Featured Author: V. Franklin was a college student for 13 years, something that looked like a good idea at the time, but maybe not so much now. Born, raised, and living in the pacific northwest, V. Franklin inhabits a double-wide with 2 humans, 2 horses, 2 goldfish, 1 dog, 2 cats, 3 sheep, 4 chickens, 3 turkeys, about 15,000 honeybees… and an indeterminate number of raccoons, opossums, rats, and spiders. The place is kind of a mess.
Featured Author: V. Franklin Interview
- How long have you been writing?
- What/who inspired you to be a writer?
- What genre do you prefer to write in?
- Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
- What is your daily routine as a writer?
- Are there any software tools, resources, or websites you use often while writing?
- What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
- Do you have a set number of words each day or a goal?
- How much time is spent on “the business of writing” – queries, seeking an agent or publisher, marketing/sales?
- Do you prefer short stories or full-length novels in your writing?
- Can you give some us some insight into your story?
- What advice can you give other writers?
LHP: How long have you been writing?
V. Franklin: I have coauthor status, under a different name, in a biomedical research paper. My first fictional piece, “Mr Brown” is in the Simple Things anthology, 2016.
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LHP: What/who inspired you to be a writer?
V. Franklin: When I was very little, my mother forbade The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone, saying they would be too scary for me. So, of course, I snuck away and watched them at every opportunity. Starting with Serling, Beaumont, and Matheson… then with Tolkien, Le Guin, Lovecraft, Ellison, Heinlein, Lewis, Barker, Ligotti, and bits of whatever mythology you want to throw in there, I fell in love with stories.
LHP: What genre do you prefer to write in?
V. Franklin: Can I say weird fiction? I know that’s an old term, but I have an old style. And that way, maybe it won’t be so jarring when you read my story about space-alien bioweapons, right after the one about vengeful goblins.
LHP: Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
V. Franklin: Often, it’s the punchline. A fair number of my stories end up as something like a “shaggy dog story”. I usually come up with the ending/moral I wish to convey, then the beginning, and then the route from A to B. If I’ve done a decent job, I can hope the trip is pleasant, while avoiding the deeper tracks left from any previous writers who may have taken a similar journey.
LHP: What is your daily/weekly routine as a writer?
V. Franklin: Work at day job. Feed animals. Wash dishes. More of day job. Clean-up after animals. Feed animals again. Again with the day job. Try to sneak in some writing. Fold laundry. Still more day job. Errands. Day job. Return to laundry. Back to the day job. Secretly wish the power would go out for several weeks so I can stay home and write. Outwardly wish for a sweet book deal so I can quit the day job and just write without the power going out.
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LHP: Are there any software tools, resources, or websites you use often while writing?
V. Franklin: The librarians at my local library are indispensable. They have found answers to my most obscure questions rapidly, and with a minimum of raised eyebrows.
LHP: What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
V. Franklin: Getting permission to write from anyone in my life is difficult. People close to me seem to feel a deep obligation, at all times, to rescue me from actually being able to write anything. Seriously, guys. Just let me do this, okay? Please? I swear the house isn’t going to catch on fire because I didn’t play Mario Kart this one time.
Also something I call writers’ despair. I think it’s probably just a garden variety depression, overlayed with setting aside a story in process because I feel sad. But there it is.
LHP: Do you have a set number of words per day you target? or do you set other goals to meet?
V. Franklin: I don’t have a set number of words. Maybe I should. Perhaps then I’d have this half-finished story in my bag actually done.
LHP: How much time is spent on “the business of writing” – queries, seeking an agent or publisher, marketing/sales?
V. Franklin: For me? Darn near zero. I have a Facebook page and this interview. That’s definitely something I need to work on. In the meantime, I will flatter myself and hope that’s the only reason more people aren’t reading my stories.
LHP: Do you prefer short stories or full length novels in your writing?
V. Franklin: I think it depends on the story. I’ve had editors tell me a piece is too long, and I’ve had editors tell me a piece is too short. But any story will end up as long as it is. I had a short, still unfinished, that’s ballooned to over 175,000 words. I really try to make a story fit the editor’s limits, and then I fail and I feel guilty about it. I would guess that a novella or a short or a novel becomes the length required to spin that particular yarn.
LHP: Can you give some us some insight into your story?
V. Franklin:I tend to write about characters who are without wealth or power, and who aren’t any kind of a chosen one for anything. “The Knights of the Secret Order” will be appearing in Beautiful Lies: Painful Truths 2. I hope you will like it.
LHP: What advice can you give other writers?
V. Franklin: For the love of all that is good and decent, write. Hide from family and friends. Sit down and write something. Keep writing until you have something good. It may take a long time. That’s okay. Just sit the hell down. Keep writing.
Then find somebody who knows the craft, and who is willing to take you under their metaphorical wing. By the way, thank you, Sensei, for the formatting 101 lesson,
V. Franklin authored “The Knights of the Secret Order” for Beautiful Lies: Painful Truths 2 on sale now.
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