Monday, July 23, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Phillip Frey

   Phillip Frey grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where he performed as a child actor at The Cleveland Playhouse. The day after he graduated high school he moved to Los Angeles and attended Los Angeles City College. Phillip enrolled in their Theater Arts Department and performed in many of their plays while also performing in local theater. He then moved to New York where he performed with The New York Shakespeare Festival, followed by The Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center. With a change of interest Phillip wrote, directed, and edited 3 short films, all of which had international showings, including The New York Film Festival. With yet another change of interest he returned to Los Angeles to become a produced screenwriter. And now more recently, "Dangerous Times" and "Hym and Hur" are Phillip Frey's first works of fiction.

Favorite reads?
   Crime books, with or without a detective. I've been through all the books of Jim Thompson, Ross MacDonald, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, and have now been going through the books of contemporary authors: Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbo, Stuart Neville, Walter Mosley, and others.

Inspirations for the book?
   For "Dangerous Times": A film producer had given me two plot sentences, hiring me to develop them into a treatment (short outline), which I would then turn into a screenplay if the production money was gotten. It was never gotten and the rights reverted back to me. After some time went by I began thinking about the treatment I had written, primarily about the characters. I had always wanted to write a novel and for some reason this was the one.
   For "Hym and Hur": I have no memory of where the idea had come from. It's pure fantasy, with humor. I had two characters in mind, started writing and surprised myself with not stopping.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
   Yes, because of the Poems and short stories by Edgar Allen Poe, first read when I was about 8 years old. No doubt Poe has been an inspiration to many other authors.

Any Pet Peeves?
   Barking dogs and people who don't "pick up" after them. Maybe they don't love their dogs enough to" pick up" after them?

Chocolate or Peanut Butter? 
   Love them both. When it comes to chocolate, I only have the dark because it has no dairy in it. I'm lactose intolerant, along with millions of others it seems. I have to read the ingredients. Some chocolate companies, like Hershey's, put milk products in their dark chocolate. And no chocolate should be alkali processed, which diminishes the health benefits. If you see alkali processed in the ingredients, don't buy it.

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
   Good question. I'm not sure if this is so weird, but I've been a loner most of my life and don't regret it.

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
   Soundtrack to the book? Well, not yet. My favorite music is jazz and baroque. For jazz, singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan, and many more. For jazz musicians I like Louis Armstrong (again), Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis, etc. I also like the "straight-ahead jazz period" which includes Lee Morgan, Art Blakey, Hank Mobley, etc.

Do you need anything to write?
   I like music on the radio, on low. I also need a mug of water on my desk. What I do no need is for the phone to ring.

How long do you write on any average day?
   At least 4 straight hours, then more if I have time later in the day. I go by Tennessee Williams' advice. It's worked for me. Set a daily start time, then sit there, same time each and every day. It doesn't matter how long, as long as it's the same amount of time each day. If nothing happens on paper, it doesn't matter. Just stare at the blank page, daydream about hot fudge sundaes, maybe even daydream about what you're trying to say on paper. The important thing is not to run from it. Whether or not a single word is written, the mind is still working. The time spent "working" is never wasted.

Give us the number one reason to read your books.
   For "Dangerous Times," as far as the antagonist goes, it's a chance for readers to delve into their naturally human, suppressed malevolence: the thoughts we keep secret and harbor from others. A scary proposition for some I suppose.
   "Hym and Hur" will show readers a fun time, I hope. It's as different from "Dangerous Times" as night is to day.

Author Info:
My website-
Facebook- Author Phillip Frey
Twitter- @phillipkafka

      Frank Moore's impish playfulness makes him an alluring antagonist — a criminal who has come up with an outrageous, malevolent plan. After a frustrating search he has finally found the key to its success. Frank has found his look-alike, a close-enough double: John Kirk.
   In San Pedro, auto mechanic John Kirk leads a troublesome life, common troubles that escalate to the dreadful when Frank Moore comes to town. John Kirk, hunted down and pegged for death without knowing why. 
   In this fantasy-comedy Hym and Hur are a young couple who never age and have been in love for more than a century. They also possess magical abilities, two of which are either to play pranks on humankind or to perform good deeds. Enacting both at once is now what gets them into trouble, especially since it's the unruly character of Death they must deal with to bring their plans to fruition.
   The prank Hym and Hur have come up with must first be agreed upon by Death, who happens to be a rambunctious, difficult character. Once agreed upon, the prank is set in motion. Hym and Hur soon discover Death had tricked them into a contract with dire consequences for all of us.
   During their attempt to break the contract, Hym and Hur try to save the relationship of an earthbound couple, knowing they are truly meant for each other. A good deed that will bring Hym and Hur even more trouble. 

(Ends 8/20)
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