Name: Frank J. Edler
Where are you from: New “Friggin” Jersey
Fiona: A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc :
Frank: I was born in Brooklyn, NY in the 70’s when things were kinda hairy. My mother was an alien and my father was a lamp post. I was fed a steady dose of soap bars as a child as punishment for my foul mouth and incessant pranks. Little did anyone know the soap only made me stronger, faster, more agile. My brain filled with bubbles that were 99.9% pure. It was an amazing time. I left the city and moved out to the country where I heard tell there is an amazing banana bread store. I never found it, but I did find love. I loved that tuna sandwich like no other and we were married on the Fourth of July, just like Tom Cruise in that one movie about said date. It was a magical time but alas was not meant to be. I ate it. I tried to move on, writing books and sharing them with the local townsfolk. They would tell me to shut up and make sure I flushed before I left. Never once did I wash my hands like the signs demanded. So here I am, dirty handed and telling my tales. Wanna hear one?
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Frank: Oh Snap! I’ve got a NEW book coming out. A novella really. I refuse to call it a novelette for two reasons: 1) It’s legitimately novella length and 2) The word novelette grates on my nerves like yellowed, cracked fingernails on a chalkboard.
Anyway! The book is called Death Gets A Book and it will be available in paperback, Kindle eBook and Nook as well (with iBookstore and others to follow.) on November 11th! It’s a crazy story, just like me!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Frank: I began writing in first grade, mostly because they made me and told me if I didn’t I’d never make anything of myself. I guess I took their threats to heart.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Frank: I suppose when my first short story, DEATH GETS A LIFE, was published for winning a contest. Still, it’s difficult for me to give myself the moniker as writing is not my main source of income but as my friend and much better writer Danger Slater said, “You write man, you’re a writer!”
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Frank: Desperation. I had just walked off a job I held for 17 years. I had no game plan but I knew I didn’t want to work in that place any longer. I was already writing and getting submitted to anthologies so I decided it was high time to put together my own book. The result was SCARED SILLY, a short story collection that put my style and range on display. I found gainful employment rather quickly but I did manage to write a novel length book during my unemployed period that I am still shopping around to potential publishers.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Frank: Humorous horror. I can’t shake it, try as I might. I grew up reading the horror of the 80’s and 90’s. Then in the late 2000’s I discovered a genre known as Bizarro which I love. Once I started writing seriously, I found my style walked the thin line between the two genres. I guess I’m sort of like Christopher Moore meets Carlton Mellick III.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Frank: As I mentioned, the first piece I had published was titled DEATH GETS A LIFE. I had a lot of really great feedback on the character. So as I was thinking of new ideas, I felt it was time to give those who enjoyed the story more of what they wanted, Death. It was time DEATH GETS A BOOK. And then I wrote a story from there. in the story, Death does actually get a book so it’s kind of like double entendre, which I always find super sexy. Say it with me … Double. Entendre. Oooh, I’ll get the condoms!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Frank: Yes. If you have a spouse that doesn’t appreciate you, immerse yourself in your job. If that doesn’t work, kill ‘em.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Frank: Our protagonist and antagonist find themselves at a donkey show in Tijuana within the first ten pages of the book. So, yes, very realistic. Then there are the grim reapers and the banshees. There is midget tossing and witches from Salem and Monster Truck rallys. Yeah, all real life stuff. It’s all just a perversion of the life I’ve lived, ya know. Write what you know!
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Frank: Horror from the 80’s and 90’s and more recently, Bizarro books. My writing is sort of like if they made a movie version of IT starring The Toxic Avenger.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Frank: My two favorite reads this year are C.V. Hunt’s RITUALISTIC HUMAN SACRIFICE which is a great grindhouse horror book and Danger Slater’s I WILL ROT WITHOUT YOU, an amazing grotesque bizarro novel. Read both of them, they are the future of words!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Frank: My best friend, Jeff was the one who told me to write. He told me to stop dreaming and to just write the things I think would be cool. He knew I could be legit. He knew whatever I wrote would count. He knew I didn’t have to wait for Brian Keene to write the things in my head, he told me to write it and that made it okay for me to do that.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Frank: I would love to see it as a career. Unfortunately, the career I have is very lucrative and it would take a miracle of fortune and sales to make me consider writing full time. I’m happy writing and creating when I can and that won’t ever stop.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Frank: If I had, I would have changed it. There are only so many times you can pour over your work and analyze it and re-read and re-edit it. There comes a point where you just have to say, this is good where it is and put it out there and then move on to the next thing to obsess over.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Frank: Yes, when I realized girls enjoyed reading it.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Frank: Ok, here you go.
