What kind of author are you?
I aim for a compelling narrative, a story that unfolds through the lives of interesting, often complex, characters. I enjoy research: historical, geographical, cultural, you name it! I plot very broadly, figure out the main themes and structure, but leave details of people and events to develop in the course of the writing.
Which authors are you inspired by?
Many, and they change with time. My key childhood book was a copy of Mark Twain’s ‘Tom Sawyer’ which I bought for pennies in Woolworths then read and reread until it fell to bits. I still dip into Twain for his wit and wisdom – eg I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened. In my mid-teens, the local public librarian took me under her wing and introduced me to the classics from Dickens to Dostoyevsky. She also slipped writers like Aldous Huxley and Graham Greene under my inquisitive nose.
I love strong storylines from good storytellers, and race through books by people like William Boyd, Helen Dunmore, Robert Harris and Rose Tremain. But I’m currently enjoying the more meandering novels of John Banville. What a marvellous writer that man is!
What keeps you motivated in the process of writing?
Editing and rewriting. I lay down a first draft of a chapter as quickly as I can, then the fun begins. I produce a series of successive drafts, editing and honing as I go. Once I’m feeling happy, I read the piece aloud – it’s a great way of identifying clunks in prose that might look fine on the page.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’ve practiced tai chi for years and try to do it with my wife most mornings on a secluded beach near our home. When I’m not busy with writerly business, we spend time in the garden where she has the green fingers and I prune when she’s not looking. I enjoy woodcarving, and I play blues harmonica.
Any new projects on the horizon?
I’m researching another novel that explores further some of the themes in ‘Where the Bridge Lies’ but in different times, settings, and through different characters. Enough said.
Frank’s debut novel Where the Bridge Lies can be purchased through our website and on Amazon.
Find out more about Frank: