Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Frankly Spreaking: an Interview with Frank Creed
Since Flashpoint: Book One of the Underground is being feature in a blog tour at Lost Genre Guild this week, I wanted to post an interview with Frank Creed, actually taken from several conversations I have had with him. I hope you get a feel for the heart and soul of this incredible author.
You have so many irons in the fire. You just released Flashpoint, you’re working on the second book, War of Attrition, you started the Lost Genre Tour just last year, you keep an active blog where you review and promote other authors’ works at afrankreview.blogspot.com. Then you have a couple of other websites and blogs. Every night, practically, I see you on Shoutlife.com patiently answering mail and comments from pests like me. You work a full-time job. I don’t now how you keep it all going.
Irons in the fire: the pace is killing me, but this is a lifelong dream so I'll die with a smile on my face.
Willingness to share: He's blessed me already. My work ethic is always my best for His glory. Balancing the spheres of family, fiction, promotion, physical & mental handicaps, and a factory job became so frantic in recent month's that I began requesting prayer. I can't believe all the little things He's shown me since, and you are an example. It's been very Jimmy-Stewart-Wonderful-Life. He's used the gifts He gave me to influence dozens of lives that I had NO IDEA I was influencing. Yours is one of those lives. One of my sig-quotes is: "Nobody meets by accident."
Modern humans see the Bible as oppressive. So few realize that if one follows the instructions in the Creator's Owner's manual, one discovers the fullest, happiest life possible. I'm behind on sleep but don't regret a minute.
As I read Flashpoint, I envisioned it affecting lots of people, particularly young Christian guys, but you do such a masterful job of presenting the truth of salvation and the power of God that I believe the Lord will use it to lead people to know Him.
My fiction is all about ministry. I hope to make enough to pay the mortgage and go full-time. Another eight-fiction-hours, five-days-a-week for His glory would make me the happiest guy on this ball-of-dirt. I thought I wrote Flashpoint for discipleship purposes. I did mean to inspire the spiritually-slothy. A couple weeks ago I realized it was written for anyone who grew-up in church and understood the lingo, so it's funny you mention leading people to Christ. This is one of those little signs with which He's comforted me. If He could use my life's-work to save someone from Hell, it's worth every minute. But a handful? A dozen? A hundred? The concept staggers me. If you saw Schindler's List, please recall the scene at the end where Oscar breaks down and realizes how many more Jews he could have saved with all his wasted money. This was the only time I wept in a theater, and the same idea tears me now. What if, and how much more could I have done.
I understand that Flashpoint got an award in 2006, before it was even released? How did that happen? More time travel involved or what??
*Grin at time-travel*
I'm a member of elfwood.com, the Web's largest amateur spec-fic site--something like fifteen thousand members. I posted an rough version of Flashpoint there for critique late in 05. A fellow member nominated it for the yearly Elfie Awards, and that alone blew my mind--there are many anti-Christians at Elfwood. To have won at this place is just unreal.
So your publisher is your wife. I know however, that she wasn’t a publisher when you met. I think your story sounds like some kind of novel in itself.
I met a Canadian School-teacher online on May 9th of 03--exactly five years after I survived a head-on-collision that left me both physically and mentally handicapped. I married Cynthia on July 3rd of 04, and she moved from the Vancouver burbs to Indiana. It took two years to get her Green Card, so to make money, she started an editing service on the Web called The Writer's Cafe.
Until January of 06, I'd merely been submitting Flashpoint to traditional Christian publishing houses and getting rejected on my sci-fi sub-genre alone. At this time, Cynthia found an article online by a guy called Peter Bowerman about self-publishing, and said I ought to consider that option.
Finally she printed it out for me to read. I learned two things: 1) the Web has forever-changed the publishing industry, and 2) because of corporate downsizing and outsourcing, it's now possible to contract everything that traditional houses do.
If only we knew what they do.
