Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Interview with sci-fi/fantasy author Marie Kammerer-Franke

Sci-fi/fantasy author Marie Kammerer-Franke joins me today to talk about her new novel, A Charming Nightmare.

Marie Kammerer Franke is originally from St. Paul, MN spent her childhood moving from city to city in the US; from St. Paul MN, to Chicago ILL., St. Louis MO, W. Palm Beach FL, and finally settling in Upstate NY. Traveling always gave Marie a sense of adventure, daydreaming about all the places she hadn’t gotten to see yet. It showed in her writing, at a very young age Marie would write stories about these make-believe cities and towns. What the people were like, what the scenery looked like, what the air smelt like. Eventually, the US or Earth weren’t big enough in possibilities to explore, so Marie took the only natural step in creating galaxies and entire species to dream about.

Please tell us about your current release.
A Charming Nightmare is book 1 in the ACN series. It follows our heroine Aylin as she is kidnapped, dragged through time and space in an attempt to save her distant descendants:

40,000 years after Earth’s demise we are still trying to settle. That’s what the survivors are called now, settlers. Survivor, by the way, is derogatory word. So are words like gadget, computer, and machine. Those are people. We evolve into them, and something in the mechanics that make up a human is killing. That’s where I come in, not intentionally mind you, but forcibly by our distant descendants. They could be a little more hospitable, and offer a tissue when telling you that your family, job, hairdresser, and newspaper boy are all dust. But they don’t. So you compromise; you translate children’s books for scientists who cannot read or write its written language in hopes of curing their diseased parts, and in return they back you up when you start a war to end all wars on their front lawn. Sounds fair, right?

What inspired you to write this book?
A Charming Nightmare is based off the antics of my young sons. One night while mom began their bedtime story with "Once upon a time..." to where they replied "The world blew up!!" And ACN was born. Each night her children would wait for the survivor's of the 'world blew up' to come to life again. Years after, when these two boys grew into young men I wrote down the memories of when the boys blew up the world; aging the characters, maturing the conflict, and language until it turned into a series. Something my children could open again now as adults.

Excerpt from A Charming Nightmare:
“There is a ledge, which is another word for edge, lip, cliff, sill, or in this case cathedral roof top.

Remember this; there is always a ledge, even if you can’t see it. Keep in mind that we are forever teetering on it, one step away from falling. Be willing to step forward and fall, forever and ever fall, amen. Take a chance, chase a thought, and follow a breath over the edge and see where it goes after it has touched back on the ground. My grandfather has been quoted calling these ledges quixotic endeavors. He has equally noted that I am what Charles Dodgson envisioned when dreaming of his white rabbit. As proof, I am standing at the beginning of such an endeavor, my toes dipping over the roof’s gable into morning’s breath. All I can think of is that ‘one giant leap for mankind’ spiel Neil Armstrong said years ago and how right he was, one small step. That thought will be all the coaxing needed to take it.”

What exciting story are you working on next?Currently, I am in the editing stages of book 2 in the ACN series; Sister’s Lament. It’s darker and more adult than A Charming Nightmare, taking my writing to places that can be uncomfortable for an author to allow to go public, knowing fully well that my family will be reading it.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always written, the first ‘published’ story I wrote I was 7, writing a story about a red balloon that traveled the world looking for a purpose, only to end up back in the hands of the little boy who had let go. That story was published in my elementary school's newsletter. I’ve been asking for pen and paper every day since then..

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
While writing full time is the ultimate goal, there is still a mortgage to pay; I currently am mother to two young adult boys (and as any parent of boys knows when you have one you have a houseful of ‘adopted’ children as well...so I tell people I have 6 boys). I’ve also been disgustingly happily married for over 15 years, work with handicapped people during the day, volunteer as head costume designer for a local school, and judge robotics....when do I find time? Late at night when my brain won’t shut off. I sit down in total quiet and darkness, plug in a set of earbuds, turn up my ACN playlist until it’s all I hear, and mindlessly write until my brain gets tired.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t outline, or have a direction to go (it’s a perk writing science fiction). The closest you’ll find to a step-by-step direction in my writing are little post-its or notes written on receipts littering every single space in my office. Some of them ACN related; most of them just one word thoughts on future projects or two sentences that I had to get out of my head that instant. I have been known to ask a complete stranger for a pen and write a thought down on my hand if need be, just so it’s not trapped inside my brain.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think it depends on what day of the week you’re asking. I have always wanted to be a writer; but I have also at one time or another dabbled in singing, photography, mythology, and astronomy.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I adore a handful of things; My family & friends, coffee or tea, tacos, hiking, a good nap, and not taking life or this world too serious. I am a true believer that no one is truly alone, we have an entire planet of faces to talk with!! You can join me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and ACNbooks.com.


Thanks for being here today, Marie!

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