Welcome to “From Gay to Z”! I’m so glad you agreed to sit down for an interview, but when we discussed the details, I did make it clear that all interviews had to be conducted naked. Yet, here you are fully clothed. I mean, really! That’s just bad form.
Seriously, You’ll have to disrobe before we can continue. You can undress here or in the powder room down the hall if you’re shy and need privacy. Although I should warn you that I’ve installed video cameras in the powder room hooked up to a live Internet feed.
So, which shall it be? Here or the powder room?
Fuck it! I’ll strip down right here. Speaking of naked, my husband and I have this rule , to keep fighting to a minimum, that if we argue it must be done naked. Were hippies like that. Haha. Keeps the fights down to a minimum, you should try it.
Now that does sound like a fun way to argue. Sure helps speed along the making up! Now, that we’re both far more comfortable, let’s begin! Tell us a little about yourself. Whatever you’d like to share, and really the juicier the better! I mean, you’re already naked. You’ve really got nothing to hide now.
Oh, God where to begin? Well, I was born in Detroit and stayed there most of my life until twenty in probably one of the most interesting places in the world. Rough place, rough people, real life, it was crazy. Joined the military, and funny enough, Detroit had been so bad that military life almost seemed like a vacation. Stayed in for three years and then started the whole college thing.
What got you started writing m/m fiction? Was it just the hot man on man sex or was there some other reason?
HA-HA, I love how your questions are asked. I wrote it honestly for the romance, I am a helpless romantic. Honestly, I had no intention of running into this genre. As a matter of fact, to be honest with you, I didn’t know this genre existed until I was part way through my book. I started googling publishers and ran into Dreamspinner and read through their submission requirements. Once the book was finished, I ran it through a brief edit and was like…fuck it, let’s see. I nearly had a stroke when I got the email from Elizabeth saying that they were interested in publishing the book. Blew my mind. Made me cry actually I had been so upset that day in particular because it had been the anniversary of something really shitty that happened to me and my partner and was totally prepared to call a mulligan on that day. That email turned my life around real fast, it was like the Universe was saying, “Hey, sorry for the bullshit, smile for a little while.” But the hot man on man thing is an added plus too.
Tell us about your latest release The Haunting of Timber Manor.
Well, Timber is a ghost story where I was thinking about Shirley Jackson’s House on Haunted Hill, the first scary story I had ever read and I remembered the first line from it has always creeped me out. “Whatever walks there walks alone.” That has always set the tone and I think, set the bar, for ghost stories. Stephen King in his book Danse Macabre, cited Jackson’s book as one of the finest pieces of literature in the 20th century. So, I guess, I wanted to try my hand at a spooky, ghost riddled house, and my attempt was to change how ghosts are manifested. I really worked on memory as the reason why ghosts walked the earth.
The gay element, the two guys in the story, was something that just happened. There is a lack of good gay……what am I looking for….stories out in the main stream world that is worth a damn. I mean, sure, there were pioneer things like Queer as Folk or The “L” word which to me essentially was a signal that said “We are here, we are queer and we are not going anywhere.” Then there was the triumph of a movie Brokeback Mountain and I was like okay, okay, there we go and I think queer people are hungry for good portrayals of who we are as a culture, as a people, as human beings. I mean, we have always existed but have been dismissed in histories pages because it fogged up someone’s reading glasses too much. Ha-Ha. So, I was like fuck it, here we go and I wanted Timber to be a little more than that. I wanted the relationship to be unquestioned and more or less be in the background instead of the forefront as shock value. I wanted the book to be more about a perceived insurmountable issue that is triumphed by love.
Do you have a favorite character in the book? If so, who and why?
I have to say Francine is my favorite character. I had all of these events going on, and I needed to find a way to bring the book to a close, and being a student of history, it was a pleasure to take an African American female, someone who was alive during Jim Crow, during a time of discrimination in the deep south, who knew what it was like to be discriminated against, and have her come out and say what Daniel and Hale had was “Beautiful.” Besides, she was an elegant, knowledgeable, capable, female character and like Joss Whedon (whom I adore), I appreciate a strong female lead. Actually, to be honest, I envisioned someone like Vivica A. Fox, or Viola Davis, or the beautiful Alfre Woodward to play the character. Ha Ha, I’m a huge racial diversity slash feminism supporter. So, since these actresses are so horribly underrated, this was my nod to empowered women in general.
