews, and learn how to treat your books like a business.’ He then adds, ‘So many authors fail because they think they can get away with writing what they want and ignore trends and sales reports. This is a business, and if you don’t treat it as one, you are destined to fail.’
Anyhow, is there a thing or two that he would want to see changed in the world we dwell in? ‘I wish we could do away with labels,’ states Mr Freed. ‘It’s almost like we are self-segregating, and that only drives a wedge between us. If we can all stop having to be labelled as something and just be people, the world will be a better place,’ he declares, signing off.