A Heart of Black Fire

A Heart of Black Fire - Seth Frederiksen

There is something about an anthology of well put together short stories that reminds me of my childhood. Most likely because I grew up reading Bradbury as I sat in front of my window fan in the middle of the hot summer. I don't even know what Dandelion Wine tastes like, but every summer I think about making some!

With A Heart of Black Fire, Frederiksen has taken a dark and gruesome subject and turned it into a haunting series of tales and poems, with some qualities of some of my favorite fantasies. 

While with some short story anthologies, I begin to feel disconnected when reading them and have to take a break between each individual piece in order to clear my head, in this one, the pieces blended smoothly together with lovely descriptions and a dark atmosphere. I felt almost a little lulled into a peaceful state, despite the dark subject matter. 

I definitely recommended setting some time aside to read this anthology. 


Some Bio Information

Currently living in North Carolina, this California native is working on breaking into the writing world outside of making a name for himself in the historical field. Focusing on fantasy, science fiction, and horror, he uses his historical training to bring life to his characters and stories. Having published over a dozen pieces and an anthology of many of his works, he aims to make his writing aspirations into a reality.


Q&A

1. Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this book?

Most of the stories were inspired by historical events and people who I felt needed to have their stories told in a new way. Other stories like I Am the Hunter and The Lord of Nights were inspired by dreams. And The Sword and The Squire were inspired by a scene I was writing when I was working on a King Arthur novel. 

2. What’s your favorite piece in it?

You know, I'd have to say the The Pursuit of Cheerless Toil was the work that I am particularly proud of. It was first inspired by the poem To No End But Death, and I felt that the short story carried that feeling over quite well.  

3. What well-known author would you compare yourself to?

Wow, that is a tough question. There are two major writers I would hope to be compared to; J.R.R. Tolkien and William Shakespeare. Both took great strides in literature and giving their audience stories that are still talked about to this day.

4. Can you share a little bit about your writing process with us?

Hmm, I wished I have a set process, since that would be a lot easier to say. But in all honesty, it has a very on the go way to it. Usually I'll get an idea by reading about historical events and situations, plus I've gotten a couple from current events. Once the story is in I'll start working the plot out roughly until I start writing it. And while I'm working on the story I'll sometimes add a few changes here and there to keep the story interesting 

5. What’s your lease favorite part of the writing process?

Editing, hands down. Though I admit it is very critical in the writing process. It's just that while I'm editing I start second guessing myself...and that leads to internal discussions and debates inside my head. And that's rarely a pleasant experience.

6. What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

At the very least I'd like the reader to finish each story with a feeling that they were on an adventure they've never been on before. I know fantasy and science fiction have been somewhat lacking in originality and I am hoping to help change that. 

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal? 

Honestly, I'd love to have a bust or a plaque in the Poet's Corner. I've always felt that was the truest honor bestowed on to a writer. I know it's a bit romantic and a tad outlandish, but that would really make my life worth everything I've gone through to think of having my name associated with the greats.