Which character in the book do you think is the sexiest? What makes him so sexy to you, and what do you think the reader will find sexy about him?
I like Hale, I like how studious he is, how strong he is, how much of a rock he is for Daniel. I have had the fortune of having men like this in my life regardless of how the relationship evolved whether it be romantic or otherwise. My husband is the best example of that type. I find confidence, determination, and a “by God we will see this through” attitude to be sexy.
Are the characters and experiences in the novel based on real life people and events?
I think every author draws from life experience to write either the theme for the book or the characters. You have to have something to go off of. I think that is what took me so long to write this book or to write at all. I mean sure, I had plenty of things to say, but didn’t know what I was going to say exactly because I lacked the life knowledge that I think authors possess. I have always adored certain writers like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, and others for their ability to paint a portrait of the world that they envision. Your there with the characters, you know their nuances…especially Stephen King where he builds this huge arc of characters and setting before he lets all hell break loose.
As far as going through something like this, a dead relative leaving me millions and a gorgeous Victorian in the North West, I am still waiting on that to happen. HA!
But as far as ghosts, I’ve had my fair share of things that have set my head spinning and creeped me out. It fills people with fear and wonder at the possibilities doesn’t it? I mean, it’s the greatest question that religion and science both hypothesize about, but can’t quite say for sure. “What happens when we die?”
I just love a good title. How do you go about choosing a title for your book?
There is nothing profound to say in regards to this. I simply took the title of the house Timber Manor and suggested that it was haunted to entice people.
What is your current work in progress?
I actually have two WIPS, the lingo that I am catching on to. One of them is another story about a haunting in an Irish estate and the other is about an economic collapse on a global scale and governments reverting back to monarchies to lead nations and the collective dismissal of technology where pirates rule the seas again. So, the book is set in the future, how far I am not sure, but its in the future and yes both books will again have a romantic element that carries the characters through. It’s pretty PollyAnnish but I think love does conquer all. So….yeah…
Now for some fun questions:
A movie is being written about your life. What would you title the movie and who would you cast to play you?
Oh Jesus. No that’s not the title. HA-HA. Uh, The Mundane Adventures of Freddie the Writer…I don’t know. What do you say for questions like this? HA HA. Me would be the title and I would like a break out artist to play me.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Life is pretty crazy. So I guess, living life and demanding the reins is by far the most arduous thing I have ever done. It pisses me off so much sometimes and you can’t find out where ‘lifes’ address is so you can go over to his house and beat the shit out of him for throwing you that unwanted curveball.
What’s the one thing that annoys you the most?
I only get one? Oh, honey, there is so much that annoys me, I think a list is in order.
1) Wet socks
3) A great beat with shitty lyrics
4) and people who think they know what you need in your life more than you do
5) Hypocrites. Which I guess involves number 2 and number 4. I hate bullshit do as I say not as I do…I have no problem calling people out on it.
I’m granting secret powers, but you only get one. Which do you want and why?
I want the power to be able to Apparate like in Harry Potter. I hate to fly so I figure if I can just pop in and pop out of where I need/ want to go. I’d be well traveled.
Which cartoon character best represents your personality?
She-Ra Princess of Power. LMAO. Just kidding. Shit…I dunno….uh, I would hope that I would be cool like Bugs Bunny but I am such an A.D.D. freak of nature that I mostly resemble The Tasmanian Devil.
Where can we find you on the Internet?
Oh, of course. Please come and visit me. You can find me at www.fefeeley412.wordpress.com or at my Facebook page for The Haunting of Timber Manor which can be found by typing the title of the book into the search queue for Facebook and hitting like. You can also find me under the ‘coming soon tab’ at www.dreamspinnerpress.com or by going clicking here. So please, yes, come by, say hi, and by all means enjoy the book. There are more in the works.
Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s been great fun, and yes, you can have your clothes back. I hope you’ll consider coming back for another round of naked questioning after you publish your next novel.
Thank you! I had fun!