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Jan 2, 2014

WHAT BRICK WALL?...#interview with Frank Zubek

Posted by Wendy Ewurum  |  at  4:13 PM

Today I'm introducing you to Frank Zubek. Frank and I are swapping stories, aspirations and battle wounds today. He is hosting me at this awesome blog: What Brick Wall. Perhaps after reading his interview here you can hop on over and message my ego a bit. Enjoy getting to know Frank and you may also just be tempted to submitting a short story for his anthology.

Author Bio:

Hi, my name is Frank Zubek

I write short stories and novellas that can be found on Kindle.
A Mother For Emily  Short story on Kindle and an audio book.
Chalk Story Novella on Kindle and audio book.
Martin's House of Books Short story on Kindle.
Frank Zubek :Stories Short story collection ( 17 stories) on Kindle.
A Strange Life   A paranormal/horror novella and audio book.
Newest work can be seen in the "Something To Read" charity anthologies.

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1.       Frank you have had a hectic couple of months with an international anthology project, which is the reason why I invited you over. But before that I’d like us to chat a little about your own books and writing.

 Sure and thanks for this opportunity. Many readers outside of the United States don’t know much about me or my work. I’m Frank Zubek and I live in Ohio. I have a web page that has a good deal of info about my work www.frankzubek.net/ and I also run a blog called www.whatbrickwall.blogspot.com/  (Which is a metaphor about how life throws brick walls up in front of us and its up to each of us to find ways up over, around or through the brick wall to reach our goals or dreams).

     2. Can you tell us a little about your writing journey, I believe you’ve been at it for 15 years?
I was a cartoonist for the longest time and making lunch money on the side with it but I wanted more creatively. So I wrote stories and novellas and stuffed them into envelopes and mailed them. After a few months they’d come back rejected. But that’s all part of the business. You want to be a writer you have to keep at it. Finally I landed a few web pages that pay and around that time I noticed this kindle phenomenon and jumped in.

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3. One of your books that caught my eye is A STRANGELIFE,  a paranormal detective story. I really liked the sound of it from the blurb. What’s the story behind that book?
I enjoy the Twilight Zone and X-Files. I wanted to leave my mark in that genre but only if I could do it and avoid the standard clichés. So I thought of Nick Crowell. A Cleveland Detective who was chasing a purse-snatcher through a cemetery. There’s a gun fight and Crowell gets shot but survives. After that incident, he encounters people who have weird, life-altering events happen to them.
Like the very first Crowell story I ever wrote was called Blame It On The Snowman. A woman is killed and her boyfriend claims a snowman killed her. Despite Crowell’s belief that the guy really didn’t do it, he has to take the guy in due to the lack of evidence of a snowman or anyone else. I entered that story in a Demon Minds Halloween contest and got 4,000 votes, which encouraged me to write more Crowell stories. I wrote 4 more for them in 2007 and 2008 and then eventually wound up writing the novella, A Strange Life which is now on amazon kindle as well as on audio. I’m hoping to have it available as a paperback this year. See, the twist about Crowell is that he WANTS to help these people who come to him and yet he has no experience in this sort of thing. This frustrates him. Now in the novella I added a sexy black partner for him named Jay Cole. As he is divorced he gets attracted to her which causes some stumbling around between them before they settle into being just partners. I also have a dead guy by the name of Mr. Bones, who calls Crowell on his cell several times guiding him on this strange journey. 

4.        Is there any type of continuation in that story?
Yes, now that I’ve established his world I can start a series of books. I am planning two for this year. The first is due April 1st. and is called, Hunting Sheep.  I also plan for him to settle into his new life as a divorced man and maybe meet someone who can tolerate the ghosts and strange people Crowell encounters.

5.What do you think your readers will enjoy most about this series?
Hopefully they’ll be intrigued by Crowell who is a dedicated cop trying to do a good job. I hope they’ll like his partner, Cole, who is a single mom trying to raise a daughter. And his friend Phil the bartender, a former cop who uses the bar as a safe haven for his fellow cops so they can come to him and wrestle with their problems. My real dream is if Hollywood takes an interest and wants to buy the TV or film rights. That’s the goal.

6.        The project I mentioned has been keeping you on your toes is your Anthology which you are working to promote and involve authors worldwide; I personally referred a very talented writer and blogger Seun Odukoya  from Nigeria to you in this regard. F\He was very excited to have been selected by the way. What is this project all about?
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In September of last year, I was surfing around on a writing community board,  www.kboards.com/ and a fellow writer, Stella Wilkinson, was there asking if anyone wanted to donate a story to an anthology she wanted to put together to raise funds for Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal, A Children's Hospital Charity located in the UK. Wanting to help out, I thought something up in about a day and sent it to her. I also began to pepper her with suggestions on marketing the book and I guess I overwhelmed her because she asked if I wanted to take on the marketing chores, which I did. And that’s why I’m here in an attempt to get some international attention for the books through your blog.

