Interview with Ed Lipsman

Who are your 5 favorite authors and why?
Lee Childs for his Reacher series (not as interpreted by Tom Cruise.)
The character of Reacher is one of the centerpieces of the characterization in FLASHES OF FIRE. He's big, tough, can take punishment, and is single-minded. He will go to extreme measures to make things right regardless of the threat to himself and always follows through to make certain of it. His drive to never, ever, give up and to complete tasks and assignments influenced the main character in my book.

Craig Johnson for his Longmire (not the tv show) books. This western sheriff never looks for trouble, but will defend his friends, family, and the law. His focus on the task at hand and the way he talks to his deputy, daughter, former boss, and best friend has given me a great template for the language and relationships in FLASHES OF FIRE. Johnson's dialogs just seem to flow so smoothly and so aptly.

Andrew Vachss for his Burke novels. This darker than dark character is a superb anti-hero. He's flawed, expedient, violent, profane, tempermental, angry, and sometimes psychotic. He makes his own rules, disregards societal norms and makes his own way through life. I have tried to integrate this streak of individualism
into the behavior of my main characters. They too are flawed and in many ways are anti-heroes and each deals with this issue in a different way.

Kim Harrison in her Hollows series uses a strong, brave, caring, focused, woman who always tries to do the right thing, gets caught up in other people's problems and issues and tries to solve problems. She will fight and hurt people, but she doesn't enjoy it or revel in it. Harrison's character uses magic to help her, while my main fierce, fiery, female characters also are caring and try to solve problems, but don't use any magic, instead depending on their quick minds and sharp swords.

James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux books clearly show another type of anti-hero who always seems to get into trouble with his past, his Viet Nam experiences, and his best friend. His always seems to get pressed into situations and conflicts that require a mammoth effect, a violent and often intricate solution, and yet he seems to keep going under difficult circumstance. In FLASHES many of my characters share his stubborness and resolve while also getting roped into difficult situation and and scenarios.
What are your favorite Movies and Why?
Wonder Woman is a movie that demonstrates that a female super hero can be just as successful as a male super hero. She is strong, smart, powerful, outspoken, caring, a great fighter who can use a sword, bow, and a number of other weapons, and who fights for right, faces off against evil, and understands that the forces of light HAVE to battle with the forces of darkness, whether Nazis, intruders on her special island, or the mechanization of the world. And she wins! As a member of an Amazon tribe, she understands the bonds of family, tribe, and nation. In essence, she represents the timeless archetype of a warrior, male or female. The character of Serena in my novel as well as her group of Woodswomen fit this pattern of behavior too. They may not be Amazons, but they're tough as nails.

Apollo 13 is another movie staring Tom Hanks. It, like Sully, shows how a person can be brave and strong emotionally and mentally as he deals with a major crisis. There's not blood and guts in this film, but there is a seesaw of emotional ups and down, as problem after problem pops up and gets solved. There's no evil doer or dark force to fight in this film, but the electrical and mechanical gremlins do need to be vanquished. Just like Sully was able to land a full aircraft in a New York river, astronaut Lovell was able to bring his battered spacecraft back to earth safely. The level of determination, technical concentration, emotions, flow of ideas, interplay of the characters, successes and failures all add up to Lovell being superhero in his own right. Nico, a character in my novel, prefers to use his verbal skills, legal knowledge, business acumen, and intellect to settles issues or solve problems, but will resort to the slashing, cutting, and precision of his Italian sword.

Taken is a movie that really moves me emotionally. Liam Nesson place a former CIA agent who has to try to track down his daughter who is abducted and is being sold as a sex slave. It rocks me because I feel emotionally attached to the main character as he faces adversary after adversary in grueling hand to hand battles, gun to gun fights, and a large assortment of other violence in order to get his loved one back. He never gives up, never backs down, never hesitates, never gets unnerved, never runs out of energy, never considers the risks, never considers the right or wrong of his actions, never considers the sociological, psychological or the physical cost of his behavior, or worries about the world how the world would perceive him. I try to emulate all of these attributes in my novel's main character, Chase, when strong emotions are generated when he searches for Serena when she is kidnapped, or help Ian, Nico, or Alex when they're in danger or defend my people, my lands, or my beliefs. Chase rushes forward, not caring a damn about anything else except to help or rescue someone. He may not be Bryan Mills from Taken, but he does his freaking best, especially when he is overcome by the red mist making him a berserker.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up on Jancey Street, in the Morningside area of East Liberty, in Pittsburgh, PA. and it taught me a lot of things that I tried to inculcate into my writing. It was a mixed neighborhood of Greeks, Italians, Jews, Polls, African Americans, and other immigrants and everyone seemed to get along. It taught me to accept the differences among us and yet, hold tight to our traditions.
In my novel, FLASHES, my characters reflect the mixture of people I grew up with, as wells being able to accept the differences among the various baronies and their populace.
I grew up in a double house next to my mom's parents with a younger brother who played the role of the 'good son" while I was the one who was the 'rebel'.
Chase and Nico are the rebels in my novel while Alex was raised in violence and Ian in a broken home.
The best part of growing up in Morningside was the numerous family members I was surrounded by four grandparents, and at least six aunts and uncles who each had four or more children. The adults kept an eye on all the children and woe be it if you got in trouble, because it always got back to my parents, but the love generated by a large family made things right. When we had family picnics we had 50 people or more in attendance. In such a large family, I learned the value of honesty, integrity, courage, friendship, loyalty, duty, and respect. I hated leaving Jancey Street, but it prepared me for adulthood.
The large cast of characters in my novel, each with their own personality, became my fictional family and are a reflection of all this. As a warrior in the Medievalist Society, I learned the importance honor, of finishing what I started, not easily accepting defeat, and never quitting.
Oh, one other thing about my time in Morningside. As a child, I loved to read (which my mom taught me early in my life) and so she took me to the East Liberty library almost every Saturday morning and I am sure it was there that I met my 'red haired girl' that I married 30+ years later!
Published 2018-03-14.
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Books by This Author

Flashes of Fire
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 113,450. Language: English. Published: January 7, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Have you ever been so ticked off at work or frustrated by what's happening in your life that you just want to start over? This novel pits good against evil, lawlessness against order, the fears versus doing what's right, and an untrained rebel force against organized armies, Barons, and even Kings. Join the Chase Harte and his gorgeous wife Serena in this exciting medieval fantasy!