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Guest-Interview with Author Roy Freirich and Giveaway! (1 Viewer)


Retired Chief Media Manager

We are happy to welcome author Roy Freirich to WritingForums.com. Roy leads multiple lives as a writer. He adapted his novel Winged Creatures for the film Fragments, and has written screenplays for Fox Searchlight, Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, and Sony. His lyrics have been sung by legends Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, and Patti Labelle, among many others. He lives with his wife, ever-patient editor and frequent cowriter, Debrah, in Malibu, California. He has just released a new psychological thriller, Deprivation, and was kind enough to chat with us.

Is there any sort of common theme in your work?
In retrospect, yes: we’ve all had unresolved experiences, from unfulfilled wishes, desires
for a “do-over,” or l’esprit d’escalier, from small regrets to more serious trauma from violence,
catastrophe, death. How do we unknowingly reenact these in our lives and in our dreams, in
disguised or symbolic forms? How do unresolved experiences in the past inform our choices in
the present?
Winged Creatures follows a few survivors of a traumatic mass shooting: a doctor who[/FONT]

fails to save victims refuses to allow dying patients to die; a man whom a bullet narrowly missed
thinks he’ll be lucky at casinos, too. A girl who survived fixates on birds like the ones she saw
[FONT=&quot]out the window where the horrific shooting occurred.

Deprivation focuses on re-enactment, as well, but in dreams, where we replay versions
of unresolved experience more safely, variously disguised or symbolized, as a way to process
and work through them. It’s vital to our emotional stability. As we lose more and more sleep, we
lose the emotional stability that dreams help us maintain, and each of our unique preoccupations,
desires, misconceptions and fears can spiral into obsessions, urges, delusions and paranoia.
Multiply by an entire town cut off from the world for weeks where no one can sleep and you
have anarchy, chaos, mob rule, violence: the novel Deprivation.
A common inspiration for both, if not for everything: Judith Herman’s perspicacious and[/FONT]

compassionate Trauma and Recovery, and Fearless by Raphael Iglesias – both a study of the
[FONT=&quot]unconscious urge to re-enact trauma.
Any specific inspiration for Deprivation?
I have to credit my own issues with sleep loss. My first wake-up call was the screech of
tires and blare of horns as I attempted a left through a red light across three lanes of oncoming
traffic. I later understood it to be a micro-sleep, due to just two hours of missed sleep the night

Then came the realization of diminished capacity from deprivation in other areas of my
life, from working for too many hours for seriously diminishing returns. If I write a crap
sentence or scene or song lyric, we all live to tell, but what about doctors, pilots, Presidents?
And, yes, I might be a little more emotionally unpredictable when sleep deprived: I’m not
saying completely ranting paranoid stress ball crybaby, except maybe for that one time, or the
[FONT=&quot]other, but without sleep I’m not quite as utterly serene as usual.
You’ve been a songwriter with songs recorded by Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, Smokey Robinson and others. And a screenwriter, too, with Oscar-winning actors in your own film adaptation of your first novel, Winged Creatures. Which medium do your prefer?[/FONT]
Right now, it’s certainly novels. So much more indulgent navel-gazing permitted; all the
information in screenplays is external action, more immediately plot-driven. It’s a broad
generalization I’ll probably regret 10 minutes from now. I’ll probably dream about being wrong
[FONT=&quot]in public in some disguised form, I’m sure.
What other writers have influenced your work?
Cormac McCarthy, Virginia Woolf, William Styron, John Updike, Toni Morrison, Robert Stone.
Name one of your favorite characters in your novels and why they are a favorite.
Sam, in Deprivation. He finds his courage in the end, and achieves the hardest-won redemption of all.[/FONT]

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Murdering darlings.

How long do you write each day (or whatever is applicable!) and when?
I prefer to write as soon as I get up, coffee in hand, newspaper saved for later. I got for two or three hours, break for food, try for a few more, but with mixed results by then.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Learn how to read as a writer. Know why you love a writer or not, a sentence or paragraph or not, understand how a writer achieves a certain effect, the idea behind every choice for every way language can signify.

What are you reading right now that you would recommend to our members?
Rene Denfeld's The Enchanted.
What’s next for you?[/FONT]
Aside from continuously beating the drum for my screenplays, I have a new novel I’m
close to finishing. It’s best not to say too much — but there’s the key dramatic unity again — of
a few very different characters united by a similar experience (here a clinical trial for an
antidepressant that may or may not work, or make them worse) that forces them to make peace
with their unresolved if not traumatic pasts. This one, titled “Bright Noise,” doesn’t judge the
separate peace each attains — via delusions, domination, repression, or otherwise twisted
strategies. If we think we’re happy, who’s to say we’re not? So there’s my attempt at purposely
vague and intriguing for the moment.


DEPRIVATION by Roy Freirich
GENRE: Psychological Thriller

SUMMARY: A gripping psychological thriller from the author of Winged Creatures. August, Carratuck Island, New York: a silent child is found abandoned on the beach clutching a handheld video game, and residents and tourists alike find themselves stricken by relentless insomnia. Denied the outlet of dreams—fears, guilt, and primal urges find other ways to surface. A teenage girl competes in an online game: who can stay awake longest? The bleary police chief struggles to keep order. The local doctor battles the ghosts of his past to find the cause and a cure for the epidemic, and face down the violent mob that blames the child. Cut off from the mainland, the island plunges into chaos, murder, and suicide.

BUY LINKS: Meerkat Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

AUTHOR LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads