Friday, October 26, 2007

FLASHPOINT by Frank Creed

FLASHPOINT by Frank Creed may just be one of the freshest pieces of Christian Fiction to come along in years. I've personally never read a christian novel quite like it. Frank Creed pushes the reader into a cyber-punk future where some Christians are become hyper enhanced warriors called Sandmen (anyone remember Logan's Run?) and Frank has included plenty of ultra-cool technology to help out in the fight against the One World Government which has seized control of the world. One of the coolest aspects of the many awesome fight scenes between sandmen and their foes is the way Mr. Creed takes the reader right into the action in "Bullet-Time" to catch every cool move as it happens. And if you're looking for family friendly, all of the "Kill'n" is done with tranquilizers by the Christians. "Thou shalt not Kill" is still in effect here for these high tech, mindware enhanced believers, but they still mean business. This short novel is full of "ultra-fresh" sci-fi ideas and its protags are two teens who are bent on rescuing their parents and their church. If you loved the Matrix, Terminator, or the like then you'll find "Flashpoint" to be fresh and fun reading from cover to cover and it leaves you wanting the next installment!--James Somers: Author "The Chronicles of Soone."
I've also had the opportunity to interview Mr. Creed:

1.) What was your inspiration for Flashpoint and this series?

This has to do with my whole life. During the Iran Hostage Crisis, I heard TV reporters using the term "fundamentalist terrorist" without regard. I'd been taught in Sunday-school that those who believed in the Bible were Fundamentalists. That bothered me and it was the planted seed.
Shortly before being saved in the early 1990s, I read a copy of Hal Lindsey's, Late Great Planet Earth.
I always wanted to write fiction, but as a fan of science fiction, and with my new fascination in eschatology, everything clicked. Christ coming in the near future? Cyberpunk (near-future dystopian high-tech sci-fi), was the perfect genre.
I did learn soon that obsession with the end Times was not very useful. The Gospel is all about love, and new believers are easily distracted.

2.) You are obviously a big action fan. What influences the way you write an action scene?

Congratulations on asking the hardest question I've ever had to answer in an interview. (No problem,) My short answer is life. And I mean all of it, highs and lows. Pack it all into 60k words. What don't kill ya' makes you stronger. Yeah that's a cliche, but when you can pack all that pain into so little space--that's action. Blow by blow.

If one wants to learn how to write a tight action scene, check the Cyberpunk series called Shadowrun. Thanks to Kevin Lucia's Titletrack, I discovered Mel Odom's Website and I got to nag him one night to write another of my top three favorite cyberpunk novels. Run Fast, Die Hard is a classic. Argent, his main character rocks. One of my top ten novelists replied by next morning. I Smiled.

Cyberpunk is all about action:
Top novels Wolf and Raven, Run Hard Die Fast, Striper Assassin, by Michael Stackpole, Mel Odom, and Nyx Smith.
Top Films: The Matrix, Blade Runner (genre debateable--sue me), Johnny Nemonic.
Sci-fi aside? Die Hard, Raiders, and Bourne--all-that. My big complaint about action films, if bullets miss there has to be a reason why.

3.) Would you say that, as a writer, you have been more influenced by movies or other books? And what are your favorites?

Both--but there's another fiction source--gaming. Tabletop dice-rolling role-playing games and first-person-shooter computer games have shaped a big part of my fiction. Props to TSR (now Wizards of the Coast), and ID Software. Gaming fires imagination. For purposes of evangelism and discipleship, look for Flashpoint the Role Playing Game in 08.
All-time favorite movies: The Matrix, Schindler's List, Monty Python and the holy Grail.
All-time favorite authors: George Orwell, CS Lewis, and ML Tyndall.

4.) Are you a disciplined writer or seat of your pants? Do you outline everything first or allow the mood to strike?

Beginning and end. I do write out a rough outline before I begin a fiction project.
But from my creative approach, a story must tell itself. I detail the outline as I go.

When it comes to fiction there is no moral absolute. There is no proper way. We're all created in the image of the Creator, so we fallen-scribes have that going for us. I cannot believe a number of creative methodologies through which successful authors approach.

5.) What can we expect in the future from Frank Creed as a writer and this series?

War of Attrition: Book Two of the Underground: the Unholy Trinity, trauma-action, and a surprise at the end--stand alone novels only in this series. Necessary background data included.

In coming months, Frank Creed the writer will be offering manusript evaluation services

6.) How did you come to be published with the Writer's Cafe Press?

Here comes the big secret. Marry a schoolteacher. I met my wife online, on May 9, 2003. Cynthia edited many things for local schools and education organizations, and offered to edit Flashpoint.
We wound-up marrying. Because it took her two years to get her Green Card, the only thing we could think of for her to make income was her editing skill. She started a business called the Writer's Café. After years of editing and networking, she learned that the Web and trend for corporate outsourcing had changed the publishing industry forever. A small independent press could now do everything that the traditional houses had been doing for decades.
When she told me she wanted to publish Flashpoint, it was very exciting, but that excitement was tempered by an amateur feeling. Face it, being published by your wife is a short step away from being published by your mom. I gained confidence quickly as she published a fantasy anthology (Tales for the Thrifty Barbarian), and A Child Underground, the memoirs of a Holocaust survivor. By the time the Biblical speculative fiction Anthology, Light at the Edge of Darkness, was compiled in August of 06, my confidence was complete.
I may be sleeping with my publisher, but our business relationship is completely professional. She respects me as an artist, and I get the same kind of deadlines, contracts, and expectations as everyone else she publishes. We work well as a team and I expect this to be a huge advantage as together we live the crazy-paced lifestyle. Book signings are also desperately needed weekends away.
Just as everything else in my life goes into my books, how God gave me a gift like Cynthia, is absolutely unreal. In conclusion: marry a schoolteacher! TWCP is currently booked through Dec of 2008.
Thanks for taking the time, Mr. Creed and I hope all goes well with your exciting new Christian Action series.
To be interviewed by the Chronicles of Soone mastermind. The honor is all mine, Mr. Somers.
To God be the glory,Frank Creed--novelist & founder of the Lost Genre Guild


David Mackey said...

I don't know if I have ever read cyberpunk, but I appreciated your definition as I oftentimes wondered what the genre was about. Interestingly, the storyline seems similar to a serial series that used to run in Focus on the Family's Breakaway magazine for teen guys in the late '90s.

Frank Creed said...

Love your enemy.
You don't do that with a bullet.
A tranq round gives a target a bad headache, and a chance to rethink what it's all about.

James Somers--
The Web's surreal. I can't belive that the author of the Chonicles of Soone just interviewed me.

My beloved Cynthia and I work together behind the scenes in the same house. It's a huge advantage, but every once in awhile something slips through the cracks.
I've a physical handicap that flared up early in the week, and it let-up just in time for factoty (Subaru of Indiana) work while I tried to keep pace with the Flashpoint blog-tour. And failed.

Mr. Somers, I so appreciate that you've taken the time--for everything. That Flashpoint: Book One of the Underground entertained a novelist and Professor is the highest compliment.

Thank you.

To Fod be the glory,

Frank Creed said...

To be reviewed and interviewed by one of Breakneck Book's novelists is an honor. That you liked it makes me smile.

Thank you!


James Somers said...

liked?, no, no...I loved it. I like to write action in the same style right in the middle of every flip and throw!
Personally I'd love to see the a video game, whoo-hoo!
The privilege was mine.

DragonRider said...

I haven't read this. I'll check our library.