Interview with Marcus Freestone

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a house with one parent, no siblings and little money, so I developed a hyperactive and fairly abstract imagination very early on. I used to improvise stories for other kids when I was 4. I couldn't stop having ideas all the time and I still can't now. I do a lot of the work on my novels in my head before I write anything down. Once I've begun a novel the ideas never stop, I don't have to search for them. I'm also very happy being on my own, which makes novel writing the ideal activity.
When did you first start writing?
I tried to write a novel when I was 7, managing 4 pages before giving up. At 9 I wrote a half hour one act play and press-ganged 2 school friends into endless rehearsals. I asked for a typewriter for my 10th birthday and began writing stories and poems. At 16 I started writing hundreds of comedy sketches. I again tried to write a novel at 18 and managed a 20,000 word novella which was dreadful. After distracting myself with stand-up comedy, journalism, music, life and stuff, I got back into novels in my late 30s and finally finished one properly just before my 40th birthday.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm now working on the third in my 'T14' series about a counter-terrorist agency in 2025. I'm tieing up all the strands from the first two books so that book 4 can have a clean slate, as well as introducing lots of new strands. Being so familiar with the characters and setting now I find that the ideas come very easily. I'm projecting technology forward 12 years and including a few sci-fi elements to hopefully make it more interesting than a bog-standard thriller. On a whim I also decided to chuck in a few UFOs.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After taking a holiday for my 40th birthday I decided to put all the rejection letters and disappointment behind me and get my work out there myself, as I had been doing with music for a few years previously. Now nobody is telling me what I should or shouldn't be writing and I'm under no pressure to take any notice whatsoever of what is currently popular and try to fit in with it. I don't have to have stereotyped covers and I don't have to compromise one iota. It's been a mostly wonderful experience. During my 14 months of self publishing my literary and musical output has increased tenfold because I now know that as soon as I've finished something it can be 'out there' within hours.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Transcending awareness of myself. When I'm writing I'm not thinking about my back pain, the looming pile of washing up, have I run out of clean socks. I'm not worrying about abstract future scenarios or replaying past resentments or failures. When I write I live in the world of my imagination where I control everything and everything works and makes sense. For me, it's like getting lost in reading a novel only this is even better because you get to decide what happens. I feel confident and at ease with the world and that I can achieve anything. For me it's better than sex, which means I'm either a literary genius or rubbish at sex.
Who are your favorite authors?
H.G. Wells, Douglas Adams, Colin Wilson, Conan-Doyle, Orwell, M.R. James, Dosdoevsky, Camus, Sartre, Nietzsche, Susan Hill, Iris Murdoch, Tim Weaver, Lynda La Plante, Caro Ramsey, Ian Rankin, J.D. Salinger, Robert Heinlein, C.S. Lewis.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My bladder.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, listening to comedy, plays or cricket on the radio, listening to music (not on the radio), making music, going for walks, drinking tea, drinking real ale, filling in lots of text boxes on websites.
What is your writing process?
I pick up a pen or my laptop and start writing. I don't believe in writer's block. I always improvise the beginning of my novels and let my imagination guide me. Writing is the process of taking dictation from your subconscious so I just let my fingers go where they want (but only while using a keyboard, not in everyday life). When I've extemporised for a while I then look over what my mind has come up with and then it's a case of constructing a jigsaw puzzle where you have to make all the pieces yourself. Then I add and cut, add and cut until it's finished. Then I print and proofread it and make more changes. Then I leave it for a few weeks before reading it through in one go. If it's ready I publish it. If not, I go back and change/add/cut until it is ready. When I've published it I then have a big sleep.
What do you read for pleasure?
Novels, science, philosophy, psychology. All books I read are for pleasure, I don't distinguish between entertainment and learning.
Describe your desk
I usually write on my laptop on the sofa but I also have a large desk that dominates my living room. On it (as I write) are a PC, a midi keyboard, audio interface, guitar fx unit, tube preamp, distortion pedal, plectrums, external backup drive, printer, tape deck, hi-fi amp and speakers, digital radio, 2 3-way multi plug adaptors, various cables and connectors, a midi controller I can't get to work, a precarious pile of CDs, pen and paper, a pack of joss sticks, and a Guinness drinks mat which is now almost entirely tea-coloured. The desk is brown.
Published 2013-09-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

My Entire Life
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 75,270. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Biographical, Fiction » Coming of age
If you were given a few months to live, what would you do? What would it be like to visit your favourite places for what you know is the last time? Find out in this journey through a life that is about to end. With social commentary, existential and psychological exploration of the human condition, and a few jokes to lighten the mood, this novel follows one man for his entire life.
Brain In A Jar: Book 1
Price: Free! Words: 19,290. Language: English. Published: February 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
In the 23rd century it is now possible to remove a person's body entirely and attach their brain to a computer. But what is it actually like to be a brain in a jar, especially if that wasn't what you signed up for? And what happens when the world is confronted with the reality of what these people have become? This series of novellas explores the implications of post human technology.
Paul: Mental Book 3
Series: Mental. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 22,380. Language: English. Published: February 3, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Biographical, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
People think Paul is weird but is it him or his narcissistic mother who has the real problems? The third book in the series of novellas exploring themes around mental illness and psychology takes a comic look at family dynamics.
Gemma: Mental Book 2
Series: Mental. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 20,840. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Biographical, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
The second in a series of novellas on the theme of psychological trauma and the ignorance and prejudice surrounding mental illness. Gemma mysteriously acquires a life-changing amount of money but she is still hiding from the world and the repercussions of her childhood. Will she ever be able to break out of her isolation, and will she ever discover the truth about where the money really came from?
