Frank Winston - Jacob Power
What happens when an author combines a real life news article with a plot that fans of Grumpy Old Men would applaud?
Frank Winston by Jacob Power happens - that's what.
This entertaining short story is a fun combination of humor and thrills as a couple of older ex-cons try to make some quick cash.
Complete with plenty of face-palm moments, I found myself feeling quite bad for the two main characters as they have no idea what they're getting themselves into at the start of the day.
Frank Winston was a great departure from my normal reading list. It was unique, enjoyable, and well written.
Some Bio Information
Jacob Power is a graphic designer, husband, father, and writer, but not necessarily in that order. He grew up in central Louisiana and graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in journalism. To view more samples of his writing, or graphic design work, you can visit his website JPowerDesign.com, or follow him on Twitter @PowerJacobE.
1. What inspired you to write this short story?
A friend of mine sent me a news story where two older guys were arrested for driving around in what looked like a sniper van. One of the men had some sort of connection with the New Orleans mob, and both men were denying they had any idea of the silenced .22 rifle that was in the van. As soon as I finished reading the article the movie "Grumpy Old Men" came to mind and the idea of the story was born.
2. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
I have a full time job, wife, three kids, and two dogs. To say I'm busy is an understatement. However, I carve out time here and there where I can. Sometimes I write late at night, sometimes I write on my lunch break. The great thing about this story was that it was extremely fun to write. Plus, I knew it was going to be a short story so that allowed me to let the story be as long or short as it wanted to be. I liked writing these two old guys, and I loved the conversations they had. I was always eager to see what was going to happen next.
Right now, I'm doing the same thing for a novel I'm working on, some writing in the morning (when I can get out of bed early enough), at lunch, and at night once the kids are in bed. I used to never plan ahead when it came to writing, but I've found that having a loose outline to keep any ideas for what could happen in the story rewarding. As I'm writing I'll keep the outline in the back of my mind like it's directions to get from point A to point B, but the ride along the way can take me anywhere.
3. Who is your favorite character?
Though I liked Frank, I enjoyed Winston's character more. He seemed more of the realist of the two. He was a reluctant sidekick, but as conservative as he was he wanted to be there when the action happened.
4. How would you describe the perfect writing environment?
I would love to have my own writing hut/shed/whatever. The idea of having a dedicated space that's not directly connected to the house, like Chuck Wendig's "Mystery Shack," sounds like the perfect place to me. I would wake up, write for a couple of hours, take a break, then work on other material I completed. I did something like this while on a trip, and loved the routine of it. I wish I could incorporate more of that now.
5. Do you have a favorite author?
For the longest time I was a fan of Kurt Vonnegut, and I still am to some extent. I loved his writing style and sarcasm. Now, I tend to lean more toward Dennis Lehane, or Elmore Leonard. There are authors I wish had more material out there to read, I'm talking about you Donna Tartt.
6. How would you describe your writing style?
I'm not sure how I would describe my writing style. I'm not a minimalist, but I don't try to ramble on for pages about how a room looks either. I realize the reader should have an idea of what certain settings should look like. A friend described my style as "packed with content/meaning in relatively little space."
7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?
I would love to be a full time novelist with at least two to three book releases a year. For the longest time I wanted to be published traditionally. I would still love to be published traditionally, but I'm continually exploring the self publishing/indie side of getting my work out there.
I currently have a novel I'm having beta read, and hopefully self published in the near future. I also have an outline for a sequel to that book, but I'm working on another project at this time. I know there is plenty of work to be done to get to that point. I've learned there is more to being an author than just writing. It's exciting and a little scary at the same time. Even if I don't become a full time novelist then I'll still want to get my work out there in one way or another.