Author Spotlight #8: J.S. Frankel

Welcome back for another Author Spotlight! If you want to know more about how the series got started, go check out the introduction post.

Photo of J.S. FrankelToday the spotlight is on Osaka-based YA Author, J.S. Frankel. As you know, I’m not a fan of long introductions, so let’s get started.

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Let’s start with the most important. What’s your most recent/next book, and where can we go to learn more about it and you?

Cover of The UndernetMy most recent novel is in the YA Suspense category, and is entitled. The Undernet. It’s about a teen whose best friend was murdered, and our MC, Milton (Milt) Edwards has to descend into the Darknet first, and then the Undernet, a new cyber site that is not for the faint of heart! There, Milt gradually learns the truth, but truth is an elusive thing, and in this case, it can lead to murder!

If anyone wants to find my books, they can check me out on Amazon. I also have a Facebook page.

Do you have a favorite book/story among the ones you’ve written? Why is it so special to you?

Cover of Star MapsWow, great question! If I had to choose, it would be a toss-up between my Catnip series (five novels) or Star Maps. With the Catnip series, it was the first time I’d ever written a series, so I had to develop all the characters and constantly think of new situations for them. With Star Maps, it’s a nice story of firsts. First romance, first kiss, first love—life is full of firsts, and this novel encapsulates a lot of firsts that teens go through, that we’ve all gone through.

Do you write in a linear or non-linear fashion?

I write in a non-linear style, usually doing the first three chapters, then the final ‘action’ chapter and then the epilogue. I then go back and fill in the middle. It’s wonky, yes, but knowing the ending—more or less—allows me to fill in the details for the middle. Of course, everything is subject to change, but still, this approach works well for me. Other writers do fine by writing in a linear style, and I can’t and won’t argue with that.

What’s the quickest you’ve ever written a book? Longest?

I write very quickly, usually taking only three weeks for a first draft. That’s about 67500 words or so. At that point, it’s readable, but by no means publishable. So…after that, I spend another two weeks tweaking it and making it as sound as I can before submitting it. My style is very minimalist, focusing on action and dialogue, but no one’s complained, so I must be doing something right. J

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

Cover of TwistedProbably the one that said I changed someone’s life.  One of my earlier novels, Twisted, is an Action/Fantasy type of deal. It involves a gender-switch, and I tried to avoid using stereotypes. One person who read emailed me to say he loved it, and it made him feel good about himself. I didn’t ask him any personal questions—none of my business—but he told me that prior to reading my novel he’d suffered from depression. Reading Twisted made him feel better about life, and that was a great compliment to me.

What is one question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview?

Probably the question of: Do you want to be famous? Well, yes and no. Being famous is fine, but I’ve found that it can be a trap. Many people who were just average folks before change. They think they’re the Lord’s gift to writing. They’re not. They’re simply talented, and in some cases, lucky. I’d like to think that I wouldn’t change at all.

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And there you have it. You can learn more about Mr. Frankel’s various books on his Amazon page.

Do you plan to read any of Mr. Frankel’s books, or have you read any of them before? Do you still read YA? There’s no shame in it, I still do. Leave a comment below and let me know.

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