Questions for Freda Warrington

Mark Robson

Dragon Writer
Aug 31, 2004
Daventry - England
I've recently conversed by email with Freda and she is interested in coming to participate in an interview here at Chronicles. With 17 titles to her name covering everything from vampires to historical fantasy, to high fantasy and heroic fantasy, I'm sure there must be some readers here who might have some questions they would like to ask her.

If you're interested in seeing what she has written, you can take a look at her website here:

Don't worry if you haven't read any of her work (the interview will hopefully spark some interest in checking out her impressive cross-section of stories) - the questions can be general: about her writing methodology, about her life, her career, or her wide selection of storylines. For those who have read some of her work, you might wish to ask about particular books, characters, ideas etc.

Please give this some thought so I can put together a structured series of interview questions.
Just read through most of her website, very interesting. I don't have any questions myself, but look forward to reading the interview. :D
I'd certainly be interested to know:

1. How difficult she finds it writing between different genres
2. How difficult her agent find it with her writing between different genres. :) Not intended as facetious - there's a general comment of publishers prefering an author to stay within a specific genre market for helping with fan loyalty.
I'm particularly intrigued by the Richard III book -- wondering if I have time to get it, read it, and ask some questions about it before the interview.

Since her first fantasy novel was published in 1986, I'd be interested in any comparisons she might want to make between the genre in the mid-eighties and the genre now. Also, I think I see some Warrington influence in the works of newer writers like Ricardo Pinto, which makes me wonder about some of the books and writers that inspired and influenced her when she was starting out.
I was intrigued by that book too, Kelpie. (Court of the Midnight King) I note that Nixie has read it. I wonder if she would be kind enough to comment on it before the interview. An overview for the rest of us would be useful. I'm going to try to read at least a little of the first in the Jewelfire Trilogy. I read the first four of her Blackbird series a long time ago, but I'm going to see if I can lay my hands on a copy of A Blackbird in Silver again in order to compare the then and now. All I can remember is that I enjoyed it, which is not much to go on!

I'm also keen to find out what motivates someone to write horror. As someone who has never been drawn to this genre, I would love to know why anyone would want to immerse themselves in something innately frightening.
HMMM..don't know much about this author but I'm always interested in people who can write in different genres ala Robert E. Howard and co.

Q1) I'd be interested to know whether Freda has a leaning towards writing in any specific Genre or is it more a case of allowing an idea to surface and then writing something that best suits that mood?

Q2)Does Freda have a preference to writing in any specific Genre or does she in fact find certain Genres more difficult or challenging to write in than others OR does she in fact not view her writing when she approaches it as necessarily being Genre-specific and simply goes with whatever feels right for the story at the time ala along the lines of my first question?
Court of the Midnight King a mixture of historical fact and fantasy.A lot of research went into the book, in fact this book was the one that made me question if Richard did order the death of his nephews, [the princes in the tower] and do some digging on my own.She paints a very different picture of Richard than the one school texts books and Shakespeare potray.She brings the tale of Richard III to life and gives it a nice twist.Its set in alternate reality.The tale is told from the view of one of Richard's servants,a pagan priestess, and the visions of a modern day history student.Very easy to lose yourself in.the history and fantasy blend very well and its easy to forget were one ends and the other begins.
If I try harder I could probably go in to more detail but it's a couple of year since I read it.
That only makes me more eager to read the book and formulate some specific questions, as the mixing of history and fantasy particularly fascinates me. When is this interview going to take place?
Kelpie said:
That only makes me more eager to read the book and formulate some specific questions, as the mixing of history and fantasy particularly fascinates me. When is this interview going to take place?

Kelpie if you were in the UK I'd send you my copy
Thanks for the thought, nixie.

I just finished ordering the book, since in fact you can get it over here after all. I'm happy to buy books and support authors, when I can squeeze the money out of the budget (and the other person with his name on the bank account) which isn't as often as I would like.

My big concern is getting the book in time, since the vendor said it could take up to two weeks -- which in my experience can mean quite a bit longer. Sometimes I think media mail is required to grow its own little legs (and thumbs) and hitch-hike across the country.

I've had things arrive sooner from the UK than from places relatively nearby. It must have something to do with prevailing currents in the Atlantic Ocean -- the postal service tries to slow things down by just floating the books across, but once something hits that East Greenland current there's no stopping it!
Kelpie said:
That only makes me more eager to read the book and formulate some specific questions, as the mixing of history and fantasy particularly fascinates me. When is this interview going to take place?

I've not set a specific timescale, though, given people's interest I think I'll hold off on it for a couple of weeks at least to give people a chance to get their thoughts in order and any research for questions done.

What I hope to do is arrange it so that I conduct the initial interview - post it up for people to read, and then have Freda come in to answer any questions that arise as a result of the interview. I hope it will give a starting base for a wide ranging discussion - she is certainly a diverse author and a very interesting person.
Omega said:
Hmm it would a pear that a largish proportion of her novels are out of print.

Immanion Press are apparently righting that particular wrong by re-releasing some of her titles. I'm not sure how many - this is one of the questions I will be sure to ask.

It's good to see that I've got a few questions to base an interview around. Does anyone else have anything they would like to ask? Aside, of course, from the inevitable question that will get the answer 42! :)
Hi everyone,

Freda here! Just to say I'm really looking forward to doing this interview, and I'm really grateful to Mark for setting the whole thing up. Yes, many of my books are out of print BUT you can still get The Court of the Midnight King, the 'Jewelfire Trililogy' - the Amber Citadel, The Sapphire Throne and The Obsidian Tower - to the best of my knowledge - and A Taste of Blood Wine (US edition). Most of the Blackbird quartet is now available from Immanion Press. Plus I have loads of copies of Dark Cathedral, and a few copies of the out-of print stuff. Anyway, I look forward to getting to know you all better soon... :)

Blessings, Freda
Nice to see you here, Freda. I'm currently enjoying The Amber Citadel. I only started a couple of days ago, but I can see already that I'm going to enjoy reading it very much. My notebook of questions is building nicely, so we should have plenty to discuss. I also hope to lay my hands on another copy of A Blackbird in Silver before the interview to remind myself of the characters in that series too.
Welcome, Freda! We're very glad to have you here.

I'm impatiently awaiting the arrival of Court of the Midnight King. The whole Richard III controversy has fascinated me ever since I was a teenager doing my best to escape the 20th century by immersing myself in historical novels, so I'm sure to have plenty of questions for you once I've had a chance to read it.

(While I've never been convinced of Richard's innocence, I've always tended toward the view that in the matter of the little Princes -- as in so much else -- he was slandered by Tudor historians. I certainly do agree with Richard's partisans that the murder was far more in keeping with Henry's record and character.)
Hi Freda, and welcome to chronicles. :)

It's been suggested that we redo our book club to focus on an authors who'll be happy to answer questions from the book group readers. Is this something you'd be interested in? If so, are there any specific books of yours that you would especially like to discuss with a reading group?

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