YA and horror author, Marlena Frank! Author interview
Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to this week’s featured author!
I have had the great pleasure of interviewing author Marlena Frank!
Marlena Frank is the author of books and novellas that span genres from young adult fantasy to horror. Her debut novel, Stolen Book 1 of the Stolen series, has hit the Amazon bestseller charts twice. She has two books coming out in 2021: Chosen, the final book in the Stolen trilogy, and The Impostor and Other Dark Tales, a collection of dark fantasy and horror short stories.
To start off my interview with author Marlena Frank, I asked what is was that inspired her to start writing in the first place! Here is what Marlena said!
“As a child, I loved reading. I read just about anything I could get my hands on, from novels to comic books and graphic novels. I began holding movies to a higher standard and thought the book did it better (you know, normal bookworm things). Eventually I wanted to write my own stories. At first, I smashed all of my favorite cartoon characters into a single world for my own entertainment. That story grew to be many pages long and was absolutely unreadable! But it kicked off my love of creating my own worlds and crafting my own characters. I haven’t stopped since, but my writing sure has improved!”
That’s one of my favourite parts about writing, being able to create my own world, or a story the way I want to read it! Next in my interview with author Marlena Frank, I wondered what it was that steered her towards the horror genre. Here’s author Marlena Frank’s answer!
“I was a fearful child. I would see a monster in a movie or written in a book and my imagination would turn it into something far more disturbing. I ended up steering away from horror during my childhood. It was only in my teens that I bit the silver bullet and gave it another shot. I consumed Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series, hunted down copies of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels, found myself drawn to dark DC comic books like Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, and ended up lost in books by Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Before I realized it, horror became one of my favorite genres to read and soon write.”
I’m a huge fan of anything horror myself! Author Marlena Frank’s debut novel “Stolen” is a YA fantasy, full of adventure and surprises! So, next I asked Marlena if she could tell us a bit about her writing journey!
“Stolen was a passion project of mine over several years. I wanted to create something in the vein of Labyrinth and Return to Oz with a dash of Pan’s Labyrinth. It was the second original full-length novel I had written, spurred on with the motivation of NaNoWriMo and a desire to see a book of mine in print. At the time, I had already had several short stories published and a novella, but I had never had a full book of my writing. I wrote the first draft of Stolen trying to emulate the fantasy worlds that I had grown up admiring, but the story felt hollow. It wasn’t weird enough for me and it didn’t do justice to the characters who pushed to be created. I made the tough decision to scrap that first draft and rewrite the entire book. I pulled characters and scenes from the early draft, smoothed out transitions, added character arcs, and ramped up the excitement until the book resembled what it is today. It took another year to finish all the edits and tweaking, and another year to find a home with the small independent publisher: Parliament House Press. It was definitely a labour of love!”
The entire writing and publishing process can definitely be a roller coaster, that’s for sure! Author Marlena has written a fantastic variety of genres, and I wondered where she got all these different story ideas from! Here’s what author Marlena Frank said!
“I used to get the best ideas or even solve plot problems while commuting to work, but then the pandemic came along and I lost that long rumination time. These days I find myself inspired by my waking dreams, or even the imagery that comes to me when I’m almost asleep. I keep a log of story ideas, most of them from nightmares, so I can keep track of them all. It’s been an endless source of inspiration for me.”
Inspiration truly does come from anywhere and everywhere! Next in our interview I asked author Marlena Frank how long it took her to write a full novel.
“My first full-length original novel took five years from its first conception as a picture prompt on LiveJournal to it finding a home with Parliament House Press. It took another year to go through edits and reach publication. Books two and three in the series were far faster for me to write since I had already created the secondary world where Stolen takes place. That first book easily took the longest!”
It is definitely a long process to make sure a story is perfect and ready for readers! After having a peek at author Marlena Frank’s work and chatting about her books, I next asked if she had anything new coming out soon that we should keep an eye out for! Check it out!
“I am about to re-release an expanded edition of “The She-Wolf of Kanta”. This YA novella was originally published in 2018. I have since expanded it into a five-book series which will be released throughout 2022-2023. It features Mercy, the daughter of a werewolf hunter, who must somehow survive in a world where both werewolves and women are prey. Fans of mad scientists, found families, steampunk flavor, and a touch of shifter romance will love this series.”
You had me at romance! LOL and who doesn’t love a shifter?! To conclude my interview with author Marlena Frank, I asked her to leave all her info so everyone can find her books easily! Thank you so much, Marlena, for taking the time to do this amazing interview with me, I truly appreciate it! I wish you all the best, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for you!
“See my links below on where you can find me or follow my updates. I also want to give a big thank you to Sara for giving me the opportunity of taking part in this interview!”
Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/kgRm9
Thanks for checking out this weeks featured author! Come back next Sunday for another up close and personal interview with author Thomas Kane!