Tuesday, October 23, 2012

G.M. Frazier - WINNER of Kindle Book Review's Literary Fiction Award #AuthorInterview

Gary, a big congratulations to you on winning the Kindle Book Review Best of Literary Fiction Award.

How do you feel about A Death on the Wolf now that you've won?

It's a great honor to win this award, especially given the number of books my novel was up against and the quality of the works that were in the top five finalist category.  As I was writing A Death on the Wolf, I felt like I was producing something special.   That feeling was confirmed when I sent the final draft to my proofreader and she said she was having a hard time proofing because she would get so engrossed in the story.  Winning KBR's "Best Indie Book of 2012" for literary fiction has validated all the positive reviews readers have posted on Amazon, and I could not be more pleased.

Yes, it feels good to be validated on a job well done. Looking back, what was the biggest challenge you faced while writing this book?
Setting aside the necessary time.  Once I have a novel outlined in my head, the story itself tends to unfold for me quickly as I'm writing.  It's nothing for me to sit at the computer for 14 hours straight and write when I'm really "in the story."  Fortunately, I was able to allow myself that sort of latitude in writing A Death on the Wolf last year, which enabled me to complete the novel, including revisions and editing, in three months.

Wow! That is fantastic. I'm sure you were in your zone, so to speak. What other coming of age books are comparable to A Death on the Wolf?

I think my novel compares favorably to John Knowles' A Separate Peace, Tom Coyne's A Gentleman's Game, Francine Prose's Goldengrove, and (oddly enough) Charles Portis' True Grit and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

Good company to keep. What are you working on next?
I'm about half way finished with a short novel called The Taking of Trevor Ward.  It's about a private investigator who winds up in the middle of the kidnapping of a child, first as the suspected kidnapper, but ultimately as the person who uncovers the plot behind the kidnapping that leads all the way to Washington, D.C.

Whoa! Sounds like seriously thrilling stuff. You wrote A Death on the Wolf in three months, but in general, how long does it take for you to write a book? Give us an idea of your typical timeline.
How long it takes me to complete a book is totally dependent on the time constraints of family and my law practice.  I try to write some everyday, but I'm not always able to do that. The writing of A Death on the Wolf went rather quickly.  I wrote the first sentence on July 21, 2011 at 9:50 P.M.  On October 23, 2011 at 2:19 P.M. I wrote the last sentence.  I do a lot of rewriting, but I don’t complete the entire manuscript and then start the rewrites.  I do it by chapter.  Each chapter went through at least three or four extensive revisions, so when I finally got to the end of the epilogue the manuscript was ready for the proofreader.  As for editing, I have worked as an editor for a publishing company and I do freelance editing.  I’m fortunate in that I can edit my own work and that takes place when I’m revising and rewriting.  This is an aspect of the craft of writing that I share with Anne Rice and John Updike (who gave me a lot of good advice and was an inspiration for me when I started writing.)  What I can’t do, however, is proofread my own work.  I have to pay someone to do that.

Sounds like a very efficient method. Thanks for sharing. So, what inspired you to start writing? Was there an event or a person?
From my time as the entertainment reporter for my junior high newspaper right through high school and into college, I've always been told I had a knack for writing.  In my first job while in college I spent a great deal of time writing technical procedural manuals.  I published my first journal article when I was a senior in college.  By the time I decided to try my hand at fiction in the early 90s, I had several non-fiction publications.  Shortly after reading Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides I got the idea for a story and sat down and started writing it.  I was living just outside of Boston at the time, working for a family who knew John Updike.  They introduced me to him and he gave me a lot of invaluable advice and encouragement which helped me to stick with fiction writing over the years since then.

What a wonderful story--meeting John Updike. More writing questions, please bear with me since I'm a writer and curious to learn from an award winning author. Do you work on one project at a time or multiple? What helps you to focus?
Generally, I work on one project at a time.  But I have had new ideas pop into my head and found myself stopping one story to start another.  Listening to music or songs that, for whatever reason, resonate with me for a given scene, theme, or character in my story help me to focus and further develop that scene, theme, or character as I'm writing.  For example, I listened to One Republic's song "Secrets" over and over when I was writing about the character of Frankie in A Death on the Wolf.  For the character of Mary Alice, it was Plaint White T's "Rhythm of Love."

I love music. Wish I could include a playlist with every book. Okay, last one, promise. Any advice for writers who are beginning this journey?
The advice I used to give my authors when I worked as an editor for a publishing company was this: To write good fiction, you have to read good fiction.  Good writers are invariably good readers.

Yes, that's right. And reading good fiction can rub off on you. Thanks Gary for joining us here and giving some really wonderful insights. And congratulations again winning the Kindle Book Review Literary Fiction Award!

 is available from Amazon.

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  1. This sounds like a must-read. Congratulations and thanks for this interview.

  2. Congratulations, Gary and I'm happy for you to win the award. Yes, this book is definitely on my to-read list.