Today, we are celebrating the debut novel MORE by T.M. Franklin, available October 4th from The Writers Coffee Shop Publishing House.
My Review of MORE
MFN: Welcome! I'm so glad you joined us today. I just finished MORE and found the mythology fascinating. How did you come up with it? What inspired you?
TM Franklin: The original inspiration came from the mention of the mysterious “Nephilim” in the Bible – when “sons of God” went to “daughters of men” and had children with them. This was evidently part of the wickedness that led to the Great Flood of Noah. This forbidden relationship led to the concept of the Half-Breeds in MORE and the rest developed from there.
MFN: You say in your author's note that you wrote this novel during NaNoWriMo. Did you outline it beforehand? Was this an idea you had for a while?
TM Franklin: The idea had been rattling around in my head for a while, and I really wanted to start writing it during National Novel Writing Month in November 2011. Unfortunately, because of other deadlines I was scrambling to meet before November 1st, I did not have a complete outline before it started. I almost decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo because of that, but instead, I just went ahead with the rough outline I did have and started writing.
MFN: How did you stay focused during the month while writing the novel? Were you able to finish the first draft?
TM Franklin: I finished about 2/3 of the first draft during the month of NaNoWriMo. I actually found it a very useful tool for staying focused, in and of itself. Part of the commitment is to write every day, and that was really helpful for me. I work better if I have some accountability, even if it is to a little word gauge on a computer screen! I also participated in a lot of word challenges during the month – meeting with other writers in a chat room to encourage each other to write for an hour at a time – another way to stay accountable, and it worked for me.
MFN: Did your career prior to mommyhood prepare you for your endeavor into writing fiction?
TM Franklin: I would say it helped. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, specializing in Broadcast Journalism, and I worked for nine years as a TV News Producer. Although I was writing news stories and not fiction, it did train me to write in a more conversational tone. That’s how I would describe my writing style. I write how I talk and try to paint pictures with my words. I see the scenes like on a TV screen and try to describe them as well as I can.
MFN: How did your experience with writing fan fiction play into writing this novel? What did you learn from it?
TM Franklin: I think writing fan fiction helped me a lot to improve my writing skills. I actually came to it after querying another novel unsuccessfully. One of the agents who responded to me actually gave me some helpful critiques and suggested that I keep writing and try to get better at it. So, instead of continuing to send out query letters (for a novel that really wasn’t that good, now that I look back at it) I decided to just write some more. I’d discovered fan fiction as a reader and thought that would be a good opportunity. Through fan fiction, I learned a lot – both through my beta, who was amazing and taught me so much, and also through communicating with readers. The experience was invaluable and gave me the confidence to try original fiction again.
MFN: Ava is first portrayed as a normal human girl, shy and a bit insecure. She eventually really shines and becomes a strong heroine, standing up for herself and those she cares about. I loved that. What did you want to convey with her development?
TM Franklin: Ava always suspected she was special, but allowed the world around her to convince her that she wasn’t. This, I believe, is what led to her somewhat insecure self-image that we see at the beginning of the story. On top of that, she has these creepy dreams and this feeling she’s being watched. Once again, she thinks it’s all in her mind and that she’s just being paranoid. Little by little, she learns she was right – about ALL of it. She’s not crazy. She’s not paranoid. She IS special. So her triumph in the final scenes is not just over the enemy she confronts, but also over the world that convinced her to doubt herself.
MFN: Caleb came across as somewhat weak(er) in comparison to Ava. Was that your intention?
TM Franklin: Do you think he was weak? I actually saw Caleb’s transformation as even more significant than Ava’s. He’d been raised all his life to believe certain things – in fact, had been trained for a job that – from our perspective – was quite harsh, but that he’d been taught was necessary for the greater good. Meeting Ava brings to the forefront a moral dilemma he’d been able to pretty much ignore in the past. But when it comes down to it, he’s able to make his own decisions, regardless of what he’d been raised to believe. That’s pretty strong, I think. (How’s that for answering the question with minimum spoilers? ☺)
MFN: Their love story doesn't actually start until the end, so I wouldn't categorize this novel as a romance. There's a bit of UST but it pales in comparison to the action and suspense. Was that your intention from the start, or did it simply happen that way?
TM Franklin: Yes, I always intended it as more of a suspense story, with a touch of romance, than the other way around. However, their relationship and romance will be explored more fully in the coming books.
MFN: Do you plan to write a sequel of MORE? If so, what's your time frame for it? When can we expect to see it?
TM Franklin: Yes, it’s a trilogy. The second book, The Guardians, will be released in November of 2013. Book three will probably come out a year after that.
MFN: Tell us what you do for fun, when you're not hanging out with the family or writing your next novel.
TM Franklin: Writing is fun! ☺ Well, obviously, I read a lot. I enjoy movies and my family, and I do a lot of camping and boating in the summer. I’ve even been known to hunt carp on occasion – nothing like fishing with a bow and arrow!
MFN: Thanks again! Best wishes for a successful launch!
About the book:
Ava Michaels used to think she was special. As a child, she fantasized about having magical powers . . . making things happen. But Ava grew up and eventually accepted the fact that her childish dreams were just that, and maybe a normal life wasn't so bad after all. Now a young college student, Ava meets Caleb Foster, a brilliant and mysterious man who’s supposed to help her pass Physics, but in reality has another mission in mind. What he shows Ava challenges her view of the world, shaking it to its very core. Because Caleb isn't quite what he seems. In fact, he's not entirely human, and he's not the only one. Together, the duo faces a threat from an ancient race bound to protect humans, but only after protecting their own secrets—secrets they fear Ava may expose. Fighting to survive, Ava soon learns she's not actually normal . . . she's not even just special. She's a little bit more.
My Review of MORE
T.M. Franklin started out her career writing non-fiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a B.A. in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. After writing and unsuccessfully querying a novel that she now admits, “is not that great,” she decided to follow the advice of one of the agents who turned her down—write some more and get better at it. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Mike, is mom to two boys, Justin and Ryan, and has an enormous black dog named Rocky who’s always lying nearby while she’s writing. Whether he’s soothed by the clicking of the computer keys or just waiting for someone to rub his belly is up for debate.
Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win an electronic copy of MORE!
Don't forget to visit www.TMFranklin.com all week for a chance to win one of THREE prize packages. Each includes a Gimme MORE tote bag, pen, bookmark, and a signed copy of MORE. New chances to win every day, so don't miss out!
Upcoming Tour Stops:
Sept 29th, 2PM : Project Beta Iron Pen Challenge - Price to win: Ebook of More
Sept 30th : NessaTheQueenReader - Guestpost: 'What was the inspiration to write More'
Oct 1st : Forever17Books - Review
Oct 1st : A.K. Morgan - Author interview 'Ten Rules for ... ' and give away
Oct 2nd : Forever17Books -Author interview
Oct 3rd : MyReadingLounge - Writing lab 'Building Suspense'
Oct 4th : MichBookReviews - Q&A with word associations
Oct 5th : SamsAwesomeness - Interview
Oct 6th, 2PM : Project Beta Project Team Beta - Guestpost 'The jump from Fanfiction to Original Fiction' Price to win: Signed paperback of More
Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment with your thoughts.
Until next time,