Interview with sci-fi/fantasy author Marie Kammerer-Franke

author Marie Kammerer-Franke joins me
today to talk about her new novel, A
Charming Nightmare.
Kammerer Franke is originally from St. Paul, MN spent her childhood moving from
city to city in the US; from St. Paul MN, to Chicago ILL., St. Louis MO, W.
Palm Beach FL, and finally settling in Upstate NY. Traveling always gave Marie
a sense of adventure, daydreaming about all the places she hadn’t gotten to see
yet. It showed in her writing, at a very young age Marie would write stories
about these make-believe cities and towns. What the people were like, what the
scenery looked like, what the air smelt like. Eventually, the US or Earth
weren’t big enough in possibilities to explore, so Marie took the only natural
step in creating galaxies and entire species to dream about.
Please tell us about your current
A Charming Nightmare is book 1 in the ACN series. It follows
our heroine Aylin as she is kidnapped, dragged through time and space in an
attempt to save her distant descendants:
years after Earth’s demise we are still trying to settle. That’s what the
survivors are called now, settlers. Survivor, by the way, is derogatory word.
So are words like gadget, computer, and machine. Those are people. We evolve
into them, and something in the mechanics that make up a human is killing.
That’s where I come in, not intentionally mind you, but forcibly by our distant
descendants. They could be a little more hospitable, and offer a tissue when
telling you that your family, job, hairdresser, and newspaper boy are all dust.
But they don’t. So you compromise; you translate children’s books for
scientists who cannot read or write its written language in hopes of curing
their diseased parts, and in return they back you up when you start a war to
end all wars on their front lawn. Sounds fair, right?
What inspired you to write this book?
A Charming Nightmare is based off the antics of my young
sons. One night while mom began their bedtime story with “Once upon a
time…” to where they replied “The world blew up!!” And ACN was
born. Each night her children would wait for the survivor’s of the ‘world blew
up’ to come to life again. Years after, when these two boys grew into young men
I wrote down the memories of when the boys blew up the world; aging the
characters, maturing the conflict, and language until it turned into a series.
Something my children could open again now as adults.
Excerpt from A Charming Nightmare:
“There is a
ledge, which is another word for edge, lip, cliff, sill, or in this case
cathedral roof top.
this; there is always a ledge, even if you can’t see it. Keep in mind that we
are forever teetering on it, one step away from falling. Be willing to step
forward and fall, forever and ever fall, amen. Take a chance, chase a thought,
and follow a breath over the edge and see where it goes after it has touched
back on the ground. My grandfather has been quoted calling these ledges
quixotic endeavors. He has equally noted that I am what Charles Dodgson
envisioned when dreaming of his white rabbit. As proof, I am standing at the
beginning of such an endeavor, my toes dipping over the roof’s gable into
morning’s breath. All I can think of is that ‘one giant leap for mankind’ spiel
Neil Armstrong said years ago and how right he was, one small step. That
thought will be all the coaxing needed to take it.”
What exciting
story are you working on next?
I am in the editing stages of book 2 in the ACN series; Sister’s Lament. It’s
darker and more adult than A Charming Nightmare, taking my writing to places
that can be uncomfortable for an author to allow to go public, knowing fully
well that my family will be reading it.
When did you first consider yourself a
I’ve always
written, the first ‘published’ story I wrote I was 7, writing a story about a
red balloon that traveled the world looking for a purpose, only to end up back
in the hands of the little boy who had let go. That story was published in my
elementary school’s newsletter. I’ve been asking for pen and paper every day
since then..
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
While writing
full time is the ultimate goal, there is still a mortgage to pay; I currently
am mother to two young adult boys (and as any parent of boys knows when you
have one you have a houseful of ‘adopted’ children as well…so I tell people I
have 6 boys). I’ve also been disgustingly happily married for over 15 years,
work with handicapped people during the day, volunteer as head costume designer
for a local school, and judge robotics….when do I find time? Late at night
when my brain won’t shut off. I sit down in total quiet and darkness, plug in a
set of earbuds, turn up my ACN playlist until it’s all I hear, and mindlessly
write until my brain gets tired.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I don’t
outline, or have a direction to go (it’s a perk writing science fiction). The
closest you’ll find to a step-by-step direction in my writing are little
post-its or notes written on receipts littering every single space in my
office. Some of them ACN related; most of them just one word thoughts on future
projects or two sentences that I had to get out of my head that instant. I have
been known to ask a complete stranger for a pen and write a thought down on my
hand if need be, just so it’s not trapped inside my brain.
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
I think it
depends on what day of the week you’re asking. I have always wanted to be a
writer; but I have also at one time or another dabbled in singing, photography,
mythology, and astronomy.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
I adore a
handful of things; My family & friends, coffee or tea, tacos, hiking, a
good nap, and not taking life or this world too serious. I am a true believer
that no one is truly alone, we have an entire planet of faces to talk with!!
You can join me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and
Thanks for being here today, Marie!

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