Monday, September 17, 2012

Interview with Jack Franklin

Today I decided to give you a special treat -- I would interview my writing partner, the 'other half' of the writing team for our latest horror offering: Ancient Blood: The Amazon.  The two of us have been working together on this project for almost two years.  So, moving along, hereeee's Jack.

 To start, give us the title, genre and a 40 word or less tagline about your bookAncient Blood: The Amazon. Vampire fantasy (or maybe not…). An evil so wicked has grown deep in the rainforest until the mighty Amazon flows deep with blood.

Which came first, the title or the idea?  The original title in my head was River of Blood but the idea was always primary and powerful: could the deep still of the rainforest hide an evil even more powerful than the bosom of the earth.

 Was there much research for the novel?  As with everything I do, yes. Every detail was researched, either in person or through the wonder of the Internet. I lived in Brazil and spent many weeks in Manaus, the capital of the region, and have tried to let my love for the area spill into my part of the writing.

Who is your favorite and least favorite character? Why?  Itotia’s my favorite. Strong, independent and dedicated to her mate. Paulo is my least favorite: the scumbag abandoned his charge in the grasp of danger.

Who do you consider your audience for this novel?  Folks who loved Dracula, but never had the palate for twilight tales. Age is unimportant, though I suspect the link with history will not be as interesting for the youngest readers.

What is the one thing you hope readers take away from your book?  They should hate Ejup and be scared spitless by him at the same time.

What drives the story?  The polar opposites of evil and good and how any one of us might be drawn toward the darkness.

What do you have planned – book related - for the future?  Ancient Blood: The Amazon was planned as the introduction to a series. Bob and I have finished the next volume, where the ancient evil returns to its origins. The third is keeping me awake at night, now and then.

Are you married or single and how do you blend home life with writing?  I am very married and had hoped that writing could let me work from home forever. Gotta sell a screenplay…

When you're not writing, what do you do to pay the utility bills?  I am an international business executive and consultant, currently working in China. (Editorial Note: Did you catch that? China. Can you imagine the difficulties of time differences? It was much easier when he lived in Brazil.)

Tell us an interesting tidbit about you on a personal note.  My grandfather was a personal friend of Joe DiMaggio. Or so my mother always told us…

Can you give us a snippet from your book to tease us?
Paulo’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t move,” he snapped moving in the direction of the two young men. From beneath the mess crawled a spider twice the size of the earlier tarantula. It reared up on its two back legs as Wayne reached in its direction.
“Hey, I’ll take this one home as a pet,” he said.
Paulo flung his straw hat, Frisbee-style, and caught the creature just as it jumped toward the student. “I said don’t move, idiot.” He ran over and clamped his hand on top of the hat. “Bring me a specimen jar,” he ordered. Slowly, he eased the spider into the plastic container. /div>
“What’s your problem, man?” Wayne whined. “You said they were harmless.”
Paulo held up the creature for all to see. “Does this look like the other one, genius?” The sarcasm wasn’t lost on the group. There was little similarity. The second spider appeared to wear armor instead of a hairy sweater.
“This is an armadeira. You call it a Brazilian Wandering Spider. He pointed to a burrow underneath a cluster of small broken branches near Wayne’s boots. “You stepped on its home. This is the deadliest spider in the world.” The short Brazilian stared at the spider. “One of the biggest I’ve ever seen. Without anti-venom…” Paulo momentarily gazed into the distance as he calculated. “You would have been dead by tomorrow afternoon. Maybe earlier.” The spider struggled against the sides of the jar, looking out at them looking in. It was clear who was more frightened.
“Let it out,” Wayne said and grabbed a rock. “I’ll smash it.”
“Americans,” Paulo said and shook his head. “Everyone, head up the path.”
They walked as a group a few yards further toward the forest as Paulo released the creature. It jumped to the ground, reared on two legs and scanned for threats. Finding none, the armadeira walked back to its home and disappeared into the earth.
Paulo collected the group, eyes narrowed and serious. “You are the strangers here,” he chastised. “You stepped on its home. You will be squashed by the rain forest if you do not respect her.” He looked directly at Ana. “When you go places you don’t belong, you have no right to expect to return breathing.”
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Until next I ramble...