Saturday, January 20, 2018

Brian Freeman

Brian Freeman is the author of more than a dozen bestselling psychological thrillers, including the Jonathan Stride and Frost Easton series. His novel Spilled Blood won the award for Best Hardcover Novel in the International Thriller Writers Awards, and his thriller The Night Bird was one of the top 20 Kindle bestsellers of 2017. His new novel is The Voice Inside.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Freeman's reply:
Because I write thrillers for a living, most people assume that’s what I read, too.

In fact, I realized early on that I had to make the tough decision to give up reading my own genre. When you write suspense all day long, the idea of curling up with someone else’s suspense novel at the end of the day feels a lot like work! It becomes “market research” rather than “entertainment.”

Plus, there’s a level of intimacy in writing a novel that isn’t the same when you start reading a novel. We have some great writers in the thriller genre, but I’m so accustomed to a three-dimensional connection to my own stories and characters that reading other thrillers feels rather two-dimensional now.

So, I had to go another way. These days, I mostly read nonfiction, particularly history, biographies, and memoirs – books that are nothing like my own work. But that’s what makes it fun for me. In fact, I’m launching a regular podcast on the Authors on the Air network called True Story, in which I interview nonfiction writers who tell real stories with all the drama, emotion, and suspense you’d find in a thriller.

What have I been reading in the nonfiction world recently? It’s a mix, from the upcoming book Bringing Columbia Home about the 2003 space shuttle disaster to Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo da Vinci and Doris Goodwin’s biography of Lyndon Johnson. I’m a big fan of historians like Candice Millard, David McCullough, and Nathaniel Philbrick, too. Next up: The Girl on the Velvet Swing by Simon Baatz. It’s a story I know (oddly enough) from the musical version of E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, which included a song about the “crime of the century” (long before OJ) that is profiled in Baatz’s book.
Visit Brian Freeman's official website, and follow the author's new radio show.

--Marshal Zeringue