Interview with author Frank Creed

What's your motivation for writing?
I'd like to use what He's given me to inspire direction and change in the lives of readers. I used to be a Sunday-only Christian who honestly didn't understand what the Bible had to do with the modern world. I use heroes living their faith in the face of conflict as a discipleship tool.

Who do you think would most likely enjoy your fiction?
People who think, or in other words, readers. True Freedom, Chairman and Miracle Micro, my sci-fi shorts in Light at the Edge, will appeal to fans of supernatural thrillers, cyberpunk, dystopia (opposite of utopia), and high fantasy. Most who enjoy character driven action will enjoy my fiction.

Regarding audience: I'd originally intended my novel, Flashpoint, for middle-school kids on up. Alas, my editor threatened to go public with my Pokemon-name if I didn't re-write for adults. The re-write is finished, but missed my deadline. Now everyone calls me Mewman.

I know, right?

Why do you write Biblical Speculative Fiction?
This is huge. The meaning of life in a nutshell.

The answer has to do with question of evil: why do bad things happen to good people?

To outlaw evil, God would have to program all creatures with good. No free will. But the greatest good is freely given love.

So we're free to choose. After we choose to love the Creator, we must eventually realize that we glorify Him by scripturally being what He made us to be.

We wonder at the human body's physical limits when we witness the feats of a Michael Jordan, a Wayne Gretzky, or a Bret Favre. What if they'd opted for an accounting degree?

I write Biblical sci-fi and fantasy because every one of us glorifies Him at the intersection of our talents and passions. Those are mine. It's simply who He made me to be.

Is spec-fic compatible with Christianity?
Loaded question.

For those challenged at separating fiction from reality, fantasy and horror can promote witchcraft. In my lifetime, science fiction has been dominated by atheism.

But what if fantasy and sci-fi had been promoting creationism and miracles? Your question would be a non-issue. Spec-fic would be the best-selling Biblical fiction rather than the best-selling secular fiction genre.

Speculative fiction, by definition, has wide-open settings and characters. Because authors are left to speculate, it's the perfect tool with which to present any world-view, Christian or otherwise.

As ambassadors from Heaven, the Great Commission orders us to provide Biblical answers in love. We're to be in the world, but not of it. So unless we live in an isolationist box, we MUST understand popular culture around us, and use our knowledge to discuss themes and issues. There are Biblical sci-fi and fantasy authors out there--in the coming months, look for an endorsed-author list that separates Christian (subtle), from Biblical (overt) at: www.lostgenreguild.com

Do you have any mentors or role models?
I've had inspirators.

One summer vacation when I was seven or eight years-old, my working mother sent me to a literary program at the public library. That building of books awed me. As we dissected The Secret Garden, I knew then that I would write fiction.

My eleventh grade Creative Writing teacher encouraged me to enter a Literary Contest at the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater. Against hundreds of high school students from several states, my short story won first place. That gave me confidence in my gift.

Francis Schaeffer's non-fiction changed my life. And what Christian author hasn't been touched by Lewis. George Orwell, Tolkien, and Michael Stackpole are other fiction favorites. There are many others, but for inspiration, I tend to think in terms of film archetypes rather than role models, works instead of artists. My fiction archetypes for proper action pacing include: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Die Hard, and The Matrix. Powerful Characters: Hannibal Lechter, Jack Sparrow, Doc Holiday, Rice's Vampires, Jack Bristow, and Oscar Schindler.

What length of fiction do you prefer to write?
Novel-length because it allows more elbow room. But these Light at the Edge of Darkness contributions didn't bother me. It's just a matter of the story you have to tell. Squeezing a novel-sized idea into a short story format, or fleshing-out a short to be a novel is real issue of length. Todd Michael Greene actually dropped out of the Light at The Edge of Darkness anthology because the idea behind his short story was too big. Keep your ear to the ground for a novel called The Novelist's Child.