7.        Why did you decide to go down this route in the first place?
It’s the right thing to do. Each story in these books ( and remember another one is due out in March) could have easily been sent elsewhere and the money could have gone toward some writer’s utility bill or something. But they chose to send it to us for the charity. Now, speaking for myself, I think its 
important that people- if they can- volunteer their time to help out those less fortunate. In this economy its more important than ever to help others. Whether its selling lemonade on a street corner to give to charity or donating a story to an anthology. Who knows who will benefit down the road from the good deed someone does today?

8.        Who is involved and how do authors become involved?
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Stella Wilkinson thought the idea up and she is editing the project. Now the overall loose theme of the books is for the reader to have something to read while they wait for or ride a subway, bus or cab or stuck in an airport between flights etc. So far there are two books available on amazon and by the way they are available in paperback too!
The third, last book in this series is called Something To Take With You and we're accepting stories Jan 1 thru to Feb 28 2014. with an eye toward a March 2014 release. Any writer, famous or not, e-book or paper can submit though it has to be sent attached by email. Submission rules are on my blog www.whatbrickwall.blogspot.com/

Each story is donated and there is a 1,000 word limit as it is flash fiction and no erotica please. But all other genres are welcome. Send stories to Stella at her email  swilkinsonauthor@gmail.com


9.        Tell us about the actual process of selecting which stories you will include in the anthology.
Actually, Stella, who edits the books, does the heavy lifting on that though there were a few stories she sent to me for my opinion. Sort of a second set of eyes though she has final word. The hard part of course, is picking the strongest stories to be first handful in the front of the book to draw the readers in without making the rest of the authors, many of whom, inevitably wind up at the back of the book, not feel as if their stories are of a lesser quality. For that reason, at least in book 2, Stella and I ARE the last stories in the books. I don’t envy any editor who is charged with putting together an anthology or any story collection. At the end of the day, a handful of the stories wind up last.

10.    What has the impact been on resources for running a project of this magnitude?
Well it is tough to be sure. I don’t know about Stella but I myself am broke so I’m limited with the many mass media marketing resources available. But I am using twitter and face book. So the biggest resource for me that’s being affected is my time but then marketing can eat up just as much time as actual writing if you want to get any results at all. For instance, its Wednesday afternoon here in Cleveland and I have already been going over this interview for nearly four hours now making sure I tell my story the best way possible. But that’s okay because I know the potential of this being on your blog and how many readers will stop by and check this out.
Stella and I both have families as well as day jobs. And each of us needs to sleep and do chores and such as well as field questions from each writer who grabs us on face book or by email. One interesting problem is that she is in London and I’m in Ohio so some nights if I have a pressing question I have to email it and then wait til the next morning for an answer.
Also since I am the marketing person I have to think up interesting ways to push the books on twitter and face book as well as update my blog and make it still sound interesting. One thing that makes it really tough is its an open genre book. It isn’t “just” horror, or “just” fantasy. Its ALL of it. Humor, horror, everyday contemporary situations, then back to drama and then another humorous piece and then something about zombies. So there is something for everyone. I dare think even readers who like one genre over another will enjoy it. Bottom line is the money you pay is going to charity and in exchange you get a number of unique and interesting stories- no matter the genre. When all is said and done, I think the 3 books will contain over 90 stories from over 70 writers who live in at least 5 different countries all for one cause. As I said, it’s a unique collection. By the way there is a face book page for the books too https://www.facebook.com/somethinginternational?skip_nax_wizard=true

11.    What kind of results are you looking forward to?
Money for the charity of course. That’s the bottom line. After Amazon gets its cut for its role in the distribution of the books, every penny goes to the charity.

12.    What are you looking forward to accomplishing in 2014…at the end of the year when you reach this point and you reflect on your progress, what would be the most satisfactory achievement for you?

I would hope I was able to add a few more books to my resume. I would hope that I made a number of new friends as well as fans from my stories. And that the stories inspire them to go out and be nice to others in some way. You see, most of my work is dramatic contemporary lit or what I call, common people facing common problems ( Though in Crowell’s case, its a common cop facing unusual problems) Everyone has a large or small brick wall in their life and while its impossible for all walls to be conquered I hope a number of the people reading this find a way through theirs. 

Thanks for having me Wendy!

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What a lovely interview this was Frank. I'm so happy to have done this with you and thank you again for having me on your blog as well. I loved answering those question for you. 

Reader: 
For my interview on Franks blog please follow this link. WHAT BRICK WALL

If you've read this far then I reckon you deserve a chance at one of the books. Leave a comment to win a copy of A Strange Life. 
You are also more than welcome to purchase the anthologies yourself and help with this charity work.
And remember I'd love for you to follow my blog and join my fabulous posse'. GFC link is on the sidebar.
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About the Author

Most know me as the author to Fabulosity Reads and in actual fact, that is the previous name of this blog. I have since then moved my books to a Wordpress self-hosted blog so that I can have a place to show a different side of me which I am equally passionate about and that is marketing and personal development. I hope you will love being here, watching me grow as I share and learn. My highest hope is that we will grown and learn together in all disciplines affecting our lives. I'd LUUURRRVE to hear from you, so don't be shy...

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Email: Wendy.Ewurum@fabulosityreads.com Tel: 071 087 4833 South Africa Twitter: twitter.com/FabulosityReads Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fabmarketingandpr
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