Looking back through history, there have been key phrases that have long outlived the men who said them. They have helped us win battles and have formed thoughts that have influenced countless lives. Horace Greeley said, “Go West, Young Man.” There was also “Remember The Alamo” and “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.”
History, especially the history of the United States, is all about New Frontiers, and Frank Fiore is a writer who pushes to find the boundaries and extend them. First, there was the Frank Fiore who wrote non-fiction bestsellers. Then there was the Frank Fiore who wrote fiction for fun. Now, we face the Frank Fiore who is writing the bestsellers. The first one was “Chronicles of Jeremy Nash.” Now, he has a new one. It’s called “Oracle” and it broke into the bestseller list just a few days after release.
Let’s go talk to Frank….
Q) Why writing? What is it about writing that gets you excited?
A) I’m the kind of person the loves to talk about my ideas and beliefs. Writing is another way of telling my story. Not in a biographical sense but telling others what I feel – educating them, too – in a way that uniquely entertains. If I could get a reader to say “Good story. Well written” I’ve done my job. I don’t want to win a Pulitzer in literature. I just want to know that people enjoy my story telling and will follow me into my next flight of the imaginary.
Q) You are a well-renowned non-fiction writer. Why fiction now?
A) I’ve always wanted to write fiction. My first foray into fiction was as a freshman in high school where I wrote the first few chapters of a novel. About a dozen years later, I wrote a complete Sci-Fi novel one summer on a typewriter while housesitting. The story was influenced by one of the Golden Age of Science Fiction writers. Heinlein I believe. It wasn’t very good, but I did complete it.
Q) What, in your opinion, is the key ingredient to a great story?
A) Plot. Plot. Plot. After all, that IS the story. I believe a good story will trump so-so writing but not visa versa. Literary writing, deep characterization, and detailed settings are all useless if the characters’ BEHAVIOR does not drive the plot forward. Characters must be driven by their characterization in a meaningful way to drive the plot forward. It goes without saying that the plot must progress in a logical way that makes sense to the reader.
Q) What do you try to add to your stories to make them Frank Fiore stories?
A) I love to add plot twists and red herrings. One reader said of one of my books that the plot twist hit him right in the gut. It was a shocking surprise to him. That’s the kind of reaction I like to get from the reader. My stories are not derivative or predictable. That’s what makes them entertaining.
Q) When you go in search of a book, what do you personally look for in a book?
A) OK, I’m going to break a cardinal rule here. I haven’t read a book in years. Yes, I know, the rule is that writers should read other writer’s works. Not I. I watch tons and tons and tons of movies. Why? Because I write my novels as movies. They pace like movies. They are a fast read and ‘get the story out’. I learned a lot about writing from the movies I watch. Plot, characters and setting. A reader can visualize the story on a screen as they read my novels.
Q) It’s not so unusual for writers to not read. Okay, how do you like to write? Gentle music late at night? Early morning to the call of birds? What’s your bag?
A) As for time of day – first thing in the morning. As forplace – I enjoy writing at an upscale restaurant bar or resort. Allows my mind to escape the confines of a computer screen. I meet interesting people there, too, that I can use as characters in my novels.
Q) Let me go back a little way with you. You don’t read many books right now, but what was the first book you ever enjoyed?
A) I love Robert Heinlein – one of the Golden Age of Science Fiction writers. His most enjoyable was ‘Time Enough for Love’. Especially the Notebook of Lazarus Long that were included in the story. One of his best pieces of advice from his notebook was ‘You live and learn, or you don’t live long’. Lazarus was sort of a futuristic Ayn Rand.
Q) What do you think of the self-publishing trend? Are you a supporter of self-publishing?
A) It is the wave of the future for this reason and this reason only: Unless you are a famous author like Cussler, Clancy or Brown, even if you get a publisher to take one your book, YOU – the author – will have to do all the marketing. So if the author is doing all the work, why not keep the a healthy hunk of the royalties?
Q) You have sold over 50,000 non-fiction books. Why do you think you made such a huge splash in the non-fiction world? What created that success?
A) Publishers do little to help you market. They send out a few press releases and tell their sales people to introduce the book to bookstores. Other than that it’s the author’s job to market his or her books. I believe it’s all down to hard work and getting out there.
Frank F. Fiore is currently riding high with “The Oracle.” Get your copy right now!