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Interview: Frank Scully, Author of Resurrection Garden

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Born and raised in North Dakota, Frank Scully, went on to receive both a Bachelor’s degree in History, with Phi Beta Kappa Honors, as well as a Juris Doctor degree in Law, from the University of North Dakota.  Mr. Scully then went on to serve as a Judge Advocate General Corps Officer in the U. S. Army in the U. S., Vietnam, and Thailand, for more than five years.

After which time, Frank Scully went on to attend the prestigious Thunderbird School where he received a Masters in Business Administration, complete with honors.  Mr. Scully has owned his own small business as well as working as an executive with large aerospace and defense manufacturers.

Through ups and downs, Frank Scully has never given up and has been:  “Blessed with an understanding wife who gave him twin sons, he has remained through it all a dreamer whose passion is writing stories that will entertain readers.”

Resurrection Garden is Frank Scully’s first mystery book of the five books he has contracted for with MuseItUp Publishing.

Please tell us a bit about your book: Resurrection Garden — characters, plot, etc.

Resurrection Garden is a mystery set against the backdrop of the settling of the North Dakota prairie at the beginning of the 20th century. Railroads and the telegraph were changing transportation and communication. The pace of life was speeding up. The land was filling up with settlers. Opportunity grew out of the newly plowed ground. Deputy Sheriff Jake Turner, a man with a past he would like to leave behind, discovers the body of a murdered man in a thawing snowdrift. While investigating the roots of the crime, Jake uncovers threads leading toward his best friend, who is the brother of the woman he is falling love with. Jake is almost killed and an orphaned boy who has attached himself to Jake is kidnapped and almost killed. Jake is convinced the people behind the murder will kill again to cover their tracks but solving the crime might destroy his dreams. The characters and story are true to their time and place. Interwoven into the fictional are aspects of real life culled from newspapers and letters from the era.

If you could meet, in person, any of your characters, who would it be and why?

Jake Turner, my protagonist, is a complex man. Even though I created him and his back story, he did some things in the story that surprised me as I was writing it.

If you could fictionalize yourself and put yourself in any situation, how would it play out? Could you give us a scene/scenario of such an occurrence?

I have done a highly fictionalized version of a contracts manager such as myself in one of my books that will be released later this year. Empty Time is a thriller crime novel with a modern day high concept setting. Today’s corporate titans are much like feudal lords and barons of medieval times. They fight and scheme their way up a ladder of prestige, privilege, wealth and power. The major difference is the lack of a belief in a coherent code of conduct or moral precepts. Chivalry is dead. Working on a global scale beyond governments and borders, these new aristocrats are almost untouchable. To take over a large leading-edge technology corporation three top executives are willing to commit murder and fraud to manipulate the stock market and the international currency exchange market. To divert attention and provide a patsy they set up their senior contracts manager to take the blame before he is to be killed. He survives and discovers through the sacrifice of another that in order for life to have meaning he must be willing to give it up for something. To save the people he loves he must put his life on the line to turn the tables on his former colleagues.

However, any similarity I might share with Jim Lang, the hero of this story, other than job title, is probably more wishful thinking on my part than anything else.

Do you have any particular habits that you do while writing? Places you write the best, foods, drinks, etc that help set your “writing mood”?

I need to know that I have at least a couple hours time set aside. If I have less I have a tough time getting into full “story” mode. I usually start out by doing some editing on whatever I worked on the day before. That gets me into the story and writing mode. For me it is like a movie is running in my head and my job is to get it down on paper. The characters take on lives of their own and run with the plot sometimes in directions not in my original plan.

What are you reading right now?

Rough Country by John Sandford.

Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books?

Too many to name them all. To mention just a few: Scott Turow, Len Deighton, Rex Stout, Raymond Chandler, Tony Hillerman, Ngaio Marsh, and Michael Connelly.

If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

This is a really tough question. There are so many I would like to meet but if I had to pick one it would be Rex Stout, barely edging out Raymond Chandler. Rex Stout’s “Nero Wolfe” series got me hooked on mysteries, and his Archie Goodwin character is one of my favorites.

Okay, here are a few “get to know you better” questions:

Please share with us a favorite memory.

The birth of my twin sons. It was a hectic day. My wife went into labor five weeks early and I had to rush home from work, pick her up and get her to the hospital. I forgot to close the door to our apartment on the way to the hospital. And that was just the first of many crazy things that happened that day. Some were scary and some were funny but it all turned out well.

Please describe a perfect meal — including menu and those present.

A patio restaurant on a tropical beach at sunset. My wife and I enjoying a dinner of exquisitely prepared seafood in a variety of oriental styles.

What are some of your favorite ways to relax?

Of course, I enjoy reading. I also enjoy a good TV show every now and then. Big Bang Theory is good for a laugh. Justified is a wonderful series. I like to putter in the garden in the summer and take a long walk.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I would like to try the Tuscany region in Italy.

If you could only read books by one author, who would it be? *I know, this is an inconceivable thought, lol.

It is a gut wrenching thought. If I absolutely had to choose it would be Rex Stout.

Share with us a few of your dreams. Also whether they have been fulfilled or are still a work in progress.

I have no pretensions of literary greatness. I just hope to entertain the reader. My dream is to build a respectable audience for my stories and continue doing it as long as I am able.

What are some of your guilty pleasures?

I am a chocolate addict. I love dark chocolate covered nuts of any kind. I had to give up brownies and chocolate chip cookies because of their effect on my waistline.

If you could leave the world with one piece of advice, what would it be?

It’s an old adage but a true one. It isn’t how many times you get knocked down that counts, it’s how many times you get back up. Persevere.

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About April Pohren

  • Enjoyed the interview. Learned a few new things about the author.