Friday, June 10, 2011

I Need Friends Friday: Frank L. Cole

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's INFF guest is Frank L Cole. From his website:
"Frank L. Cole was born into a family of southern storytellers and wrote his first book at age eight. Sadly, he misplaced the manuscript and has since forgotten what he wrote. Highly superstitious and gullible to a fault, Frank will believe in any creepy story you tell him, especially ones involving ghosts and Big Foot. Currently, along with his wife and three children, he resides in the shadow of a majestic western mountain range, which is most likely haunted."
Frank writes fantastic middle grade fiction, Guardians of the Hidden Scepter and The Hashbrown Winters series, and is a manager of a Deseret Bookstore. Frank was recently a guest on the Appendix Podcast, his episodes can be found here and here.

SME: So... Welcome to I Need Friends Friday.

Frank L. Cole: So good to be here!

SME: I have almost completed my Man Cave Coup. (Is that even how it's spelled? Cooo? Coup? Coux? I have no idea.)

Frank L. Cole: It definitely doesn't start with a "p."

SME: Perhaps I should stick with phonetic spellings. Coooooo -- there, that works

Frank L. Cole: Very nice... soothing

SME: Right. A nice drawn out vowel... it's like a lullaby contained in a single word. Aaaah.

Frank L. Cole: zzzzzzzzzzz

SME: Note to self: do not put interviewee to sleep

Frank L. Cole: All I need is some Kenny G.

SME: Dude. Or Yanni.

Frank L. Cole: Or like.... whoever else plays soothing music

SME: I'd make some kind of joke about this being the interview dreams are made of... but I'm way too lazy.
Alright, Frank L Cole (did you know I always refer to you by your whole name "Frank L Cole"... little factoid for you there) you write Middle Grade. In 5 words or less, could you explain what MG is. [Actually use as many words as you need. I'm flexible.]

Frank L. Cole: Oh geez. Middle Grade? It is the Highest Kingdom of Literature. Greats are made in Middle Grade. It is the turning point for future readers, which ultimately keep authors (in any genre) employed.

SME: I think you're confusing Middle Grade with Romance. Just so you know.

Frank L. Cole: Hmmmm.... Maybe... uh, nope.

SME: In the words of Rob Wells: "*********"

Frank L. Cole: Is that a "Choose Your Own Adventure" quote?

SME: No. He likes to use naughty words.

Frank L. Cole: I do like that man

SME: His potty mouth tripped my filter during his interview. Over and over and over.

Frank L. Cole: Seriously? Do I need to live up to that hype?

SME: Nah.

Frank L. Cole: Good. But I'd do it for science

SME: Okay. I'm gonna go all "Chicken or the Egg" here--which came first, bookstore manager or author?

Frank L. Cole: Author came first by a long shot. I'd been writing manuscripts for years and trying to get published way before the bookstore management position came into play.

SME: See, I was picturing you standing in your store one day looking at the shelves and thinking, "I have got to get in on this action."

Frank L. Cole: I do that all the time, but I'd been doing that in bookstores I didn't manage long before.

SME: Me too!! Maybe I should think about becoming an author!!

Frank L. Cole: Or a bookstore manager?

SME: Which begs the question, how do you NOT spend your entire paycheck on books? The temptation would likely prove too great for me.

Frank L. Cole: I spend a good chunk of it, but I've learned to control the urges. Now, I just look for freebies and handouts whenever I can get them.

SME: So you've gone all Ebeneezer Scrooge now that you're a big time writer. I see how it is.

Frank L. Cole: More like Bob Cratchet (is that his name?) I just need some coal to keep my meager hands warm

SME: Just between you and me ('cause, let's face it, no one actually reads these interviews), when the box of your books arrives at your store, you put those books right up front, right? Very prominently displayed, eh??

Frank L. Cole: Off the record right? Hecks yeah! But I have to be discreet. I've actually never done a book signing in my own store. Crazy huh?

SME: Couldn't get the miserly manager to budge, I'd bet. I've heard things about that guy.

Frank L. Cole: Total loser!

SME: And, to prove how much we have in common... I've never done a book signing in your store, either. AHEM

Frank L. Cole: Oh yeah. We should rectify that problem.

SME: Tell you what, when you get a certain box containing copies of a certain book (coughs: Seeking Persephone) this fall... prominently display those and we'll see what we can arrange.

Frank L. Cole: That's a deal! And when you say prominently displayed, you mean upside down whilst propping up my books?

SME: That'll work.

Frank L. Cole: Seeking Persephone? That sounds good!

SME: It was a 2008 Whitney Award Finalist. *looks unbearably smug*

Frank L. Cole: Yeah, my books haven't made it to that level of prestige yet.

SME: Perhaps they are too prestigious. Ever thought of that? Maybe they're just so amazing people can't stand it!

Frank L. Cole: Oooh! I like that. That's what I'll tell people at my signings from now on. "These books are so good, you won't want to read them!"

SME: I'm surprised more authors haven't tried that approach.

Frank L. Cole: Me too. Though, I don't recommend you do that when you sign at my store. I need the sales.

