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Meet Frederick Bell

Frederick Bell
Frederick Bell is a Canadian writer who came to the United States in 1995. He is currently employed in the power industry and lives with his wife, four cats, and two dogs in the state of North Carolina. He enjoys writing science fiction and has completed three novels.

The Battle for Tomorrow is Frederick Bell's debut novel and the first book in his Ilon the Hunter series. For more information about The Battle for Tomorrow click here.

Digital Footprint:

Frederick Bell Fan page on Facebook.

Author Frederick Bell discusses his writing, his novels, and the idea behind The Battle for Tomorrow.

Author Interview - Frederick Bell

When did you start writing?

    1987. I was living in the rectory at St. Peter Cathedral in London, Ontario with my soon-to-be ex-wife. I remember that we had decided to separate, and I was trying to figure out what I was supposed to do with my life. I decided I should write a story, (although) I didn't know at the time what it should be about.

    I guess that I always had stories in my mind. I'd always had them, and decided to start writing them down. I knew it was science fiction, but didn't really know what the whole story was to be. In my early 20s I discovered home computers and started programming, and that's writing, too. I liked that and was intensely interested in that; it was very logical, and I enjoyed being able to make words do things. You could create something like a story and make it active on the screen. Writing fiction was an offshoot of writing programs. A story is like a program, the same structure, the same elements of logic. Just a different language, that's all.

Why were you living in a rectory?

    I knew the rector before he died; he had baptized and confirmed me in 1982. I used to cut the grass at the rectory and I knew all the priests and they had an apartment empty on the third floor. I mentioned that I needed a place to live, so they let me rent that.

So, The Battle for Tomorrow was written about 25 years ago. Why put it out there now?

    Environmental issues were becoming more important publicly then and are even more relevant now. I want to do something that will involve that. I hope that the story will address those issues.

    Originally, this was a huge book, about 650 pages, with everything in it. It was such a big story that it makes more sense to bring it to the reader in parts. I looked back to this story this past year and realized that it is still relevant and still entertaining, but perhaps more so if broken into smaller segments that can stand alone as books themselves. Battle for Tomorrow is the first of that series.

    I've also written three other books and am working on another, stories not related to Ilon the Hunter. Working with those stories caused me to go back and review Ilon the Hunter.

Why do you continue writing?

    I enjoy it, and I think it is something I am supposed to do. I want to do it. I have to admit, I've asked myself many times why do I keep doing this? I've written several stories, in slightly different genres.

How did you first think of the Ilon the Hunter stories? What inspired you?

    I had been thinking about ancient humans since reading Jean M. Auel�s Clan of the Cave Bear. I wanted to write science fiction and I wanted to bring ancient humans into the equation. Somehow also the notion of protecting the environment, and what modern humanity has done to the world, and the simplicity of basic survival.

    It came to me in parts, not all at once. Originally it was to be a story about ancient people, and a machine that created modern people. It evolved from there.

What inspired the Egris? How did you think of that?

    I'd always been fascinated by kangaroos, such an interesting creature that stands upright and leaps distances. But they weren't ferocious. I was thinking of kangaroos, but predatory, with teeth and claws.

Why should people read Battle for Tomorrow? What do you hope they will get from it?

    I think it is a fun story, that people will enjoy it. And, it changes the traditional positions of males and females, and I hope people will learn something from that role reversal. I think that the world is out of balance because males and females are out of balance, so there's an environmental message, too. Balancing all that will help protect the world, I think.

You mentioned that there are other stories in the Ilon the Hunter series. What are they about?

    The story will go on back to the beginning, back to the past, to Ilon's life growing up about 40,000 years ago. It shows his life and interactions there, and all that led up his role in Battle for Tomorrow. Then the third story takes Ilon to contemporary earth, and a circumstance where he has to call upon the Egris to come to earth to help him.

What is the writing process like for you?

    Basically I start with what I call a kernel, a singular moment in the story, like an image. The kernel in this story was the Egris jumping across the field toward the city. I developed the story around that kernel. The entire story grew from that one scene.

Where do you get your ideas?

    I really don't know. Every story I have started with a kernel, some essence of a scene. It then develops outward from there, and is informed and framed by what's happening in the world at that time.

    I'm constantly thinking of stories, I take long walks and the ideas just come into my head. I fantasize about things and the stories seem to develop before I am really aware of it. It starts with no intent to be a story, but it seems to just develop and grow.

What else do you enjoy besides writing?

    Gardening; growing palm trees and spiky dangerous plants. And still writing software programs.

What's the key message that you have for the public?

    I just want them to be entertained. As a writer, you don't set out to make something for the masses. You write for yourself, to create something personal. Then you want to share that with people, and for them to enjoy it.

The Battle for Tomorrow will be available on May 1, 2011. Look for it on Amazon, Barnes & as well as Kindle, Nook, and I-Pad.


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