AMY: I'm impressed by the number of books you've written. Do you have to stay on task in order to produce so much, or are you constantly trying to keep up with your own ideas?
ROBERT: I’d say the latter is true. I have stockpiled ideas literally for years and once I started writing, the floodgates opened up and still flow strong. These days my main task - basically- is to decide which story to write first and which one will follow.
AMY: Did you self-publish all of your novels? What are some tricks of the trade that you've learned about the self-publishing process?
ROBERT: Yes, all of my books are self-published. What I learned? Well, in many aspects it’s easy but also difficult. Its hard work, it’s not the easy way out. It takes dedication, sweat and effort - not to only write, but edit, design, release books and then market them. At the end of the day though, it is very rewarding to see your own work out there. One just has to believe in what he is doing and push through all the hurdles.
AMY: Have you considered seeking out a traditional publisher, or are you happy with the indie route?
ROBERT: I tried many times, even with Seed of Evil but, it seems the traditional routes barely apply to me. Maybe traditional publishers are just not ready for me yet, for my speed. When I reach this feeling that the book is perfect, I need it to be released immediately. I would not wait for months and years till a “traditional” publisher will do. Yes, I am happy with being an indie author and doing things my way, and will keep doing it that way, with or without a publisher.
AMY: Can you tell me a little bit about your youth in Slovakia and Egypt? Do you think your experience growing up in different countries with different cultures has helped shape your writing?
ROBERT: It shaped my entire life, not just my writing. I was a shy kid back in the days, misunderstood, an “outcast” more or less. Though just before I left Slovakia I became more talkative and spirited and that kept evolving as I moved away as well. I still am an outcast, but one that is not shy or insecure. I may not be accepted or tolerated everywhere, but I am here and stay on this planet, so people deal with me or get out of my way. This crazy train ain’t stopping, I have only just begun.
AMY: Why are you drawn to the horror genre? What do you think it is about horror that continues to fascinate readers?
ROBERT: Well, for me the horror genre is or can be the purest genre, if done right. There are no limits, no censorship. It’s free to express itself in any way it wants to, just like me. Plus it can tell some of the most heart-wrenching and entertaining stories.
AMY: I understand that your writing style varies greatly from book to book. For readers who are unfamiliar with your work, what would you suggest they read first? Might a horror fan be more interested in one book or series, while a sci-fi fan prefers another?
ROBERT: Well, those who prefer short stories and do not limit themselves to only one genre will enjoy my short story compilations - Enlightened by Darkness series I – III. The stories in every one of the three volumes differ, and overlap sci-fi, psychological horror, vampires, contemporary fiction, dark fantasy, thriller, mythology, post-apocalypse, etc.
While for a horror type I recommend The Darkness Within: A Novella.
Anyone who enjoys a longer reading: Seed of Evil is more sci-fi/action oriented while still retaining heavy horror elements.
I released also two anthologies of others writers – Deathmongers: Where the Light Dies encompasses contemporary writing in the horror genre from a variety of angles.
Blessings from the Condemned: A Horror Legacy I made to my taste. I chose specific works from specific authors who would never be in one book because they lived in different times. I created a beautiful “heavy” book ( 90 000 words) annotated and illustrated with the pictures of included authors.
Of course in both you will find my “small” addition.
In conclusion - anyone who enjoys both, sci-fi and horror, then any of my books will please.
AMY: What can we expect from Robert Friedrich in the future?
ROBERT: Just a few days ago the first part of my new mini-series: Welcome to your Death was released; you can expect more of it in the nearest future.
Right now, though, I am working on my 4th Enlightened by Darkness book, and it will be “epic”.
Besides that I am also working on the sequel to Seed of Evil and preparing a completely new horror book, Nile: The Hell Within.
All of these should come out this year, and I already have books in the pipeline for 2015.
As I said; I have just begun. But till the new books come out, everyone has still some catching up to do, and now with summer here, the time could not be better.
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ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER
Amy R. Biddle, co-founder and editor at Underground Book Reviews, was raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains and has since made a living on the great blue sea. Find out more at www.amyrbiddle.com or check out her book, The Atheist's Prayer.