2017 is already off to an excellent start and today I’m thrilled to introduce my first interviewee of the year, Frank Martin of Burning Willow Press. His first book is actually two stand alone novellas published together and it sounds delightfully creepy–but don’t take my word for it, learn it from Frank!
What happens when an overbearing family drives a teenage girl into the arms of a mysterious, pale stranger? How can a high school junior explain having strange dreams of a Nazi concentration camp after being bitten by his neighbor’s monstrous dog? And who will win when two iconic creatures of the night clash on a desolate WWI battlefield? Dive into a world of werewolves and vampires with SKIN DEEP and ORDINARY MONSTERS, two standalone stories featured in a dual novella from author Frank Martin. And don’t forget to check out the bonus comic short HORRORS OF WAR found in both ends of this doubled-sided work of pulp and terror.
Can you tell us a bit more about Skin Deep/Ordinary Monsters?
Frank: Both stories essentially revolve around young adult relationships. Skin Deep follows two sisters, Jessica and Laura, who are very different from one another. The older one, Jessica, is an artist while Laura is a track star. But they both held certain resentments towards their parents as teenagers. Jessica learned from her mistakes and grew past them, but she’s afraid Laura is going down a similar path. The question of the story is whether or not she can stop Laura before she does something she’ll regret. Ordinary Monsters follows Liam as he uncovers a familial secret his best friend Eric is hiding that dates all the way back to World War II. The two boys are close. Very close. But they aren’t family, and Liam is forced to decide whether or not Eric’s dark secret is worth embracing or running away from.
Me: It’s amazing how many of our fears stem from our relationships–both with ourselves and other people. I can’t wait to see how these relationships unfold in the book!
Which story did you write first?
I wrote Ordinary Monsters first after being inspired by a World War II documentary. It took me over ten years to write. Skin Deep, on the other hand, took me about ten weeks. Writing is funny sometimes, isn’t it?
Me: Every project is different–and sometimes we simply aren’t ready to write the ideas we have right away. Tackling big historical events like WWII can be especially tricky.
Why did you decide to publish these two novellas together?
I wanted to put together more than just a book. I wanted to put together a complete experience. I was inspired by the Grindhouse double feature from a few years ago. It had two movies and a series of 70’s inspired trailers. I wanted to do something similar, so I put together a double-sided print book with two stories and two short comics. And I figured what better monsters to pair up then the iconic two: werewolves and vampires.
Me: That’s awesome! I love double features and I can’t help the sudden urge to do something similar…
How did you find Burning Willow Press?
I was friends with Kindra from before. So when she and her husband started BWP I knew they would be open to such a wild and crazy project.
If you could give an aspiring author only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to take chances. You’ll never know when an opportunity will turn out to be a big one unless you follow through on it.
Me: All too true. We can’t know what will be a big deal until it already is.
What are you working on next that readers can look forward to?
I’m currently working on a fantasy/sci-fi trilogy about floating cities. Tons of characters and action. I’m on book two now and it’s been a blast to write.
Me: Floating cities? Sounds badass. I can’t wait to read about them.
Thanks, Frank, for the insights into this awesome project!
Frank Martin is a prose and comic writer that always enjoys exploring new genres and mediums. He has an urban fantasy anthology series Modern Testament currently published by Insane Comics. His debut horror novel Skin Deep/Ordinary Monsters was also recently released with Burning Willow Press. Frank lives in New York with his wife and two kids.