Monday, June 21, 2010

Author Interview ~ Franny Armstrong

Hey all, it’s another gorgeous summer Monday, and today we have with us on the couch author Franny Armstrong, a truly lovely lady who has always been a joy to talk to.

Welcome to The Menagerie Franny! Go ahead and get comfy, snag a drink and a Cabana Boy if you feel the need. And let’s go ahead and get started:

Where are you from, Franny?

I live in Ontario, Canada in a lovely small town in the country. We have ten acres of forest and a log style home.

Oh, wow, that sounds lovely! Tell us your latest news.

Gosh, there is so much to tell. This is a wonderful year as my career as an author takes off:
• Small Packages-A Christmas Story released last December.
• Tropical Balm released on April 8th. Extrasensory Elements Series Book 1-Author’s Demise
• Forever Blowing Bubbles released on June 18th,
• Extrasensory Elements Series Book 2-I B Jumpin’ July 3rd
• 7th Eye Private Investigations Book 1-The Mystic Touch releases August 21st.
• Also, I co hostess with my sister and fellow author, Kali Willows on every Sunday at 2 pm EST
• The list of interviews and blogs goes on and on so I won’t bother you with details. Let me just say that I’m loving this journey.

That is a lot of news! Huge Congrats on everything, hon! Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Every story I write has a message I want to reveal to my readers. I’m a positive minded individual who strives to be the best I can be, even in the face of trials and tribulations.

I can certainly relate to that. It does no good to whine and complain. Just smile and move on. What is the hardest scene you have had to write (published or not)? Why?

The most difficult scenes I write are when the villains murder or harm others. Though I tend to tone it down, the essence of violence or acts of hatred make me cringe. I’ve led a sheltered life, I suppose. Lol

I don’t think sheltered is the right word. I think it’s more that you have a conscience and harming others is not your nature so you have to go outside your comfort zone to write a character who does. Who is your favorite character you have written (published or not)? Why?

Tina the Tiger is best friends with Lana Anderson, heroine of Author’s Demise and she’s a hoot! She’s witty, wicked, wanton, and desires any man she fancies until she meets Brett Colton’s best friend and fellow undercover cop, Jessie Chan. They are pure magic together as she keeps him on his toes throughout the series.

She sounds like a blast. What books have most influenced your life most?

The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings took me away to a whole new world of possibilities and creation. I couldn’t put them down and found I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters. When that happens, you know your life will never be the same. I hope I can write stories that will capture reader’s imaginations too.

Those were awesome books! I have to agree. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

There are so many amazing authors to choose from that have influenced my life and writing, but I’d have to say at present Christine Feehan is my current mentor. Her writing fascinates me and she always answers my emails when I contact her. No matter how famous you get, if you personally keep the paths of communication open, then you are a perfect mentor.

What an amazing lady she is! Do you see writing as a career?

Writing is not only my career, but it pulled me out of nine years of illness and gave me the ability to know I will succeed and make my dreams come true.

I think it’s awesome when something motivates you so much and pulls you up out of some of the worst things. Who designed the covers?

Being a graphic artist, I’m pleased to say that I make most of my own covers and the Red Rose Publishing art department adds the finishing touches. Creativity doesn’t stop at writing for me.

They’re very nice! I especially like the Blowing Bubbles one. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Two quotes I live by: ‘NEVER SURRENDER! NEVER GIVE UP!’ and ‘A PUBLISHED AUTHOR IS AN UNPUBLISHED AUTHOR WHO NEVER QUIT!’ Without that, I would have given up long ago. The biggest part of being a successful author is to be persistent and keep on learning.

Those are both great quotes… I love that first one. Love Galaxy Quest. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

The second my head leaves the pillow I turn on the computer, do a few chores like feeding my pets, teeth, hair, perhaps laundry and such, and then back to the computer to do my emails, social networking, promoting, and marketing.

I take short breaks to continue to do the odd chores, head outside for a breath of fresh air and play with my dogs then take a walk with them.

The rest of the day is spent writing, editing, writing, editing, and everything else to do with writing including chatting with fellow authors.

Your morning sounds a bit like mine… except mine includes wrangling monkeys. What does your family think of your writing?

A girl couldn’t ask for better support. Though hubby won’t read any of my works, (darn! I was going to teach him a thing or two…lol) he’s always encouraging me to continue writing.

LOL, at least he’s supportive. My hubby doesn’t really read my stuff either. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

To date I’ve written close to thirty though some of them have yet to be edited and require work. I also write under another pseudonym as an erotic romance author as well as write non-fiction about environmental health issues.

Busy girl! Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

The only suggestions I give are the ones I live by: research, redo, re-edit, rewrite, and keep on polishing your skills. One can never learn too much. Also, follow guidelines exactly as specified when submitting manuscripts, and make sure you have excellent grammar and punctuation. Remember, the less your editor has to do, the sooner you’ll get your book out there.

All excellent advice. And now, it’s time for our “absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing” questions: Boxers, briefs, boxerbriefs…. Or commando? Why?

