Interview with Historical Fiction Author Andrew Feder

On a sunny spring morning, when the birds were chirping and singing, Andrew Feder was born in Hollywood, California, looking like a cross between a Nordic and Asian baby. His father would later sarcastically say that he was adopted from Korea just after the war (like he was a war baby).

He grew up in a typical dysfunctional Jewish family in San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles.

He later studied at San Diego State University.

He then went for one year to the University of Haifa in Israel where he lived on a kibbutz and met his ex-wife (he has three children from this marriage). He completed his studies at UC Davis in Viticulture and Enology.

Having lived several lives in one, during the eighties he lived in Israel first for a short period in a settlement on the West Bank and later on a Moshav near Haifa for six years as a grape farmer. There in Israel, he studied Kabbalah (jewish Mystics) under guidance of the renowned holy man known as "The Mo'ah." During his religious studies, he was quite pious as an orthodox observant Jew.

After returning to the United States, for the next ten years, he was a contractor and owner of a construction company. Shortly after his return he continued his studies of Kabbalah and metaphysics under the guidance of renowned psychic, mystic and healer, Janeau St. Clair and her husband, Elliot Atlas.

In the nineties, he drove a cab and a limo during hiatus while working as an Assistant Director in the film industry.

At the end of the nineties, he moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles which, for one year, he was (and hates to admit it) a "damn" telemarketer selling long distance, and for the past eight years he's been a graphic artist.

During his college years, he wrote several editorials and short stories. Much later, during the so-called mid-life crisis, he evolved in his development to include writing both novels and poems along with subsequent screenplays.

He is also the host of the radio show "When Pigs Fly" on BBSradio.com.

He is the author of the novel, "When the Angels Have Risen" which you can check out at his site at www.andrewfeder.com. He is also the author of the novel, "The Heretic," which you can check out at his site at www.andrewthehertic.com.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Andrew. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I grew up in your typical (whatever typical is) dysfunctional Jewish family in California and studied at San Diego State University. I then traveled to Israel where I attended university where I got married to my ex-wife. I have three children from this marriage. In the eighties, I owned a grape farm in Israel, and studied Kabbalah there under a holy man known as the “Moah.” I continued my studies of the Kabbalah in the United States, studying under renowned psychic, mystic and healer, Janeau Saint Clair and her husband mystic Elliot Atlas. I owned and ran a major construction company in the late eighties to early nineties. In the mid-nineties I was an assistant director in the film industry and drove a limo and cab during hiatus. I moved in 1999 to Las Vegas worked as a telemarketer selling long distance while studying art. I have been, and currently, work as a graphic artist. I am the author of two novels, “When Angels Have Risen” and his new novel, “The Heretic.” I am a blogger on www.Andrew.MyUFO.com. I am also a host of the show “When Pigs Fly” on BBSradio.com.

I have been writing since my college days, but back the it was mainly short stories and op-eds. Later I evolved my writing into poems and subsequent screenplays. During the so-called mid life crisis my writings suddenly journeyed into novels.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

Let’s see… If you got a minute or two…

“The Heretic” is both a thrilling mystery adventure and a powerful cultural commentary, because though my fictional war hero Aias’ religious and sexual practices would be typical today, in ancient Greece, where polytheism and homosexuality were the prominent cultural mores, he was considered an outright heretic. This thought-provoking novel whisks readers back in time with an intriguing story of war and romance, but it actually begins set in a futuristic America.

“The Heretic” is the sequel to my first novel, “When Angels Have Risen” starring post-modern American Senator Jerry Fletcher. Following some bizarre dreams and an unsettling experience at a Los Angeles museum, Fletcher decides to see a psychic and go under a regression to tap into his past lives. Aias’ story is told through Fletcher’s regression, when he experiences his past life as the Greek war hero.

Aias was Alexander the Great’s mentor and friend, and a key ingredient to his famous military successes. Thanks to Aias’ formidable battle tactics, his enemies nicknamed him The Decapitator. After Alexander’s army enters Egypt, Aias falls in love with an Egyptian high priestess, who shares many of his counter-culture viewpoints and opens his eyes to the secret truth behind the Egyptian sciences and discoveries.

Filled with incredible historical details about one of the most illustrious military campaigns in history, sizzling romance and mystical themes, “The Heretic” is a provocative novel sure to spice up the day of any historical fiction fan.

First having been personally regressed I wanted to create a story connecting past lives. I also have been intrigued with history since my youth. I chose the Alexander the Great period, because Alexander fascinated me with his military and political strategies which were so far ahead of his time.

Because it is the Heretic who challenges us with our own belief system no matter what place, culture or time he/she might be found. The Heretic allows us the opportunity to grow and progress. Aias is that individual. He went against the grain of his countrymen both religiously and culturally, and by his very actions and demeanor he challenged the belief systems of his day. So I also wanted the readers to become their own Heretic by questioning things that are told to them whether by their parents, clerics and/or authorities. Never taking things for granted and as Thomas Paine had said, “Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”

What kind of research was involved in writing The Heretic?

From books to historical papers to ancient literary and from the internet to old fashion book grind I discovered and understood from the detailed battle scenes to cultural aspects to the mentality of their times but it was well worth. My research took over a year. But discovering Alexander’s real personality was the hardest. There was a multitude of material on his campaigns but very little of him as an individual. But after researching and reading, I discovered his true personality and attributes. Alexander related everything in a religious context and was inspired by Homer’s “Illiad.” After much research the dots connected on their own. Placing Aias then was the easy part of writing “The Heretic.” Everything seemed to fit like a perfect puzzle.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

Since I am also a graphic artist, I completely designed the cover of my books. So it was all me.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

The ride was so damn that my ass was hurting for five years and it was a five roller coaster ride. But all in all it was well worth it.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

About five months.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Yes, I have several books to be coming out in the future.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

I am definitely nocturnal thus a night writer.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

Easy – I would turn “The Heretic” into a major motion picture – A MOVIE! See you at the Oscars…

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Once you book is in print that’s when the work really starts. And you must persistently and consistently publicize your book never giving up. From blogs, blog ads, radio interviews, reviews, signing events and casually meeting people wherever you are… There are endless ways to promote but some will be better than others but that’s an individual result. Again never give up…

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

Did I mention? NEVER EVER GIVE UP!

If you would like to leave Andrew a message or ask him a question about his book, click here.

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