Friday, March 30, 2018

Book Bites: Sarah Frank, author of One Chance

Book Bites: Short and Sweet Interviews for Readers on the Go

Today, I've got something completely new in store for you: a teen author (really, Frank is only 15 and already published- I think I was still showing up at school with my shirt on inside-out when I was her age) and a middle-grade novel. I was lucky enough to meet Sarah Frank, author of One Chance, a few months ago, as she attends Howard W. Blake High School, my former work stomping ground. Read on as Frank discusses writer's block, time travel and shares the best piece of writing advice she's received so far. Cheers and happy reading!

What drew you to the genre you write in?

Growing up, I fell in love with the Magic Tree House books so I knew that I wanted to include time-travel. In second grade, Harry Potter became my new favorite series (and it still is.) I loved the idea of creating unique and magic worlds. The following year, in third grade, I started reading biographies and found a new love in history. When I sat down to write the very first draft of One Chance in 5th grade, I knew I wanted to write a book that I would want to read. So, I combined time-travel, magic, and history to create the Stone of Discedo, a time traveling stone, which was the foundation of the book.

How do you handle writer’s block?

Writer’s block is tough. When I come to a spot where I don’t know what to do next (which happens more frequently than you might think), I pause my work, go do something else, and then come back to the piece with a fresh pair of eyes.

Who was your intended audience for the novel?
One Chance is middle grade fiction, so the target audience is between 4th and 7th grade, but I’ve met 2nd graders who read it and enjoyed it, as well as adults who have read it, too.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of writing advice I ever received was from a camp counselor at a writing camp I’ve gone to for 6 years. I remember her saying that no matter how many times you edit, there will always be things you want to change, and that everything is a draft until you die or get it published. This couldn’t be more true. Editing was a difficult process for me; it’s hard to let go of things you feel close to, but I kept reminding myself it’s just the way things go.

What single book has been the most influential to you as a writer?
Harry Potter is the most influential book to me. J.K. Rowling has such an amazing craft and it was her that inspired me to want to write my own magical stories. If I hadn’t read Harry Potter and fallen in love with magic and fantasy books, I feel as though I’d be in a very different place then where I am today.

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