Today I have the pleasure of introducing author J.S Frankel who will be sharing his thoughts on reading and writing, and details of his Book, The Incredible Aunty Awesomesauce
Jess on Writing
Where do you get your ideas?
I get my ideas from everywhere! From the Internet and recent news, from throwaway lines other people say that stick in my head, and I am a HUGE YouTube watcher. I love music and music videos, and I can honestly say that no less than seven songs have inspired novels I’ve written.
What motivates you to write?
I want to tell a story, plain and simple. I love watching my characters grow.
How many hours a week do you spend writing?
I’ve never counted, but I’d say at least four hours a night, almost every night, so…about twenty-five hours, give or take.
Best thing about writing?
The best thing is coming up with an idea and running with it. I love to see a book come to life.
Your biggest writing distractions?
Music videos, noise…I like a quiet atmosphere, but with my wife and two children always talking, it’s hard. Still, they are my family, and family comes first.
How long does it take you to write a book?
For one of my novels—they average out at 67500 words—the initial draft takes only about three weeks. I know that sounds short, but I write fast and hard and long. And I am consistent. At that three-week point, the novel is readable, but by no means publishable. There are lots of mistakes in grammar and punctuation, plot bunnies, dialogue I’d like to make more interesting, etc. So I spend another two weeks or so tweaking it and then send it off and hope for the best.
Have you ever cut anything from your book and why?
Only passages that didn’t advance the plot. The late Elmore Leonard once said to trim the fat and leave the meat—or words to that effect—and that’s what I do. I’m very much a minimalist writer, and my editors have always said, “Say what you want simply, and if it doesn’t advance the plot, cut it out!” Sound advice, methinks.
Least favorite thing about writing?
Editing. It is the devil, but a necessary evil.
What do your friends and family think about you being a writer?
They don’t ask; they know it’s something important to me. My wife only asks if my books are selling—she’s from Osaka, and the people from that region of Japan are very practical.
How do you measure your success as a writer?
Success is relative. Some would say by how much $$$ you earn. Others would say, “You wrote the book. You made it!” Me, if I can improve from novel to novel and the readers tell me I’ve improved, then that’s enough. Sales depend on so many factors and don’t indicate how good a writer is. Just my take on that.
What advice would you give to yourself if you were starting the writing journey again?
Start earlier! I didn’t begin writing until I was forty-eight, and I got published a year later. (I’m almost fifty-seven). If I were smarter and had possessed greater foresight, I would have started fifteen years earlier, but my family took precedence then, so…that’s how life goes.
Jess on Reading
What is your favorite genre(s)? Tell us more about why you love them?
YA, Science Fiction, and Adventure. Loved them as a kid, love them now. I read them because they let my mind go free, and I can let go from the mundane life I have for a short time.
Your most influential books?
Gone South, by Robert McCammon. It’s a novel about a journey of self-discovery for Dan Lambert, the MC, but also for a few of the supporting characters, and McCammon weaves his story well.
If you could have a signed copy of a book by an author (dead or living) what book would it be and why?
The Voyage of the Luna 1. It was a story written in 1949, I believe, and it was the first S/F novel I ever read, probably when I was around seven or eight. Sure, the science was wrong, but it didn’t matter. That novel got me started in reading and put me on the path I’m walking today.
About your Books…
You are living in your latest novel. Where are you living, and what is it like?
Oh, this would be me as Sam Aushumness, the protagonist of The Incredible Aunty Awesomesauce, a YA Fantasy novel. The setting is contemporary Portland, and I’m sixteen, short and skinny and sort of shy, and all I want to do is to spend time with my girlfriend, Kym Kim—yes, that’s her name!—and get through school without being beaten up.
About J.S Frankel
Future projects for Devine Destinies include Cyber Sprite, The Auctioneer, What The Gods Allow, and Outcasts 2, all for Devine Destinies. Fight Like A Woman–for Regal Crest–will be out next year, although a release date has not been specified.
You can also follow Jess on Twitter: @JessSFrankel