What creative techniques do you employ?
I organize like Felix Unger, and I'm old-school about reference books. I want to flip pages. I keep sci-fi and fantasy three-ring binders with labeled tabs: theme, setting, sequel notes, names etc. If fact I've referenced my Flashpoint binder twice already for this interview.

Has any particular life experience influenced your writing?
Every minute. Two dead parents, divorce, fallen angel haunting the house, finding salvation, blue-collar jobs, a recently-saved Church of Satan relative, a head-on-collision with a documented healing, and marrying my editor. I really am stunned when I consider how well my experiences fit with writing fiction. Especially in the last few years, so many things have come together, I keep finding myself shaking my head in disbelief and thanking Him. I don't have the space here, but I could write a memoir called Connect the Dots.

Do your Light at the Edge of Darkness stories have a common thread?
"Chairman," "True Freedom," and "Miracle Micro" all share the same setting as my novel, Flashpoint: Book One of the Underground Series. There are no common characters. I do hope that fans of meaningful cyberpunk will enjoy the Biblical themes.



Daniel I Weaver said...

I want to know why the picture here didn't involve bunny ears.

Seriously, thanks for sharing this, Frank. It's always nice to get a little deeper into other writers' heads and see how they tick. I look forward to reading your stories in the published anthology.

God Bless,
Daniel I Weaver

chrisd said...

Nice interview.

I don't remember how we exactly met but I remember going to your blog right after your dad died.

That seems like a lifetime ago.

He *is* so proud of you, Frank, and all you have accomplished since--I'm sure.

Donna Sundblad said...

Good point about most Sci-Fi being dominated by athiesm. When I see a nugget of belief in the true God included in Sci-fi it always encourages me that there is hope for the future. As for those who can't separate reality from fiction--(loved that)--that trait seems to goad much controversy among believers.

However, if fantasy and sci-fi had been promoting creationism and miracles all these years, I believe society would be a bit closer to following the narrow way rather than the broad way. Instead of new religions growing out of a fictional works perhaps the written word would work as a tool to prompt deeper thinking on things real--things above. But, alas, we live on this side of reality and I am happy that Biblical Spec Fic is alive and well--even if it's conroversial or not the most popular genre. When well-written it does make one think.


Andrea Graham said...

Good interview. Those questions really got tweaked.

Lydia Daffenberg said...

Thanks to your interview, I now have a recent picture of you which is good because, when looking around my house, judging by the pictures, you and I apparently never age past 10-14.

I like the organizational method you use when writing. You were always Felixish and me, ehem, Oscarish. Dang it. I have been forced to think about how to organize my writing as I currently work on my first detective fiction story for my class. I've found that a method of organization has become necessary--too many required details and notes for a mystery to just have loose pages and notebooks floating about the computer and on nearby shelves. Plus, this is the year I have chosen to set out writing my first novel, finally. It'd be nice to have a method in place before I begin. Short stories and poetry have allowed me to remain in my messy ways for too long. I might have to borrow your binder idea.

Loved reading the interview.

Andrea Graham said...

The method that works best for each author is the method that works best for each author (read that again, lol) Assuming that makes no sense to you at all, I do pray you find the right method for your personality. But some sort of organization is helpful, even if it looks like a mess/too hard/too complicated to onlookers.

Deborah Cullins Smith said...

Since your Dad was (IS) the love of my life, I can wholeheartedly agree with Chris --- he IS proud of you, Frank. I can just imagine him snickering at the point where you said you are "Felix Ungerish"... I'll bet he and Jesus got a good laugh out of that one! :) In my vivid imagination, I can see Larry poking Jesus in the ribs and pointing at you, asking, "Was that YOUR idea??? Good one, Lord!"

Seriously, great interview. It's been so much fun to get these little glimpses into the lives of all our members. I like the idea of the binders, too. Might have to trade in some of my notebooks for something that will just grow with my projects! :)