Books that live forever in your heart and dreams

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Team Fred

I would like to introduce Fred LeBaron 

I had the honor of meeting Fred during an Auction I was doing for The Corn Family. After the auction was over, I continue to watch Fred, he is so devoted in helping any and every way. His love and support for Authors is astonishing. Then, I notice that there is now a Team Fred page on Facebook. Invented and hosted by the awesome, Addi Footit and Kelly Moorhouse.

So intrigue set in, and off I went.

Derinda: can you tell us, who Fred really is?
Fred:  I am a guy who thought he was kind of a bohemian, and loved being all poet-y, “studying” in Paris and whatnot, until I had children and realized that I would find my greatest satisfaction in relationships with them.  I’m a reader of wide and eclectic enthusiasms.    
Fred's id card from his year at the Sorbonne 

Derinda: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in in the literary world?
Fred: How approachable authors are, and how much they appreciate encouragement from regular  old readers.

Derinda: What would you say is your most interesting aspect? 
Fred:  I think I’m a good conversationalist.  I have pretty wide ranging interests, and I’m curious to learn about other people’s stories, experiences and expertise.  I’m not judgmental, and love to make friends and share enthusiasms with them

Derinda:  How did you feel when your Team Fred page was made?
Fred: Honestly, my first reaction was embarrassment!  I don’t think I've done anything to merit this much affection and appreciation!  I’m not really very talented or accomplished, and I am far from the abs-errific David Gandy types who are the usual subject of reader girl fan pages,  lol.  But I was touched too, because most of the Team Fred members are people I've come to know as cherished friends, through Facebook and author events.

Become a member of Team Fred's Facebook page here

Derinda: Do you have a message you would like to send out to all the members of Team Fred?  
Fred:  I guess it would be one of appreciation and affection.  It has been enormously cheering to me to be the object of so much good natured attention.

Derinda: What books have most influenced your life most?

Fred: That is very hard to say.  I mostly read and love fiction, and while I’ve read innumerable books that have had huge emotional impact (“The Name of The Rose,” by Umberto Eco, or “It” by Stephen King, leap to mind, although they are not the kind of thing I would read now), not a lot have altered my emotional landscape in a permanent way, or made me change course.  As far as really influencing my behavior, I guess How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie was an eye-opener for me, and made me much less selfish in my relationships with others.  I’m a person of faith, too, and while I’m certainly no angel, I guess it would be hard to underestimate the impact of the Bible on the way I think and express myself, too.  

Derinda: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to Authors for encouragement from a devoted reader?
Fred:  All of that time, all of that care, all of that emotion that you have poured into your books is so worth it! They awaken an equal emotional response in us, your readers, and make life richer, more meaningful and deeper.  They make us cry and laugh, and love your characters and feel their struggles and accomplishments so vividly that we are encouraged and strengthened to face our own challenges and disappointments and find meaning in them.

Derinda: When did you start playing the guitar?

Fred:  I was around 16 when I first picked up the guitar.  I loved Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Cat Stevens.  I played in country-rock bands (think Eagles, Jackson Browne, Johnny Cash) with my two brothers until I went away to college.  I drifted away from the guitar during grad school/law school,  only to start playing again a few years ago.  I find enormous satisfaction in learning new songs and in playing the older ones I’ve loved for so long (like James Taylor, for example).

Derinda: What is your greatest accomplishment in life?
Fred: Well, being a dad is pretty much my number one thing I am proud of.  I have four kids who are each really cool people in their own way, and I love spending time with them.  I’m also proud of the kids I have taught in law school over the last ten years, where I teach legal research skills.  It’s great to see them launch their careers, and lovely to hear from them that I helped them achieve their professional and personal goals.  Being married for as long as we’ve managed is quite an accomplishment, too, lol.  I also completed P90X, that was something I never thought I’d be able to do! 

Derinda: How does it make you feel, when you hear how you have impacted someone's life?
Fred: Well, proud, I guess, and also kind of mystified, like “did I do that?”  I honestly don’t feel I have any particularly fabulous talents beyond showing up, being kind and encouraging, and seeing the good in people.  It makes me happy, basically, because I feel like I’ve been impacted and uplifted by so many of those who tell me I’ve done that for them!

Derinda: If you could pick one author (dead or alive) to have dinner with, who would it be?  What would be the first thing you would say to them?

