Today I’d like to welcome F.E. Feeley Jr. to my blog, author of the highly rated Memoirs of the Human Wraiths series.
Hello and welcome to my blog, Frederick. Thank you for agreeing to answer some questions. :)
First off, let me say congratulations on the new book! I just finished Still Waters and rather enjoyed it. Can you tell us a little about it? And, where did you get the idea for the story?
Thank you so much for having me here, today. And thank you for buying and reading it. That means a great deal and I am glad you liked it.
Still Waters is about an average town in anywhere U.S.A really. I chose Michigan because that’s where I’m from, but the concept was little towns and desperation to keep secrets. It started off with the idea of a murdered kid. And it developed from there. Why was he killed? Who did it? What were the circumstances surrounding his death. Who loved him? To be honest, it was not just addressing the gay community, although the character is gay, but our nation as a whole. We’re seeing a lot of dead kids lately, Trayvon Martin, or kids who have taken their own lives and it sort of started compounding from there. I wanted to address issues such as image, and diversity, and the extremes people would go to keep the status quo.
You’re writing in a niche subgenre (horror) within an already niche genre (m/m romance). Have you found that it makes finding readers more difficult?
Yes. I do find it difficult to find readers. But I think people really need to understand something or maybe give my books a chance anyway, even if they aren’t particularly fond of horror or paranormal books. What I like to do, Is take everyday issues and throw them waaaaaay out into the world of ghosts and the paranormal. I do this to simply make them more digestible. It’s hard to write about the darker sides of human nature in a contemporary way. At least it is for me. So what I do, I thrill you a little and then hopefully get my point across somewhere in the book. And on top of that, who doesn’t love a good spooky story? I think if gay people are going to be represented in literature, they should be represented in all literature.
I see that you’ve gone the traditional publishing route. What made you decide on that?
I had no idea what I was doing. My husband would say I still don’t lol. But I was going through a hard time a couple of years ago and started journaling and once I’d written oodles of pages I sat back and asked myself, ‘What are you going to do with this?” So, I decided, why not take chunks out of it at a time and start wrapping them in fiction? And that is how The Haunting of Timber Manor was born. I’d sat down at my computer, asked myself how do spooky novels start and the answer came back, “On a dark and stormy night….” So I went from there. I never even knew this genre existed. I had no earthly idea. And then when I was done I went looking for a publisher. Submitted the story and forgot about it. I nearly had a stroke when I opened my email one day and there was a contract from Dreamspinner Press. After that, I figured, if they would take a chance on me, I’ll stick with them. I haven’t regretted a moment of it. Their staff is excellent. They treat you wonderfully. The process for publishing is always thorough from first drafts to art, they work right alongside you.
I love horror. The very first “grown-up” book I ever read was Stephen King’s It. What was the first horror story you read?
I was reading since I can remember. It started in middle school with R.L. Stein’s Fear Street books and went on to Christopher Pike. And then in high school I jumped forward into V.C.Andrews, Tami Hoag, and just about anything or anyone I could get my hands on. Then I was given Stephen King’s Wastelands, book 3 of The Dark Tower and I was instantly over the moon. I became a King fan real quick. The scariest book I ever read from him was The Shining.
I also became a Koontz fan as well. Lightning, The Mask, and Twilight Eyes are amazing.
Can you tell us some of your all-time favourite horror stories (books or movies)?
I am a thirty four year old man that sleeps with his closet door shut, thanks to 1982’s Poltergeist. I won’t get into the ocean past my waist thanks to Jaws. But my favorite books that I’ve read and reread is King’s The Stand and Koontz’s Twilight Eyes. Amazing books.
I remember after reading some stories, I had a few creepy nights. Has there been a horror story that make you keep the light on?
HAHAHAHAHA I forgot about this but yeah, King’s Cycle of the Werewolf. I was terrified for days and slept with the light on.
Why the romance aspect in your books?
I love serendipity. I love, love. I think love is the only that can save this world we live in. And I think that people need to see gay men in love to understand that it isn’t just sex that motivate us. I feel like, even though I write in this genre, I am part of a global discussion on this issue and as a gay man, I intend to not just join, but lead.
What’s next? Are you currently working on something?
I am kinda sorta working on something. I don’t know if it is going to come to fruition. I am hoping it does. But its sort of up in the air right now so we’ll see.
Any advice for aspiring writers? Anything you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?
Pay attention to the world around you. And take, I think it was Hemingway, take Hemingway’s advice and sit down at your device and bleed. Give it all you got.
And finally: what do you enjoy the most about writing?
The process of weaving a story together from an idea. And then going through the gamut of emotions along with everyone. And then dropping myself inside the story as a beacon so the reader doesn’t have to go through it alone. I have this personal rule. I will get you to your happy ending, but you have to go through the dark with me first. Your gonna earn it. I promise I’ll be with you through it, but yeah, you’re going through it.
Thanks again for letting me host you on my blog. Good luck and happy writing!
Buy this Book:
Amazon | Dreamspinner