[Interview] Andrew Feder, author of ‘The Heretic’


Andrew Feder was born in Hollywood, California and grew up in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles.

He lived in Israel for a number of years and has worked, among other things, as a grape farmer, a contractor and owner of a construction company, a driver, an assistant director in the film industry and as a graphic artist.

His books include When The Angels Have Risen (Authorhouse, 2005) and The Heretic (Authorhouse, 2007).

In this email interview, Andrew Feder talks about his writing.

When did you start writing?

Well, I began writing in my early college days when I wrote some short stories. Later I began writing editorials in op/eds in local papers. In the early nineties, I re-continued my writing with poems and screenplays which later evolved into writing novels.

In 1997, when I completed my first novel, I began looking for an agent which, not until 2000, that it bore fruit with a publisher. But in 2001 due to the tragedy of 9/11, my contract with [the] publisher was canceled, but I continued writing and finally, in 2005, I became a published author.

How would you describe your writing?

My writing is an easy read with a lot of satire while maintaining a sense of reality while pulling the reader into the novel as if he/she was experiencing the events as they unfold. You will also find that I incorporate many messages — throughout my books — that question our society, our religions and our politics.

I have no targeted audience when I begin writing. I just create.

My motivation was the gripping dark events that we as humans have allowed to continue. The very demeanor of humanity, from mass to individual, with its lack of self-worth and self-love — under the illusionary reins of fear and guilt and lies and ignorance — compelled me to write…

Who has influenced you most?

I would say Kurt Vonnegut’s style greatly influence my style. I love the way he creates a story and takes [you] where you least expect and finally hits you straight in your face approach.

How have your personal experiences influenced your writing?

I have always incorporated some of me in my books. Whether it’s my spiritual and/or physical experiences, I try to place [or] jell them within the story.

My books will always be from the heart — contrary to the kind that is strictly mechanical. You know, the writing that is phony as a three dollar bill or [as] superficial as the city of Las Vegas. Since writing is an art, it should always come from within — from the heart.

What are your main concerns as a writer?

After it is completed and published, the work really begins with publicity, because unless you’re a top five writer in a top five publisher or a well-known celebrity, it will be a long climb uphill.

My biggest challenge would be probably having some sort of patience while being organized.

Also, this may sound strange, but in my lifetime or this lifetime, I have overcome many obstacles but I have persevered by learning my lesson. It’s the healing process… So now, for me, it’s having patience and maintaining organization.

Do you write everyday?

I generally write in bunches. First I have an idea and then, like an artist, I sketch it out. And then I leave it. And then, like I am in a movie, I write what I see and feel and so on…

It is not a mechanical method, so I am not some kind of, like, Borg in Star Trek. It’s a creative process! I simply enjoy the experience and while doing so, I paint my canvass.

How many books have you written so far?

When The Angels Have Risen was published in 2005 by Authorhouse.

The Heretic was published in 2007 by Authorhouse.

Spirit will be released in 2010.

What is your latest book about?

The Heretic is the sequel to When The Angels Have Risen.

After questioning his bizarre dreams and unexplained sudden knowledge of ancient Greek, Jerry Fletcher is regressed to his past lives. Under his regression, Jerry finally becomes aware that during Alexander the Great’s military campaigns he was Aias, the historically unwritten hero.

Aias was not only Alexander’s untold mentor and great true friend but was also notable for being a true maverick and an inspiring military hero.  Alexander the Great often compared Aias to both Illiad’s Hector and Achilles but in one.

Alexander the Great and Ptlomey simply thought that Aias was perhaps a God reincarnate from Olympus. Alexander simply called him an Aries incarnate. His enemies simply called him, “Aias the Decapitator.” And Aristotle simply called him The Heretic.

How long did it take you to write the book?

It took about a year’s research, but only about a month to write the first version. And about six months later, The Heretic was completed.

I was published with Authorhouse in a two book deal — the first novel, When The Angels Have Risen in 2005 and The Heretic, earlier in 2007.

I chose Authorhouse, because they gave me full control of book design and final output especially when my first book with them was so controversial. They also were well-distributed worldwide, and I felt this was very important in today’s world economy and the doors I wanted to open.

The disadvantage of selecting Authorhouse was them being known as a POD/self-publishing company. Though I was on separate contract, some reviewers and media would put you on second shelf for this bias.

Which aspects of the work you put into the book did you find most difficult?

The very balance of detail while maintaining a good flow was probably the most difficult especially when writing an accurate, detailed, historical fiction.

Which did you enjoy most?

When I played with Aias’ personality, with his arrogant demeanor, yet displaying his ingenuity [that] was quite enjoyable. But I would also have to say the battle scenes though they were quite gruesome — Hell, it was fun… Like being there and experiencing…

Oh yeah, did I mention the love scenes?

What sets the book apart from other things you’ve written?

This was my first historical fiction while most I’ve written were in present or future times.

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

The fascinating responses that I have received intrigued me thus far, but when my messages have created a quantum-like wave of light which has opened the minds of the many while giving an enlightening affect — this would be my most satisfying element. The elixir of giving a great sense of self-love and self-worth while motivating for a greater understanding is a reward onto itself.

More at Conversations with Writers.

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