The Writing Life with Frankie Hogan, Author of the Travel Memoir LIVIN'

Frankie Hogan is an American writer, director, and filmmaker. He is a founder and principal partner of Corner Prophets Production Company, a film production company started in 2012, and the company controller for a Los Angeles-based international interior design firm.

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What got you into writing?

I went to school for finance, mostly because it came easily to me. But writing was always a passion of mine. After years of nine-to-six days and writing in what little time I had left over, I decided to change my life to dedicate more time to my passion. I found the right balance in my life. I now experience the full brunt of developing stories, building worlds, and chasing the dream. I get to appreciate the treasures of writing without it ever feeling like work. It’s the sweet spot.

What do you like best about being an author?

Having an excuse for dressing like shit most days. No. No. I love being a voice for people, places, and stories that interest me. I’m talking about things that really burn a fire. That’s why in Hollywood I’ve always written spec scripts. I can mold and distribute these worlds with fervor. I want others to dig on that fire.

When do you hate it?

When I’m battling against procrastination. I have a Glass Joe type of record.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

I’m a night owl. That’s all that’s regular. I usually get in my groove around 2 or 3 a.m. with a whiskey and Coke. And on good days, I’m still typing when the sun comes up. But inspiration can smack you at any time. I’ve written thoughts on napkins while riding trains, or woke from a dead sleep and went right to the computer. Nothing regular about it.

Do you think authors have big egos?

You have to. You work for months, sometimes years, on one project. Then you send it out into the wild, exposing yourself. No, I mean it. You are balls-naked, blemishes and all, waiting for a reaction. If you don’t start with some kind of confidence, the game will destroy you. 

How do you handle negative reviews?

Hollywood prepped me. There are screenwriters-turned-reviewers out here waiting to take their stalled projects and revamped dreams out on your screenplay. It’s brutal, and they hold nothing back. I’ve had a cement truck full of shit dumped on my work. So it hardens you. I look for objective suggestions to improve the project (if it’s not a final version) and compare them with other reviews to see if any patterns develop. Writing is rewriting.

How do you handle positive reviews?

Again, I won’t get too up or down by any one review. But it widens a drunk smile.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

What Starbucks do you work at? No, first question is usually to ask what I write or what I’m working on at the moment. This project is easy, though, since Livin’ is a travel memoir about exotic lands. Travel sparks excitement in most people’s eyes. There is a thrill that kicks in—an  adrenaline from both seasoned travelers and the vicarious. It dominates the “what are you writing?” question. 

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

Researching. Reading. Developing a distinct voice for a character. Brainstorming alternate plot twists. There’s a lot of writing that goes on even when you’re not writing.

Any writing quirks?

I’m an isolationist. I need to completely shut out the outside world. The most I have is some low music playing. But that’s it. Noises and movements could make me leave the world I’m in. Those bastards who write in Starbucks must be lying or lucky. 

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate? 

To an extent. There are sacrifices, for sure, but that can be said about anything you love.

What’s on the horizon for you?  

I am writing a Civil War-era biopic script. That’s still a ways out. I also have a short film that I wrote and am set to direct. Hopefully shooting 2018. As far as Livin’ goes, travel-wise, I’m off to Egypt again in October. And anyone who reads the book knows the shit I got into last time I was in that country. So I’m looking forward to it.

Leave us with some words of wisdom about the writing process or about being a writer.

Practice and resilience go a long way toward doing something you love.

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