About Jesse Frankel:
Hi and thanks for reading this! My name is Jess Frankel–pen name J.S. Frankel–born in Toronto a half-plus century ago and now living in Japan. I moved here at the age of twenty-six and never really left! Met a lovely lady named Akiko, got married and now I live in Osaka with her and our two sons.
As for what I do, I teach English! Yes, a foreigner in Japan teaching English…not very unique, but it’s something I enjoy. What I really enjoy, though, is writing, crafting that YA story that will capture the imagination of readers out there. My specialty is action along with a little romance, and I like to have that romance grow from the situation my characters find themselves in. Some of my better known novels are the Catnip trilogy, Mr. Taxi, Star Maps, and the newest addition to the digital book market, Just Another Quiet Little Town.
I hope you’ll give my novels a try and not only that, you can find me on Facebook, so if you want to talk about writing or anything else–I love movies, especially the current wave of superhero flicks–then contact me there. I always write back!
What inspires you to write?
Life inspires me, what I see, hear, sense, feel, taste…all of those things. Everything I see on the Internet or on the news, YouTube videos, it all inspires me to think of what could be…and then my imagination takes over.
Of course, my wife and children are there for me, and they inspire me to be a better person…and then stop using the computer!
Tell us about your writing process.
When I started out only about four years ago, I had no idea of what I was doing. I just wrote. It was pantsing all the way. Now that I’m a bit older and somewhat more experienced, I think of myself as largely an outliner. I sit down, grab a sheet of paper or a napkin–I teach in coffee shops a lot–and outline the very basics of a story, who the characters are and what the situation is. I think of my novels as movies with scenes, movies yet unmade.
From there, I begin writing and get the basics down…names, locations, premise. Then the characters enter, and I try to make them relatable with traits common to all of us. So it’s just me, my computer, a pen and a bunch of napkins. I do not use special software or whiteboards or anything…my characters ‘grow’ as the novel grows. After that’s all done…I check everything to see if the characters are totally relatable, even the villains, and then hope everyone will like what I’ve done!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I talk and listen to my characters, talking to them aloud. I think of them as real and if they come across as cardboard cutouts, I work to make them real through dialogue and action.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t give up. In the beginning, I got rejected more times than I could count. I felt very discouraged, and what with all the millions of writers and novels out there, it’s easy to feel down…but I never quit, and neither should you. Keep writing. Research your topic if necessary. Read other authors in other genres to find out why they are successful. Check narrative, pace, dialogue setup…all of those things. Develop your own style, and above all, love your characters and think of them as your children.
On a side note, never be jealous of other writers who’ve achieved success. You may think they don’t know how to write or they stink or whatever, but they had to have something going for them in order to get published. So never let envy rule your life…just write better than they do and get your own success!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve always been traditionally published, both in print as well as digital. I thought it was the best way to go. Nothing against self-publishing. It’s a viable field, although you have to do an awful lot of work. However, if you like the challenge of doing everything yourself, then go for it!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the field will continue to expand, at least in terms of self-publishing. This is both good and bad. You will have more authors out there, but also more books which are not that great. This is the rep self-publishing unfortunately has. Yes, there are some lousy traditionally published books from the Big Six, too, but by and large they are better in every aspect.
What I would like to see are brick-and-mortar stores make a comeback. Granted, paper is horribly expensive, but I love the old as well as the new. I grew up in bookstores…it’s sort of sad to know many of the great places are no longer with us.
What genres do you write?: Young Adult
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.