Thursday, October 23, 2014

AP Author Spotlight: L.E. Fred

L. E. Fred
Twitter ID: @marsjaws
Describe yourself in three words:
Vivacious, determined, hilarious
Tell us a little about your latest release:
Lucid is a YA sci-fi fantasy about a young teenager who is transported to another world and becomes a hero.
Devon Alexander is a 15 year-old teenager coping with the monotonous reality of his average life. His life receives an interesting reprieve as he has his first realistic dream of a spaceship. The strangest thing about the dream is that he seems to be the only one on board who isn’t in a dream-like trance. Before he can figure out anything about the dream or his strange shipmates, he manages to wake up. The next day, Devon catches a news story about inexplicable comas taking place all over the world. Devon’s life becomes increasingly interesting as he recognizes some of the victims from his spaceship trip.
Devon and an unlikely group of other teens start devising a plan to find out who is behind the strange dreams and the comas. Their plan is not only successful but immerses them in to the fantastical world that only resides in dreams. While in the dream world, the teens learn about the power of teamwork, a new world of culture, and their hidden potential to be heroes.
Suspenseful, funny at the worst times, and just a hint of teenage romance, Lucid takes a group of young adults and throws them into a fantasy world that they only thought could exist in their dreams. In a sense, they’re right.
I got the idea for Lucid, fittingly, from my first lucid dream experience. I never had a lucid dream before, and it fascinated me. Being able to control my dream self was such an exhilarating idea that stuck with me and prompted me to ask a lot of "What if?" questions about human dreams. Eventually, Devon popped into my head and demanded to be the protagonist. The rest is history!
What is your earliest memory?
My earliest memory is of a Sprite machine in Lake Tahoe. I was about 2 years old going on a Christmas trip with my family. Don't ask me why I know there was a Sprite machine on the second floor of our hotel. Not really sure why I remember that! I also remember a really large indoor pool and feeling snow for the first time,
What would you consider the greatest moment in your life?
While I'm young and always looking forward to the next great moment, my current greatest moment in my life is when I completed a fitness marathon. I am a recent fitness fan who had very humble beginnings. Going from barely being able to jog for 20 minutes to completing 2 hours of mixed martial arts cardio was a really defining moment in my life. I proved to myself that if I try hard enough, I can achieve my goals. Finishing that marathon pushed me to complete other goals in my life, such as finishing my first novel and traveling to other countries in my own.
What’s the hardest thing in in life you’ve done?
The hardest thing in life I've ever done was moving away from home for the first time. I stayed home during college to save money, so studying abroad was my first real flight out of the nest. I lived in the English countryside for only 6 months, but that half-year taught me more about myself than my entire life had. The hardest part was being completely isolated from my friends and family. Figuring out how to buy things for myself, take care of myself when I was sick, and *gasp* learning how to cook on my own were some of the challenges I had to quickly overcome.  The Internet was pretty shaky, so I often spent days to myself walking around campus and thinking about the direction I wanted to take in life. When I returned home, I realized how much my trip had taught me as I became a move independent individual.
What have you learned in life so far?
The one thing I've learned in life so far is that if you want something, you should go for it. Nothing's going to wait for you to make the next move. Life is too short to have a bunch of "what ifs" following you around all day. If you want to move to Thailand, do it. If you want to run that marathon, train for it. If you want to write that romance novel, go for it! It's much better to try something you really want to do than to be stuck doing something that you're only doing because you want to play it safe.
Everyone’s favourite question: if you could invite five people for dinner, who would it be?
Do they have to be real? I'm going to assume the don't. OK, here it goes:
1. J. K. Rowling: this one's sort of a given, but Ms. Rowling opened my eyes to the world of books. Before Harry Potter, I never read a page of anything. Escaping into her world of wizards and magic inspired me to create my own worlds, even at a young age. Writing my first Harry Potter fan fictions (nerd alert!) led to writing my own stories in middle school, which arguably led to my writing now. Harry also helped me during a really rough time in my life, and I'd like to thank her in person one day.
2. Robin Williams: he's been my favorite actor since I was about 4. I'd love to share a joke or two with him and listen to what he has to say. He seems like, underneath that comical guise, a pretty wise fellow.
3. Lara Croft: the video game one, not Angelina Jolie. Lara was my first female role model. I have always been a fan of video games, but she was the first female protagonist that didn't need help from anyone else to get the job done. We need more strong female role models like her, and I'd like to tell her that one of my characters is influenced by her.
4. Jim Carrey: he's another one of my favorite actors who seems wiser than his characters on the big screen. I'd love to share a meal and have a chat with him!
5. Rick Riordan: author of the Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, and Kane Chronicles series, Mr. Riordan is a strong force in the YA fiction genre. I'd love to talk with him about writing for adolescents and also teaching. He was also a middle school teacher; I'm sure we could share some stories together!
Chance for our readers - what else would you like to know about L. E. Fred?