Brian: Mental Book 1
Series: Mental. Price: Free! Words: 19,110. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Biographical
The first in a series of novellas on the theme of psychological trauma and the ignorance and prejudice surrounding mental illness. Brian's depression and drinking are ruining his life, and eventually he reaches breaking point and is forced to take drastic action. Will he be able to bring his life back from the brink of disaster?
101 Completely Made Up Untrue Facts
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,800. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody
A hundred and one totally made up facts, the perfect companion to the post-truth generation. Learn that Isaac Newton discovered gravity when he was sitting under an apple tree and an iPhone fell on his head, and that “Star Wars” was originally a story about a man who couldn't find his car keys but George Lucas was told that wasn't zeitgeisty enough so he put some robots in it. Also learn the truth
Donald Trump and Brexit: Misguided Rebellion
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 11,000. Language: English. Published: November 21, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Democracy, Nonfiction » Social Science » Conspiracy theories
The election of Donald Trump and Britain's vote to leave the European Union both followed two of the most negative, divisive campaigns in living memory. Moreover they are both symptomatic of a wider problem: nobody trusts experts anymore and truth itself is now seen as a conspiracy to keep the people down. We explore the psychology behind these disturbing new ways of thinking.
The Psychology of Happiness: Unravelling Self Help Nonsense by Understanding Your Brain
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 19,000. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Mental health, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Confidence and self-esteem
Self help books can be frustrating and counterproductive, peddling the myth that all your dreams will come true if you wish hard enough. This book uses science, psychology and philosophy to examine the true nature of happiness and make practical, down to earth suggestions to improve your well being. Learn why wealth and material gain do not lead to happiness.
Never Kidnap A Serial Killer: T14 Book 5
Series: T14. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 64,240. Language: English. Published: August 3, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Book 5 in the T14 series sees Jennifer and her colleagues hunting down their missing serial killer, who has been very busy indeed during his short absence. Meanwhile the British public are rioting over power shortages and someone else has also escaped from custody, someone who only has deadly revenge on his mind.
Tell Depression To #@%! Off
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 13,660. Language: English. Published: May 11, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Depression, Nonfiction » Psychology » Mental health
Living with depression can be a real struggle with fear, confusion, self doubt, shame and guilt. This short, practical book examines what depression is and tells you how you can fight back and gain control of your thinking and emotions. It contains tips anyone can use that don't cost a single penny. Discover that a short walk has a better antidepressant effect on your brain than any medication.
Two Serial Killers, A Wedding And A Funeral: T14 Book 4
Series: T14. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 64,550. Language: English. Published: August 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
It's been nearly a year since the first one. The break has been more than necessary. Too many mistakes last time. It was only a test run, but still. It turns out that becoming a serial killer is more difficult than I'd expected. All these years of studying the 'greats', honing my plans, and I still almost got caught first time out. I need the magic number four to become a 'proper' serial killer...
Just Murder (T14 Book 3)
Series: T14. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 70,520. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime
Does anyone ever deserve to be murdered? More than one person has to answer this question in the third book in the series about T14. It's all change at the counter-terrorism agency but some things remain the same: members of the now disbanded CIA are still wreaking havoc in the UK, various people are still trying to blow up various things, and Jennifer is still craving coffee.
101 Ways To Happiness
Price: Free! Words: 6,090. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
101 suggestions to make your day a happier one. Some are serious, some are downright stupid. This cheeky little book will get inside your brain and force a smile right out of your face.
Positive Thinking And The Meaning Of Life (Extended)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 36,240. Language: English. Published: March 6, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Mood Disorders, Nonfiction » Psychology » Emotions
Are you plagued by negative thinking, indecision and guilt? Would you like to transform your life with positive thinking skills and effective stress management and eliminate negative self-talk? Have no fear, this is not your typical self-help book. This is a collection of practical tips and techniques gleaned from psychology and philosophy that can help you transform your thoughts and emotions.
Random Target
Series: T14, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 99,680. Language: English. Published: November 25, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime
2025. Steve is a regular guy leading a quiet life but somebody is following him and leaving him strange notes. As events escalate, should he go to the police or deal with it himself? Counter-terrorism agency T14 have their hands even more full than usual and Jennifer has been ordered to give up coffee. Eventually, these two worlds meet in a page-turning sequel to 'The Memory Man'.
Positive Thinking & The Meaning Of Life
Price: Free! Words: 11,800. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Mood Disorders, Nonfiction » Psychology » Emotions
Are you plagued by negative thinking, indecision and guilt? Would you like to transform your life with positive thinking skills and effective stress management and eliminate negative self-talk? Have no fear, this is not your typical self-help book. This is a collection of practical tips and techniques gleaned from psychology and philosophy that can help you transform your thoughts and emotions.
What To Do If Trapped In A Lift With A Dentist
Price: Free! Words: 9,190. Language: English. Published: April 7, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » U.K. Poetry
A collection of poems about rabbits, vicars and soiled bandages,
Ethelbert's Sunday Morning
Price: Free! Words: 18,700. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
These thirteen short stories range from comedy to drama and horror, and from the mundane and everyday to the downright bizarre.
The Memory Man: T14 Book 1
Series: T14, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 78,280. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime
In 2014 a massive terrorist attack in London kills 80,000. Ten years later we join T14, the money no object, red tape defying counter terrorist organisation tasked with ensuring that this never happens again. Recruiting from the police, SAS and other agencies, T14 uses the latest technology and a no nonsense approach to fighting terrorism and related crime. A pacy thriller.
The Least Resistance
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 59,640. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
11 year old Sarah almost dies during a violent gang attack. Aged 21 she starts a new job in an I.T. office and is confronted in the pub after work by her stalker who over the next few years becomes an increasing presence in her life and the situation quickly builds to one of nightmarish proportions. Her judo skills will keep her safe, or will they? A comedy thriller set in the everyday world.