“The inside of the pink donkey club actually looked like something. It was dimly lit but it had a sizable bar, a stage and a lot of cocktail tables scattered around the front of the stage. There was a peculiar musk to the air. Wanda chalked it up to the scent of third world Mexican body odor.
Wanda led her husband to a set of open bar stools. They both sat down and soaked in the ambiance. The place wasn’t half as bad as Wanda was expecting it to be. She wasn’t about to let her husband off the hook that easily though.
“Get me a zinfandel,” she ordered Vincent.
“Hun, I don’t think this is the type of bar that serves wine, sweetie,” Vincent said meekly.
“What kind of bar doesn’t serve wine? You dragged me through summer in Hell in the middle of a third world ghetto to a bar that doesn’t serve wine? Vincent Mortimer Bennett, you get me a glass of wine or I am walking out of this bar and out of your life!”
The bartender was about to walk over to them but hesitated when Wanda raised her voice. Vincent hesitated. He hesitated a beat too long and Wanda pounced on him.
“Oh! What? That’s what you want? You want me out of your life? Well, I’ve got news for you. You won’t get rid of me that easily.” She reached into her purse and pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.
She slid a cigarette out of the pack and lit it, her hands shaking like a Parkinson’s patient the whole way. The tobacco glowed red at the end as she pulled a drag in long and deep. Then the tip erupted in a plume of smoke as her lungs eased off the nicotine fit. Her posture returned to a calm state.
The bartender approached them.
“¿Que quieres?” he asked.
“I’ll have una cerveza, por favor,” Vincent replied, trying to use as much Spanish as he knew, “and a zinfandel for my esposa.”
The bartender tilted his head like a confused puppy, “¿Que? Zeen feen dell? No se, poppy.”
Vincent turned to his wife, “He doesn’t know what that is, hunny.”
Wanda turned away from Vincent and leaned over the bar getting as close to the bartender’s face as she could.
“I. Want-o. Pink-o. Zinfandel-a! Pronto!” she over enunciated.
Wanda wasn’t going to put up with this shit. She knew damn well this bartender could speak English. And she knew this bar had to have pink zinfandel. What kind of bar didn’t have pink zinfandel?
The bartender looked past Wanda, right at Vincent. His quick glare made it clear he was to calm his wife down or he was going to have a big problem.
“Vino! She would like vino. I’m sorry. Do you have wine?” Vincent pleaded.
A light went on over the bartender’s head. His threatening demeanor disappeared, replaced now by a big bright smile. He bent down behind the bar and popped back up a few moments later with a glass of wine. It was filled fuller than usual. It didn’t appear to be a zinfandel; its hue was crimson not transparent pink.
Wanda was about to protest but her husband cut her off.
“Please dear, it’s not what you want but it’s a glass of wine and the bartender was gracious enough to overfill it for you. Please don’t cause a scene here. This isn’t the type of place to do that.”
Wanda decided to end her protest. Not because her husband wanted her to, heaven knows she would never allow him that much space. She was pleased with the extra wine. She figured her show of force had earned her big glasses of wine for the evening, even if it wasn’t the zinfandel she was accustomed to.
The bartender placed a bottle of beer in front of Vincent. It lacked a label identifying its brand but it was cold, dripping with sweat in the humid bar. Vincent looked pleased as punch to have a cold drink. That made Wanda irate.
Anything that made Vincent content made Wanda irate. She never considered why that was, it was just her natural reaction. Husbands should live to please their wives not themselves. That’s how Wanda saw things. She didn’t give up on that principal, that is why she never grew tired of keeping Vincent in his place. It was all for his own good.
Wanda reached for her glass when the already scant lighting in the bar dimmed entirely. From the stage some overhead lights brightened. There must have been a piano down next to or behind the stage because some odd sounding ragtime music began to play.
