T.M. Franklin started out her career writing non-fiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a B.A. in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. After writing and unsuccessfully querying a novel that she now admits, “is not that great,” she decided to follow the advice of one of the agents who turned her down—write some more and get better at it. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days.
She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Mike, is mom to two boys, Justin and Ryan, and has an enormous black dog named Rocky who’s always lying nearby while she’s writing. Whether he’s soothed by the clicking of the computer keys or just waiting for someone to rub his belly is up for debate.
In addition to MORE, Franklin penned the Amazon best-selling short story, Window, as well as another short story, A Piece of Cake, which appears in the Romantic Interludes anthology. The sequel to MORE, The Guardians, will be released November 7, 2013.
What inspires you to write?
I’m always asking myself “What if?” What if there was another world that we couldn’t see? What if there were alternate dimensions? What if we could travel in time? What if we used a bigger portion of our brain? Since I write YA fantasy/paranormal, these What if? questions often lead to me scribbling down story ideas. I have a whole folder in my computer of half-thought-out plots and worlds that I want to come back to and write about.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’ve become much more organized when it comes to writing. I start with a summary – basically I write the book blurb first. Then I flesh it out with a list of plot points – a major arc first, then individual plot turns or scenes I’d like to include. Then I write the three-page synopsis my publisher requires. (And yeah, that’s the toughest part, for me.) After that, I outline and start to flesh out chapters and scenes. I use yWriter5, which is free software that organizes your book by scenes and chapters. It also allows me to create character bios and note which characters are in which scene, which POV, etc. Once all of that is done, I finally start writing. Yes, I do revise the outline as I go, and I add scenes – sometimes I even write scenes that come to me, although I’m not sure at that point where they’ll go in the book. But the overall organization is important as a foundation, at least for me.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I guess I’d say I listen. I imagine a scene – what it looks like, the dialogue, etc. and then write it down as I see it. It’s like a movie in my mind and I just transcribe it. Then re-write it a bazillion times or so. 🙂
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep writing. I know a lot of writers that start a story and get stuck and give up. Push through it. The biggest difference between a writer and author is actually finishing the story.
Also, be true to your own voice, but listen to the advice and constructive criticism from those you respect. You can’t please everyone, but it’s important to get feedback, listen to it, absorb it, and then decide what you can learn from it.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was approached by my publisher on the recommendation of another of their authors. I was in the process of writing my first book, and they asked to see the first few chapters, then requested the manuscript when it was finished. There are so many opportunities for authors out there right now. For me, indie publishing is a good option because I don’t have the initial cash outlay at the front-end, and I have a great team of editors. Typos and grammar errors were my biggest fear, but I feel a lot more comfortable knowing that team has my back. I know a lot of self-published authors, though, and they’re doing great. I’ve self-published a short story myself and I like the control that gives you. But, to be honest, I like working with a publisher. It works for me.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it’s exciting. There are so many more opportunities out there for new authors than there used to be, and a lot of self-pubbed authors are getting picked up by major publishers. Even those who aren’t are building their own audiences and doing it there own way, you know?
I’m excited to see what the future holds.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
YA, paranormal, suspense, romance, fantasy
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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