Well, hello there! It's been quite awhile since I've been 'round these parts, but today I've returned to the Internet for a special occasion. My buddy Bob Freeman has got a new book out--First Born: Tales of the Liber Monstrorum--and you should know about it! To celebrate, I've invited Bob back to the blog for another palaver about his latest publication, inspirations, future projects, and anything else we have a mind to discuss. So, on with it!
Greg Mitchell: It's Bob! He's back! What
have you been up to recently?
Bob Freeman: Thanks
for having me, Greg. It's good to be back. I'm still hard at work being the
best husband and father I can be, all the while indulging in my various and
GM: You've got your priorities in the right place, there. Let's talk about the new
Landon Connors book, First Born. This is the first book in your massive Liber
Monstrorum opus, yes? What's the skinny?
Born was a chance to put most all the
Landon Connors/Wolfe & Crowe stories that I've written so far under one roof.
I say most because I only included
those stories that take place before
Descendant, which will be the second volume in Liber Monstrorum.
GM: I have to say that, though
I know you've published most of these stories in other sources, reading them
all in a single volume--with the stories arranged in chronological
order--really brings it to new life. You can see the sprawling occult epic like
never before, and I made so many more connections between the various stories
than I did when I was reading them scatter shot across various sources.
you're never supposed to ask a writer this, but is there any particular story
that sticks out in this collection as your favorite? Or, when putting them
together, did something previously unknown to you about your story world jump
in a lot of ways, because I think it has an interesting twist and there's a lot
of truth I put down on paper. My best friend passed away less than a month
after writing that story, and in some ways, I think it was prophetic. In fact,
it's only now that you ask that question that I'm somewhat staggered by that
GM: I recall Wyrdtails as having a heavy feel to it. What's next for Landon
BF: Well, there's his role in the
collaboration you and I are putting together, but I suppose that's as much of a
tease as we should give your readers.
GM: Too true! Yeah, Bob and I are at work on something that's proving to be an exciting exercise. But that will remain secret...for now.
has a minor role in Descendant, though his influence is ever-present. He's
there between the lines, in the spaces between words. His role is far more
prominent in Liber Monstrorum's third volume, Born Again, and then, I will look
to wrap up the series in the fourth and final book, Afterbirth.
GM: I'm so ready for those. I've read an earlier incarnation of Descendant, but I believe Born Again and Afterbirth will be fresh territory for me to explore as a reader--and I'm happy to do so!
Of course, Landon isn't
the only focal point in your mythos. How are the Wolves of Cairnwood these
days? You've got one final book to complete that trilogy, right? Any update on
have been dropping hints, here and there. A lot of questions regarding the
Cairnwood Legacy will be answered in Born Again, strangely enough. If sales
warrant it, Shadow of the Wolf will come along after. If not, I think Born
Again could satisfy that itch.
GM: Yeah, it's only been recently after some of the stories you've published online on your site (occultdetective.com, shameless plug) and conversations we've had that I've started to figure out how the two mythologies connect--and once I hit on it, it was incredibly exciting, but also very mysterious. I'm anxious to see how it all comes together.
Okay, books on hold for a
second, though: Recently you (finally) watched Stranger Things. To say I love that show
is a sad, sad understatement. This is the point in the interview where I give you
the mic and let you expound your love for the wonder of Stranger Things.
I was born and raised in rural Indiana. I was 17 years old in November of 1983.
I was an avid player of Dungeons & Dragons with a insane curiosity about
all things "paranormal" and considered myself a student of the
occult. Stranger Things was like holding up a mirror to my childhood in a lot
of ways. It really hit home. Couple that with the obvious homages to Carpenter,
Spielberg, and other milestones from the era, and well, it was tailor-made for
someone like me. It was me...
GM: No doubt. It tugs at me. I switch it on, and I'm transported back in time. It takes me back to when I first saw the Monster Squad and subsequently rode my bike up and down the street, hoping to find a monster to hunt. I mean, it hits on all the right notes for me, and I can't gush enough about it.
