It is my absolute pleasure to welcome back author J.S. Frankel to my blog. I have to say, I'm thoroughly impressed by the sheer volume of his work since we last met. It shows his true passion for writing. In today's author spotlight, we discuss his new book, Beginnings (The Nightmare Crew #1) a Young Adult/Paranormal/Fantasy/Action.
What is your book about?
Beginnings is the first novel in The Nightmare Crew trilogy, a YA Action/Paranormal novel that details the adventures of a young orphan and runaway named Paul Wiseman. He’s young, fairly street smart, but one night he runs into a gang and is rescued by a young woman…who really isn’t a woman, but a lab-created vampire.
Here’s the synopsis from the FinchBooks.com website:
“Being an orphan is no fun. Having no friends isn’t much fun, either. When Paul Wiseman, seventeen, runs away from an orphanage to try his luck on the mean streets of New York, he finds himself trapped and almost beaten to death one night.
Rescued by a vampire named Angela, Paul goes to her small house in upstate New York where he meets her friends—Ooze, a sentient water being, Sandstorm, who uses his sandy body to blind his opponents, and CF—short for Cannon Fodder—a zombie.
The four of them become the Nightmare Crew—beings created by a scientist to fight against the lawless elements of the city. In joining them, Paul finds a family, friendship and maybe even love.
However, the company that allowed the creation of these beings wants them back, and they’ll stop at nothing to retrieve what they believe to be their property. It soon comes down to a battle between those born and those created…and it’s up to Paul to fight for the only family he’s ever known.”
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always loved the classic monsters—zombies, werewolves, vampires—but, as you know, the market is glutted with novels about them. I always swore I’d do something different, and I have. However, one day, when I mentioned this ‘glut’ to my wife, she said, “Why not do them all?”
Bingo! That’s what I did, and now the book is out.
Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book?
Believe it or not, it’s not the main character, Paul Wiseman, although I enjoyed writing him. It’s Angela, the female vampire he falls for. She’s beautiful, intelligent, skilled at fighting, but she’s also somewhat naïve and innocent.
She desperately wants to find a family, the same as Paul does, and by making her strong, though vulnerable, I think I’ve created a solid character. I actually make my female characters stronger than the male ones. It gives them an ideal to strive for.
What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?
I love writing YA. It has a freshness and immediacy to it, and I also love writing action scenes. Someone once commented that everything I write plays out like a movie. That’s exactly what I want them to think when they read my novels…it’s a movie that hasn’t been made yet.
As for writing in other genres, I have written one adult paranormal novel, What She Saw, but I think I could have written it better. I’m never satisfied with what I write, anyway. I always think that I could do the job better…and this is after the book comes out!
Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?
It’s the first in a trilogy. It will be followed by Law and Order, and finally, Integration. All of them will be out later on this year.
Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who
inspired you to become a writer yourself? No one inspired me, per se, but there are a number of writers I admire. Robert S. McCammon is one, N.K. Jemisin is another. I also like Ursula LeGuin, Niven and Pournelle, and Stephen King.
Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel?
Probably Gone South, by Robert S. McCammon. He’s known more for his early horror novels, but Gone South mixes action with horror and human drama. A longish read, it’s never dull. It remains a great read for me and speaks of the human heart.
Have you written other books we should know about?
This is my author’s page on Amazon.com.
I’m especially proud of the Catnip trilogy (and #4 and 5 will be out this year, a two-part story arc). I’m also quite proud of Picture (Im)perfect, a YA Romance novel, the only romance novel I’ve ever done. It’s an unusual story between a straight guy and a transgender girl, but I found it quite rewarding to write. Twisted is another favourite.
If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?
To never give up; that’s what it’s all about. It’s hard to write, no doubt. It’s harder to come up with a great idea and write about it and make it interesting and topical. But it’s a very rewarding feeling once the novel is completed.
Where can we find your book?
Where can we find out more about you?
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