frank@francissparks.com

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Debut Author Survival Tips

There are lots of types of crazy in the world. The type of crazy I'm going to focus on today can only be described in terms of a jittery mess of emotions I've only experienced in one other circumstance. That time was at the three-week mark the final time I quit(successfully) smoking cigarettes. In that case, my body had tried all other ploys to get me to smoke another secret and had resorted to a final barrage of impulses, scattered thoughts, and insurgent emotions in an effort to force my hand to my pocket and lighter. Other than that last time I quit smoking I cannot remember a more frazzled, emotional, or "crazy" time in my life than the weeks...

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Two Months of Dreams Fulfilled

We are fast approaching two months since my debut novel MADE SAFE launched into the world, fulfilling my childhood dream of being a published author. In that time there have been a few other firsts: My novel has shown up on library shelves in my area.   [caption id="attachment_818" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Clive Public Library[/caption] [caption id="attachment_817" align="aligncenter" width="225"] West Des Moines Public Libary[/caption] I participated in my first author fair and made my first in-person sale. But before that, I had to navigate the fun and stressful world of the online/local print shop to get my promotional materials. It was a lot of hard work but the result was amazing!     And of course, I got my first box of...

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Interview with Jessica Dainty Author of The Shape of the Atmosphere

Today I got the chance to interview the incredibly talented author, Jessica Dainty. Some of what I found out was just how far Jessica is willing to go for her art (think torture) and the amount of research and detail she put into her portrayal of troubled youth, Gertie in Jessica's novel THE SHAPE OF THE ATMOSPHERE.  Here's the back of the book: Gertie MacLarsen believes she was given ugliness at birth. Growing up in an estranged home, the only times she feels beautiful are the nights her father comes in to show her the stars. The day of her 16th birthday, the same day that Sputnik traverses the sky, Gertie’s life is irrevocably changed. After a family tragedy, her elusive...

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Made Safe Has Launched!

This is a day late but Made Safe officially launched on 1/17/2017. Thanks to Heather Gudenkauf for the incredible blurb: "Francis Sparks' MADE SAFE is a gripping, fast-paced and hard hitting thriller. Sparks' depiction of the gritty underbelly of the heartland will grab you by the throat and not let go. Hold on tight for a wild ride." Heather Gudenkauf ~ NYT bestselling author of The Weight of Silence Here are the worldwide Amazon buy links. US http://amzn.to/2jITb4f UK http://amzn.to/2iTm2CZ CA http://amzn.to/2jiKxwz MX http://amzn.to/2juVqsw BR http://amzn.to/2io0sKp FR http://amzn.to/2iTx8YD DE http://amzn.to/2iTxiyY IT http://amzn.to/2jb8hQX NL http://amzn.to/2jiseYG IN http://amzn.to/2jIQDCX AU http://amzn.to/2inXE04 JP http://amzn.to/2jbfP66 It's been a wild year getting Made Safe published! Be on the lookout for a new series from me and...

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Author Interview: Sarah K. Stephens ~ A Flash of Red

Sarah K. Stephens' debut novel A Flash of Red debuted earlier in December from Pandamoon Publishing. It is a fantasticly gritty and dark psychological thriller. Sarah is a trained psychologist, professor, writer, fellow Crime Writers' Association member and friend. We recently discussed her debut novel. Find the interview below. A Flash of Red is such a fantastic psychological thriller. Where did the idea for the novel come from? The initial idea came from preparatory reading I was doing for a new course on children’s development in an online world. I started reading research on the effects of pornography exposure on children and adolescents, which primarily indicates that children’s ideas of sexual behavior and relationships are negatively affected by the themes...

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Interview with Brian Cohn, Author of The Last Detective

I had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Cohn the author of The Last Detective an interesting take on the classic police procedural. Here is the back of the book: Two years since the slicks came to our planet and herded humanity together like cattle, placing us under constant watch in the few cities that remain. The lucky ones are left to their own devices. The unlucky few are rounded up and carted off to labor camps to face an unknown fate.Former homicide detective Adrian Grace was cut off from his family, but has somehow managed to survive. When one of the slicks is murdered, they ask him to find the killer. He reluctantly agrees, and in the course of his...

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A Writer’s Retreat, Pneumonia, Surgery and the Edit Letter

  The last few weeks have been insanely good and bad. I participated in my first ever writer's retreat put on by Des Moines Writer's Workshop which I am a part of. It was a great experience AND I got my edit letter from my publisher on the opening day of the weekend giving me ample opportunity to cry and regroup and tackle the necessary edits to make my debut novel Made Safe a success. I made some serious scheduling errors however by planning an elective surgery the following Monday that required me to take it easy for a few days. A few days of relative peace(except for a nagging cough) and then I got my second round of substantive...

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Michelle Hauck’s new book is out. Checkout Faithful!

  Michelle Hauck's next volume in the Birth of Saints series is available now! Following Grudging--and with a mix of Terry Goodkind and Bernard Cornwall--religion, witchcraft, and chivalry war in Faithful, the exciting next chapter in Michelle Hauck's Birth of Saints series!   A world of Fear and death…and those trying to save it. Colina Hermosa has burned to the ground. The Northern invaders continue their assault on the ciudades-estados. Terror has taken hold, and those that should be allies betray each other in hopes of their own survival. As the realities of this devastating and unprovoked war settles in, what can they do to fight back? On a mission of hope, an unlikely group sets out to find a...

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Write On – With Sci-Fi/Fantasy Editor Josephine Hao

We had the great opportunity today to pick the brain of  editor Josephine Hao as we discuss editing and science fiction/fantasy, one of her specialties. As we find out below there are no magic bullets when it comes to editing a manuscript. Because of your profession, I feel an enormous amount of pressure to produce some sort of coherent thought with these questions. Are you constantly mentally editing everything that someone sends you? Even instant messages? LOL! No need to put undue pressure on yourself. Even editors need editors, as I have discovered that my proofreading powers really kick in when I hit the Send button. I can't seem to completely turn off my editor's eye when not working, but...

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Interview with Meg Bonney Author of YA Fantasy Novel Everly

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Meg Bonney author of Everly, her debut YA fantasy novel to be released by Pandamoon Publishing November 2017 - Meg Bonney is a mother, wife and freelance writer. When she isn’t writing, she is off somewhere obsessing about her favorite TV shows. What was 12-14-year-old Meg Bonney reading? MB: Fear Street! I was super into Goosebumps by R.L. Stine when I was a kid and as I got older, I got into his pre-teen horror(ish) books called Fear Street. There were a million of them and there was a point when I had finished all of them so I would just start reading them all over again until a new one came out. Most...

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