Saturday, November 19, 2011

Interview with Author G. K. Fralin by G. M. Stevens

Interview With Author G. K. Fralin

A rich, red background greets you when you visit G. K. (Glenda) Fralin’s blog at The background is as warm and inviting as her passion for writing. Her site includes short film clips about her book THE SEARCH: LUNIS FLOWER OF HIDDEN, as well as videos of a poem she’s written, The Monster’s Dinner. Since 2006, Glenda has been sharing her poetry, thoughts and writing adventure with those who drop by, but her love for writing began as a child.

Glenda is a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild and is a fine interviewer in her own right. Originally from Kansas, which I’ve learned gives her the right to say “ain’t”, Glenda is a Nebraska writer who pays it forward – an important thing to do in any endeavor we take. It is most obvious to me by her work and her blog, that Glenda is a Christian, which you’ll see by the first paragraph on her blog or in her full profile. I admire her faith and zest for life.

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Gina: I was intrigued when Kristopher Miller’s review of your book, Book Review THE SEARCH: LUNIS FLOWER OF HIDDEN, compared your book to C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Did Lewis’s novel influence your work at all, and do you agree with Miller?

G. K. Fralin: How do I respond to this question? I’m glad he compared it to the spirit of C. S. Lewis. I don’t know that I will ever reach the level of skill C. S. Lewis possessed to grasp the imagination in fantasy. Lewis was like an architect with a story. The lands of Narnia and its character’s make for his epic chronicles.

I wish I could say I studied his writing, but I have only read a portion. I do love his style. Reading the full series of chronicles is a goal of mine.

My parents subscribed to Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. Their condensed version of GREEN MANSIONS by William H. Hudson introduced me to the world of grown up fantasy. GULLIVER’S TRAVELS by Jonathan Swift with the Lilliputians also helped me move beyond the childhood fantasies of Mother Goose.

I can agree with Kristopher that like C. S. Lewis, I try to set out Biblical teachings in fantasy to engage the mind of the reader instead of preaching.

Gina: I read the first chapter and loved the setting, which seemed almost heaven-like to me. Was this your intent?

G. K. Fralin: Hidden is deceptively peaceful. There is that initial impression of finding a jewel of a town buried on the back road off Nebraska’s I-80. Be careful of what you trust. Have you ever visited a resort whose brochure promised luxurious lodging, and tours of historic sites including photos of how they deliver on their promise? Then when you’ve been there more than five minutes, you get a big let down. That is the first chapter of Hidden.

Would heaven have one old street? Will Catch and his barbed remarks be as cute when Sheridan catches him off guard? Oh, ho ho be ye careful of that one.

Gina: How did you come up with the name of the town, Hidden?

G. K. Fralin: I was trying to figure out a place forSheridan to be trapped. The idea of a town tucked away from the eyes and knowledge of the world implies Hidden. It fit my ‘what if’ premise. I simply could not think of a more appropriate name than Hidden. The citizen’s of Hidden prefer similarly direct names. They seem obsessed with name meanings.

Gina: How long did it take you to write the book and when did you start writing it?

G. K. Fralin: Now that is a story in itself. THE SEARCH: LUNIS FLOWER OF HIDDEN began years ago as an interactive story with my daughter Nina at bedtime. It bears many of the same elements. The name of that story was The Lunis Flower and the main character was Lucinda.

I rewrote it as an 8000 word grown up version and it turned in a different direction. Nina is now in her late twenties, but the story still contains elements of her influence.

I was having trouble in the new version connecting with my main character in a way that my readers could relate to her.

What I ended up doing was writing a life for Sheridan that became an unpublished novel length story of its own. That set a background for her and developed her personality and life events. THE SEARCH: LIVING BEDOUIN is mentioned in THE SEARCH: LUNIS FLOWER OF HIDDEN. I haven’t published THE SEARCH: LIVING BEDOUIN.

Gina: What genre would you say THE SEARCH: LUNIS FLOWER OF HIDDEN, is?

G. K. Fralin: THE SEARCH: LUNIS FLOWER OF HIDDEN is a Christian fantasy full of adventure, suspense, and mystery.

Gina: Tell me about the sketch for the poem The Monster’s Dinner (which is adorable. I’m thinking I’d entertain more if I could lay out dust and decorate with cobwebs!)

G. K. Fralin: I’ll warn you, this story is not for the faint of heart.

I wrote The Monster’s Dinner several years ago. When I wanted to publish it, I wanted a picture to go with it.

When I decided on a sketch, I asked my daughter Angie to draw it. She thought I was nuts. Angela’s talent for painting, design and photography took a huge hit when she was cutting the zip tie off of a toy for her son. The knife she was using slipped and her left eye permanently injured. The doctors did surgery, but the cornea is still scared. The accident would have knocked me off my feet. She is one resilient woman. I can’t help but be in awe of her ability to bounce back and take life on.

She learned how to drive by using intuition and memory to gauge depth and distance. She started working on clothing for her doll collection again. However, she resolved that she was not going to have the chance to draw or paint again. She covers the bad eye just to read.

I didn’t ask her as a therapeutic exercise, I hoped it would be, but I really wanted her to do it. Questions hit me like, am I pushing too hard for something she has accepted is gone? Was I going to ask her to break her heart all over again?

Her husband James, bless him, is the perfect match for her. He took the time to stand by and let her know when something wasn’t looking right, and he encouraged her. I’d asked for it to be childlike because of the poem. The detail and elements she put in that sketch made it the perfect search and find for kids and adults.

She has since done other projects including the drawing of the Lunis Flower on the cover of my book The Search: Lunis Flower of Hidden.

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In closing, I hope you will all stop by Glenda's rich red blogsite. From that point, you can find out where to buy her book and even read the first chapter of her novel, THE SEARCH: LUNIS FLOWER OF HIDDEN. Thank you Glenda for the great responses.

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