Blog Archives

If it Bleeds, it Leads

Stealing the Sun begins in a traditional way, but then takes a turn that defies traditional fantasy story telling. What was your approach to writing this story?

The story developed organically. I started with reflections of traditional fantasy tropes (the elven maid falls in love with the mortal hero; the evil dark lord) and went from there. In some cases I deliberately twisted things (the ‘evil dark lord’ character is female and primarily interested, not in dominating the world, but in escaping from it), but in other cases my feelings about the story, my sense that there was another side to be shown, took over. Once the scene was set and a given character did something, others would react, often unwisely, and in that way they all managed to get themselves in a lot of trouble by the end of the book.

I felt that Stealing the Sun delivers the drama so well that it flirts with the grimdark genre. Was it your intention to give the story a darker tone?

If it bleeds, it leads…

In your other book, Tribulation’s War, the magic in that story was minimal and delivered believably (if magic can ever be believable) as it was in this story as well. How did you handle the magic in this story and how did it evolve as you were writing?

Most of the magic in the world of Stealing the Sun isn’t really magic but science (sort of). I wanted to look at elves, at the way that elves are traditionally portrayed (immortal, unsleeping, able to see in the dark and take sustenance from the sun, able to shapechange) and make those qualities make at least quasi-scientific sense. To be ever-young, it seems to me that a creature would need to be able to shapechange, to get rid of old, damaged cells and regenerate them. When Altir visualizes the “moving spirals and the beads of light” before he shape changes, he’s actually consciously manipulating his own DNA, although he doesn’t know that’s what he’s doing. There will be much more on shapestrength in the later books. The rune-magic of the greycloaks, on the other hand, is something I have never figured out scientifically. Basically it’s just magic, or at least psychic ability, with a good dose of nasty herb-lore mixed in.

Stealing the Sun has some interesting people that have their character flaws, but they’re still likable. How do you go about creating characters for your stories?

Characters come to me organically, without much planning involved. They seem to already exist by the time I get to them. I create a world and situations that contain conflict, and out of the conflict comes the sort of characters who fit with that world. Sometimes the characters who seemed like supporting cast end up having the strongest voice – Altir originated as a secondary character in a short story. In the next book, The Dark of the Sun, someone who didn’t get his own point of view in the first book insisted on telling his side of the story. I like characters who have different facets, who have flaws and strengths, who have a past – I’m not particularly interested in innocent coming of age characters, or one-dimensional villains, either to read about or to write.

When is the next book in the Sun Saga series due out?

The Dark of the Sun and A Red Morn Rises, the second and third books, are available now. There may be a fourth book to come.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | GoodReads

Stealing the Sun: Sun Saga, Book 1Disinherited from the throne he believes should belong to his clan, rejected by the woman he loves, estranged from his father and uncertain of his place in a war-torn world, Altir Ilanarion searches for his path. Meanwhile, his kinsmen scheme and plot to overthrow their rival and regain the throne — but all the while, the Liar’s servants lie in wait.

Buy Now From Amazon.com

Interview: Kyri Freeman

An image posted by the author.Tribulation’s War is about Tribulation’s life through the American Civil War. The story is told with great historical precision. How were you able to capture that time in American history?

In short… hours and hours and hours of research. I read diaries, memoirs, letters, and scholarly studies. I have a MA in History from UCLA, and I found that writing Tribulation’s War involved much more difficult and in-depth, but also much more rewarding, research than anything I did while earning my degree. James McPherson’s books on soldier mentalities, James Robertson’s book on the Stonewall Brigade, Lonnie R. Speer’s book on Civil War prisons, and a whole host of battlefield studies were among the most useful secondary sources.

Tribulation Jones is a character that I thought started simple, but then slowly becomes a fairly complex individual. What was your inspiration for his character?

Tribulation started out as a character in a few “weird Western” short stories that I wrote – which will probably see daylight in a collection eventually. He was sort of the bastard son of Jonah Hex (the graphic novel version) and Barbara Hambly’s character Abishag Shaw. As I wrote the stories, I wanted Tribulation to have a complex and disturbing background. Suddenly I decided to write the story of his past, and he took on a life of his own from there.

The magic and conjuration in Tribulations War all adhere to some strict rules and structure. Where did the origin of these ideas come from and how did it develop for you over time?

