The month of August at my blog is all about where writers write. During these next thirty-one days, I’ll be featuring those wonderful places where your favourite authors create their works of fiction (besides the usual blog posts). Today, I have J.S. Frankel in the interview chair. We’re discussing his special writing spot.
1. Why did you choose this particular writing spot to draft your novel?
J.S.: It’s quiet, close to the kitchen, and it’s comfortable.
2. Share a story (funny or serious) that occurred at your favourite writing spot.
J.S.: Nothing funny, really, except that my wife asks me from time to time if I can ever find my computer under the paper.
3. Can you only write at this certain spot? Or is there another place that you like to write?
J.S.: I can write anywhere, but I’m most comfortable here.
4. How about the atmosphere. Do you need certain lighting, perhaps music, or silence? Do you lock the door to keep out the kids? Share what goes on while you’re writing.
J.S.: Nope. I’m focused on what I do.
Love is where you find it, no matter what form it’s in.
Blurb: Marvin (Marv) Frontier, eighteen, a housebound hemophiliac with the worst form of the disease, lives a lonely existence in Tacoma, Washington. He spends his hours reading and computer surfing until one day when he is contacted by someone who calls herself Sara. Sara assures Marv that she means him no harm, and then she reveals that she lives far away—over twenty-thousand miles away—straight up.
Sara is a satellite with a sentient computer program aboard, but she needs one more bit of code to complete her. That means Marv has to help her track down her creator, Leonard Tilderman, formerly a professor and then an employee at NASA. He’s gone off the grid and no one can find him.
As Marv searches and learns more about Sara, he also finds himself falling for her, which seems to be an impossible relationship. Oddly enough, Sara shows the same amount of interest in him, and their friendship ripens into love.
Eventually, Marv manages to get the missing bit of code from the professor, just before he’s killed in an accident. Marv inputs it, but NASA’s representative, Major Grayson, also has plans for Sara, and Marv finds himself on the run from the major.
Things come to a head when Sara holds the world hostage by controlling every satellite still functioning, including the secret orbital weapon’s platforms that NASA and the other countries possess. Marv is eventually captured by Grayson and tortured, and his only hope is that Sara will be able to continue her journey, whether he lives or not.
A space bar appeared in the upper-right corner of the screen with words over the top of it. Type here. Mesmerized by the idea, I gave the standard four-letter answer. Sure.
Abruptly, the screen shifted to the inside of a craft, one filled with electronic keyboards and equipment of all kinds. This is me, the words said. I’m up here, on this satellite.
Stunned didn’t convey the emotion that hit me. For a moment, my hands failed to work, and I suffered a major brain fart. Then things—brain, heart, and breathing— started working again. That’s a satellite. Are you with the space program, doing a spacewalk or something?
No, I am this satellite.
Her statement caused my heart to skip a beat or three. For a moment, I forgot my own problems. Bogus, this had to be bogus. Satellites didn’t talk. They didn’t think, except what was programmed into them. Or did they? The totality of it all ran through me like an electric shock when I realized this was no joke.
Sara’s words came through on the screen, and I stared at them in wonder. So, now you know what I look like—sort of.
Yeah. Uh, what are you?
Are you sure you want to know?
Oh, sure. After all, I’d already come this far. Why not learn a bit more? Tell me. I’’ve…I’m sort of lonely, too.
I know. That’s why I picked you.
J.S. Frankel was born in Toronto, Canada, many moons ago, and after managing to scrape through university, he worked in Toronto for three years. At the age of twenty-six, he moved to Japan and never really returned. In 1997, he married the charming Akiko Koike, and their union has produced two sons, Kai and Ray. Frankel and family reside in Osaka where he teaches ESL during the day and writes at night. Most of his novels are for the younger set, including The Titans of Ardana trilogy, Ether, Star Maps, the Catnip series, The Undernet, and many more.