A short, stocky Mexican gentleman dressed in a powdered blue tuxedo complete with white ruffles stolen from somewhere in 1955 entered from stage right. He walked up to the microphone at center stage, and the piano music stopped.
“Bienvenido a la Cantina Burro Rosa. El show de esta noche está a punto de comenzar. Por su propia seguridad, por favor no se acerque el escenario durante el espectáculo . Usted puede dejar una propina en el cubo en el camino de salida . Y ahora , te presentamos : Juan Arriba y el burro de color rosa!” the emcee in the blue tuxedo announced as he swept his hand toward the left of the stage.
Wanda leaned over to Vincent and asked, “Why do they have to speak Mexican wherever we go?”
Over the applause of the bar Vincent explained that they were speaking Spanish. Mexican isn’t a language. Wanda was pissed at Vincent for trying to correct her. Of course they spoke Mexican in Mexico. She spoke American in America. Vincent was such an idiot. She would fix him yet.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Frank: I notice when I write long form fiction, I’m never comfortable with getting into the third act. I always feel like I need more the land the plane so to speak. I often feel my endings are weak as a result.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Frank: I’d prefer not to wind up on “the other side” so, no.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Frank: My daughter did the cover for DEATH GETS A BOOK and I couldn’t be a prouder papa! She showed tons of artistic talent from a very early age and I’m elated to be able to give her her first paying gig! I hope she’ll continue to do more covers for me because I think she did outstanding work to capture the feel I was looking for.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Frank: Finding time. Like I said earlier, I have a full-time job. Additionally, I host two different podcasts and I have children who are in school and demand a great deal of time in and of themselves. Time is not on my side but I try to find every fleeting moment I have and make it work for me.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Frank: Wow, this is a pretty good question! What did I personally take away from writing DEATH GETS A BOOK? I guess I learned that despite my intent to only write stand alone novels, the character of Death is going to be a character I’m going to come back and visit often. It won’t be a series, but the character allows itself to be explored over and over again as a series of standalones, if you will.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Frank: As a rule, I dislike movie adaptations. I’d rather my favorite books not become bastardized as movies. Fortunately, Death would best lend himself to computer animation. I’d have him voiced by Giovani Ribisi or Ethan Embry because they are two of the world’s greatest actors.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Frank: Write. Be humble. Be a friend. We’re making shit up, this isn’t that serious.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Frank: Engage me. Let’s talk. The reader/author relationship no longer needs to be a one way street. Let’s hang out!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Frank: ALL NIGHT TERROR by Adam Cesare and Matt Serafini
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Frank: The first ‘grown-up’ book I read was Stephen King’s PET SEMETARY.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Frank: Inappropriate humor and taxes.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Frank: Clive Barker. I think I could stand to learn a thing or two about digging deep and writing from him. Also, Dr. Micho Kaku, because he constantly blows my mind plus how bad-ass is it to call yourself a futurist. You get to make shit up but authoritatively.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Frank: Don’t cry for me, laugh for me.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Frank: I do host two separate podcasts: Bizzong! The Bizarre and Weird Fiction Podcast in which I pick the brains of a Bizarro or Weird fiction writer week after week. I also co-host a podcast called Books, Beer and Bullshit which is fun and irreverent and inappropriate and a great way to let off some steam and invite people to laugh along with us. Check them out if you’re into that sort of thing!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Frank: The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Impractical Jokers and quirky documentaries.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Frank: Yes, I love food, all kinds. My wife is an amazing cook, she should be a professional chef. I love 80’s hard rock and metal music, I have a series called SHOCKER what I co-wrote with Armand Rosamilia that is a homage to our love of the long-haired rockers from the 1980’s. I will reserve my favorite color for my future spotlight in Tiger Beat magazine.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Frank: A baseball or hockey player or a marine biologist.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Frank: Bizzong! The Bizarre and Weird Fiction Podcast http://bizzong.projectentertainment.libsynpro.com and Books, Beer and Bulls#!t Podcast http://booksbeerbullshit.podbean.com plus you can find me on Twitter @NJMetal or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FrankJEdler
Amazon Authors Page USA https://www.amazon.com/Frank-J.-Edler/e/B00H4LPS50/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1478769105&sr=1-2-ent