Hey, everybody! Top of the evening to you, and welcome back to our September Spotlight of indie authors here at Blackwood’s. Today’s special guest is the awesome Frank Parker! Let’s have a little chit-chat with him.
- Everyone has a story about why they love to write. What’s yours?
I was an avid reader from an early age – one of those people that cannot resist reading the back of the cereal packet and sauce bottle whilst eating breakfast! And I was read to; my mother’s way of sharing her own love of reading with her children. Our knowledge and understanding of the world around us comes from reading. Our formal education consists principally in studying prescribed texts under the guidance of our teachers.
It was not long before I felt the need to challenge some of the discoveries I made through reading. What way is there to do that, other than writing?
- If there’s a particular book you’re trying to market right now, will you tell us about it?
May I be cheeky here and mention two books? My most recently published novel is called Transgression. It is an attempt to link the many sexual abuse scandals that were revealed over the past few years to the sexual liberation of the 1970s. A drunken romp in the back of a car that took place in 1974 has repercussions 40 years later for a successful politician.
My previous book tells the story of the Norman occupation of Ireland in the 12th century, through the eyes of the young Irish woman whose marriage to their leader was the price paid to him by her father. A number of readers of both books have told me that they prefer Strongbow’s Wife, so I recently extended it’s discoverability by re-publishing it in a paper-back edition at feedaread.com.
- Most authors in the market nowadays have experienced their fair share of ups and downs. Will you tell us how the positive moments make up for the negative ones?
Positive reviews are always welcome, but nothing can match actually meeting someone who has read your book and tells you they enjoyed it.
- If you could say one thing to the whole world, and have each and every person hear you – what would you say? It could be about your books, or anything at all in the whole universe.
Don’t believe everything you read. Read as widely as possible. Study all sides of a disputed issue, then make up your own mind.
- Who’s your favorite author? Are you more into modern or classic literature? What do you think of modern literature on the whole?
I much prefer modern – by which I mean 20th and 21st century – literature. English writers like Ian McEwan and Julian Barnes, for example. Since moving to Ireland a decade ago I’ve discovered some great Irish writing, too, including Irish authors now based in the USA, like Colm Toibin and Colum McCann. And, if that sounds like an all male list, I must add that there are many women writers I admire, too: Edna O’Brien has been around long enough to be ennumerated with the classics. Lionel Shriver gets to the heart of modern dilemmas. And I’ve recently read brilliant books by newer writers like Saskia Sarginson, Sarah Baume and Jana Petken
I’m still a voracious reader. I don’t confine myself to fiction, enjoying memoir, biography and political treatises as well as novels. I also include independently published authors in my reading list. I’m a great admirer of the way independent authors come together for mutual support through groups like IASD and Independents for Charity, the latter producing anthologies the proceeds from the sale of which go to support the Macmillan Nurses cancer support charity in the UK.
Not everyone likes the kind of writing that earns praise from what might be termed “the literati”, those who achieve recognition via prizes like the Mann-Booker. When I posted my 5 star review of Colum McCann’s Booker long-listed Transatlantic on Goodreads, recently, I was astonished to discover, among the reviews already posted, some that were highly critical. Maybe because I’m still open to every style and genre I am not sufficiently critical myself!
Wow! That was really interesting, Frank! It’s obvious Mr. Parker is a widely-read individual, and a very good judge of modern literature. I might have to ask him to give me a little crash course!
Well, I hope you enjoyed today’s interview, everybody. To learn more about Frank Parker, have a look at the links listed below!