Thank you so much for being here, Frank
Thank you for inviting me, Roseanne.
1: So, Frank, what genre do you write?
I write mystery/suspense/thrillers. The mantra is write what you know and love and that is what I love to read. Also, as a lawyer, I have some experience to draw on as well.
2: How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing in one form or another all of my career which has spanned now 40 years. Most of that was non-fiction work related matter. I started writing fiction with an eye to publication 20 years ago. Back when computers were just coming on the scene and before the internet. I started on a dedicated word processor which was little more than a glorified typewriter with some memory. It had always been my dream to write novels and finally my wife got tired of my dreaming and forced me to start actually doing something.
3: What do you like the most and least about writing?
The part I like the most about writing is when the story takes an unexpected and unplanned twist and you have to follow that. Imagination takes over and creativity flows. The movie is running in my head and the hard part is to keep up with it and get it down on paper. The part that I like the least is when you realize that something you spent a lot of time writing isn’t working and the story is going nowhere and you have to go back and start over.
4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?
I read a lot. Writers need to read. Not only in the genre they write but in many other genres. When I am not reading I am working in the garden in season or playing poker. Poker is as frustrating as life. You can do everything right and still lose while someone does everything wrong and still gets lucky and wins.
5: Which authors do you like to read?
My favorites are authors such as Martin Cruz Smith, Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke and John Sanford. Len Deighton is one of my favorite authors for his ability to keep a plot going through so many books while keeping the story and the characters fresh and exciting. Truly masterful. I read so many different authors it is impossible to list them here. It would be easier to simply say take a look at the top 100 mystery authors on Amazon.
6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
I really want to have my readers be entertained. All else is secondary.
7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it?
Resurrection Garden is a story set in 1904 on the North Dakota prairie. Settlement of this part of the west had only really gotten started in the 1880’s. New settlers were still arriving in 1904 to homestead land.
Jake Turner, a scarred veteran of the charge up San Juan Hill, has been a lone drifter through much of the settling of the west. Opportunity was growing out of the newly turned sod of the North Dakota prairie in 1904 when he stopped to take a part time job as a Deputy Sheriff, expecting to move on again when the dark parts of his past catch up to him.
An investigation into a murder of a man hated by everyone has threads that lead to his best friend, Isaac. Jake is ambushed and almost killed, but is nursed back to health by Isaac. While Jake follows the clues into a labyrinth of hatred, sordid crimes and missing money he becomes attached to an eight year old orphaned boy named Andy and falls in love with Isaac’s sister, Alice. After being alone for so long with no hope or care for what tomorrow might bring, Jake finds it difficult to accept these new emotional attachments.
Jake believes in Justice, but before he had only his own life on the line. When Andy is kidnapped and almost killed, Jake knows the killers will do anything to stop him. In order to protect Alice and Andy, he must break their hearts and leave them and North Dakota behind.
Jake knows he’ll be back. So do the killers. Trap and counter trap are laid. Jake knows there will be graves. He just doesn’t know who will be in them
It will be available from Muse It Publishing at http://www.museitpublishing.com/ on January 1, 2011 and at a variety of other vendors.
8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Write and then write some more. You can’t get good at it until you do it and practice it everyday. As you refine your craft you will develop your style and voice. Write because you enjoy it. Don’t write to make money.
9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?
There are elements of real people in all of my characters but none are based completely on any one person, living or dead. The characters in my books are their own unique individuals.
10: How did you come up with the idea for this book?
I live in North Dakota and during one particularly bad blizzard the germ of an idea came to me about a book set in North Dakota during the early days. It took almost 3 years before I fleshed it out and started writing. And, of course, a blizzard plays a part in the story.
11: What are you currently working on?
I currently have 5 books under contract with Muse It Up and hope to submit another soon for 6. I have a seventh in work. It is a novel set in current time whose main character was one of the Vietnam boat people. A mixed blood American Vietnamese who goes on to be a lawyer and former CIA employee who gets involved in a missing persons case that has him traveling to Bangalore, India, Moscow, and a variety of other places as he follows leads and stays ahead of a kill squad.
Excerpt from Resurrection Garden
One thing was evident though. He didn’t die easy. Freezing to death is relatively painless. Wander out in the cold, get lost, fall asleep, and don’t wake up. That wasn’t what happened to Thor.
“What do you think? Shotgun, maybe?” the sheriff asked.
“At least,” I answered. The hole in his chest was big enough to put a fist through. “But why? He musta been dead already when he was shot.”
“Yeah, first someone beat him to a bloody pulp then gutted him and slashed his throat. And then shot him. Ain’t that what you said, Doc.”
“Looks that way to me,” Doc answered. “Can’t tell you much more until he thaws out all the way.”
“Somebody wanted him deader than dead.” The sheriff shook his head.
“Takes some hate to do all that,” Doc commented. “Got any suspects?”
Doc and the Sheriff both turned to face me.
I let out a deep sigh. “I suppose you want me to find out what happened to him.”
“Seems as how you should. After all, you found him, and you’re my deputy up there,” the Sheriff answered.
I stared at Thor and wondered when I would be able to sit down.
Doc came up behind us and commented, “Jake, you might ought to get some new britches or something. You’re hanging out your back end. Probably scare the ladies and kids if you went out in public like that.”
I reached around and felt bare skin crisscrossed with stitches. “Damn, just got these new this Christmas.”
“I’m sure one of the widow ladies you’ve been helping out will be happy to lend you some spare pants.” Doc grinned. “And I’m sure these new scars will get you lots of sympathy and special care.”
“Speaking of widows,” the Sheriff interjected. “You’ll need to tell Mrs. Thorsgaard we found her husband.”
And that’s when the real pain started.