Old Woodman’s magical system is a Scandinavian runic system – I figure he brought it over from the ‘old country’ – and then I’ve mixed in Appalachian and Celtic folk beliefs. I wanted the system to remain logical and consistent so that even though some very extreme events take place, nobody has “superpowers” and every action has a cost.

What is your writing background and where do you see your writing career going?

I’ve been writing for most of my life. I have two other self-published novels, Stealing the Sun and The Dark of the Sun, and several more in the works. At this point, I have no plans to quit my day job!

What is the next project or book that you are working on?

I’m currently doing final revisions on A Red Morn Rises, which is the third book of the dark fantasy Sun Saga. That will be available later this summer. In fall, I’ll probably bring out Rider: A Novel, which is an alternate history based around the American Civil War. There’s also a partly written book about Ace, Trib’s friend from the prisoner of war camp, which should see the light eventually.

See Kyri Freemans Amazon author page here.

Disinherited from the throne he believes should belong to his clan, rejected by the woman he loves, estranged from his father and uncertain of his place in a war-torn world, Altir Ilanarion searches for his path. Meanwhile, his kinsmen scheme and plot to overthrow their rival and regain the throne — but all the while, the Liar’s servants lie in wait.

Buy Now From Amazon.com

In the second book of the Sun Saga, the People struggle to survive as deadly winter falls upon the world. The High-King Selirien fights to keep his realm alive, even as he faces open enmity, false allies, and his own weaknesses. Altir Ilanarion must make a terrible choice between loyalties. The few who survive the Winter will not do so unchanged.
Buy Now From Amazon.com

Review: Tribulations War

5 StarsTribulation Jones leaves home and joins with a band of rough neck southerners that are off to fight in the American Civil War. Tribulation goes along in fear of the bleak future the group paints for the south if they don’t all stand up and fight. Tribulation, not fully understanding what he’s getting into and why he’s even doing it, is drawn in by the comradery. But the war takes its toll on him, the South, and the North. Through the horrible fighting, witnessing his men die horrible deaths, and all the trials and miseries of war he comes to understand what he’s fighting for and questions if it’s worth all the suffering that he’s endured. But all the death and strife and brooding reflection is only a prelude to a tangled story of magic, conjuring and the afterlife.

Tribulations War is a remarkable story with some of the best battlefield descriptions I’ve read in a long time; covering all the senses; touch, hearing, smell, and sight.

“Flying metal shards slammed into them, hissed like snakes around their heads. Yankee cannons stood on the crest and a rain of canister burst at their mouths. Men fell, ripped open, blinded, spewing blood. Someone shouted “Wheel right–File–Goddamn enfilade -” and the voice turned to a howl. Tribulation peered through acrid clouds, aiming at gunners, the sergeant there with his hand on the lanyard.”

Author Kyri Freeman writes some of the most elegantly incisive descriptions that I’ve read. The book has a spectacular ability to deliver quick pacing with a deeply detailed story world and characters. The character dialogue, while not deeply engaging, was well fitted to each character. They each had their own mannerisms and again was all done with superb ease. The story takes place during the American Civil War and, I’m no history expert, but the battles, places, dates, weapons, and speech were all believable. The story covers a lot of the pivotal times in the Civil War, with one in particular being a central point of the novel; the death of General Stonewall Jackson. I won’t give away the intriguing twists and turns that follow, but I will say that they are engrossing and engaging and all told with a deft handling of language and pacing that is rare for many writers. The book is broken up into two sections. Book one covers the Civil War and Tribulations life through it and can be considered a Civil War era fiction novel. While book two, in stark contrast, is an exquisitely bleak look at the dark side of magic, conjurations, necromancy, and potions. Ten years after the war Tribulation is now trying to make his way in post-Civil War America while he suffers from post-traumatic stress. He wanders for several years and through many jobs before he finds himself at the Woodman’s hovel where he was first cursed early on in the book. He’s taken on as an apprentice by the Woodsman and is taught some conjurations and potions and other magical things that he learns through bitter trial and error and force on the Woodman’s part. Tribulations War is an exceptional book with a story that is deftly executed with superb writing, spot on pacing and deep character development.Buy Now From Amazon.com

212 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1434862303

%d bloggers like this: