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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Autor Interview: Franny Armstrong

The Long and the Short of It is pleased to have Franny Armstrong with us today . Franny's latest book, I B Jumpin', the second book in her Extrasensory Elements series, releases this month. The first book in the series, Author's Demise, was released in March.

Franny's publisher is Red Rose Publishing.

"The first time I submitted, I was rejected. (so sad)," she told me. "However, this particular small book press took the time to tell me WHY I was rejected so I had a chance to repair my ‘issues’ and try submitting again. I’ve now sold three singles and two series with them. (a total of 20 books so far). Small Packages-A Christmas Story released on December 10, 2009, much to my delight. Author's Demise released in March, I B Jumpin' releases this month, and another in August."

It's not always easy being an author. Franny is a full time author who was disabled with BiPolar II disorder and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) in 2002 and thought her life had ended.

"Little did I know, after becoming a writer to put my feelings on paper…ah…computer, I found that my life was only beginning!"

Extrasensory Elements Series Book 1-Author’s Demise featurs a hero who is an undercover cop who was hired by CEO Lana Anderson’s boss to protect her, though in the guise of an author from out of town. Forced to ‘put him up’ at her home, Lana soon finds that not only squeezing the toothpaste in the middle is something about him that annoys her. He dogs her every step to watch over her.

The evil villain is a psychopath who is killing off the celebrated authors of Brinkman-Bonnette Publishing in the exact same manner as their characters are killed off in the books they write. Stalking Lana since she releases the novels, the killer terrorizes her wherever she goes. This story keeps you on the edge of your seat through the entire book.

I asked Franny to describe her day.

"Since being a full time author, I do my ‘chores’, feed my pets and help my hubby run his business by answering the phone. (hate that part but love is love) I also have three young adults to my name. I take my laptop everywhere, even on vacation and type every spare minute I get when I’m not networking and socializing to push the books."

She admitted that there's no such thing as "balance" in her life. She just goes with the flow and writes when she can, edits, promos, updates and builds websites, and so on.

She promotes her books in every social network she can: ie: Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Blogtalkradio, etc. "so many more it would take a week to list them," she said. "The best way to get noticed is to make people nearly sick to hear your name just one more time! (not really) It takes a lot of repetitiveness to become popular. I’m still working on it."

Some writing tips from Franny: "The things that will give you the BIG BAD BOING from publishers are: poor punctuation, repetitiveness, spelling errors, and pace. There’s nothing that will turn them off more than sending them into a nap before the first chapter is done. Make it exciting. Get critique partners. And no matter what, never throw out a rejection. Learn from them. The reason we get them is because something about the book isn’t working."

Character creation doesn’t seem to be an issue for Franny. She told me that they are swirling around in her head constantly.

"I have to write them down or my brain gets all muddled and I can’t think straight," she admitted. "Keep a notepad handy or the computer and write them down as they come to you. Sitting in the doctor’s office, I study people. Or at the game, or shopping, or whatever; the world is full of interesting characters. I research all the time. If you know someone who’s a cop, grill them. My brother and son are skydivers, (Book 2 I B Jumpin’ after Author’s Demise). My brother told me that he couldn’t believe how accurate my writing was about skydiving." She laughed and added, "And I never left the ground!"

Another piece of advice she has for writers—"Every five to ten minutes your story should have something to make your reader say…'Hmmmm.' Twists and turns make a story interesting. Don’t give them what they expect. Make their heads spin with unanswered questions about your characters."

I asked Franny to tell us ten things about herself that no one knows.

"Oh, wow, let’s see: Ten things about me that no one knows?

I’m a chocoholic

I love singing, though no one can stand to hear me

I dream about the amazing characters, immersing myself in their lives

My favorite color is green…nearly any color.

The man of my dreams I met in a bar when I was 19 and still have him 30 years later. Awesome guy. Most of my characters are based on him.

I’m a tad shy, but still get up on stage and speak to a large audience without issues (give or take some sweaty palms).

Kindness and diplomacy are two things about me that can be considered faults because I never tell people when they bother me about something. I just stew in my own anger.

My children are my life, even though they are adults now. I look forward to holding my grandson like you wouldn’t believe.

You could be next in one of my books if I get to know you a bit as my mind stirs with interest when I meet people.

Ah, a tough one: I love indigenous artwork and the essence of history. My native name is STAR WOMAN (Nemgueeswka) However, I haven’t got a drop of native blood in me. More’s the shame.”

Finally, I asked Franny what advice she would give to an aspiring author.

"‘NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER!’ Your dreams must become reality to succeed. I waited six long years (it seemed long to me) before I got a break. I had the previous words taped to the wall in front of the computer as well as ‘A Published Author Is An Unpublished Author WHO NEVER QUIT!’

Words to live by, believe me."
You can keep up with Franny on her blog,

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