Richard Freeland writes thriller fiction “with a bite”. He is the author of the upcoming paranormal thriller, The 5. Previous work includes Equinox – Six Declinations (a compilation of horror and fantasy stories), and a selection of short stories, most in the horror/thriller genres.
In his day job, Richard is a landscape architect specializing in site and small space garden design, as well as a freelance writer. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1983 with a degree in Environmental Design. His passions are designing unique, exuberant gardens, commercial and residential sites for folks who appreciate the beauty and relaxing nature of plants as art. Along with writing “scary stuff”.
Richard has worked in a factory making radio-controlled aircraft, specifically weighing and trimming Styrofoam wing assemblies (“And there-in lies a horror tale in itself,” he says. “It involves spiders. Black widow spiders. LOTS of black widow spiders. Maybe that experience will make its way into a book someday.”). He did a stint in an electric motor laboratory, assembling and testing prototype electric motors (“Stress testing big motors in the wind tunnel was the best. When one of those babies failed and the giant fan came flying off, careening all over the room, it was total chaos. Cool!”), and after college worked as project manager for a civil engineering firm and then a home builder, planning and designing parks, shopping centers, and communities, before starting his own landscape architecture practice.
Always an avid reader (“Make that rabid.”), Richard decided to try his hand at writing while in high school. His first original short story (“Thinking back, maybe not so good.”) earned him an A in Creative Writing, and the monster was unleashed. He’s since written several short stories that have appeared in online magazines such as Fool Motley (now defunct, and not to be confused with the financial website Motley Fool), and Dark Fire. His short stories “Equinox” (horror), “Garbage Man” (paranormal) and “Anomalies” (humor/contemporary fantasy) were published in the premier editions of the fiction magazine “eFiction”.
During this period he also worked (“Slaved…”) on and off on an epic historical/paranormal/western/thriller (“My, how I like those cross-genre tomes.”) titled Seed. The idea germinated as a simple premise – if the werewolf legend was real, how might it have originated? An exploratory short story followed, which eventually morphed into a 180,000 plus novel manuscript. The manuscript is now undergoing revision, cutting and polishing, and will likely appear as a serial consisting of 3 separate books, the first slated for publication in 2016.
When the economy tanked in 2008, Richard semi-retired from site and garden design and turned his talents more towards freelancing. He’s written for website content supplier Constant Content and online general interest magazine Suite101. That was followed by a gig as an editor at Everspark Interactive, a top Atlanta SEO company. All this time he continued developing his fiction writing chops.
While working on Seed, Richard kept writing short stories, but progress on everything took a back seat when the idea for The 5 reared its ugly head. Try as he might, he couldn’t get the premise out of his ugly head, so finally he bit the bullet and took up the challenge. Richard wrote the first draft quickly (“In a fever, as Johnny Cash said in his song ‘Jackson’.”). Several drafts later, The 5 was finished, and should appear as an ebook at the Amazon Kindle store in the first quarter of 2016. A hard copy trade paperback edition will follow.
Besides writing, Richard likes to piddle around playing guitar and singing at open mics. He enjoys hiking the Appalachian Trail and other single-track paths in the Georgia mountains with his wife Martha, fly fishing North Georgia and Smokey Mountain freestone streams with his two boys Josh and Scott, and playing tennis (“Bad knees and all.”). When time permits, he also manages and writes for several websites: Richard Freeland (his author site); Rick Freeland LA (his design site); and DragonLyre (his indie publishing company).
Richard lives in Gainesville, Georgia with his wife and finicky cat Henry. Several times a year, you can find him relaxing on Jekyll Island, in Georgia’s Golden Isles (“Remind me to explain to you some day my wife’s definition of ‘relaxing’, cause she ain’t got it yet!”).