Monday, November 30, 2015

Author Spotlight: J.S. Frankel





Author Spotlight
In this Author Spotlight I interview J.S. Frankel, author of, Star Maps, a Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel.

What is your book about?
Seeing is believing, and when Carl Thornton, a seventeen-year-old UFO enthusiast and high school nerd, sees a double of his homeroom teacher, he knows that something is not quite right. Then again, he lives in Rachel, Nevada, an area known as "UFO Central". 
Formerly from Chicago, he came to live with his alcoholic uncle after the untimely death of his parents. His fondest wish is to gaze at the stars and see a UFO.
Wish granted on both counts, as he meets Grace Paxton, a high school junior, and a recent transfer student. Through a series of circumstances, he discovers that Grace is a shape-shifting alien, a Theriantan. Once he's with her and her people, he learns the real reason for Area 51, the secrets it holds, and the danger that lurks beyond.
  
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always loved science fiction and fantasy, and I always wonder “What if?” Stories about aliens coming to Earth aren’t new, but I think the twist I gave to this novel—the aliens have been living here for quite a while and they’re the ones who’ve been causing the crop circles and sending pictures of UFO’s and aliens and whatnot, sort of their inside joke—is what gives the novel a unique air.
The general public is also fascinated with the idea of discovering alien life. Movies and books are in the hundreds if not the thousands, and I wanted to do something a bit more personal. This novel is it.

Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book?
My favourite character is Carl, the main character. He’s a bit of a geek, a nerd, but basically very decent, if somewhat na├»ve at first. In a way, he’s a lot like me—but younger.
My least favourite is the character of the evil Lieutenant. I wanted someone obsessed with detail, cleanliness and order, and someone who was deeply paranoid. In other words, a total jerk NO one could relate to. And the fact that everyone hates him shows me I’ve done my job. J

What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?
I always think “What if?” I always wonder about life existing elsewhere, what it would look like, how it would think and feel, and I realized that emotions are universal, as are the concepts of friendship and love. Writing S/F allows my mind to go free and I can imagine and dream up any world and characters I like.
I’ve written primarily YA Action/Fantasy. Although, as of late, I’ve had a romance novel published, Picture (Im)perfect. It’s the story of a young man who falls in love with a transgender girl. Very offbeat, but a subject I thought worthy of writing about. Trans-people have received a lot of negative press not due to any fault of their own. A friend of mine—the person I dedicated the novel to—is a transwoman, someone who’s friendship I value highly. If that novel can help people understand the trials and tribulations the LGBT set have to go through on a daily basis, and empathize with their struggle, then perhaps that’s a good thing. Acceptance begins with understanding.

Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?
Star Maps is a standalone novel, although you never know. Someday…maybe.

Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?
Something my older son mentioned to me once, about five years ago, something about a talking tree, gave me the initial idea. I had a dream, a very vivid one, and that provided the impetus to write The Tower, my very first novel. It wasn’t that great, but it did get me started. I’d like to think I’ve improved since then. J

Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel? 
This is a good question, and I’d have to say Gone South, by Robert McCammon. I’d read his earlier works—horror, mainly—but this one was special. I loved the way he set up the action, the characters, and the conflict within the novel. For me, it was and remains the perfect read.

Have you written other books we should know about?
Some of my better known novels are the Catnip trilogy, novels that deal with transgenics. Action and romance abound in them. I’ve already mentioned Picture (Im)Perfect, and Mr. Taxi is another S/F novel I’m very proud of. The links are below.

If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?  
If I could give advice to anyone, I’d say stick with it. Get your idea and write! Make time, give up bar-hopping or television, and focus on your story. Lots of people have great ideas, but very few act on them, and even fewer carry through on their initial idea. You have to want to write like an alcoholic wants a drink. You have to want it like you want to breathe. Start—and don't ever stop.

Where can we find your book?
Amazon

How can we find out more about you?

Facebook
Twitter: @JessSFrankel

 

41 comments:

  1. What a great honor it was to be featured on your site! Thank you!

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    1. With such a fabulous book, how could I not?

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  2. I am all about Young Adult Sci Fi! Sounds great!

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  3. Nice profile. Sounds like an interesting guy!

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  4. Great interview. The book sounds interesting

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    1. I love to hear about new authors! I think this would be a book my husband would love - he loves Dr. Who and pretty much anything Science Fiction :-)

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  6. I like the premise of this book, but the antagonist's description gives me pause. I'm generally turned off by characters without a single redeeming quality and find I prefer reading books where even the villains have a relatable, humanizing trait that makes them semi-sympathetic.

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  7. I love UFO and teen characters. I usually read these books at the same time my teen does. It makes interesting conversations

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  8. Love his advice! The book sounds very interesting too and I'm not usually a sci-fi fan.

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  9. This looks like a fun book to read and I love the spin on the aliens being here for a long time.

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  10. great review so many good reads to catchup on

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  11. I love alien things. I went to Roswell once, so amazing. Thanks for introducing us to a new book.

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  12. The book looks like an exciting read. Great interview and he is certainly a creative man.

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  13. I have a few family members that likes Sci-Fi. They would love a book like this for christmas!

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  14. Great advice- sticking with anything is the key to success!

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  15. Excellent post! Our family loves Sci-Fi!

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  16. Yes!!! My husband and I love Sci-Fi. Nice spotlight!!

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  17. I love reading but tough to make time during this busy season. Gonna charge my kindle now!

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  18. Looks like the kind of book I'd like to read!

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  19. I am really into to this genre right now. I will definitely look into this book!

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  20. Sounds like an interesting book - I have always been intrigued by unexplainable happenings and odd events.

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  21. Love sci-fi, thanks for book suggestion!

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  22. The inspiration he got for writing is great! What a funny way life can lead us to doing things.

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  23. What a great interview and spotlight! My nephew would love this author.

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  24. Oh, I've never heard of Star Maps before! He sounds like an awesome writer with great storytelling ability. I am sure that my husband would enjoy his work!

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  25. sounds like a great book. I will have to add this to my must read books!

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  26. I was late in developing an appreciation for the sci-fi genre. This book sounds interesting and like quite the page turner :-)

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  27. My nephew loves sci-fi and I think he would love this author and this book. I'll tell him about it!

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  28. What a great spotlight, you asked some great questions!

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  29. So many of my student's love sic-fi and this sounds like a great plot line! I love your advice to just get started and stick with writing if you want to be a writer.

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  30. i would love to write and design book! Any tips? and thanks for sharing all your wonderful spotlight interviews.

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  31. You find the most interesting books to share with us! I'm adding this one to my list too!

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  32. Very cool to get to know an author a little better!!

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  33. what a great interview and he seems like such an interesting author. how exciting for him that you are talking about him here! ;)

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  34. Sounds like a really great book. Thanks for sharing it on your blog.

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  35. I think it's great that you're featuring authors like this. It gives avid readers a chance to see what's behind the book!

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  36. This is my favorite genre. Sounds like an interesting book!

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  37. I like the sound of his transgender novel in light of the mass hatred against the community I think it is important that we stand together and support them not alienate them.

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