Wednesday, January 9, 2013

**INTERVIEW with Author/Attorney FRANK R. SOUTHERS**

Author/Attorney Frank R. Southers
Author of "The Grievance Committee"
Genre: Legal Thriller/Literature

It is an honor and with Great pleasure to Interview Frank R. Southers. Thank you for today's Interview. I wish you much success.


What inspires you to write?
I enjoy sharing my knowledge and helping people learn, understand new concepts and ideas, and re-discover old concepts and ideas with a different twist. As a trial lawyer, I know that story-telling is a necessity to persuade and convince the audience, judge and jury, since most people avoid focusing on abstractions instead of requiring a parable to grasp the offered theme. I also know that the possession of insight helps me understand people's wants and desires, their belief systems, their philosophy, and their values. I enjoy sending the reader to a new and different venue or world, such as viewing the legal disciplinary system from the inside, or such as viewing an organized religion in a different light, such as Catholicism and presenting the reader with a challenge to his or her intellect. I suppose I am a teacher at heart.

How important is a book cover?
We've been taught almost from birth, 'you can't judge a book from its cover.' But, as adults we understand the psychology of the obvious and the covert and the way the images, colors, arrangement and size of the print can easily manipulate our need to possess this trinket which will both entertain and teach us something new. So, very important.

Did you enjoy reading as a child?

Yes. As a child, my reading included the fairy tales; the Hardy Boys; Nancy Drew series; Black Beauty; some Western novels; and lots of comic books. The usual stuff in high school English classes such as Hemingway; Faulkner; Shakespeare; lots of poetry from Keats to Hopkins to Frost, etc. As an English major, the range changed, although I still read all of Faulkner and Conrad, and Joyce. Kurt Vonnegut always gave me a laugh. I enjoy a wide, wide range of literature. My favorites now include: Ken Follett; Scott Turrow; John Grisham; Jodi Picout; Dan Brown.

Describe your perfect writing place.
My Study on the back side of our house in Austin is quiet, and with needed stuff readily available.

Do you have current work in progress?
Yes, Book Two is being edited, and we should have the results very soon. Book Three has been re-written and is almost ready for an editor and I am about forty-percent finished with Book Four, all about the Texas Grievance Committee in San Antonio. For your reading, the first chapter of Book Two is on my website at:


It is an honor and with Great pleasure to Interview Author Peter Darrach. Thank you Peter for today's Interview. I wish you very much success.

Genre: Science fiction


What inspires you to write?
Actually, I have two degrees in literature(a B.A. in English and an M.A. in German), so I have a pretty fair background for writing. However, probably so much literature turned me off for a while, twenty-five years to be precise, until suddenly I had this consuming idea about a man injured while asteroid mining and then repaired by aliens. I don't know exactly where the idea came from, but I sat down and wrote a chapter a day for a month, and boom, the first book was born. Yes, I spent some time afterwards polishing, editing, and reducing the work to its current form. But, the idea flowed out of me as if I had tapped a hidden spring. I do a fair amount of research, of course, to get the astrophysical and physics details right.

The next two books in the series followed on a little more systematically. I gave more attention to plot development, to pacing, to characters, but the actual writing was quite similar. More of a gush, like striking oil, as if it was all coming from some pre-formed deposit. I guess this is what it feels like to be aligned, or in communion with one's muse, choose your preferred metaphor.

Did you enjoy reading as a child?

Very much so. I read vociferously from the age of five or six, until the age of fourteen or fifteen, when I suddenly developed other interests. My reading covered the fiction of the day: Tolkien; C.S. Lewis; Asimov; Bradbury; Dick; Anderson; and many more. But also: science; particularly astrophysics; paleontology; archeology; physics; and explosives, etc.

How important is a book cover?

As long as the people who read it are human, which seems to be most of the time so far, readers will be subject to the same immediate assessment and judgement of a book's face as is normal, when-ever two strangers meet. First impressions are critical. The cover is almost inevitably the vehicle for this first impression.

Describe your perfect atmosphere when writing.
Where I am physically is not so important. I have written while on vacation in Florida, while at home in Austria, in multiple hotels, and airports around the world. The where is not so important. But, I do need quiet, or perhaps non-vocal, preferably classical music in the background and minimal interruption to really let the words flow. The time of day is also not too important to me.

Do you have current work in progress?
Book three in the Second Skin sequence, Tavern On The Edge Of Time, will arrive in December. Here is a synopsis:

During the year 2125, former asteroid miners Max Cody and Elaine Zhou never get a moments rest. No sooner have they doused the flames of war between Earth and Mars, or returned from their first trip to the Tavern on the Edge of Time, when they are called upon to help fit out the fledging Martian colony orbiting Jupiter's moon Callisto. 

In parallel, Earth extradites the war's formenter, ex-billionaire arms merchant Xanthus Rex, hoping to gain from his insights into Martian teleportation technology. But, he manages to turn Earth's resources toward private revenge against Max, Mars, and the Callisto Colony.

In the meantime, aliens are leaking into the Earth-Mars continuum from the Tavern, whose proprietor repaired and upgraded Max, after accidentally injuring him during an asteroid mining expedition. Max's enhancements help, of course. But when strange beings with the power to animate matter, the Assemblers find their way to Earth, Max, Mars and humanity are sorely beset.

Worse yet, the Tavern itself is becoming unstable. Its acquisitive host having overstretched his considerable powers. His prospecting for collapsed neutron matter has also opened portals between continua, inadvertently adding still more aliens to the mix. That's when the Assemblers' overlord arrives and Max finally meets his match. Oh, and Elaine is expecting their hybrid baby. Yes, you might say these are difficult times at the Tavern on the Edge of Time.

Beyond that, I have begun to sketch out a possible fourth book in the current series. It exists more like the ribs of a boat in a boatyard, the superstructure reasonably well defined. But the planking and caulking, not to mention the running tackle, sails, rudder all must be defined.