guest-interview by Linda FrankGuest Author Interview with Linda Frank

Please join me in welcoming Linda Frank, a resident of San Francisco, avid reader and author of After the Auction.

1. What inspired you to write your first book? My novel, After the Auction, originated from a story my mother told me about a man she met during World War II. Someone like him is a character in the book, but the plot evolved from the mysterious silences I got when trying to research him for a nonfiction article or biography.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? I hope the book informs readers about the historical context of the plot. As for message, it’s a story that ultimately tests whether a righteous end justifies less than righteous means.

3. How much of the book is realistic? The history encompasses realistic Holocaust experiences, including Nazi art looting, which remains a timely topic even now, 67 years after the end of World War II. References to illegal smuggling of arms and displaced persons to Palestine before Israel’s War of Independence are also a matter of record. A scholar on art looting has told me that the processes and difficulties I describe are very realistic.

4. What book are you reading now? I’m in the midst of three books right now (this drives my husband crazy). One is a huge biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (the British Royal Family is sort of a hobby), one is a biography of Iris Origo, and I started The List, a historical novel by journalist Martin Fletcher, on my Kindle on a trip the other day.

5. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? I recently read Restoration by Olaf Olaffson, who’s not a new author but new to me. It’s a novel based on a character something like Iris Origo. Olaffson is a top executive at Time Warner, which makes me wonder how he finds the time to write, especially since I’m not working full-time anymore and can’t seem to crank books out as regularly.

6. What are your current projects? I am currently working on a sequel novel featuring many of the same characters and set mostly in Shanghai, China. I’m also working on a nonfiction book about affinities among Jews and Chinese told through family stories, including mine.

7. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. I worked with a developmental editor, Alan Rinzler, who is a veteran in the publishing business. I found Alan after a draft or two, and he helped me shape the story and characters, sometimes by eliminating whole sections, scenes and people. It was an intense (and not cheap) process, but invaluable.

8. Do you have any advice for other writers? Two things: First, just do it!! Write it, and, if you experience rejection and/or long delays from the “conventional” publishing world of agents and editors, forget it and get your work out there. Second, eBooks are a phenomenon not to be ignored!

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