J.S. Frankel was born in Toronto, Canada and grew up there, receiving his tertiary education from the University of Toronto and graduating with a double major in English Literature and Political Science.
His novels, all for the YA set, include Twisted, Lindsay Versus the Marauders and it's sequels, Lindsay, Jo, and the Tree of Forever, and Lindsay, Jo and the Well of Nevermore, all courtesy of Regal Crest Enterprises. He has also written the Catnip series (five novels), Mr. Taxi, The Titans of Ardana and its sequel, The Titans of Ardana 2: Battlefield, along with Picture (I'm)perfect and more novels, courtesy of DevineDestinies.com.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Toronto, Canada, a long time ago, moved to Japan in 1988 to teach ESL, and never really went back. Skip forward a few years, and I got married to a lovely lady from Osaka. We make our home there with our two sons. I still teach, and write at night.
Tell us your latest news.
That would be The Titans of Ardana 3: Interstellar, due out November 3rd. It’s the final novel in the trilogy, and the first two have received good to very fine reviews, so I hope people will take a chance on it and my other works as well.
Interstellar: The Titans of Ardana 3
It’s easy to say, “Hold nothing back” or “Give everything.” It’s not so easy when the fate of the galaxy rests on your shoulders. Sometimes, you have to give more than everything. You have to give your life.
Martin Calder and his girlfriend Dana—no last name given—are back. Their powers are now known to the general public, and their wish is to help out those who need it.
However, those in the law enforcement world aren’t so accepting. Reduced to starring in their own reality show—and messing it up—other, more urgent matters take precedence. The weather has changed, and the sun has started to turn blue. Although it’s a physical impossibility, it has happened. The Earth will freeze in a matter of weeks if nothing is done, and only Martin and Dana can help.
Their journey takes them back to Ardana, Dana’s home world, in search for answers, and subsequent searches send them on a quest across the galaxy where they meet vampires, energy-sapping rays, cat-mole people, and a boy-not-a-boy who may be the answer to everyone’s prayers.
Sometimes, giving everything isn’t enough. Sometimes, you have to give more than that—even your life.
Have you ever finished reading a book (OR...been intrigued by a synopsis) and wished you could get to know one of the characters a little better? Well, you’re in luck. Get to know Martin Calder, from The Titans of Sardana...
Martin, tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? Is there anything you would like your fans to know about you that maybe wasn't revealed in your story?
Hi, my name is Martin Calder, and I’m eighteen. You may have seen my name in The Titans of Ardana and its sequel, The Titans of Ardana 2: Battlefield. I’m back again in The Titans of Ardana 3: Interstellar.
What am I like? Well, growing up I was always a bit of a geek, more into television and superheroes and whatnot than into people. I never had many friends. Not that I was anti-social or anything; it just never happened. My best friend, Greg, he’s been around most of the time, but that all changed when I met Dana.
Dana—that’s her Earth name—is from Ardana, a distant world where some of the people were born enhanced. In her case, she looks human enough, but she can fly, is incredibly strong, exists on sugar—waaaaaaaaaay too much sugar—and is the finest girlfriend and friend around. You’ll meet her in all three novels, and you’ll grow to love her, as I have.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?
I grew up in the USA, Tacoma, to be exact. Nothing special as a kid, but my father died when I was young, so it was just me and my mother. We never had much money, and she worked hard, but she was kind of distant, you know? So, I had to learn to do things for myself.
Truthfully, we never really got along. She died about six months ago during an alien invasion, just as we were beginning to get to know each other better. Even though we were never close, I still miss her.
What makes you Martin so special?
I really don’t think of myself as being a hero. In the beginning, I was just your average teen, average height, looks—average everything. After I got my powers in a kind of transfer deal from Dana’s twin brother—and don’t ask me how, because I really can’t tell you—I learned how to fly, got super strong, learned to split into two or three people and send my ‘selves’ elsewhere, and I helped out around town, and, of course, around the universe. Thing is, being a superhero isn’t something I’m really comfortable being called. It just so happens that I got lucky in the superhero prize-winning draw, but I don’t wear a cape or a special outfit. I usually wear a black bodysuit, but really, I’d rather wear jeans and a t-shirt. That’s my superhero look.
Thing is, being a superhero isn’t something I’m really comfortable being called. It just so happens that I got lucky in the superhero prize-winning draw, but I don’t wear a cape or a special outfit. I usually wear a black bodysuit, but really, I’d rather wear jeans and a t-shirt. That’s my superhero look.
Do you have any regrets? Is there anything you wished you had done differently?
I wish I’d gotten to know my mother better. That’s about it. Everything else, no—no regrets. Things worked out perfectly for me. I was lucky..
Where do you see yourself in five years?
We’re in a difficult time. There’s no telling what’ll happen five years from now. What if the aliens return? What if the Agency comes looking for us? What if we can’t survive, can’t repair the damage done from the triggering of the Aurora machines?
Michael has his regrets, too, you see. He has to live with the consequences of his actions, and he’s changed since his near death experience. Sometimes it threatens to break us, but we have our Christina, our daughter, to think of, and, thank God, our love for one another remains strong.
If you could go anywhere with one person, who would you take and where would you go?
Oh, wow, there are so many worlds to visit! Dana and I would go off and explore pretty much every single one of them. There are worlds only of water, of fire, of air-beings, and more. The universe is so vast, so incredibly huge—never-ending, really—that it would take ten lifetimes to see only half of them, if we were lucky.
For now, Dana and I live in Baltimore, but if the universe needs us, then we’ll go and help. That’s what we’ve sworn to do.
If you could have anyone locked in a room so that you could torment them for a day, whom would you choose and how would you torment them?
I wouldn’t. I don’t believe in that. I’m not a justice lord; I’m a person. Even if that individual in the room is irretrievably evil, I’d rather send them to a penitentiary for maximum lockup then torture them.
Will we be seeing more of you in the future of has your story already been told?
Hmm…I never say never, but for now, Dana and I plan to spend our time in Baltimore. Of course, if the universe needs our help, then off we’ll go, but I think that we’d like to get married and start a family. Call me old-fashioned, that’s what I want most in life.
If you could change one thing about the world… what would it be?
It sounds sort of sappy, but make the world a kinder, gentler place. People should have a little more respect for one another. Be more tolerant. You only get one chance in life, so make it a good one. You don’t have to give up your lifestyle or life for someone else, but trying to understand their POV should be there. I haven’t seen a whole lot of that lately, so that’s what I’d like to see change.
Want to know more about J.S. Frankel? Continue reading his in depth interview...
What inspired you to write your first book?
About seven years ago, my older son who was around ten at the time, saw a cartoon, something about trees. He said to me, “Papa, wouldn’t it be cool if the trees talked?” That night I had a dream, and call it a trope, I began to write a novel the next day. The novel was The Tower, and even though it didn’t set the literary world on fire, it began my journey as a writer.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m what you call a minimalist writer. I give just enough description to the scene and then let the action and dialogue take over. The late Elmore Leonard said to trim away the fat and leave the meat, so I took that advice to heart. It seems to work well for me and my genre, YA Fantasy.
How did you come up with the title?
Titles are rather easy to come up with. I simply wanted to tell an epic kind of story. Epic means giants and heroes of yore, and ‘titans’ was a perfect fit. As for the world they’re from—Ardana—it popped into my head. It sounded good, and if it sounds good, then I run with it.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There are a number of indie authors whose works are interesting. Mirren Hogan, Rose Montague, Lyra Shanti, Eva Pasco, and S.E. Gibson are but a few. They all have different styles, but their work, to me, is most interesting and readable.
Do you see writing as a career?
Don’t. I. Wish. Realistically speaking, it’s very difficult to make a living from writing, not unless you get lucky. For me, it remains a time-consuming hobby, but on the other hand, if a million people buy my books…
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’d have to say Robert McCammon. He’s very wordy, but nothing is wasted. Every word, sentence, and paragraph is there for a reason. His characters are always interesting. To me, Gone South is his masterpiece.
Who designed the covers?
In the past, I’ve had the services of Carmen Waters, who did all my Catnip covers, as well as those for Picture (Im)perfect, Mr. Taxi, and a few others. With Star Maps, the Titans trilogy, and a few other works, Martine Jardin has helped me. Both of them were and are excellent to work with.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I know it sounds old hat, but you have to keep writing, keep thinking, and assess your weaknesses. No book is perfect, and no writer is perfect, either, although some have come close. Fix your weaknesses, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, and don’t take criticism personally. You have to develop a thick skin. Period. If you can’t, then you shouldn’t be writing.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would like to say thank you, not only to you for having me along today, but also to those readers who’ve stuck with me when I first started, who helped me out, and who insisted that I continue writing, even though it was hard. They were the ones who helped me out of some very dark times, and I have nothing but heartfelt thanks that they were there for me.
What do you want written on your head stone and why?
If someone wrote that I was a good husband and father, then that would be enough. Fame is fine, but it’s also fleeting. Family, though, takes priority. That’s what it’s all about for me.
Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I watch a lot of movies and music videos in my spare time, and train as well with weights. Other than that, I try to sleep!
Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Pizza, anything Italian/Black and gray/Pop, rock, KPop, and some classical music.
One final question...Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Most readers can find my blogsite at https://writerwannabe.weebly.com/ However, haven’t updated it in a while, so most people can check me out on my social media networks.