Peter Bowerman's The Well-Fed Self-Publisher is a step-by-step strategy of exactly what traditional houses do, from acquisition to marketing. Cynthia turned The Writer's Cafe into The Writer's Cafe Press, and published the memoirs of Holocaust survivor, Max Cardoza. Then we agreed to try Flashpoint.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch (July 06), I was sweating my way through the critique rounds of Daniel I. Weaver's anthology Project, now known as Light at the Edge of Darkness. Cynthia had agreed to publish the anthology, but I still felt self-published even though she was doing all the publishing work. Face it, one's wife publishing one's fiction is a short step higher than your MOM! After I'd written a message to the contributors talking about "self-published", my dearest tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me that "self" had nothin to do with "published".
While our Personal relationship is all smoochy, when it comes to publishing, we both insist on professional rules. I get deadlines, promotional tasks, and demands to write copy from my boss.
I can't believe what the capital BOSS has dumped in my lap. The adage reads "truth is stranger than fiction", and I can give that an Amen. To have met my dearest across our continent online, then she turns into my publisher? Nobody'd believe it.
I do get to wear the TWCP acquisitions editor hat, and am a sounding board for covers and titles, but that's it. Cyn has the final call for her business, and I'm just thankful.
You were in a head-on collision?
Can’t remember now. I sustained a closed-head-injury in a head-on ... Oh yeah.
That's a whole nuther story! Without going into the rest of my physical injuries, I endured a severe closed-head injury, which means my brain swelled but my thick skull didn't fracture. I was talkin to my food for two weeks in the hospital, trying to walk to the bathroom on a shattered hip, breaking restraints meant to keep me in bed, and throwing my hospital gown across the room. I have no memory of that time. The doctors were just telling my family that after years of rehab, they best they could hope for was 65% of my normal mental capacity. My pastor literally walked past them to visit with me. I'm told that was the first lucid conversation I had since the 120+ MPH combined-speed head-on collision (the front driver's side corner of my Buick Skyhawk was a foot from the windshield). The pastor and I prayed His will be done, I went to bed for the night and woke up like this, asking "Why am I in the Hospital?". I have short term memory issues so I have to write everything down, I can't multi-task to save my life, and places like Chuckie Cheese taxes my mental-energy like the IRS on a bonus-check.
So in spite of the fact that my surgeons claimed I'm doomed to a wheelchair around 2018, I'm thankful, cause it could be a whole lot worse. The Boss used this to get me focused on my fiction. Beyond a High-School diploma, I'm self-educated, and qualify for no kind of desk-job. Why do bad things happen to good people? I'm just pointin’ up. His will be done.
So really you are a walking, writing miracle. Clearly God had plans for you and He wasn’t ready for you to come home yet.
I’m just here, everyday doing my best. Some days that falls way short. People wonder about God’s will for their life. It’s just about showing up every day, with what He’s given you.
I work in a Subaru factory in Indiana, and because my disability does not allow me to show up every day, I feel horrible about making my coworkers pick-up my share of the work.
There’s a character in War of Attrition: Book Two of the Underground who’s that dark side of me. It would have been so much simpler to have just gone Home. Barren’s soul is barren. The One State has wiped out three generations of his family—but he wakes up every day and does it all again.
Neither Barren nor I are that dark, because we both know we’re here for His reason. We’re not sure what that is, but all we can do is wake up and take what He gives us.
To purchase on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Flashpoint-Book-Underground-Frank-Creed/dp/1934284017/ref=sr_1_1/104-7700737-8213530?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192122519&sr=8-1
To purchase on Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9781934284018&itm=1
To get a signed copy: http://www.thewriterscafe.com/FP.html
Frank Creed's website: www.frankcreed.com
The Underground website: www.booksoftheunderground.com
A Frank Review: http://afrankreview.blogspot.com
The Lost Genre Guild: http://blog.lostgenreguild.com
Check out come of the other things being written about Frank Creed and his ground breaking novel, Flashpoint: Book One of the Underground at the following blogs. Some of them will inspire you,others will make yoyu laugh or just scratch yur head. And don't forget to leave a comment if you want to be entered in the giveaway drawing to be held on Friday.
Write and Whine
Hoshi to Sakura
Daniel I Weaver
Disturbing the Universe
Queen of Convolution
Virtual Tour de 'Net
Christian Fiction Review Blog
Yellow30 Sci-Fi: Review
Yellow30 Sci-Fi: Interview
Back to the Mountains