Sharmishtha Basu@ Agnishatdal: Tell us something about yourself!
Freya Pickard: I’m Freya Pickard, cancer survivor and author of 5 books. I never reveal my age and for years hid behind an avatar. But, since starting to make videos earlier this year, I have, at last shown my real face to the world!
Social Media links
Sharmishtha Basu@ Agnishatdal: How did the vicious battle with cancer
and divine victory on it affect your life? Will you say it made you a
better person or stole some light from your soul?
Freya Pickard: I would say that cancer made me both a better person as well as stealing some light from my soul. I have a strange dichotomy within me these days. Although I am more tolerant of sick people now, I have less patience with other people! Having had cancer has extinguished a lot of fears (spiders, heights, pylons and large bells and clock faces) but it has also made me feel hollow and stony hearted. I am stronger and more confident now, but at the same time I feel very little emotionally.
Sharmishtha Basu@ Agnishatdal: Tell us about your fabulous haiku poems
and brilliant fantasy stories, both are terrific! Is it inborn talent
or you acquired it by labour?
Freya Pickard: I think that a true writer is born with the gift of writing. I believe I was born with the gift but the gift is something you have to nurture and discipline.
I write haiku as one of my daily disciplines. I prefer writing traditional (5-7-5 syllables) haiku though I love reading both traditional and modern haiku. On my blog https://purehaiku.wordpress.com I only publish traditional haiku. I like the brevity and conciseness of the form. Writing one a day allows me to find space within my thoughts and hectic lifestyle. They allow me to slow down and “be”.
My stories are the product of many years of labour. The ideas continually change and grow until I am satisfied that I have honed the story to perfection. I always stop when I feel happy with things. I try not to overwork my stories. I currently offer 1 free story per year in 4 episodes in my newsletter and, if you are on Patreon, you can read an unpublished story from me once a month for just $5 a month! Two of my novels are currently available as e-books (paperbacks will be coming out this year).
Dragonscale Leggings is the diary of a female dragon slayer who finds herself in an Arthurian world, with no idea what is happening to her! Written as chick-lit for dragons (yes, some of them do read!) a lot of humans enjoy this tale too!
Vintrig’s Kingdom is the first part of a series called Isu Magan. This tale is not like the usual fantasy quest. There is no physical journey to gain or lose an object of power. Instead, the journey is inward as Isu Magan discovers an alternative view on history and finds out who she really is. With romance at its heart, this story is chilling and entertaining by turns.
Sharmishtha basu@ Agnishatdal: Tell us a little about your blogs and also your newsletter, how can one read it? What is your
experience with it? Did it help you as an author? How did you create
it? Did it require expertise in computer software?
Pure Haiku is purely for traditional haiku in the English language. I open several times a year to submissions – check out the submit page! We’re currently exploring the theme of Care.
Dragonscale Clippings is more of a writer’s blog. I write about my stories, other people’s books, interview authors and anything writing related.
Running 2 blogs can be time consuming so I have to be careful not to spend too much time on them, otherwise I don’t get any writing done. I have found them useful as they do seem to attract people who are interested in my books and sometimes buy them!
My Newsletter can be obtained by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Clippings Request” in the subject line. The Newsletter is totally free and is now 8 pages long (A5). There’s always an artist’s picture or photograph for the front cover. I mention my books (of course!) and write a short editorial. The main features of the Newsletter are my short form poems and a quarterly episode of the current short story. Until 31st January 2017 you can read The Oil of Sage for free! When you subscribe, I will send you the links to each of the episodes. All you have to do is click on the link to open a PDF document which you can then read. If you want to save it to your computer, you can do so. In March, a new story will start – The Attar of Chervil. https://dragonscaleclippings.wordpress.com/fanzine/current-story/
I work from a template and have technical help with the Newsletter. It does require some technical expertise, but, because I use a template, it’s quite simple for me! Posting it online is very complicated though and my magical technical wizard does that for me!
Sharmishtha Basu@ Agnishatdal: Will you tell us a little about your
published works, individually and share their links (from where we can
buy them) and their cover pictures.
I have now published 5 books and most of them are now available not only on Amazon (UK & US) but also with Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iTunes.
Dragonscale Leggings is the diary of a female dragon slayer – https://www.amazon.com/Essence-Thyme-Dragonscale-Diversions-Book-ebook/dp/B01GXGOE1K/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1483447292&sr=8-6&keywords=freya+pickard
Vintrig’s Kingdom is a romance set in a winter-bound kingdom – https://www.amazon.com/Vintrigs-Kingdom-Isu-Magan-Book-ebook/dp/B01MXMPRCJ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1483447292&sr=8-2&keywords=freya+pickard
Insides is a collection of poetry I wrote whilst going through cancer and chemotherapy – https://www.amazon.com/Insides-Dragonscale-Delvings-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01M2UQAWJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483447292&sr=8-1&keywords=freya+pickard
The Rusalka Ritual & Other Stories is a collection of five short tales that feature Dracomagan, the heroine of Dragonscale Leggings – https://www.amazon.com/Rusalka-Ritual-Stories-Dragonscale-Dimensions-ebook/dp/B01KQFPCAG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1483447292&sr=8-4&keywords=freya+pickard
The Essence of Thyme is a single short story on theme of Sleeping Beauty but with a lot of differences! https://www.amazon.com/Essence-Thyme-Dragonscale-Diversions-Book-ebook/dp/B01GXGOE1K/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1483447292&sr=8-6&keywords=freya+pickard
Sharmishtha Basu@ Agnishatdal: Well I already know that your next book
is coming up tell us a little about it and when will it come up in
Freya Pickard: My next book will be another short story collection called “Xmas @ Camelot II & other stories” but at the moment I don’t know when it will be published! I am in a state of transition right now so it may be a while before I can actually launch the e-book. There are 10 stories in this collection (only two of them about Dracomagan) all set in either a land of fantasy or least in a virtual world. The themes that run through the collection are Choice and Transition (strangely enough!) Most of the stories have been published in magazines or on-line but there are a couple of tales included which have never before been published.
Sharmishtha Basu@ Agnishatdal: Any suggestion for Agnishatdal?
Freya Pickard: I know you produce those wonderful vividly coloured illustrations for the magazine, but I was wondering if you’d like to include other artists/photographers? I can recommend Elisa Choi http://harmonythoughts.com/, Eleanor Bennett http://eleanorleonnebennett.com and Claudia McGill https://claudiamcgill.com
Sharmishtha Basu@Indie Adda: Do you have anything to say, suggest Indie Authors?
Freya Pickard: Always write what is in your heart. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t write about something or that no one wants to read it. Always keep writing, never give up.