Fred: I think I would choose Agatha Christie, I loved her books and read them all (and re-read many) when I was a teenager/twenty-something.   She’s just so English (yep, Anglophile here), so clever and yet so down to earth.   I’d love to ask her something profound and witty, but would have to work up to that.  I’d start by offering her a glass of wine, and then I think I’d like her to tell me what it was like being in Egypt as an archaeologist’s wife back in the day.  

Derinda: When you’re not playing the guitar, what is your most favorite thing in the world to do?
Fred: My favorite thing to do is chill quietly on my deck on a summer evening, listening to music as it grows dark around me, sipping on a chilled glass of Moscato or Riesling, while munching on some chips and salsa.

Derinda: Can you share one secret about yourself, with all of us Fred Team members?

Fred: I won a Hopwood Award for poetry when I was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, and I still write poetry occasionally.  I’m attaching a recent poem called “Cents Worth.” 

Cents Worth

Found an old penny today,
Although maybe “found” isn’t quite the
Right word, since it was in my pocket all along.
Noticed, maybe? 
But that seems to imply 
Some noteworthy element of novelty – “noticias?”
And an old penny
Hardly qualifies for that.
So I’ll settle for “came across,” or perhaps even a grandiloquent
“My attention intersected the preexistence
Of an old penny today.”

It was from a time before you were born,
But after I was.

So here’s my question, then.
When things come into the world
Is there a hole where they belong?

Or do they have to push to make 
A place for themselves?
I guess I’m talking about people, actually,
Now that I think of it.
Because sometimes when they go,
They sure leave a big hole behind them.

Big enough for lots of things to fall into.
Thoughts, especially.
But I guess now I have a penny for those.

Not too many though, okay?

Fred's favorites:
• Color?  Robin’s egg blue
• Food?  Tough one, not a picky eater.  Angel food cake, buffalo wings. Not at the same time!
• Song/Singer?  Another tough one to narrow down!  You’ve Got A Friend by Carole King, as performed by James Taylor would sure be high on my list of favorite songs.  In My Life by The Beatles would be another favorite song.  Jackson Browne would be very high on my list of favorite singer/songwriters.   Among more contemporary types, I am very fond of  A Rocket To The Moon, Owl City and He Is We.  Other bands I love include Keane and The Fray.  I am all about the mellow, lol.  I do still love French cabaret music, and have a playlist on Spotify of some of my favorites from back in the day. 

Where can you find Fred

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Oh man, I feel super famous now, lol! Thanks so much for doing this, Derinda, it was fun and you are amazing! <3 you!

    1. I am so glad you love it Fred, you certainly deserve it!

  2. I loved it! What a great interview. Fred, you are awesome!! Derinda, <3 as always :)

    1. Thank you so much Christina

    2. Thanks, Christina, you are so sweet to say so ♥!

  3. Yay! Fred is my 2nd favourite man after my husband! Love the student ID card!

    Thanks for the shout out to Team Fred too, Derinda :)


    1. Thanks Kelly! You're the best! You do such an awesome job on Team Fred, I appreciate you every single day!

  4. Love you Fred!!! I want to win a team fred tshirt ;) I'll wear it all the time.

    1. Love you too, Bayli! That shirt is gonna happen someday, I feel it!

  5. What a great interview. I had already noticed Fred was a great person. This was so interesting.

    1. Thanks so much, Jenna! I appreciate your comment!

  6. This just makes me smile. You may not get it Fred but you really are a true friend to so many. I feel honored to know you and hope to meet you one day. You are an amazing person and such a blessing to so many. I will never forget the love and support you gave me during Jemma's illness.

    1. Thanks Stefany! I felt very close to you and Jemma then, and I value our friendship, thank you so much!

  7. Many months back, I've always wondered who is Fred :P I kept seeing pictures of him posted by various authors and I got really curious!

    Thanks for this great interview allowing us to get to know him better. He sounds awesome (literally too! love the video of him singing and playing the guitar) and I'm definitely Team Fred! ;) Thanks for the giveaway!

    Tess xx


    1. Tess, thanks, I really appreciate the guitar comments, I was nervous to post that, lol. Love that you are Team Fred, consider me officially Team Tess!

  8. Omg, I love Moscato too! You are amazing Fred. Congrats on the feature! And great interview Derinda! Loved it <3

  9. Great answers, and I love your poem, Fred! It reminds me somehow of a Michael Nesmith song--and you know I highly esteem him. Hope I win the giveaway! Great prizes.

  10. I swear, no matter what mood I'm in, seeing Fred's picture, reading something he's written, interacting with him on FB or Twitter....whatever it is, he just makes me smile. FANTASTIC interview!! I COVET that t-shirt!!! <3