Interviews & Reviews on My Book(s)

As I do interviews and receive reviews on my book(s), I will post the information here in chronological order as best as I can. Click the books image with each interview or review to go to their website. Please let these interviewers and reviewers know you were there and that you appreciate all they do for authors!

11/15/12

Review on Amazon.com by S. Giden:
4 Stars – Fast paced story
It took me a few pages to get into the book but once I did I was hooked. I’m looking foward to the next book in the series.

11/10/12

Review on Amazon.com by Adeline Becker:
5 Stars – What a story!!!
Definitely a page turner!! Mr. Franklin does and amazing job of pulling you into the story and giving you people to love … and hate! He also has a creative imagination and brings you into a world that you can seriously see as an actuality! Cannot wait for the next of the series to come out!! I am recommending this book to everyone I know!!

11/5/12
Review on Amazon.com by Kristen
5 Stars – Truly Unique
A masterful mix of reality and fantasy. Exquisitely written and beautifully paced. Leaves you wanting more from each turn of the page. HellStone The Reapers Walk is a perfectly written by a creative new author. Mr Franklin, thank you. Already looking forward to the rest of the series.

11/5/12

Review on Amazon.com by Debra Cianci
5 Stars – A fantastic start to a series!
WOW! I absolutely loved this book. The character development was done better than some of the books I have read lately from others that have written for much longer. Taking the reader on a journey from the present to the past and then back again… very well done. I am so looking forward to the rest of the series! Keep up the good work…(Sally Dillard)

7/9/12

Interview by Authors of the Free World
Click the link and check out the site and listen to the recording of Don’s interview with Kaamil Garyson of Authors of the Free World.

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6/17/12
Interview by Reina Salt

“Interview with Don Franklin, Author of “The Reaper’s Walk: Hellstone.”

Welcome, readers, to another installment of author interviews! This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Don Franklin, whose upcoming book The Reaper’s Walk: Hellstonewill be released by the independent publisher Greystone Press.

Me: The Reaper’s Walk: Hellstone starts with a proverbial whisper that soon becomes a blood-curdling scream. This supernatural horror tells the story of a family’s Faustian bargain, a curse that has lasted for five generations…and an evil that promises to reap the souls of the sixth generation. Don, what were some things that served as inspiration for your book?

Don:  Well, I have always been a fan or horror — both books and film — so when I decided to write my own book, I went with things that scared me growing up. One of those things was the Grim Reaper, as well as snakes and ghosts.

Me: I’ve been asked this one a time or two, and I think it’s a question that aspiring writers like to hear about from other authors. What’s your writing style? Do you carefully plot everything step-by-step, or is it more relaxed i.e. working it out as you progress in the story?

Don:  For me it is definitely relaxed! I have ideas that I take notes on, but usually I don’t know what is going to happen in my stories until I actually write it down. Then I re-write again until I’m satisfied with the result.

Me: I know exactly what you mean. When you’re writing, you can outline like crazy, and still be thrown off-course by your characters. The author Joe Hill recently said much the same thing, too. Are there any authors that helped inspire you, and what are some of your favorites?

Don:  I have always admired Stephen King. His writing style allows me to become part of the story. I want to write like that!

Me: He’s classic.  Now, unlike other fellow authors I have interviewed for my blog, you are being published through an independent press: Tim Taylor of Greyhart Press in the UK. Do you have plans to seek an agent, and what are some of the things that made you decide to go with an indie publisher versus a traditional publisher?

Don: It all depends upon my experience with Mr.Taylor and Greyhart. He seems like a good guy and our contract is just for one book thus far. If the interaction continues to be positive, then I will probably stick with the relationship as is. If not, then I will seek representation elsewhere with no hard feelings. At this point, I don’t think an agent is necessary, but maybe in the future that will change. As far as to why I chose an indie publisher….he took a chance on me even though my manuscript was not edited and as polished as it should have been. He saw the strength and potential of the story and decided that the mechanics of writing, of which i am lacking, could be fixed/ learned. A traditional publisher, I believe, would not have done that. .

