Interview with Frank Lattimore author of Freedom Fight

Saturday, March 1, 2014

1.                  Where did you get the inspiration for your current work, Freedom Fight?

Back in the 1980s I had some interesting experiences that, while I would never want to go through them again, I thought could be the premise for a great book. That’s how the Otherealm Saga was born and how my debut novel, Freedom Fight, ended up containing a fictionalized portion of my own life; most of Part One, in fact.

2.                  What is your favorite book, and why?

Wow, this is difficult. But if pressed, I would probably have to say Byzantium, by Stephen R. Lawhead. It felt like the ultimate adventure. A young boy, who wants to know the outside world, is flung into an adventure that will challenge everything that he thinks he is. From Lawhead's website: "He becomes, by turns, a warrior and a sailor, a slave and a spy, a Viking and a Saracen—before confronting his ultimate destiny." It is the ultimate coming-of-age novel.

3.                  When did you first start writing?

My first foray into writing was as a kid. I had seen the movie Star Wars and couldn't get enough Sci-Fi after that. I wrote two movie scripts by the time I was fifteen and the start of a novel. Nothing came of any of them, though I do still have those scripts tucked away. As an adult my jump into writing—real writing—came in 2003 when I was asked, by people who heard some of my story ideas, to write a full-length, full-scale stage drama. It was incredibly challenging and rewarding. It played to rave reviews for several performances in 2004. I then knew that I could tell a story … at least on stage. Writing a novel, on the other hand, was quite the difficult task. Coming up with a storyline for part two of my debut novel, Freedom Fight, is why I no longer have hair.

4.                  What does your writing space look like?

My writing space looks very much like a couch in my living room or a Panera Bread or a parking lot or a desk or a …

5.                  What is your writing routine?

You would ask this. Routine? What routine? I'm not the most disciplined of writers. Primarily, I think, because I don't have a looming deadline. I've got two more novels completed and another on which I've recently started working. We'll see if I can find some discipline and maintain a consistent writing pace.

6.                  Who is your favorite author, and why?

I think that I must go back to Stephen R. Lawhead again. His writing is more like reading fine literature than the average novel. He's eloquent, especially in his historical novels and historical fantasy. His stories feel real to me. I'd like very much to visit some of the places he has created.

7.                  If you could spend time with anyone past or present who would it be, and why?

Because of grace, one day I will be able to spend multiple days with these people. (Yes, sorry, I'm breaking your singular request.) George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. There are just so many aspects of each person's life that I want to find out more about. With Mr. Jefferson, though, I would want to talk "religion." I would want to see if I could reason with him from the Scriptures. Also, the Apostle Paul. I would want to compare what I believe with what he taught. How different are we in our beliefs today versus those he held to. What did we misinterpret in his own writings.

8.                  What would you like to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered for leading people into relationships with Christ, for impacting the kingdom of God. I want to be remembered as a good man, not just some nice guy.

9.                  What do you like to do for relaxation and fun?

I enjoy going for walks through parks, but even more through the mountains of Colorado and Kentucky. I enjoy amusement parks (roller coasters, baby!), zip-lining, and biking. I also enjoy target shooting, good movies, and crispy BBQ chicken wings!

10.               What do you hope people take away from your book, Freedom Fight?

I hope that my readers find embedded within the story a message of hope. Desperation does not have to lead to desperate acts. Sometimes we are brought to the lowest points in our lives so that we don't have a choice but to look up. There is more to this life than what we see with our eyes. After all, we are not physical beings with spirits. We are spirit beings with temporary physical bodies. This life we are living right now is but a blip on the radar of eternity, and eternity is a very, very long time. There is a fight going on for our lives—for our freedom. We have an Enemy that wants to destroy us. However, we've got an awesome God who wants us to live. I want people to get to know this God and what He did for each and every one of us.

11.              What's next in your book series The Otherealm Saga?

Book 2 comes out this spring! It's called Freedom War, and it takes place 24 years after the original story. It will raise the level of suspense and may even qualify as a thriller. It's definitely a darker book, but I think everyone will find the story line quite intriguing. After all, if someone in your community was about to resurrect an ancient, evil religion that once held so much power that it had put a stop to the mighty armies of Rome, wouldn't you want to know about it? One family is about to make a take a very dangerous stand for their community's freedom and their own.

About the book:

"Welcome to the Otherealm, where Heaven, Hell, and Man Battle for the Soul."

Brent Lawton’s entrance into the occult was an accident; a combination of ignorance and naïveté. He is drawn into a life-paralyzing darkness that threatens to destroy him. Brent tries desperately to escape, even to the point of attempting suicide. However, his deadly deliberations are temporarily stalled by the thought of two possible after-life destinations—one of them probable—planted in his mind by his grandmother.

Tara Baker’s involvement in the occult was no accident. Painful secrets from her past prompt her to push forward to acquire more dark power. Motivated by a malevolent intent to destroy the walk of two “Christlings,” she leverages both physical and spiritual influences to again prove her worthiness to an angry mentor who no longer trusts her emotional stability.

My Review:

Move over Frank Peretti, there is another Frank in town. Frank has written a book that takes you right into the middle of spiritual warfare. After Brent sees a magic trick done he tries to repeat it and in doing so he has no clue as to the foothold he has just given Satan. He becomes a person that no one recognizes, his coach can't figure out why he's being so different, he tries to commit suicide. Brent is a mess and has no idea that spiritual warfare is raging for his soul.
His grandmother, Hannah, who is a believer is woken up and spends nights praying for her grandson. We watch Brent become a believer, and how Satan uses Tara to come after Brent. Tara has been warned about the Christlings by her mentor and spirit guide, as she calls them.Tara isn't prepared for the power of Christ that Brent has at his disposal.
These characters are well developed and make you want to care about them. Highly recommended!

Chat with Janette Oke and enter to win an iPad Mini!

About the book: Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected . . .

Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father's wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.

But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she'd feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don't even speak English. There isn't even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth's heart is torn between two young men---both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.

Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she's had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?

Purchase a copy and read an excerpt:

Janette Oke Celebrated for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry, Janette Oke is the recipient of numerous awards. Her novels have sold more than 30 million copies and are beloved by readers around the world. Janette lives with her husband, Edward, in Alberta, Canada.

Laurel Oke Logan is the daughter of Edward and Janette Oke, is the author of "Janette Oke: A Heart for the Prairie," as well as the novel "Dana's Valley," which she co-wrote with her mom. Laurel and her husband have six children and two sons-in-law and live near Indianapolis, Indiana.

Landing page: 

Janette Oke's newest book, Where Courage Calls (co-written with her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan), is receiving rave reviews. It is the companion story to Hallmark Channel's TV series When Calls the Heart, set in the Canadian west.

Janette and Laurel are celebrating with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on March 4th.


One winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the Where Courage Calls Facebook Party on March 4th. Connect with Janette and Laurel for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more!

So grab your copy of Where Courage Calls and join Janette and Laurel on the evening of March 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

My Thoughts: Janette Oke was my first experience with Christian fiction. My mom brought home the Love Come's Softly series and I devoured them. I love how once again the story that Janette Oke started in the Canadian West series has continued. 
Whether you have read the original Canadian West series or not you will enjoy this one.

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