Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is Frank Ranew. I write under my legal name, W.F. Ranew. I will be 70 on January 1, 2020.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I grew up in Quitman, Georgia, U.S.A. My father was a printer and newspaper editor. My mother worked as a bookkeeper.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I majored in philosophy and spent much of my career as a newspaper reporter, news photographer, and editor. Later I worked as a speechwriter and communication counselor. I’ve dined with Desmond Tutu, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Jimmy Carter, Sarah Ferguson, and many lesser luminaries.
I married a beautiful woman, and we have three daughters and four granddaughters. We have homes in Atlanta and St. Simons Island, Georgia.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I published Rich and Gone, Red Farlow Mystery No. 1, with Tirgearr Publishing on May 29, 2019. My second novel in this series—Blue Magnolia—is due early in 2020. I’ve completed the third Farlow manuscript and currently working on the fourth.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in high school but wasn’t very good at it. As a freshman in college, I covered sports for a weekly newspaper. I also wrote feature stories and a weekly column. The column taught me very quickly that one’s opinion about a topic can draw an opposing viewpoint. Sometimes that was painful, but no one ever attacked me.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In my sophomore year in college, someone pulled me aside and told me they thought I had become a decent reporter. This person said my writing had improved since my first year with the newspaper. I give credit to an English professor, Dr. Daniel. I took a literature course under him, and he put me through the rigors of sentence structure and grammar. He also instilled in me the notion that you have to have something to say in your writing. Other than that, I have the Associated Press style manual to thank for keeping me on a righteous writing path.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A desire to make a statement about how and where I grew up. Schoolhouse Man was the result.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
That was easy. My protagonist lived in an old school.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My writing style evolved from my newspaper editing and reporting days—short but descriptive sentences, correct word usage, and memorable characters.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I don’t write to factual events. People and events in my life inspire some characters and locations. Also, I rely on my vivid imagination, which seems to get me over any plot humps.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Many travel destinations over the years play a role in my writing. These include Taiwan and South Korean, Europe, Mexico, Canada, and South America.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Cora Graphics designed the cover.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Rich and Gone is about a man’s actions, the consequences, and the justice he ultimately has to face.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I mostly read established authors, many of whom are dead. Dickens, Hemingway, and Mark Twain rank among my favorites. Their books pull you into the plot and hold you. They also develop memorable characters with compelling stories to tell.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Robert Coram, a novelist from Georgia, has inspired, advised, and supported my publishing endeavors for many years.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. Only wish I’d start writing fiction earlier in my life.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a thing. Understand, I’m still working on the fourth Red Farlow manuscript and editing the numbers two and three. I change a great deal in the editing process.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes, i did. You need a publisher. I am grateful to Tirgearr Publishing for taking on my novels.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Stephen Root should play Red Farlow. He’s a southerner, a requirement for the role.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write. When all else fails you, write. When you hit a block, write. Write even when you don’t feel like it.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I hope they take some time to know Red Farlow well. After Rich and Gone, the next three books will take them on more adventures and delve into the mysteries of why people commit murder.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Frost at Christmas by R.D. Wingfield and The Way Some People Die by Ross McDonald.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I can’t recall the name, but it was about the California gold rush.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Stand-up comic Jen Kober is the funniest woman on the planet. Also, my six-year-old granddaughter can send me into fits of laughter.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Charles Dickens. I’d like to ask him about his childhood.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I hike, fish, and read. I also play my guitar as a student at the Frank Hamilton School for folk music.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I only use TV to stream movies.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Ribeye steaks, midnight blue, and Bob Dylan.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would have to talk to tell a story.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Eating dark chocolate.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Here Lies a Boy of the South.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
-Here are my blog and web addresses:
Amazon author page: