Interview with JD Free

What inspired you to write this book?
I remember how angry I used to get as a young adult. All the rules my parents, teachers, guidance counselors and other adults expected me to follow. How boring school became after eighth grade as we had to learn a lot of seemingly useless information just so we could pass the standardize exams. I remember thinking what a bunch of crap. I wanted to be free and pursue the subjects I was really interested in such as writing or history. Then I started numbing myself with alcohol and drugs to be able to deal with all the rules.
Today, after traveling all over the world and studying spiritual principles, I can participate in society more easily and that's what I want to convey for my readers.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Narnia Series- C.S. Lewis did a fantastic job of creating a world where young adults could make a difference!
2. Lord of The Rings- Tolkien really did a great job of describing not only the classic battle of good and evil in our world, he also wrote the books as a reflection of the struggle between good and evil in ourselves. It makes sense that Tolkien and Lewis were good friends.
3. The Power of Positive Thinking- Peale's classic helped me to look at the glass half full. I still Meditate on his material every morning.
4. Jonathan Livingston Seagull- It taught me it was okay to be different and follow a unique path.
5. The Spirituality of Imperfection - Ernie Kurtz and Kathy Ketcham do an incredible job of putting together a series of short stories that taught me age-old spiritual lessons.
What do you read for pleasure?
I am currently reading three books right now. Earthing by Clint Ober which discusses how much healthier we are when we connect with the earth's electromagnetic energy.
The Cocaine Diaries by Paul Keany. This Irishman wrote about his time in a Venezuelan prison after getting caught with drugs at the airport.
Lastly, I read Find and Use Your Inner Power by Emmet Fox before I hit the hay. It allows me to clear my mind right before I go to sleep.
Describe your desk
My desk that I'm using to write my second book is three feet long and one foot wide. It has two drawers which is perfect for my notebook and other writing supplies. It has a half-inch of glass on top of a sturdy wooden frame. It fits well in my apartment here in Chiang Mai Thailand where I am living for the summer.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Ft Myers, Florida for the most part, yet my parents kept our house in Ohio where I was born for 10 years. We spent summers and every Christmas there as our whole family was still living in the Southwest area of Ohio.
However, I am more of a Southerner than a Northerner and my mannerisms reflect the values of The South. I grew up in the 70's and 80's when a lot of people including officials from law enforcement were in the drug business. In those days, even people that had successful legitimate businesses were in the drug trade due to the huge profits. Most weeks one to three individuals would disappear and never be seen again. Most of these people would end up being killed and their bodies disposed of in The Everglades.
Ft Myers was also the most segregated city, and probably still is, in The United States. All of these negative attitudes made me angry and I vowed to uncover all the madness in the future. Then I became one of the perpetrators and that's what the book describes, going from a good guy to a bad guy.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing when I was 10. Mostly short stories yet I also wrote some poetry as well. Then when I was 16, I started to write sports stories for my high school newspaper and the next year, I was sports editor. Writing from a journalist standpoint was one of the few ways you could make a living with a pen. I was granted a full ride to University of Florida for Radio, TV and journalism however, I didn't like most of my professors or how they taught. There was one exception, Don Grooms as he was funny and not so jaded like the other professors were. He was one of the most successful in the private sector as at one time he was writing for The Miami Vice series. I dropped out of U.F. the second semester as I went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans yet never went back to my classes.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy when I write, especially The Laugh or Die trilogy, is I might help another person have an easier time being on this planet. You know I have been fortunate enough to travel all over The Globe yet the hardest journey for me and I think for others, is the trip from my head to my heart. Hopefully my book will help make that trip a little bit more of a gentle journey.
What are you working on next?
I am working on the second book in The Laugh or Die trilogy and this one gets really gritty as I delve deeper into my addiction and the drug business. Not everyone makes it out unscathed and the ugly side of the criminal world comes under the microscope. It's not a pretty sight yet I'm grateful I lived through it!
Published 2016-06-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Laugh or Die: It Gets Thin In-Between
Price: $6.95 USD. Words: 55,470. Language: English. Published: October 4, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Joe starts college and continues to be in the party scene as a reveler and a drug dealer. Things get a little crazy when his buddy Jim enters the picture with $16,000 of someone else's money. However, it doesn't stop Joe or anyone else from getting caught in the mire of alcohol and drugs.
Laugh or Die: There's No In-Between
Price: $6.95 USD. Words: 32,040. Language: English. Published: June 19, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Navigating through life is definitely not easy for a young adult like Joe especially growing up in The South during the 80's. Good thing for Joe is he has great friends, a hot girlfriend, access to booze, and great drugs which makes it all much easier to deal with! Take a ride on Joe's adventure board and see what was considered fun in the 80's!