Frank F. Fiore, Author of “The Oracle”

The OracleWelcome, Frank. What is your book about?

The ORACLE consists of a series of short stories tied together by means of a background story – a story within a story (similar to Ray Bradbury’s “Illustrated Man”). And like the Jeffrey Archer and Twilight Zone stories, the Oracle short stories are written with surprise endings.

The background story begins with a young musician on his way to Phoenix from Los Angles for a concert. He is given a car by his manager and shortly after entering Arizona it breaks down. Out in the middle of nowhere he decides to hitch a ride to the nearest town for help. While waiting for a ride, the weather turns inclement and he seeks refuge at a ranch house inhabited by an old and lonely couple. They invite him in and persuade him to stay for dinner.

After eating, they retire to the living room. After a while, the old woman offers to show their guest some of their three dimensional slides on their old-time stereoscope.

Being polite, the young man decides to endure the request. His hosts carefully remove a set of slides from a shiny metallic box from under the coffee table and place the first one in the stereoscope’s viewer. They instruct the young man to hold the stereoscope up to the living room lamp and focus it towards the viewer. When the viewer is focused and the light hits the slide, something amazing happens.

The still 3D image begins to move!

The first image he sees tells a tale that happens to be one of the short stories in the series. At the end of the first story, the young man turns to question his hosts on this wonderfully strange device. The couple just smile and offer him another slide. He asks again what the device is and where did it come from. The couple respond that the device is an ordinary stereoscope of the early 1900s that they purchased from a Sears catalog many years ago.

But the slides – ah yes, the slides. That’s another matter indeed.

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

I came up with idea and the basic outline for THE ORACLE 40 years ago. After completing my 4th novel, I dusted off the outline and story summaries and decided to write the book of short stories.

What about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Readers like to be surprised by a story. One that is unexpected and entertaining. If you know how the Twilight Zone TV show stories unfold, then the short stories in THE ORACLE will pique your interest.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

I’m from Brooklyn, New York. A Brooklyn boy gets right to the point and in away that communicates quickly and efficiently. You would know this if you ever spend time around New Yorkers. So that’s how I write. Conversationally without long boring narratives. If you want a quick entertaining read, then the THE ORACLE fits that bill.

What are you working on right now?

I’ve just finished my 5th novel. It’s called MURRAN. I expect this to be my breakthrough novel because it is steeped in politically incorrect controversy. It is getting very good reviews from my beta readers.

MURRAN is the story of a young African-American boy named Trey coming of age in the 1980s, and his rite of passage to adulthood. Trey is a member of a ‘crew’ in Brooklyn and is enticed into helping a violent drug gang. He is eventually framed for murder and flees with his high school teacher to his Maasai village in Kenya. There, Trey learns what a true Black African and African culture is, goes through the Maasai warrior’s rite of passage, becomes a young shaman, and returns to America to confront the gang leader that framed him.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your work-in-progress?

Controversy. A politically incorrect version of Blacks and their culture in America.

Do you have mental list or a computer file or a spiral notebook with the ideas for or outlines of stories that you have not written but intend to one day?

Many years ago, I started collecting ideas for my novels. I created file folders for each proposed story I would write. As I found any and all material that fit the story line, I would drop it into the assigned folder. This would include websites, books, news items, magazine articles, videos, etc. etc. This process has worked well for me in helping develop my stories.

How many stories do you currently have swirling around in your head?

I’ve completed 5 novels and currently doing research on a 6th novel. I have at least 3 more in the hopper.

Which is more important to your story, character or plot?

Plot. Plot. Plot. Without plot characters have nothing to do. Plot first then develop characters to drive the plot. And in the process, SHOW don’t TELL.

Who gave you the best writing advice you ever received and what was it?

A fellow popular author colleague of mine. Write, write and write. Create a back list of books. If one takes off, readers will flock to your other books. The more books you have in the marketplace the better return on your writing time when your first book becomes popular. Then Tom Clancy – yeah, that Tom Clancy – told me to don’t suffer over a book. Complete and go on to the next one.

Have you written any other books?

I’ve written a dozen non-fiction books before turning to fiction. My fiction books include: CYBERKILL – a techno-thriller, The chronicle of Jeremy Nash – a 3 book action/adventure character series, THE ORACLE that I mentioned before, and MURRAN which is in the hands of beta renders now.

What do you like to read? What is your favorite genre?

I break a cardinal rule here on writing. I don’t read other author’s books. I haven’ read a book in 10 years. What I do is watch tons and tons of movies because I write my novels as movies. I’ve learned a lot about writing watching and dissecting movies – plotting, character development, pacing, etc.

What genre are your books?

Thrillers, Action/Adventures/ SyFy and Mainstream fiction. I’m told that I write in the vein of Michael Crichton because we both write in many different genres.

If you could have lunch with one person, real or fictitious, who would it be?

Robert Heinlein. If you read the Notebooks of Lazarus Long in his novel ‘Time Enough for Love’, you’ll see why.

Where can people learn more about your books?

