Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Interview with Peter Salomon

I don't often do guest posts, but this book sounds so interesting I definitely had some questions for Peter Salomon, debut author of HENRY FRANKS: A NOVEL, which will be released on September 8 (Saturday)! Peter is also an agent sibling, which just shows you what great taste our mutual agent has!

Here is the Goodreads summary for HENRY FRANKS:

 A dark, psychological thriller about a boy's search for himself

Four thousand, three hundred and seventeen stitches, his father had told him once. All the King's horses and all the King's men had put Henry Franks back together again.

One year ago, a terrible accident robbed Henry Franks of his mother and his memories. The past sixteen years have vanished. All he has now are scars and a distant father—the only one who can tell Henry who he is.

If he could trust his father.

Can his nightmares—a sweet little girl calling him Daddy, murderous urges, dead bodies—help him remember?

While a serial killer stalks their small Georgia town, Henry unearths the bitter truth behind his mother’s death—and the terrifying secrets of his own dark past.

Sometimes, the only thing worse than forgetting is remembering.

Peter, thank you very much for being a guest here today. I think HENRY FRANKS is going to make a big splash in the literary world. I have just a few questions for you.

1.  First, can you tell us a little about the story?

Sixteen-year old Henry woke up from a coma and learned from his father that he'd been in an accident that killed his mother and left him with no memory of anything before waking up. As he struggles to figure out who he is he begins to doubt the story of his life that his father has been telling him. Besieged by nightmares and physically scarred from the accident, he searches for answers while a serial killer stalks the small Georgia island he lives on and begins to suspect that maybe, just maybe, his father is the killer.

Or, what scares him more than anything as the gaps in his memory grow deeper and his nightmares grow worse, maybe it's him.

2.  What inspired you to write HENRY FRANKS?

I originally started writing the manuscript as an 'adult' novel, focusing on a father raising his son to believe incorrect information about everything. What quickly became more interesting to me however were the reactions of the son to his unusual upbringing. So I tried figuring out what would cause a teenager to have so many doubts and questions about the story of his life. So I ended up with a Young Adult Horror novel after starting out with Adult Fiction.

3.  There are a lot of mysteries that surround Henry and his life. For your writing style, did the mysteries come first and then you came up with the answers, or do you begin with the answers?

Oh, great question! Definitely the mysteries. Until I was actually finished writing I didn't know all of the answers. And by 'finished' I mean 100% completely finished after years of revisions. A number of reviews have commented on how well I kept the ending from being 'guessable' and one of the reasons for that is because as I was writing the first few drafts I was still debating exactly how the book would end. There were a number of different endings (one even had a SEVENTY page flashback to the father's point-of-view) and it was only through massive revision that I ended up with the ending the book has now. In other words: it was even a mystery to me. I wouldn't exactly recommend that writing strategy to anyone though!

4.  What are you working on next?

I currently have a picture book out on submission and have just sent another picture book to my wonderful agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette, to see if that one (which I've been working on for the past 15 years) is ready to go out on submission as well. In addition, while HENRY was out on submission I wrote not one but two Young Adult novels (one Dystopian and one pure Action/Adventure/Thriller). I've been revising both of those, concentrating mainly on the Action novel (codenamed: HTRASH) and at present my agent is reviewing a proposal I've put together at the request of an editor for submission.

5.  If someone wants to learn more about you and the book, where can they look?

I have my own website: at which I have a blog and other additional goodies and the book has a website that includes a first page excerpt and a photographic 'tour' of the book (the setting on an island off the coast of Georgia plays a very large role in the novel and a very talented friend of mine, Jon Cohen, graciously spent the time taking appropriate photographs that I was able to connect to various pieces of text. In addition, if any readers had their own photos that they thought would work for the 'tour' I'd love to add them! And, of course, I can be found at Twitter, Goodreads, and a Facebook 'fan' page under Peter Adam Salomon.

6.  And finally, a quick round of questions. Don't think too hard!

Mountains or Beaches?

MOUNTAINS!! No question!! I am SO not a 'beach person'

Fruit or Chocolate?

Oh, this one's tough. I love fruit and could easily live on it except it's hard to do: lots of work goes in to eating fruit (finding, cleaning, etc) and I ADORE dark dark spicy chocolate and, thanks to new medical research actually get to eat it every day (in moderation and just a little at a time, but still...)

Outline or Pantster? (Do you write with an outline, or by the seat of your pants?)

Pantser! I have NO clue how people outline. I get too antsy to start actually writing to sit there and outline. I usually have just a vague idea of what the next couple of chapters should look like and I run into numerous problems because of that so I'd LOVE to be an 'outliner' but just can not do it. I had to outline HTRASH for the proposal and even though I had a 'finished' book to work off of still had trouble working up an outline.

Summer or Winter?

Winter! See the 'Mountain/Beach' answer. I'm a fall/winter person, definitely! One of the main reasons I've been so happy to have moved from New Orleans (with TWO seasons: Summer and 'Not-Quite-Summer' to North Carolina)

And the one place in the world you'd most like to visit one day?



Thank you, Peter. To read an excerpt from HENRY FRANKS: A NOVEL, please click here.

If you wish to purchase a copy, please support your Indie Bookstores first. Please click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haha, I agree with Peter wholeheartedly on the "Outline or Pantster" question. I can never write outlines because just a seed of an idea makes me just sit down and write; I improvise and create the story as I go. No way could I write a detailed outline of the full story before actually, well, WRITING it. I wouldn't be able to just immerse myself in putting pencil to paper if I had to check a guideline. I also found the "Chocolate or Fruit" question extremely difficult. Anyways, this novel sounds very intriguing, and I really do love a good thrilling, psychological mystery. I think I'll check it out sometime. Thank you so much for the great post as always!