All of the above. It depends on the occasion, though Commando leaves nothing to the imagination and plenty to think about. GROWLLLLLL

LOL, What is your strangest habit?

Writing at all hours of the day and night. I’m an insomniac who gets up in the middle of the night to write when my muse leads me down the path of a new story. I make good use of the time until I can sleep once again.

Ah, another fellow insomniac! You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

I believe we are given good and bad experiences so that we can learn and grow. When you cease to do so, life loses its luster and we stagnate. I once had cervical/uterine cancer and was never so frightened in my life. After it was all over, the surgery and fear since the wonderful doctors got it all, I realized that I’d found an empathy for others who have health issues and an understanding I’d never known before. Even losing my brother was something I look at in a different light. Bill was my hero and I see him in my kids sometimes. He lives on as does his memory. It’s in our best interests to take what negatives in life we go through and find the message within.

Absolutely, I have to agree with everything you’ve said. When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

That writing isn’t the only thing I need to work on. LOL I just had a birthday and decided that if I can succeed through everything else and make my dreams come true, then I can also do so with my health and weight.

Well, good for you! What were you doing at midnight last night?

Recovering from the stomach flu so I can get back to writing. Exhaustion is a good way to get a good night’s sleep.

Yeah, but it’s a horrid way to earn that sleep. I’m sorry you were sick! What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from ?

I have no idea where this came from but I live it every day: ‘A Published Author Is An Unpublished Author Who Never Quit!’

When I read that one day, I knew it was written for me. Just like Terry Fox, the young Canadian runner who was dying of cancer yet ran across Canada on one leg, one prosthetic leg and nearly made it all the way, I learned that you must never give up in the face of the inevitable. Fight until the end and you’ve succeeded where no one else has.

If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

My greatest wish is to make enough money to take care of my family. My husband has always taken care of me and our three children, my Mom and sister have been there for me through thick and thin, and my kids are my source of joy and love. Though there are many more family and friends in my life who count too but those are the ones who are nearest to me. Though money isn’t everything, it would sure pave the way to making their lives flow smoother. Love is the foundation of our lives and we thrive in its glow.

It would be so nice to be able to give those we love a rest and to show them how much they mean to us. Well, Franny, we’re at the end of our interview, but not our time. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today. Stick around, hound the boys, have a drink and just enjoy yourself. It was so great getting to know you better.

Thank you for the wonderful interview. It was a pleasure answering the questions and fun too. Sometimes I need to be reminded of the blessings in life I have and what I have to offer to others who need a boost.

To your good health.

Here’s what Franny had to say about herself and her writing (otherwise known as a bio):


Okay, so the voices in my head (muses so that no one with white straight jackets come to get me) are round the clock insomniacs who keep me up at all hours until I get the characters and plots on computer.

This is how it began many years ago (and no, I'm not going to tell you exactly how many) when my mother taught me to write out my feelings and use my imagination to create stories.

Years later I finally put many stories down on my laptop, fulfilling a lifetime of fantasy and dreams. I've also worked in Environmental Technology, on newspapers writing articles, and in non-fiction.

Most of my works include cops, private investigators, and the worst of criminal minds pitted against one another while my heroines and heroes find true love. Anything goes in my stories as my characters use their psychic abilities, and there are many different kinds, to solve cases and track down killers, drug dealers and thieves.

I've even thrown in a few wacky witches and over forty couples who find new love against all odds. The sky's the limit in my mind, giving you spicy to hot romantic relationships with lots of feisty heroines who use every available wile to keep their lovers on their toes.

Having psychic abilities can have its own downfalls but learning to use them to greatest advantage is what keeps them growing and learning as they battle evil forces.

Hope you enjoy the reads when they are published beginning in December 2009. For now, please feel free to read about my characters on their own pages under BOOKS on the link column.

Franny Armstrong-ParaNovelGirl includes links to Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and more to purchase:
Extrasensory Elements Series Book 1-Author's Demise release March 11
Tropical Balm releases April 8
Forever Blowing Bubbles releases June 18
Extrasensory Elements Series Book 2-I B Jumpin’ releases July 3
7th Eye Private Investigations Series Book 1-The Mystic Touch releases in August

Forever Blowing Bubbles by Franny Armstrong

A powerful family of witches, the Knights, and the equally powerful family of wizards, the Thornes, have been feuding for decades, so long in fact, that only two people remember what it’s about.

Gemini Knight, youngest of six sisters, is a bungling witch, whose spell backfires, landing her and her friend in the bedroom of a gorgeous naked stranger fresh from the shower. Before he could say a word they disappear, leaving only their giggles behind.

Determined to find the witch who transported through his tight security spells, the wealthy, powerful corporate wizard, eldest of six brothers, seeks her out, only to fall under her spell when she lands them both in a Dumpster, making him laugh for the first time in his adult life. The only problem is that as their mystical love ignites, the two families rekindle the feud full throttle to keep the couple apart!

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