As someone who will always carry a fondness for memoirs, especially ones that focus on getting through difficult childhoods, I was definitely pleased to learn about Gerald Freeman’s book. I’m also intrigued by his work with sculpting. More often than not, it seems like us creative types pursue multiple outlets. Shall we begin? One Jeri to another Gerry…
1. Please provide a brief synopsis of your book.
Kill Daddy is the story of one man’s desperate attempt to move on from a traumatic childhood. The past has haunted him his whole life and he realizes that he cannot even begin to live until he has left the memories behind and can focus on the present and the future, instead. His journey takes him on a roller-coaster ride through remote villages in Kenya and Uganda, where he spends two years living with the local people. Will the journey help him to find inner peace, or will his abusers win in the end?
2. Tell us a little bit about what motivates or inspires your writing.
I write for the same reason I do sculpture: I am in awe of the world. I want to react and give back, and with my work I would like to inspire conversations about this thing we call LIFE. I would like to identify with people all over the planet and have the discussions that people usually keep inside their heads, out loud. Let’s share stories and experiences and support each other. Let’s inspire one another and make this world a better place.
3. It’s hard to pick just one, but what do you consider your favorite novel and why?
My favorite novel will always be Johnathon Livingstone Seagull, although it is not very long. The Reluctant Messiah was longer and just as good. This book is important because it reaches people at just the age they need to hear alternative points of view. At least, in the eighties it was all the YA that were reading it and digging the idea of spirituality as opposed to religion. It is the simplest, most beautiful and single most important piece of advice any human could hear: Strive to be your best! Follow your dreams! That book helped make my journey through life so much easier.
I think my writing has parallels with Richard Bach’s because our philosophy is a way of life and we are both really interested in, who we are and why?. I also want to inspire people, as he inspired me, to follow their hearts.
4. What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?
My Kill Daddy blogspot blog is totally new, and the reason I have created it is because of the release of my book. I am an artist, I spend my days writing and doing sculpture and I work very hard. I am not used to having to spend so much time marketing, I have so many projects that every minute I am marketing it is taking me away from creating. However, marketing this book the last month has not been so bad. I have actually met a lot of interesting and supportive people and learnt a great deal, too. I now think of marketing more as building relationships and connecting with like-minded people. I think it has earned its place, for a couple of hours, in each of my days.
5. Are you traditionally published or self-published?
This is my first book and I spent a couple of years writing to lit agents in London and America. I received some very encouraging negative replies, which helped me keep faith in my ability. I have always had faith in my stories because I have met very few people who have led lives like mine, but for some time I had doubts in my ability to write my stories down.
I painstakingly formatted the book myself and the punctuation was quite well done because I am an English teacher, also. I then asked a professional to check it over. My cover came from a photo I had but when the book goes into print, I think it will not be good enough quality and so I will have to hire the services of an on-line company.
6. Can you offer one or two helpful tips for fellow writers when it comes to marketing and publicity?
Always address bloggers personally and read the ABOUT page. I made two faux pas by not making the effort to read exactly what it was they were interested in. I also addressed them as Dear Admin, which didn’t go down too well. I apologized and learnt from the mistake.
7. Describe your writing background.
I have been a part-time English teacher for twelve years and have had regular seminars and workshops as part of my teacher development. Writing is a huge part of it.
I would always win prizes and awards as a child for my writing and I have been writing poems and thoughts down on bits of paper for literally my whole life. It is part of who I am. The blackboard in our kitchen is filled with ideas and my wife is always asking me to clean it off so she can use it.
8. What does your drafting and/or editing process entail?
I have written three books and published one, so far.
I write down thoughts and ideas about a book for a couple of months, and look for old notes I have written in the past that would be relevant, too. Then, I sit from 10 am until 7 pm and write. I take breaks to drink but hardly ever to eat. The next day I look back and edit everything from the beginning: as I get towards the end of the book I spend most of the day reading and editing and less time writing, which is a welcome change to the routine. I will leave the book for a couple of weeks and edit it again. I will do this a few times over a period of six months and then ask a professional to look it over, and then publish it.
9. What future projects can we look forward to?
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Hepititis C and had to spend one year heavily medicating and staying at home for most of the day. This provided me with the opportunity to write the books I had always wanted to. I wrote three during that period: I Don’t Believe God Wrote The Bible is the prequel to Kill Daddy and is another roller-coaster ride but this time through Europe as a hitch-hiker. Not For Love of Money is the sequel to Kill Daddy and is a love story. I am now married to Eva. Our story was a roller-coaster ride, too. I have more books not yet written.
10. Is there anything else you want your potential readers to know?
What Is Life?
Are we all completely separate beings instinctively driven by an innate need to survive, randomly colliding with each other as we fervently make our way through life? Or is it wrong to think of ourselves as separate entities, if in fact, we are not individual wholes but unique pieces, which make up the whole? I believe it is this insistence on being separate, which is impeding the evolution of the world on all levels and making our journey much longer and more difficult than it need be. Until we realise the incredible oneness of the world, and come together and start working towards a common goal of love and respect for all that exists on our planet Earth, conflict and abuse will thrive. Compassion, love and respect will make us all richer than we can imagine in our wildest dreams.
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The images in this post appear courtesy of the author.
Article by Jeri Walker-Bickett aka JeriWB