Check out my author website at http://www.frankfiore.com and my blog at http://frankfiore.wordpress.com/

Frank Fiore, Author of “CyberKill”

Welcome, Frank. Please tell us about your new novel CyberKill.

Fans of Tom Clancy, James Patterson and Clive Cussler, will enjoy this twist on the Frankenstein myth. A brilliant programmer, Travis Cole, inadvertently creates “Dorian,” an artificial intelligence that lives on the Internet. After Cole attempts to terminate his creation, Dorian stalks his young daughter through cyberspace in an attempt to reach Cole to seek revenge.

When a top secret government anti-terrorist, nano-technology program, SIRUS, gets deployed for testing, Dorian discovers the perfect vehicle for his retribution. Cyber-terrorism events threaten the United States, as the forsaken and bitter Dorian zeroes in on his target. In the final conflict, Dorian seeks to kill his creator – even if it has to destroy all of humanity to do it.

Cyberkill has recently been turned into an enhanced digital book. Just what is an enhanced book?

Basically, enhanced books are the process of rethinking what a book is. They’re e-books enhanced with video, author interviews and social-networking applications.

What enhanced digital book features does CyberKill have?

The new features available in the Enhanced digital app version of Cyberkill, many of which have never been seen in a digital book before, include seamless switching between the text version and a full audio version of the story, evolving synopsis, character lookup and biography, dynamic links to incorporate the power of the web into the book, sharing through social media and email, bookmarking, recorded annotations, author videos and commentaries, and author interaction.

You said it was an App?

Yes. The App will run on the iPhone 3G and later; iPad (all); iPod 2 and later. Basically, any Apple device running iOS 4.2 or higher. You can download the App a in the Apple App store.

You can also run the App on all Android smart phones and tablets running version 2.2 or later of the Android operating system, including the Kindle Fire and NOOK.

And since it is an App, I can change the book, add new features or expand on the ones there, at ay time.

Why did you want to have CyberKill turned into an enhanced digital book?

I wanted to share a story with as wide an audience as possible, using whatever narrative tools were at my disposal. I was really excited about releasing the Cyberkill Enhanced digital app because it allowed me to add elements to the story that would have been impossible in a traditional eBook. This new technology creates a new way for authors and readers to approach books that enrich and extend storytelling, and I’m hoping readers will like what we’ve created.”

In short, readers now can ‘experience’ a book and not just read it.

What else is unique about the enhanced version of CyberKill?

It’s free. You see, it’s advertising supported so you can download the entire App for free. You can turn off the ads at anytime through the main menu to purchase the Enhanced eBook application for $4.99. The ads will disappear, and your eyeballs will thank you.

What is an Evolving Synopsis?

Ever forget what has happened in a book? How about that character you just can’t quite remember? Your Enhanced eBook has both an evolving book synopsis and an evolving character synopsis. As you read along in the book, the evolving synopses are populated with simple plot points to remind you of the action. We’ll never spoil the plot by revealing what is going to happen next!

How can a person share the Trapdoor Enhanced eBook experience with friends?

Contrary to traditional belief, reading is not a solitary endeavor. We make it easy to share your thoughts with friends, book review sites and the author!

To share a passage using your favorite social media site, double tap and drag the blue dots to highlight the entire passage. Select Share from the pop-up menu. Depending on which Social Media sites you have installed on your device, options for sharing will appear – including the most popular such as Twitter and FaceBook. Submitting your post will return you to the book.

Chatting with the author is a wickedly cool feature in your Enhanced eBook application. To make a post to the author’s blog, choose Chat With Author from the Main menu. An author page with a forum will appear. Follow existing conversations or start your own thread. It’s easy and fun.

What is marginalia?

The Marginalia display area is a bar running down the right-hand side of the page displaying icons for Enhanced eBook features. It can be turned on and off by tapping the triangle icon located in the upper-right corner of the book.

To access a marginalia feature — such as a wiki-link, map, bookmark, annotation, audio extra, or video extra — simply tap on the icon and the feature will display. For example, a wiki-link (the W icon in the marginalia) will take you to a website with more information about a particular topic found in the text (i.e., BattleBots). Tapping the back arrow will return you to the book.

After Cyberkill, what’s next for Frank Fiore?

I’ve just finished a charter series called the Chronicles of Jeremy Nash. Jeremy Nash, a noted debunker and skeptic of conspiracy theories, urban legends and myths. The formula of the chronicles consists of a conspiracy theory, unsolved mystery, urban myth, New Age belief or paranormal practice that Nash is forced to pursue through a series of clues and puzzles that he must solve; combined with an underlying real world threat of event, organization or persons that is somehow connected to what he is pursuing. This provides the thriller aspect of the stories.

Think Indiana Jones meets National Treasure meets the X-Files.

For more background and info on CyberKill — the enhanced book — go to http://www.frankfiore.com/cyberkill/cyberkill-3-0/ or http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cyberkill/id470293392?mt=8.

Thank you, Frank. This has been a very interesting discussion.