Frank is a comic writer and author that is not as crazy as his work makes him out to be…seriously. Since his writing career began he’s had multiple short stories published in horror anthologies by both Burning Willow Press and Stitched Smile Publications. Frank has also had comic shorts appear in the “fluff noir” anthology series Torsobear and the all-ages horror anthology Cthulhu is Hard to Spell. Frank also wrote and produced the comic anthology series Modern Testament, which featured a wide ensemble of artists throughout its four volumes. Frank’s novels include the YA sci-fi thriller Predestiny published by Crossroads Press and the zombie horror Mountain Sickness published by Severed Press. He currently lives in New York with his wife and three kids.
Frank, thank you for agreeing to this interview. You have a great collection of stories in both novellas and comics. Many writers are looking to broaden their horizons in the writing industry. Where did your love for comics start and what gave you the idea to produce your comic anthology, Modern Testament? What is the comic about?
So Modern Testament is an anthology series. It consists of four volumes, each containing three stories. All of them have been collected into a single trade, as well. The general theme of the series is biblical beings in our modern world. So angels, demons, etc. Each story focuses on a different one, and all the stories are standalone. So you can pick up any volume and just start reading. Initially, I was a lover of comics before a writer of them. I write prose stories. But I figured I love comics and I love writing…why not combine those two passions? Initially, I started writing short comics to practice. It was from those short comics that Modern Testament was born.
I have also dabbled in comic writing. I personally love storytelling that medium. Do you find yourself favoring comic writing over novel writing? Do you have a favorite issue or story in the collection?
Each medium has its strengths and weaknesses. I enjoy the collaborative nature of comics, working with all sorts of different artists to bring a story to life. But I also enjoy the direct connection novel writing has with the reader. It’s your words, unfiltered, that the audience consumes. My favorite story in Modern Testament is the second story of volume 1. The plot is fairly straightforward: a demon takes possession of a girl and has to exorcised. But the story is told through the demon’s point of view, so getting inside that little monster’s head was a lot of fun.
I would be foolish not to ask you about your current Kickstarter campaign, Hollow Testament: A Supernatural Noir Crossover Comic Book. As of this interview, you are just shy of the first stretch goal! Please give us ALL the details.
Hollow Testament is the first of a series of crossovers I’m doing between Modern Testament and other comic series. Hollow Girl is a vigilante that’s able to channel restless spirits so that they can enact their revenge upon the people who killed them. That kind of deep storytelling is perfect to have her go up against characters from biblical mythology. She’ll encounter Joan the Divine (a play on John the Divine, Cain, and Death). The book has three short stories and I describe it as a horror noir anthology.
Besides several awesome anthologies, your latest publication was Predestiny, co-written with the prolific C.T. Phipps. Cowriting novels can always be challenging, especially during the character creation process. Did each of you take a character in the book or was it a combined effort to flesh them out?
It was a fairly combined effort. We both had disagreements on things, but overall the novel is a real collaborative effort. We both contributed many details and aspects that I think made the story stronger.
What advice would you give to writers who are planning to collaborate? What should they look for in a good co-writer?
Someone has to take lead on a story. You can throw ideas back and forth, but at the end of day, one person has to be the deciding factor. If that’s not understood, then it’s very easy to find irreconcilable differences when it comes to plot and characters. That’s how partnerships fall apart.
Okay. I have been waiting the entire interview to have you tell me about Mountain Sickness. Not only does the cover capture my attention but a good zombie book belongs on my bookshelf. First off, tell me if your zombies are fast or slow moving, and then give me a synopsis!
When I first came up with the idea for Mountain Sickness I scoured the internet looking for a zombie story that took place at a ski resort. I couldn’t find any! So I wrote it myself. The story takes place in Telluride, an isolated ski town in Colorado. A zombie outbreak leaves the town cut off from the rest of the world, and small band of survivors must decide whether to escape or keep the outbreak from spreading. As for the zombies themselves, they evolve over the course of the story. So I’m not going to tell you all about them, just that the threat in the beginning of the story isn’t necessarily the threat at the end.
What can we expect from you in 2019? Will you be publishing any more stories?
I have a sci-fi military novel slated for some time this year as well as a couple other comic projects in the works. Sorry, I don’t have more details than that right now.
It has been a pleasure, Frank! Please tell us where fans can find you online or in the upcoming year at events.
The best place to follow along with me is to sign up for my mailing list at www.frankthewriter.com. I can be found at Twitter/Instagram/Bookbub under the handle @frankthewriter and you can always like my Facebook author page at www.facebook.com/frankmartinwriter.