But beyond that, what other
movies/comics/books/TV has got you buzzing these days? What's inspiring you
lately? How are you feeling about the X-Files revival take two?
latest X-Files has seemed a little stiff, but I'm still a fan. That being said,
I have always liked the idea behind
the X-Files far better than the execution.
GM: I can see that, though I have enjoyed this season considerably more than the last one.
BF: Millennium was a better show, as far
as I'm concerned, and Fringe out X-Filed the X-Files by being more consistent
and Twin Peaks sort of outshined it a far as revivals go by being far more edgy
and, well, weird.
GM: I will admit, I ONLY RECENTLY watched the first season of Twin Peaks. Haven't made it to the second season yet. Hm...
for being buzzed, I'm a bit of a YouTube junkie and a real gaming nerd, so I
spend a fair amount of time watching "actual plays" and tutorials. I
think, if backed into a corner my three favorite "shows" right now
are Critical Role (professional voice actors playing Dungeons & Dragons),
Schola Gladiatoria (Historical European Martial Arts enthusiast Matt Easton's
Sword channel), and Curse of Oak Island on History Channel.
GM: Having said that, I feel I should point folks to your own YouTube channel where you talk about tabletop gaming and RPGs!
home we've been binge watching a lot. It's been a great chance to share things
I loved with the two most important people in my life. We plowed through Star
Trek (all flavors), Babylon 5, Highlander, Twin Peaks, and Stranger Things, to
name just a few. We're currently waist deep into Fringe (which I mentioned
earlier) and it's been a real bonding experience for us as a family. I just
wish I could get them to watch Veronica Mars :)
GM: With all these muses in
your head, do you ever have trouble keeping them straight? I know that, in my
own mythology, it sometimes gets so big and detail-orientated that I find
myself having to re-read the various books to remind myself of how it all fits
think I have some sort of weird mutant ability to keep all that stuff straight
in my head. Sometimes, if I've been away from it for a handful of months, I'll
need a refresher, but mostly it all comes rather naturally. It seems like the
stories have all already happened and I'm just the guy who drew the short straw
and get to write them down.
GM: I can understand that. In my own experience, there is an almost instinctive quality to it, like you're just uncovering what's already there. What's your son, Connor,
up to these days? I enjoyed his first book, Jonny Spencer and the Black Lich of Ashrock Earth (what a sweet name!) and understand he's working on other
for asking. I am more than passingly proud of that kid. I've just finished
editing his first urban fantasy novel, Word Hollow, and I'll tackle editing its
follow-up in a couple of weeks. That will make three books in four years for
him. Not bad for a fourteen year old.
GM: No doubt! Thank you, as always, for
stopping by to hang.
for having me, my friend. It's always a pleasure. I have, for as long as I can
remember, been obsessed with telling stories. The medium didn't and doesn't
matter, whether it was playing with action figures, writing short stories,
novels, or comic books, slinging dice from behind a DM Screen, or even sitting
around a campfire spinning yarns. It is what I was born to do and I feel
infinitely blessed to be able to do so.
GM: Well I, for one, have enjoyed your stories and love exploring the worlds you've created. Alright, everybody, that's your cue to go buy Bob's latest book: First Born!
ABOUT THE BOOK: From the arcane sorceries of the "Wickedest Man in the World" to the supernatural exploits of Occult Detective Landon Connors and the harrowing investigations of Agents Wolfe and Crowe, this collection of macabre tales of the black arts treads the dangerous landscape between this world and that populated by angels and demons, gods and devils, ghosts and spirits, and the legendary creatures of our darkest imaginings.
First Born is the beginning of the journey into the Liber Monstrorum, the Chronicles of those Occult Detectives who are the last line of defense against those preternatural forces that threaten to destroy a world that refuses to believe that such things exist...