Me:  Let’s get back to your characters. Tell us a little about the ideas behind them, and which character resonates with you the most? .
Don:  Oh, that’s an easy one!  About 90% of my characters are people that I know. Their real personalities, traits, and ways of thinking. So, they were not at all difficult to develop. I just wrote them into the story. The remaining 10% came straight from my imagination. Basically, I lined up my main people and created supporting characters to either compliment them or combat them.The one that resonates the most with me is my main character’s grandmother, Dora. She is (with the exception of the magic) my grandmother.  Even the name Dora, that’s my granny’s name. Her house (minus the “special” room), her way of speaking and even the town she lives in were all from my childhood. It was the town I grew up in down south. .
Me:  That is wonderful that you were able to incorporate facets of your clearly beloved friends and family into your story. I think that heartfelt truths like that resonate well with readers, and give a character more life. What kind of support have you gotten from friends and family during this process? .
Don:  I have received nothing but encouragement since I started this. Even when I wanted to just quit, they wouldn’t let me. I’m really grateful for all their support. .
Me: That is awesome. Having a great support system means the world when you’re writing. Back to The Reaper’s Walk: Hellstone, what are some your plans for marketing and do you have a timeline for publication that we can look forward to? .
Don:  I’m still getting my feet wet in the marketing department, but I’ve had a lot of help from my friend, Kristina Gehring. She has a marketing degree and she handles the website, so thanks, Tina! Also, I created my own book trailer and people responded so positively to it that I’m now doing trailers at really low cost for other authors. My publisher is shooting for the end of October for my book release, so I’m really looking forward to that, too.
.
Me: You’re also a member of the New England Horror Writers Association. Can you tell us a little bit about that? .
Don:  I joined the NEHWA because I thought getting feedback and support from like-minded people would help me grow as a writer, and I was right! there are so many talented and experienced people there that have been very helpful and encouraging to me. A couple that come to mind are Jason Harris and Tracy Carbone. Thanks, guys! .
Me:  Excellent. I think that having the support of fellow writers is essential. Thank you so much for allowing me to interview you, Don! .
Don: Thank you for having me! .
SUPPORT INDIE PUBLISHING & AUTHORS! You can keep up with the latest news on Don’s blog https://donfranklin.wordpress.com/ and twitter https://twitter.com/#!/bigdonf. Learn more about the New England Horror Writers Association on their website: http://www.newenglandhorror.org/

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6/3/12

Review by Kristina Gehring

Review of “The Reapers Walk: Hellstone

First – wow – not where I expected the line to go – better than I could have imagined when I got into it. The descriptions – amazing, plot – fantastic, ending – leaves you on the edge of your seat for the next book. The background of the story is placed just right into the book that it doesn’t interfere with the story line, and it gives the right amount of information that is pertinent to help one understand the direction of the story.

After reading this book, I’m sure I’m going to read it again and again, and I can’t wait for the next book in this series to come out so I can see where the characters take us. This book is a definite “must read” and I hope you enjoy it as much as me! Release date is October 2012, mark your calendars!

5 out of 5 Reapers!


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6/3/12
Interview by Exquisite Corpse

“Today I welcome new author Don Franklin to Exquisite Corpse.  Here is the story of his path to publishing his debut novel “The Reaper’s Walk: Hellstone”.I was born in 1965 in a small town in South Carolina. I have 3 children, aged 3, 4, and 21. I live in Stowe, VT and moved here in 2006 from Richmond, VA.  I’m a professional driver by trade; I drive a mountain shuttle bus for skiers during the season. Off season, I spend as much time as I can with my children and writing.I am 46 years old and I’ve never written anything before this, but people have been telling me for many years that I should write a book because I tell colorful stories about my hometown and my childhood. I got the idea for “The Reaper’s Walk” in 2006 while looking at a stretch of land that was unused. I thought, what if a piece of land that is in a metropolitan city today was cursed hundreds of years ago?In “The Reaper’s Walk”, a deal is made with the Devil. It is broken and the Devil curses the offending family along with the land that they lived on. Five generations later, one member of this family has to make good the terms of the bargain, The Devil is sending the Reaper to collect her soul. She searches for a way to save herself and attract the attention of beasties along the way.I finished the story in 2010 and struggled with the nuts and bolts of writing. I joined several writers’ sites to try to get some feedback and advice. I was told that one of my weak points was switching tense and passive voice.  I didn’t have the money for an editor and the story was not ready to submit to anyone without one, so it sat idle until this past February.I decided to take a chance and submit anyway just in case someone liked the story enough to offer editing. First I tried for an agent. That was a bust. So next I decided to try an e-publisher. I submitted to two places and got a flat out “no”.

The third was Greyhart Publishing. Tim Taylor (publisher) told me to send him a partial manuscript. Then he asked for the full manuscript. Five weeks later he said that in its current form, he could not take the story on, but if I did a re-structure then he would look at it again. I took his suggestions and resubmitted the story.

He loved it and offered me a contract. He said that the skills of writing could be learned, and that all else failing, a good editor could work wonders. But if the story itself was not good enough then it wouldn’t sell regardless as to how perfect the writing was.So in essence I got published on my third query! I know that’s not how it usually goes in the book world. I feel that I got lucky.

Now that I’m into writing, I like it and don’t think I will stop. After the Reaper series, I have an idea or two kicking around the brain pan. Maybe a sci fi / horror hybrid.  I love both genres so why not?When you ask about the influences on my writing, my favourite writer hands down is Stephen King. I have always been impressed at his ability to weave a story and allow me, as a reader, to immerse myself and become part of it. Also I love the way he adds small things in different books that tie into other books.

