INTERVIEW WITH BARRY FREEMAN

DSC03402

Who are your favourite authors?

 I would say that Charles Dickens is very high on my list of favourite authors. I admire the way he can bring characters to life, and his stories, although set almost two hundred years ago are still timeless in so many ways. I also I enjoy reading descriptive writing for example books by Thomas Hardy or H E Bates..
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Each day I have to be creative. Whether it’s through writing, illustrating or cooking. I am constantly driven to create.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
As I’ve said I enjoy cooking or creating artwork. Having begun my working life in the electronics industry I still enjoy delving into the innards of old equipment such as record players or tape recorders, in my garden shed, of course.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I have to confess I prefer writing books to reading them. If I do read it’s more likely to be a social history book of some kind rather than fiction.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do. It was written on a writing course at Ashford in Kent and we spent the day on a train from Tenterden Station and I wrote the story ‘Orange Eyes and Geraniums’ about a station cat.
What is your writing process?
Barry FreemanI often spend time in my den which is a garden shed where I find it much easier to write and prefer to use a pencil and notebook rather than a computer.
How do you approach cover design?
I enjoy sketching in rather an abstract way and prefer to use these images as cover pictures.
What are your five favourite books, and why?
One of the first books I read and still enjoy is the children’s book The Tinder Box. Like most people I can still become absorbed in The Wind in The Willows by Kenneth Graeme. As regards Dickens I never cease to be amazed at the description of such characters as Quilp in The Old Curiosity Shop. A book which has greatly informed my own way of writing is one which not many people will be familiar with. It is ‘You Must Know Everything’ a book of short stories, by Isaac Babel whose mastery of the art of shorty storytelling is amazing. Finally I would say I never cease to tire of reading the poetry both of John Betjeman and the ‘peasant poet’ John Clare.
When did you first start writing?
I began dabbling in writing back in the sixties, much of which I have long forgotten. I began writing more seriously after joining the writing circle in the nineteen eighties.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
As with most artists of any kind, the ability to create something from nothing and then capture it in a permanent form such as in a picture or a book, is very satisfying and I would say this is the greatest joy for me.

 

Published 2017-06-12.