Author Interview: S.W. Frank

I came across this Indie author and found her books to be realistic, well written and researched. She intrigued me so, that I reached out to her and asked if she would be willing to do an interview for my blog. She graciously accepted and generously responded to my questions. I am happy to introduce to you, S.W. Frank.

1) Who is S.W. Frank?

I’m someone with a long standing love affair with the arts. I enjoy drawing, music, and write poetry. I’m family oriented and cherish every moment in the company of good friends, as well. There are causes that I support, Anti- bullying, adult literacy and the arts.  My passion for what I love, transcends into my stories in a sensual way amid the drama.

2) Did you grow up in New York?

Yes.

3) When did you first learn you were a writer?

I suppose as a child when my imagination and views were transcribed regularly into my notebooks. The expositions, were often catchy and I think back then I had an idea that I enjoyed writing immensely.

4) What has your writing journey been like?

There are the bumps and skids that occur in the journey. However, it’s an exhilarating feeling to know,  I’m doing what I love and that’s the most fulfilling part of the ride.

5) Did you read as a child? If so, what was your favorite book?

I read often. I have too many favorite books. In the formative years some books that stretched my imagination were, Alice in Wonderland, Charlotte’s Web, The Three Musketeers and others. In grade school, my reading interest expanded to a diversity of books: autobiographies, poetry, philosophy and academic readings. My favorites when I was very young were, Anansi the Spider and The Cat in the Hat.

6) Was there anyone in your life that encouraged you to write?

My mom always encouraged my creativity, whether art, singing or writing. Growing up, my parents steered me to the library or encyclopedias whenever I had a question about a subject. In college, my Creative Writing and English Literature Professors were encouraging as well.

7) What did you do specifically to hone your craft? Did you take classes? Did you read any particular books? If so, which ones?

I’ve written as long as I can remember. I’ve taken Creative Writing in college, attended a few writing workshops.  I am currently enrolled in a writer’s class that is taught by a well-known author. I have read books about writing, but there isn’t a particular book that I have studied. I take risks, and might break grammar rules. I might end a sentence with a proposition or use informal syntax. That is the voice, I believe allows readers to identify my works.

8) What are some of your favorite books and authors?

My favorite authors, wow, I’m an eclectic reader. I might desire to read Alex Haley today, revisit Homer or James Patterson and then sit and read a poem by Julia de Burgos or a comic book to a contemporary novel. The Odyssey and Roots are books that I have reread. I guess, Homer and Haley are in the top tier.

9) What do you think makes you become a better writer?

Learning about many things, interacting with people of different cultures and having a passion for writing, work for me.

10) Do you believe a writer is born or made?

I can only answer that by saying, writing has been an intrinsic part of my life and is an extension of my speech.

11) How did you first get the concept or idea for Alfonzo?

The novel Alfonzo is a compilation of my enjoyment of mafia stories. I wanted to make a contemporary mafia kingpin and include diversity which is reflective of the world.

12) What stands out for me about you is that your books are well researched. How much time do you spend researching?

When there is a subject I’m unfamiliar with, I do quite a bit of research, which might include interviewing people or travel.

13) When you first wrote Alfonzo did you know it would become a book series?

I knew I loved Alfonzo and Selange. Initially, I considered a sequel. As I delved further into the characters, there were many stories more potential stories to explore. Therefore, Alfonzo turned into volumes.

14) Could you tell us a little bit about the books you have written?

The Sisters of Cain and Abel, is what I consider a modern version of Cain and Abel, with a colorful twist. Missing Person, is a suspense novel. A woman whose husband goes missing crosses path with an illegal organ transplantation surgeon named Dr. Nebojsa. Thus, that lead to a spin-off, entitled, Dr. Nebojsa.  Then there’s Evelyn’s Cross, which is a supernatural romance with warrior angels and demons. Mana-Made is a novella and my satiric slant on the ‘nothing is as it seems,’ especially in modern times in relationships and the genders. The Criminal Elite, is an action romance that incorporates current events and social concerns into entertainment. I created a protagonist that has to come to terms that he has a stake in the political direction of his country when he falls in love with an immigrant, yet the forerunner for the presidency is anti-immigration. Queenpins, is a novel that highlights nothing is black and white. To eat, or just to have a roof over their heads, two young girls have to make tough choices and become women of industry.

15) How do your ideas and inspiration come?

My ideas come from everything and anything. There’s nothing magical in the formulation, simply ideas that excite me and I find might make an interesting story.

16) How did you transition into becoming a full-time writer?

The transition to writing full time was made easier by having a supportive family. There isn’t a certainty of a set salary. However, the true reward is living as fully as possible by following my dreams. 

17) Is there something else you still aspire to do?

I see myself tending bar, doing fancy tricks as I mix drinks and chat with the customers. Sociable, engaging things like that.

18) What are your thoughts regarding the book industry today?

These are the best of times and the worst of times in the book industry. Book stores are vital, yet many are closing. There is a saturation of books and someone that has chosen to self-publish must employ creative marketing tools to compete with the novels cranked out by the mainstream publishing powerhouses. There are many wonderful Independent books in circulation, and my belief is the industry is dependent upon the savvy reader to peruse the contents of books to discover something that might resonate. Hopefully, the reader will not rely solely on the publications that often exclude Independent or self-published novels. I think, E.L. James is a great example of some of the interesting books available to readers. Hopefully, readers that are looking for different perspectives might consider checking out Independents.

19) Are you currently working on any new projects?

I’m long overdue for a family vacation, and that’s my immediate agenda.

20) Lastly, what advice would you give an aspiring novelist?

A person entering the writing profession must have a thick skin, dedication and a passion for the craft. Read, write, keep learning and maintain a healthy perspective. Most of all, have fun.

S.W. Frank resides in New York. As a child, the author has always enjoyed, music, poetry and the arts. The influences of the arts is notable in the S.W. Frank’s burgeoning library of novels. The novelist’s adventurous life, has included a career in the FDNY Emergency Medical Services, during which time the author received numerous commendations, including an award for Bravery. However, a stint in law school and writing for the Law School’s Journal, the author decided the manuscripts collecting dust required fresh air. Ultimately, the joyful pursuit of writing became a full-time career.

Since that time, S.W. Frank’s novels have been listed in several publications, including an article in the Guardian, as one of the, ‘Gems in Indie Publishing.’ Considered, ‘bold and unapologetic in delivery,’ an S.W. Frank novel is certain to defy convention, often thought provoking and entertaining drama that includes diversity. Ultimately, love of family, friends and humanity is reflected, which is indicative of the literary artist’s soul.

You can follow S.W. Frank on Twitter.

  • S.W. Frank

    Thanks for the wonderful interview.

    • Thank you for your willingness and generosity. I wish you the absolute best.