Gerald Freeman left England at the age of 19, bored with his prospects and in search of something to do with the rest of his life. He hitched around Europe for seven years, allowing fate to guide the way and he very soon realized there could never be enough years to do all the things he wanted. Gerry would like his writing to inspire people to go out and follow their dreams, instead of settling for a life that is under stimulating and does not allow them to reach their full potential. Gerald also expresses himself through sculpture, but the objective is the same: to meet and identify with people all over the planet and share experiences about the enigma of life.
Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Kill Daddy. When did you start writing and what got you into writing memoirs?
I have been writing poems and jotting down thoughts about my life and experiences since I was 12 years old. Not satisfied with the career options dictated to me at school and by everyone around me, I began searching for something different. I read Johnathon Livingstone Seagull, which changed my life completely and it helped me to embrace my individuality. I went travelling and met so many weird and wonderful people and I found myself in such ludicrous situations, that I had to write books and tell other people what I had discovered. I write about life and I want my work to inspire people to go out and find what they really want and not to settle for second best.
My target audience could primarily be young adults, people who find themselves in a similar situation to me, and unable to choose the university course that will dictate the rest of their lives, before having a look at more options. I discovered a world of opportunity I never knew existed when I left England, and I realized that I could actually be anything I wanted. In saying that, my book is something that people of any age can relate to because it’s about something we all have in common: life.
Do you have a writing schedule? Are you disciplined?
When I decided to commit to writing and sculpture, I began to organize my whole life around those two passions. This finds me only working in the evenings as a teacher of English, which leaves my daytime free to focus on my books and my art. I have prioritized my writing, this year, and I spend five days a week writing between 10am and 3pm. On the weekends I arrange my work around the social commitments I have – and sometimes the contrary!
How do you define success?
I would define success as feeling satisfied when I die. As long as I know I have done my best, I will be proud of my achievements. My true objectives are unachievable: to rid the world of hate and pain, so as long as I do as much as I can for this cause, I will be content.
What do you love most about the writer’s life?
My relationship with God. He was my travelling companion for many years, and now I have moved back into society we don’t talk as much as we used to. Writing reminds me of who I am and what I learnt all those years on the road: that we need never be alone.
Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about your work?
I have created a blog where I post thoughts and ideas about writing and life. I also have a Facebook page where readers can find great photos from the book. My sculpture and art can be seen on here and here.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?
I answered this because it is such an interesting question. I have been spoilt, I have never fallen in love with the kind of person who would restrict or prevent me from following my dreams. The reason my wife loves me is because of who I am, I wouldn’t be married to her, otherwise. Advice would sound patronizing, but I find it difficult to imagine that someone who loved you, wouldn’t support you.
George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Comments?
Ha Ha, the most annoying thing is not having a pen attached to the end of my fingers. The amazing thought that comes to you at 3am, when you are tucked up nice and warm in bed. Of course, after all these years you still haven’t got into the habit of leaving a writing instrument next to your bed. Or on the bus, when again you have nothing to write with and you spend the journey trying to remember those brilliant thoughts that just came into your head, and praying you won’t get any more before you have time to find a pen and get them all down.