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Focus: CL Freire

An Interview with C. L. Freire

Hardline: When did you first realize your passion for writing?

I’ve known I wanted to write since I could hold up a pencil and locate the nearest blank wall. I remember back when I was little, my mom signed me up for a book club, and every week I was sent a new book. I loved it. I used to read the books in one sitting and analyze them. All but one of the books were lost over time, but I still have one of them today, and I keep it neatly tucked away, despite the fact that it’s really tattered. I just knew, even back then, that writing was all I wanted to do with my life.

Hardline: Can you tell us about the genesis of your main characters?

My main characters are a group of four kids. The first one I created was David, the main boy; he’s in chapter one. He’s the catalyst for the entire series. I really wanted to bring to life this kid who’s lost so much, and put the reader directly in his shoes from page one. His friends, the other three kids, came about very organically. I mean, even when he met them their chemistry implies they have actually been friends all their lives. It’s funny, because what I didn’t realize until years after their creation, is that each of them personifies different aspects of my own personality at different stages of my own life, which I thought was interesting when I came to that realization.

Hardline: How did you create your world and its characters, and how long did this take?

When I decided to go ahead with this “project”, as I called it in the beginning, I knew I wanted to breathe as much life into this world and its people as possible. I took an entire year to fully realize every detail involved in the series and its world. The first thing I did was name my main character (David), although it took months and months to come up with his last name. By the time I decided on it, the others characters were fully formed, including the side players who appear only once or twice in the series. Until I had David’s last name, I felt I couldn’t really connect with him. As for the world itself, I wanted to create a unique place. A place readers could really escape to within the pages of my books. My hope is that everyone enjoys the world I created for the series. It puts a whole new spin on the utilization of magic as a whole.

Hardline: Do you base your characters on real people?

A lot of my characters are based on people I know. It gave me a real connection to those in particular. I even added animals modeled after beloved pets, including those no longer with me. In fact, the cat that appears in the first chapter is modeled directly after my cat, Midnight, my pride and joy. Practically my entire family has had characters created as well.

Hardline: Which genre do you most like to write in, and why?

I don’t think there’s really any one genre in particular that I prefer. Writing is just part of me. The reason I chose to start with fantasy is that I loved the idea of creating a world where everything and anything is possible; a world that mirrors our own in various forms of technology. Fantasy is one of the most interesting genres, I think. It enables us to believe in things like magic and escape our everyday lives, if only for a few hundred pages. It allows us to believe that despite all the turmoil in today’s society, there’s a place we can go, if only in our imagination and just be.

Hardline: Can you tell us how about your most recent work, and how it came to be published?

My most recent work is the first in an eight-part Tween series focusing on a boy searching for someone very important (can’t say who just yet..LOL), his hunt for a man bent on world domination, and the birth of one of that city’s greatest heroes. As for how it came to be published, well, that’s a story onto itself really. I have a Myspace page, and it turns out there were a few friends on my list who are all published with the same house, Triad Publishing Group. Apparently, they all approached the publisher and told him he had to “Check this girl out.” So he did, and he wound up subscribing to my blog there. Then one day he sent me an email, telling me he had been reading the blogs for a month already, and he wanted to discuss the book I had mentioned in various entries. So I directed him to my other blog site, where I had the prologue and the first three chapters posted. He read them and emailed me again two hours later, telling me he loved them and was indeed interested in publishing my book. The rest is, as they say, history.

Hardline: What’s the story behind your next novel?

The next novel is the second one in the series, and it picks up right where the first one leaves off. It introduces new characters, villains and adventures, all centering around one of the most important days in David’s life to date.

Hardline: How has your life changed since your first novel was acquired?

Oh, my life has changed so much. I had my first radio talk show appearance on May 9, 2008, which was on The Odd Mind BlogTalk Radio show (www.blogtalkradio.com/AngelLesa), for one. There are also several interviews coming up, including one for a New England newspaper, which will be paired with an article about my debut novel. Additionally, the Barbara Harkins Foundation invited me to partake in a speaking engagement about writing, on May 17, 2008. One of my short stories is going to be published in the NexGen Pulp Magazine (www.NexGenPulp.com) in their June/July issue, and there’s another radio spot scheduled for October 2 on “That’s what I’m talking about”, hosted by Louise Aveni (http://sedonatalkradio.com/content/view/76/137/), the day after the release of my book.

Hardline: What are your future writing plans?

I would definitely love to test the waters of the Young Adult market. I’ve always had a fascination with the teen years. They are, I believe, the most important in one’s life. It’s when young people are just finding themselves and a place where they can fit in this chaotic and ever-changing world. There are also a couple of Anthologies coming out later this year, both of which will include short stories I’ve penned.

Hardline: Any helpful advice for unpublished writers?

I know it’s cliché, but I would have to say “Never give up no matter what anyone tells you. There are a lot of people out there who are quick to slam a door in your face, and if you walk away, you will one day look back and regret letting them tell you that you can’t do what you know you were meant to do.”

Links:

Click the link to view Cindy’s Myspace page.
Click the link to view Cindy’s blog page.
Click the link to visit the Triad Publishing website.
Click the link to visit Cindy’s Writers Together webpage.

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