Interview with Phillip Frey

Inspiration for your books?
For "Dangerous Times": A film producer had given me two plot sentences, hiring me to develop them into a treatment (short outline), which I would then turn into a screenplay if the production money was gotten. It was never gotten and the rights reverted back to me. After some time went by I began thinking about the treatment I had written, primarily about the characters. I had always wanted to write a novel and for some reason this was the one.

For "Hym and Hur": I have no memory of where the idea had come from. It's pure fantasy, with humor. I had two characters in mind, started writing and surprised myself with not stopping.
Favorite reads?
Crime books, with or without a detective. I've been through all the books of Jim Thompson, Ross MacDonald, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, and have now been going through the books of contemporary authors: Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbo, Stuart Neville, Walter Mosley, and others.
Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
Yes, because of the poems and short stories by Edgar Allen Poe, first read when I was about 8 years old. No doubt Poe has been an inspiration to many other authors.
Pet Peeves?
Barking dogs and people who don't pick up after them. Maybe they don't love their dogs enough to pick up after them?
Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
Love them both. When it comes to chocolate, I only have the dark because it has no dairy in it. I'm lactose intolerant, along with millions of others it seems. I have to read the ingredients. Some chocolate companies, like Hershey's, put milk products in their dark chocolate. And no chocolate should be alkali processed, which diminishes the health benefits. If you see alkali processed in the ingredients, don't buy it.
Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
Soundtrack to the book? Well, not yet. My favorite music is jazz and baroque. For jazz, singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan, and many more. For jazz musicians I like Louis Armstrong (again), Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis, etc. I also like the "straight-ahead jazz period" which includes Lee Morgan, Art Blakey, Hank Mobley, etc.
Do you need anything to write? (example: chocolate, music, slippers)
I like music on the radio, on low. I also need a mug of water on my desk. What I do not need is for the phone to ring.
How long do you write on any average day?
At least 4 straight hours, then more if I have time later in the day. I go by Tennessee Williams' advice. It's worked for me. Set a daily start time, and then sit there, same time every day. It doesn't matter how long, as long as it's the same amount of time each day. If nothing happens on paper, it doesn't matter. Just stare at the blank page, daydream about hot fudge sundaes, maybe even daydream about what you are trying to say on paper. The important thing is not to run from it. Whether or not a single word is written, the mind is still working. The time spent is never wasted. Discipline has been my savior.
Give us the number one reason to read your books.
For "Dangerous Times," as far as the antagonist goes, it's a chance for readers to delve into their naturally human, suppressed malevolence: the thoughts we keep secret and harbor from others. A scary proposition for some I suppose.

"Hym and Hur" will give readers a fun time, I hope. It's as different from "Dangerous Times" as night is to day.
I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where I performed as a child actor at The Cleveland Playhouse. I then later moved to New York where I performed with The New York Shakespeare Festival, followed by The Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center.

With a change of interest I wrote, directed, and edited 3 short films, all of which had international showings, including The New York Film Festival.

With yet another change of interest I moved to Los Angeles to become a produced screenwriter. The books "Dangerous Times" and "Hym and Hur" were my first works of published fiction. More recently, my contest-winning romantic comedy, "The Hero of Lost Causes," may be read in Scribes Valley Publishing's annual short story anthology, "Slow the Pace." Available in print and eBook.
Published 2016-08-31.
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Books by This Author

Dark Dossier,
Price: Free! Words: 31,200. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
Stories to scare and thrill you. After reading, keep the lights on. Need we say more?
Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 8,390. Language: English. Published: January 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
(4.00 from 15 reviews)
In this fantasy-comedy Hym and Hur are a young couple who never age and have been in love for more than a century. They also possess magical abilities, two of which are either to play pranks on humankind or to perform good deeds. Enacting both at once is now what gets them into trouble, especially since it's the unruly character of Death they must deal with to bring their plans to fruition.
Dangerous Times
Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 73,590. Language: English. Published: September 28, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
(4.53 from 19 reviews)
Psychopath Frank Moore has found his look-alike, John Kirk, a close-enough double. He switches their identities and fingerprints in government databases. An act that will send the innocent John Kirk through 48-hours of betrayal, violence and murder—while Frank Moore will learn the meaning of "The best laid plans…"