Interview with Frank Scully, Author of 'Resurrection Garden'


Frank Scully was born and raised in a small town in North Dakota and received a Bachelor’s degree in History with Phi Beta Kappa Honors and a Juris Doctor degree in Law from the University of North Dakota. He then served more than five years as a Judge Advocate General Corps Officer in the U. S. Army in the U. S., Vietnam, and Thailand. After that he attended the prestigious Thunderbird School and received a Masters in Business Administration with honors. In his professional career he has worked as an executive with large aerospace and defense manufacturers and also owned his own small business.


Depending on the vagaries of the universe he has been well off at times and broke, but never broken, at other times. 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.
Visit Frank online at http://www.frankjscully.com/.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Frank. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Resurrection Garden?

I have been writing, in one form or another, since I was in college 40 years ago. However, for much of that time it was legal or business oriented writing and not fiction. My foray into fiction began about 20 years ago when, at the urging of my wife, I began to write the novels that were swirling around in my head. Of course, the first efforts were rough and not ready for prime time. After much practice, editing, re-writing and polishing I sought publication and that led to another journey of rejection and revisions on several of my completed novels before Resurrection Garden was accepted. The others have followed and now I have five books under contract. As with all good things, you must work a long time to become an overnight success.

Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

Resurrection Garden was not the working title. It comes from something one of my main characters says towards the end of the book. As soon as I wrote it, I knew it was the right title for the book.

Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

I do not have any aspirations of literary importance or greatness but I do believe that the story is unique and entertaining. Readers will learn something about the time and place, 1904 North Dakota, as well as the wider circumstances that relate to the people involved while enjoying a murder mystery filled with suspense and populated by interesting characters.
Q: Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, MuseItUp Publishing have full control? Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?

Ultimately, the publisher has final say but the cover artist, Delilah Stephans, and the publisher, Lea Schizas, requested input from me and worked closely with me to get a cover that conveys something special about the book. I am very satisfied with the final result.

Q: How have you approached marketing your book? Do you have someone doing it for you or have you had to do most of the marketing yourself?

The publisher and staff at MuseItUp are doing some marketing but ultimately it falls to the author to do a large part of the marketing of a book. I am normally a relatively private person but I have to get outside of my comfort zone and do the promotion work both in person and online to drive sales as much as possible. In addition to blog tours, I am also sending out press releases and working to get news articles on myself and the book in local papers or magazines. I hand out business cards with the book cover and promotional information printed on them to friends, relatives, business associates and anyone who stands still long enough for me to grab. Building an audience requires a lot of effort and is a task that never ends.

Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

A: There are a number of historical mysteries set in the Victorian or Gaslight era that are wonderful reads. However, most of these are set in large cites such as New York while Resurrection Garden is set in pioneer North Dakota where homesteaders are settling what is left of the open prairie. The times are changing even here with the train the telegraph revolutionizing travel and communication. Immigrants are arriving each day to settle on land and work for their part of the American Dream. Resurrection Garden is not a western in the traditional sense nor is it a Victorian mystery. It provides a unique perspective to the pioneer experience at the turn of the 20th century.

Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

Deputy Sheriff Jake Turner is still weak but recovering from a gunshot wound. He is in his office doing paperwork when a man brings in a young boy he caught stealing eggs from his henhouse. Jake discovers the boy is an almost starving orphan.
Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

I am writing what I call the Decade Mystery Series. This will incorporate at least one novel set in each decade from the beginning of the 20th century to the current time set in different locales with both continuing and new characters in each one. There is something unique in each decade that marks it as separate from what went before or what follows. I shall explore aspects of what is unique as it is expressed in the locale chosen and how it affects the culture, characters and the tenor of the times and yet also see the common humanity that never changes. Resurrection Garden is unique among the books in the series in that it is set where my grandparents settled. The idea behind the story came to me while I was driving through one of North Dakota’s harsh winter blizzards. The idea led to research which fed the story background. My next book which is coming out in June, 2011 is called Dead Man’s Gambit and is set in 1995 in California. I have four more books already written and another started with several more waiting their turn to be turned from notes to manuscripts.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Frank. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

It has been a pleasure. My website is: http://www.frankjscully.com/. It is a work in progress but all are welcome to visit and leave a comment on my blog there.

Resurrection Garden is available as an eBook for $5.95 at the publisher’s bookstore, or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, Omnilit and many other online booksellers.
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