SME: Got it. So something more along the lines of "This book is so good, you'll want to buy 2 or 3. And a copy of Frank's book. And several other impulse purchases at the register."

Frank L. Cole: Perfect!

SME: I'll work on that so it sounds both natural and convincing.

Frank L. Cole: And I'll strategically place my books at the register as impulse buys to make it more practical for your sales pitch.

SME: Nice. Maybe we could accept bribes from other authors to place their books strategically as well.

Frank L. Cole: Now you're onto something. I'll have to stew on that for a spell.

SME: While you're stewing (did we just create a new verb??)

Frank L. Cole: Did we?

SME: *shrugs* I have another question. A pretty crucial question, so give it as much thought as necessary: What's your favorite continent?

Frank L. Cole: North America! Were you trying to catch me off guard? Allow me to come across as unpatriotic? The shame!

SME: *shakes head* You are such a conspiracy theorist. When I was asked that question, I answered... okay, I answered North America. But I don't discriminate. You could have said Antarctica and I would only have shunned you a little.

Frank L. Cole: Antarctica is pretty cool... (Oh! What a play on words!)

SME: And the puns start. It happens in almost every interview.

Frank L. Cole: I had been eagerly waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce

SME: And you chose your moment well. Hats off to you, Frank L Cole

Frank L. Cole: I couldn't have done it without you!

SME: I think our mutual success must be the result of our choice to include middle initials in our writing names. This is a theory of mine.

Frank L. Cole: I'd go along with that. What's the "M" stand for?

SME: M is for Mischief. No, wait. That's a book.

Frank L. Cole: L is for Loser. I'm gonna write that book.

SME: I can support you in that. I'll even write a blurb for it. "Frank L Cole has written a masterpiece, a book that speaks to everyone who has ever wondered what L stands for."
Okay. That didn't come out the way it sounded in my brain. Almost sounds like I'm insulting you.
Not to self: do not insult the interviewee

Frank L. Cole: I may just use that quote on my next book regardless of what I write. And I took no insult.

SME: Well, Frank L Cole, I have drawn a magnificent portrait of you... if you're interested.

Frank L. Cole: Of course

*draws a mind-blowing portrait, a one-of-a-kind, a... okay, it's just a stick figure*

Frank L. Cole: You mastered the "Part" and everything! Hey! Wait a minute! Where's my cowlick?

SME: I use a lot of hair gel on my portraits.

Frank L. Cole: Ah, now I see.

SME: I usually draw my interviewees with shoes, but I'm having a love-hate relationship with shoes right now.

Frank L. Cole: Well at least you could have given me feet.

SME: Gosh. First Rob with his whole "Why do my arms end in pathetic little stumps" and now "You could have given me feet." An artist is never appreciated!
(And I don't really know how to draw feet... hence the usual inclusion of shoes)

Frank L. Cole: The problem I see is you've seemed to offer more effort on your very fancy signature. I understand though

SME: That fancy signature will be worth a lot someday. I wouldn't knock it if I were you.

Frank L. Cole: Do you always sign in green? Just curious.

SME: Nope. I sign in whatever color marker I happen to grab.

Frank L. Cole: Oh.

SME: And... just a thought here... this portrait will be like misprinted stamps and coins and stuff... a collector's item because it's the only one without shoes!

Frank L. Cole: Now I must have it. And I shall treasure it and keep it safe in a protective sleeve right on my mantle.

SME: That's more like it.
And that brings us to the final question of the interview: Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Frank L. Cole: #1 Randomness - It allows for a more relaxed feel.
#2 Artistry - With or without feet
#3 Cataclysmness - Because I wanted to use that word right there
#4 The G I Joe factor - Because, in a simple one hour jam session, people now know the real me. And knowing is half the battle.
#5 Acid Reflux reducer - low stress. Sippin' on a soda while I shoot the bull. Wait. What the heck am I talking about?

SME: I have no idea, but it's quite possibly the best reason I've gotten in almost 2 years of INFF interviews!

Frank L. Cole: Ah. You see. That's the American Dream. That's why North America would totally kick Antarctica's tush in a fight.

SME: Thanks so much for being my Friday Friend, Frank L Cole!

Frank L. Cole: You're very welcome! You rock!

SME: Yes. Yes I do.

Frank L. Cole: Now what?

SME: I say something like, "Thanks. Have a great day." And then you say something similar. And then we both go our separate ways.

Frank L. Cole: Alright. I'm ready

SME: Thanks. Have a great day.

Frank L. Cole: Bon Appetite!

SME: Close enough. *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


Robin Weeks said...

Memo to me: do not read Sarah's blog while eating. Especially when she's interviewing funny people like Frank L. Cole. Especially do not read while eating soup. It's rather messy, and computers are hard to clean. End memo.

(Um, Sarah, do you think you could put a warning on future funny interviews? That'd help a lot.)

Krista said...


dlkenney said...

I love your interviews (and your books, hoping to see them republished), especially when you find fun people to interview. Keep up the awesome work.

Jen plus 5 said...

Hilarious! I'm going to have to come and read more of these ;^)


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