Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Exclusive Interview with Phillip Frey, Author of "Hym and Hur"!

What is this book about?
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 an array of magical abilities, two of which are either to play pranks on humankind or to perform good deeds. Enacting both at the same time 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.

How did you get the idea for this book?
I've been asked this before and still can't remember where the idea came from. All I do remember is having two characters in mind, sitting down and writing about them: describing them, playing around with them, and then suddenly Hym and Hur came to life and the story took off.

Is this your first book? If not, what else have you written?
I have another book, Dangerous Times, a crime novel that I had completed just before Hym and Hur. The crime novel is hard-boiled, down and dirty. My guess is that Hym and Hur came out of the need to have some fun, instead of having to think about violence and murder.

When did you start writing? Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
I started writing when I was about 32. I did a little writing before that but never completed anything because I was kind of experimenting and didn't know what I was doing. It was awfully hard to do at that time and I thought it impossible for me. Funny thing is, it's still hard to do, but now I know to forget that and just do it.

What may have finally made it possible was Tennessee Williams, the playwright. His advice: Set a daily start time, then sit there, same time each and every day for a chosen number of hours. For Tennessee it was 4. 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 writing hours are never wasted. Then, once you have a first sentence down, more will follow.

One amazing thing is that once you've started a story and think you know where it's going, the characters may very possibly tell you you're going the wrong way with them and that you should follow their lead. And well you should. If that turns out to be the wrong approach, you can always go back to an earlier point in the story and start over.

There are times when you won't know what the next chapter is. When that happens to me, I go back and rewrite up until that point (have to rewrite later anyway). Sometimes I'll flow right into the new chapter. That's usually because it's where the characters want to go.

Why did you decide to write a book in this genre?
At first, when I had been thinking about the Hym and Hur characters, I assumed their story would have something like a Samuel Beckett feel, in the line of the absurd. But then when I realized how much fun I could have with the characters I knew that fantasy was the way to go. Also, in some ways, it was the characters who told me they didn't want to take things seriously. It's the old one-thing-leads-to-another, their thoughts and dialogue pulling things along.

Do you plan a sequel or future books?
I've started another crime novel and have been thinking about another Hym and Hur story. Hym and Hur are like good friends that I would hate to abandon.

Do you have a website? How can we order this book?
My website: http://www.phillipfrey.com.
To order the book the best thing to do is to go to www.smashwords.com/books/view/122852. Going there will give you the opportunity to download the book in the formats of Kindle, ePUB, PDF, etc. If you prefer, you can go directly to Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B0073IWJBU.


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