Friday, May 11, 2012

Please welcome Author Robert N. Friedland

Richmond lawyer Robert Friedland was born in Brooklyn in 1947. According to his publisher, "Friedland has been the Sheriff of a Judicial District; an investigator for the United States Treasury Department; a Regional Director of the Alberta Human Rights Commission; Human Rights Advisor for Malaspina University-College; a two-term City Councillor in Victoria, British Columbia; and, Chief Lawyer for a group of seven First Nations in the Interior of British Columbia. He currently practices human rights and administrative law in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is a widely published commentator on the international, Canadian, and British Columbian political scene. His stories and short fiction have been published in the United States, Canada, England, and Japan in: The Fiddlehead (Canada); NeWest Review (Canada); CBC Radio,(Alberta Anthology, Edmonton On Stage, Vinyl Cafe); Raw Fiction (Canada); Stand (United Kingdom); The Petroleum Independent (U.S.A.); Entre Nous (U.S.A.); The Casper Journal (U.S.A.); The Abiko Literary Quarterly (Japan); CITR FM, the University of British Columbia's FM radio station (Canada); and, The Broadkill Review (U.S.A.).

BOOKS:

Faded Love (Libros Libertad 2010)
The Second Wedding of Doctor Geneva Song (Libros Libertad 2011)





How/why did you start to write?

I think writers write because they feel something so deeply, for better or worse, that they want to, or must, externalize that feeling for the world.  I started writing as a child. I wrote a children’s story about a Texas Longhorn at a bullfight.    

How did you become an author?

I prefer, “writer”, to author.  I think that my skills of expression were verbal and written word, and not painting, acting, singing.  As a teenager in the 1960’s in New York City, writing was a way of expressing the youthful madness that had seemed to affect and infect an entire generation.  In adult life, writing was a means of solving unresolved issues and conflicts, (internal, external, relationships, work).

Why I Write

It only sounds like a question.

Let’s assume for a moment that there is a choice: to write; or, not to write.

I write to express my self. 

In 1992, in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, I thought I had lost a Sabre pocketknife that I had found more than a decade before on the banks of the North Platte in Wyoming.

The sense of loss seemed overwhelming and disproportionate to all of the other loss I had experienced in life.  I sat down at the keyboard and wrote, “The Lost Knife”, my best story, in a white rush.  If I had not, what then?

What was your first published piece? Where was it published? How long ago?

As an adult, my first published piece was, “The Ride Back”, a short story published by the Petroleum Independent in Washington, DC, in 1976, when I was working around the Oil Patch in Wyoming.  I submitted the story on a dare from a lawyer I knew.  They paid me $200.00, a princely sum in those days, and bought and published a few more stories.

What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?

I think that everything a writer does and everyone he/she meets in life helps fill the well.  You can’t make something out of nothing.  I had great opportunities to meet people and see life lived in many different ways.

I’ve been the Sheriff of a Judicial District; an investigator for the United States Treasury Department; a Regional Director of the Alberta Human Rights Commission; Human Rights Advisor for Malaspina University‑College; a two-term City Councillor in Victoria, British Columbia; and, Chief Lawyer for a group of seven First Nations in the Interior of British Columbia.  I currently practice human rights and administrative law in Vancouver, British Columbia.

I am also a widely published commentator on the international, Canadian, and British Columbian political scene.

My fiction has been published in Canada, the United States, England, and Japan.


What inspires you?

Big feelings, the wonder in little things, the sands of time running through the glass, my appetites, my needs, people, places, ocean, mountain, windblown papers, the secret life of small mammals, and the inevitable and wrenching loss of each and every one of these things over time.

Please share one of your successful marketing techniques

Please share one of yours! (Okay, sure. Let's see I've found it very effective to offer readings for the target readers.) For me, this is the toughest part of the job.  When you start writing, you think it is the writing that is tough.  Then you think finding a publisher is the tough part.  It isn’t until you’ve done both that you realize they were cake, and that the really hard part is selling a damned copy of your book.  Sorry, no easy answers here. (I agree marketing is a challenge. You just have to keep trying things until you hit on some thing(s) that work.)

Parting words

Don’t bullshit yourself.  You have to write to be a writer.  And you have to submit your work to publishers if you want to be a published writer.  Keep at it.  Don’t make excuses.

Author link http://www.bobfriedland.com/



2 comments:

Laurie Buchanan said...

It was fun to get to know Robert over a cuppa tea this morning while reading this interview.

Author Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you for your comment, Laurie. I'm glad you enjoyed Robert's post.