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Mathias B. Freese 


Website: MathiasBFreese.com

Mathias B. Freese is a teacher, psychotherapist and author of The I Tetralogy, (2005). Freese’s nonfiction articles have appeared in the New York Times, Voices: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy, and Publishers Marketing Association Newsletter. In 2005, the Society of Southwestern Authors honored Mathias B. Freese with a first-place award for personal essay.

Short Story Collections

Down to a Sunless Sea
Wheatmark Press, 2007

Winner, Allbooks Review Editor's Choice Award

Reviewed by Carol Reid

 Interview with Mathias B. Freese 

The Short Review: How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?

Mathias B. Freese: I worked on these stories for about three decades in between servicing this economy, fathering, being a husband and overall struggling. Although I became a psychotherapist, the stories were not bathed like Achilles in Freudian sauce. Some readers feel that my background influenced my writing. Eric Hoffer read Montaigne while a stevedore. Don’t confuse the person with the job, an American foible. I made a personal pact with myself after many rejections that I would publish a collection after more than half of the stories were in print, and so that came to be. I am very patient in certain areas.

TSR: Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

MBF: Absolutely not. I write when I feel I am compelled to write, and I am not a MFA product. The present “collection” I am working on came naturally from The i Tetralogy, a historical fiction on the Holocaust. Tentatively titled, Working Through The Holocaust, it is a compilation of traditional and experimental stories which I feel I must get to as the grim reaper is around the corner.

TSR: How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?

MBF: I trust my confidant, writer Jane Holt, who wrote a splendid introduction to Down to a Sunless Sea, to assist me in selecting what are my best stories and the order they should have in the book. As you well know, writers are infamously poor judges of their own works. Aren’t we all weak at assessing who we are? Show me certainty and I will show you a fool.

TSR: What does the word "story" mean to you?

MBF:  I have a passionate feeling you need to hear from me just because I am part of this species. Whether you want to hear my passion is entirely up to you. I am compelled to say it. I give you me. Any craft that comes with that is just gravy.

TSR: Do you have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?

MBF:  I have no schizoid tendencies; the reader is me. I write to me and for me. If you come along for the ride, that is just fine. Once you write for a "reader" something wilts and something is merchandised.

TSR: Is there anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?

MBF: Did you feel the pain? Did you taste the sadness and heartbreak?

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

MBF: Are they? News to me. I write because I feel I must say and tell. I write for my children’s patrimony. My publisher believes that after I croak my Holocaust fiction will be recognized as extraordinary.

TSR: What are you working on now?

MBF: Using therapeutic lingo, I am literally working through the Holocaust and the impact it has made on me. Any human being who does not consider that species-devastating event in his or her life is an incomplete person, to say the least.

TSR: What are the three most recent short story collections you've read?

MBFNone of late. Here are stories that moved me. Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio; I Have No Mouth and I Want to Scream, Harlan Ellison, and any short story by Joseph Conrad, The Lagoon, to wit.