Author Interview: ‘Again. Again and Again: Awakening into Awareness’ by Mathias B. Freese

About the Book:

Having once been a psychotherapist who’s never hesitated to turn the therapeutical gun barrel toward himself, Mathias B. Freese ramps up his radical reflexivity in this latest work, from confessional first-person narration to third-person “stories” starring “characters” named Matt. (This genre could be called meta-Matt.) “I write to know perhaps something about who I am,” Freese writes. “I write to arrive at some awareness, however dim, about self or other, for when I have that fleeting moment of awareness, I feel at one — true.” Truly, Again. Again and Again. is a song of himself.

Rocker Billy Idol proves to be an unlikely but apt echoer here: “When there’s nothing to lose and there’s nothing to prove, well, I’m dancing with myself.” As a one-man show, Freese puts the “dance” in “abundance,” stressing an author’s singularity, the innerness of writing, the sharing — rather than the proselytizing — purpose of artistic expression. In other words, as Freese says, “a book is one person’s awareness as he or she sees it.”

More than a few times, Freese had implied that Again. Again and Again. would probably be his swan song, his “final stirrings,” his ultimate testament. How laughable, considering both his prolificacy and “urge and urge and urge” (as Whitman would gush). Sure enough, the author is no longer so sure that he’s expressed enough, and it seems that yet another stirring idea spurs him to create again. Again and…

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing? 

Author, teacher and retired psychotherapist, one can never retire from writing. The subtitle of my most recent book, Again. again and again, a book of essays and stories, is “Awakening into Awareness.” I am not on a spiritual journey as life has taught me that I enter awareness gradually as I evolve. Kazantzakis’s epitaph reads: “I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.” What got me into writing was a primitive sense to express myself, then it became to know myself, and now in my old age it is to observe myself. I see writing as construction work and I just finished repairing my roof. More to work on. Consequently, I do not market my books nor target an audience. They are for me. It was Dinesen who summed up the artist: “An artist is never poor.” I own these hard-earned riches. 

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write? 

At my age let me be cranky. This is of no or little purpose. It is much to asking me if I ever use a pencil. Ask this question: How often do you draw upon your unconscious to express your thoughts and feelings, that is, how effectively do you use your associations as you write? 

3: Where do your ideas come from?  

The unconscious, the most reliable ghostwriter the writer ever has. I will argue that books are already written in the apses of our minds before we begin. We are unconscious creatures animated in human form and believe, mistakenly so, that we are in charge. Say Ukraine a thousand-fold, exponentially so, and you have proof we are driven by forces we cannot harness. 

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go? 

Think of Moby Dick and the sailors hunting whale in their boats, what was called a “Massachusetts hayride,” as the beast pulled them along. I find the best work for me is to be a story whisperer to the unconscious, soothing the beast if he wishes to be soothed, more often trusting in his desperate thrusts here and there, and when he breaches then I may have the start of a story. I had no idea that I would associate to the great whale and I offer it proof of what I am expressing — who really is in charge. 

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre? 

I generally like to write short stories and self-disclosing essays, often confessional. I am awakening to my intelligence and let the chips fall where they may. 

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book? 

Again, I don’t think in this way. I am the cast and the character of all my books. I am working on myself. I am investigating my short stay on this planet.  

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors? 

Kazantzakis, Krishnamurti, some Freud 

8: What book/s are you reading at present? 

A book on Reiki, a novel by Duff Brenna 

9: What is your favourite book and why? 

Report to Greco by Kazantzakis. It is a verbal Parthenon. See his The Last Temptation of Christ.  Greco is probably the best autobiography or confessional of the twentieth century 

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer? 

Buy olive oil and anoint yourself in the woods as a writer; buy a tube of epoxy to affix to your chair when you sit down to write. Stay away from advice, it usually sucks no matter how well intended. 

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?   

Go to my author’s page: All nine of my books are listed, described and criticized.

About the Author:

MATHIAS B. FREESE is a writer, teacher, and psychotherapist who has authored eight books. His I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust won the Beverly Hills Book Award, Reader’s Favorite Book Award, and was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Book Awards, the Paris Book Festival, and the Amsterdam Book Festival. In 2016, Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers, his first memoir, received seven awards. The following year his second memoir appeared,And Then I Am Gone.

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