“The Reaper’s Walk: Hellstone” is book one in a planned five book Reaper’s Walk series. I am hard at work on book two now. It will be called “The Reaper’s Walk :Bloodstone.”

* * * *

“The Reaper’s Walk: Hellstone” is the first novel by new author Don Franklin. Published by Greyhart Press, the projected release date is late October 2012 and will be available in e-book and paperback.  Please visit the author’s website to read an excerpt and view the book trailer.”
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Interview by Book’em Eric

“Don Franklin – Interview

I recently had the privilege sit down and chat with Don Franklin for an interview. Don is a horror author with a unique voice and style of storytelling. He has learned to manipulate the psyche of his readers in a masterful way. Don’s first novel, The Reaper’s Walk: Hellstone is planned to be released in October, 2012, be sure to check it out.

From this point on, anything in italics is my response. Q. When did you start writing? A: I started in 2006. before that time my only writing was in high school.

Q. What inspired you to do it? A: For years I told stories and people always said that I should write a book, so one day i decided to do it! Sounds like me.

Q. Do you find that it is hard to get people excited about what you do? A: No it doesn’t seem to be. I write horror, and in that genre there are not a lot of lukewarm people, either people like it or they don’t. I’ve heard nothing but good things about my writing so far,(knock on wood). OWE! Could we please leave my head out of this vendetta against wood?

Q. What projects have you done? A: Well my first and only novel is called “The Reaper’s walk :Hellstone” . It is the first book in a planned 5 book series.

Q. Any new projects coming up? A: My next project is book 2 in the Reaper’s Walk series. It is titled “Bloodstone”. I’m hoping to have that one finished by the end of the year so it could possibly be out fall of next year.

Q. Do you find it hard to share your work with others? A: No,not at all. I enjoy writing, but what i love most is seeing others get pleasure from my writing.

Q. What is your opinion on people who post bad reviews? A: I think reviews good or bad are to be used by the writer as tools. Realistically speaking, I don’t think that any author will ever write something that everyone will like. There will always be critics that do not like your work. I look at their opinions as a means to tune my writing so it can be closer to the mainstream of what people want. I agree, this is a tough business and without a thick skin you can’t hope to be a success.

Q. Are you an independent artist or are you represented by an agency? A: Up until a few weeks ago I was independent. Then my book was taken on by Greyhart Press. So they represent my writing at present.

Q. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field? A: Believe in what you are writing. Look at your work as if you were in a bookstore skimming a potential buy. If it looks like something that you would like to read, then your potential readers would probably like it too.

Q. Any favorite bands? Do you use music to inspire you as you create your art? A: My favorite female artist is Sade (pronounced shar-day). Her music is very laid back and relaxing. That makes it easy to concentrate on my thoughts. My favorite male artist is James Taylor. Its JT, nuff said. Good choices, IMHO, JT is especially cool.

Q. Anything exciting coming up in the near future? A: Well since I’m new to this, its all exciting to me! The cover art for my book should be finished in a few weeks and I’m excited about that. The publisher is shooting for an October release so that’s first and foremost on the excitement scale. The thrill of victory!

Q. What is your opinion on Indie publishers versus Self publishing? A: I think both are viable options but self publishing was not the way to go for me for several reasons. First because of the cost involved. I have a family and we live on a tight budget. Secondly, I knew I didn’t have a finished manuscript as far as editing goes. I knew i did not have the skills to edit it myself , nor the money to hire someone to do it for me. I was lucky I found Greyhart. They are willing to do that for me because they believed in the strength of the story I wrote.

Q. Any shout outs to people who have helped you along the way? A: Oh man! There are too many to count! My family and friends for their encouragement. But most of all,my friend Lita Tynes. She refused to let me quit on this, and believe me I almost did several times! She was a constant source of ideas and opinions, as well as a wealth of information. I am blessed to have her as a friend, in fact I named my main character after her. So thanks Lita! Don’t the main characters in horror stories usually end up dead? “Sorry Lita, you’ve been a wonderful inspiration…but now you must die!”

Q. Do you think that the future is e book or print? A: I think that E-book is the future but,…I also think that some people like the feel of a book in their hands and the sound and feel of turning the pages. So to a certain extent, I think that print books will be around for quite some time to come. Yep, nothing feels the same as an old, worn out, smelly book…aaahhhh…

Q. Do you use video to promote your work? Do you think that giving people a visual helps with sales? A: I do use video, and yes i also feel that visuals will help create interest and thus generate sales. Lets face it, the best book ever written would not sell much with a dull uninspiring cover!

Speaking of video, folks can stop by my webpage and take a look at my book trailer. All comments are welcome. https://donfranklin.wordpress.com/ and/or visit my face book page : http://www.facebook.com/TheReapersWalk Thanks to all.

No, thank you Don. Some nice insights into how you work here.”
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