Interview With J.S. Frankel, Author of Catnip

22851796Please welcome my special guest J.S. Frankel, author of Catnip. Please enjoy his insightful interview.

1.  Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?

Just keep writing, hone your craft, know your market, and keep working to find your voice.

2.  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I don’t carry a message, per se. Preaching, especially to young people (the main group I write for) is a no-no. I simply try and tell a story about other people getting into situations not of their own doing and see how they manage to surmount the difficulties along the way.

3.  What are your thoughts on the fact that both trade and self-published authors have to promote their own work?

In the old days, there were far fewer writers and publishers around. That meant a publishing house could focus on promoting just a few books. With the digital age upon us (indeed, already here) you have more people than ever before. It’s a very competitive market, so you have to promote. That’s just the way it is.

4.  What genre do you write for? Your favorite aspect? Your least favorite aspect?

I mainly do Young Adult in both mainstream as well as for LGBT publishers. I love the sense of adventure I can bring to a story, the sense of wonder. My least favorite aspect? The editing…blech!

5.  What are your current/next projects?

Right now I’m trying to find an agent for a YA novel, Picture (im)perfect, the story of a young man and his relationship with a transgendered young lady. It’s a good story, filled with humor, romance, and it has a good message, I feel. I’m also editing another YA novel called Star Maps which takes place in Rachel, Nevada, and is about UFO’s and what have you. It’s fun to do…but editing stinks!

6.  Do you prefer to work alone or with critique partners/beta-readers?

I usually work alone, but I have been working with a beta reader for a couple of novels. My sister is also invaluable in this regard. She never sugarcoats anything! If she doesn’t like it she tells me straight away and has a great eye for detail.

7.  How do you find time to write?

I make time. I write late at night after my children are asleep and always manage to get something down.

8.  Did you always want to become an author?

Yes and no. When I was younger I enjoyed reading and writing, but never found the courage to actually write something the mass market would be interested in reading or so I thought at the time. As I got older, I lost that fear.

9.  Is there any writing rituals you complete before creating your manuscripts/drafts?

I simply think of an idea, and then begin.

10.  Do you write the beginning/opening first or do you tend to write out of order (with whatever scenes interest you the most)?

I usually write the first chapter or prologue first, then take it from there. I have written out of order on occasion, but it tends to mess me up mentally, so going in order is best for me.

11.  Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Yup, and then it got sent to cyberheaven!

12.  Which is the easiest for you–novel, novella, or short story? Why?

I’ve always written novels. Why, I don’t know. It’s just something I fell into.

13.  While you were writing, did you ever feel like you were one of your characters?

YES! My very first novel, The Tower, I felt like Bill Lampkin, the main character. It wasn’t my best novel, not by a longshot, but it resonated with me and gave me the impetus to keep creating.

14.  How did you come up with the title?

I think of what the story is about and take it from there. With Catnip, it has to do with a transgenic cat, so there it is. With Lindsay Versus the Marauders, the main character’s name is Lindsay and when you have “versus” in the title, you just know there’s going to be conflict!

15.  What inspired you to write your latest book? What is the book about?

Catnip is my latest work, and it involves a young man, Harry Goldman, who’s a bit of a child prodigy, tossed into jail for doing illegal transgenic research. He’s freed by the FBI and has to work with them on the case of Anastasia, an amnesiac transgenic catgirl who’s been trained to do something ultra-secret. Lots of action and adventure in this one along with a nice romance. I was inspired to write it after reading about a teenager in Great Britain who built a machine to identify the gene that made his brother a redhead. Hey, it could happen!

16.  Any blogs, websites, social media you’d like to share?

If anyone wants to contact me, feel free to do so at, or they can find me on Facebook at Jesse Frankel.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby





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