Pretty much everyone on the East Coast woke to a blanket of fresh snow. You may have shoveled the snow already or are looking out the window dreading the task. Either way, I think you should curl up with a warm blanket and a good book. How about a horror novel with some comedy mixed in? What did you say? That sounds like a great idea. Grab a warm beverage or a bottle of scotch and keep warm in the author spotlight with Brian Francis.
Welcome Brian. Please tell us about your new release.
It’s called Merry AXmas and it’s a horror comedy. The main character, Barry Higgins, is a down-on-his-luck part-time Santa wrongly accused of being a serial killer. It’s also about a competitive eater, a hermit crab on ecstasy, and a CEO on the brink of financial ruin. Lastly, I’d say the book is an ode to my hometown of Philadelphia.
How did you come up with the idea for this book?
I wanted to write a satire, and I thought the overblown nature of Christmas would be an easy target.
What can you tell us about your main characters?
Barry is a bit of a loser with a big heart. He’s a relative “straight-man” surrounded by a bunch of wacky characters and strange events.
How did you begin your writing career?
Writing jokes, songs and poems in college. Writing for college and local newspapers. Basically, taking on any writing gig that sounded fun…paid or unpaid.
Who is your book published through?
Damnation Books, Santa Rosa CA
Where can we find your book?
On-line (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes etc.) and through the publisher’s website.
Where did you get the inspiration for this book?
My last book was a horror novel so I wanted to do something lighter, sillier. People were concerned about my mental health after reading my horror novel, so I wanted to assure everyone that I’m okay by writing a comedy. After reading Merry AXmas, they’re even MORE concerned about me.
How long did it take you to write your current novel?
About a year.
I am excited about your book and you make me laugh. I want readers to experience your humor. If you wouldn’t mind, I have some silly questions for you to answer. Let’s go.
Did I mention the snow? We are all dreaming of stretching out on a tropical Island right now. If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Tell me something about yourself that might be funny to others? (other than writing)
I’m a bit of a “germaphobe” and use way too much hand sanitizer on a daily basis. I realize my habit is contributing to the creation of a “super bug,” but I just can’t help myself.
Would you please share an odd behavior you’ve picked up while writing? (An example: during intense scenes, my fingers pound the keyboard.)
Umm…I talk out loud to myself when trying to get the rhythm of dialogue, although I don’t know if that’s odd. They say, “The ear is the best editor.” And I believe it!
Share a pet peeve of yours (related to writing or otherwise).
The only kind of writing I don’t like is stuff that’s boring. If you’re entertaining me…you’re a good writer.
Do characters invade your head the moment you stumble on a new writing idea? If so, how long did you fear that you’d gone insane before realizing this is the norm for writers?
As for characters…I feel like my characters are in my novels to carry ideas. And when my characters clash, they represent a clash of ideas. I also try to give the reader something pleasant or weird to envision. A hot chick. A drunken part-time Santa, etc.
What is your day job?
High school English teacher and guidance counselor to gifted students.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Happy. (Okay…I stole that answer from John Lennon.) I don’t know…I’m STILL not sure what I want to be when I grow up.
If you could change lives with any of your characters for a day, which character would you choose and why?
I don’t really think about my characters in that way. In fact, I rarely think about them at all after the novel is published.
What are your favorite TV shows?
I don’t watch a lot of TV. I watch the Family Guy. Documentaries on Netflix. And Philadelphia Eagles football games.
I am pleased to meet you. I wish you the very best and look forward to reading your novel Merry AXmas.
Katie McKnight is the author of a suspenseful-romance novel titled Secrets Revealed. To learn more about Katie, her novel or spotlighting your book, contact Katie at www.katie-mcknight-author.com or www.facebook.com/katiemcknightauthorpage