Interview with V. M. Franck

Why do you write?
It became a personal imperative--after my brother murdered his neighbors. I had to write our story, the story of the victims on the other side of the crimes. My parents were good people. They loved us, all three of us kids. By example, they taught us to be loving and kind. Dad worked as a logger and then in a sawmill. It was hard physical labor, long before everything was controlled by computers. He wore his body out taking care of us. Mom tended the small farm. She made a garden, raised chickens and cattle and milked the cows. We didn't have much money, but thanks to their hard work we got by. They taught us all the things they thought we needed to know to become good people. So when my brother murdered his neighbors, people we'd gone to church with when we were kids, we were shocked, horrified and heartbroken.
I understand you wrote rewrote the book and released it again years after its initial publication. Can you tell us why?
To correct errors the publisher inflicted on the work. She removed much of what was important to understanding what had happened and why, that she victimized me yet again. Prior to my literary agent submitting it to the publisher, I had rewritten it for my agent, a person well-known in the industry at the time. She made sure the bugs were out of it. Unfortunately, the publisher added what she called "her magic" to my true story. She had no magic. She raped the book, making some of it untrue. So years later when I had healed myself as best I could, I rewrote it and published it myself, here on Smashwords. I refused to allow anyone to ruin it again. At present the book is free. My goal is to create understanding relative to what it's like to be the family of a murderer, not to make money. The title this time around is My Brother Murdered His Neighbors. I gave it the title to make it easier to find.
After this nonfiction book why did you continue writing?
Instead of becoming a counselor like I had planned, I decided to create story lines which thrust my characters into difficult situations. I hoped to entertain, provide insights and simultaneously make a difference. It became a pay-it-forward situation. I hoped to provide to my readers thought provoking ideas to help them sort out their own lives, the way other authors had done for me.
What is your genre?
In some ways my work fits between the cracks. I develop characters in a manner reminiscent of literary fiction. I utilize elements of general fiction, magical realism, visionary fiction, the metaphysical, alternative beliefs and New Age. I explore love, romance, beliefs, war, death, hostility, sexual relationships, violation of people's rights, environmental issues, etc.. I am ever evolving.
Are you willing to reveal the reasons you wrote each of your novels? Part 1
Absolutely.

In Ways We Can't Imagine, Book 1 in the St. Germaine Chronicles - The reason was two fold. My real life sweetheart died suddenly. I could barely tolerate it and wanted to bring him back. So I wrote a story with a twist, allowing me to do that for my protagonist, Arranah. The second reason was related to my brother. In this story the protagonist's brother is MIA. Arranah misses Peter and longs for him to come home. I missed my brother and knew I could never bring him home.

The Pacifist's War, Book 2 in the St. Germain Chronicles - This is Peter's story, what happened to him and how he finds his way back to his sister, Arranah. I was able to provide closure for Arranah and Peter, the kind I could never have created in my own life.

Once Without Dying - In this novel my characters are from a number of different religious backgrounds. They develop friendships and learn they have more commonalities than differences. I wrote it to resolve issues relative to my religious upbringing. The people in the church I grew up in believed their way of believing was the one true way, and everyone else was going to hell. I learned there are fundamentalist factions in all the major religions who believe similarly. Prior to writing this work, I researched other faiths. My best source was a book by Huston Smith about the world's religions.

In 1937 s German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller was put in a concentration camp by the Nazis during WWII. What he said about it is below:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

In a world where hate is resurrected again and again, it's time to stand together against this egregious reality. This book speaks to this issue.

Tater's Maters of Hootenanny Flats, Book1 in the Maters Series - I wrote this tale for the fun of it. At the time I was dealing with my elderly mother's illness. I stressed about what I needed to do, what was best for her. I was seated at my easel, painting a picture of my paternal aunt and thinking about my next novel about feisty old women. All the strong old women in my family were deceased. I longed for their strength. My sister had also passed away. As I painted I felt my paternal grandmother's presence. She said, "Come to us in the days ahead, and we will see you through." She was referring to herself and her daughter. They became two of my characters. I decided another character would be my mother's aunt. I needed to lighten up. These old women helped me do that.

Resurrection Rose, Book 2 in the Maters Series - Have you ever had a love affair which ended, even though the two of you still cared deeply for each other? I did. This is my "fix it" book. In this story I reunite my fictionalized self with my former lover. Tater's Maters, the goofy old women from the first book, are determined to help the protagonist whether she likes it or not.

Final Entry, Book 3 in the Maters Series - Have you ever wondered what you would do if in the afterlife several of your old lovers were waiting to spend the rest of forever exclusively with you. I have. That's why I wrote this book, to help myself figure it out. Once my protagonist arrives in the afterlife, she receives input from Tater's Maters to help her with the dilemma.
Are you willing to reveal the reasons you wrote each of your novels? Part 2
Jesus' Little Sister Ruth - During a time of meditation and trying to figure myself out, an idea popped into my head that I had been Jesus' little sister, Ruth. I looked it up in the Bible and learned his sisters were mentioned briefly in a couple of places. Was I Ruth? How would I know? But it's certainly thought provoking.

For What Is To Come - I always wanted to be Native American. They did not damage the land. They revered it. In this book a young Native American woman finds her voice and helps her people prepare to return to the old ways when the imminent climate changes will destroy our modern way of life.

Below are the words of Chief Sealth (Seattle), leader of the Suquamish to President Franklin Pierce in 1855.

How can you buy or sell the sky? The land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people....

If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell your our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow of flowers.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

One thing we know: Our God is also your God. The earth is precious to Him and to harm the earth is heap contempt on its Creator.
-----

He was right. We ignored his words to our own detriment and the detriment of all life. We are in the process of paying the ultimate price.
Published 2018-08-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

For What Is To Come
Price: $4.99 $2.50 USD. (50% off until Dec. 31!) Words: 101,490. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
A novel of ambition, betrayal, love and passion, this work is about a young female executive who experiences upheaval in her personal life and realizes disasters due to the climate are imminent. Abandoning her cherished career she becomes a shaman's apprentice under the guidance of a Native American shaman and prepares their tribe to return to the old ways to increase likelihood of survival.
The Day Momma Died: Growing Beyond the Fear of Death
Price: Free! Words: 5,260. Language: English. Published: July 10, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Emotions, Essay » Author profile
When our parents die we are forced to face our fear of death. This is my experience.
Hitting the Fan
Price: Free! Words: 2,560. Language: English. Published: July 10, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Psychology » General, Essay » Author profile
Have you ever felt like you were in the direct path of disaster, over and over again and there was nothing you could do about it? This is my journey through those feelings, why I felt that way and what I did to alleviate the trauma.
The Pacifist's War, Book 2 in the St. Germaine Chronicles
Series: The St. Germaine Chronicles. Price: $3.99 $2.99 USD. (25% off until Dec. 31!) Words: 84,930. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Losing himself In Vietnam, Peter embarks on an amnesiac's quest to uncover his true identity. Wearing a name which is not his own, he is alarmed when he receives medals for atrocious acts he could not have committed. His search for himself leads to a cave, encrypted writings, a dog named Emmanuel, a mysterious woman, his sister Arranah and what remains of his family.
In Ways We Can't Imagine, Book 1 in The St. Germaine Chronicles
Series: The St. Germaine Chronicles. Price: $2.99 $2.39 USD. (20% off until Dec. 31!) Words: 56,970. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Arranah realizes there is only one answer to the question, is death the truest test of love? The dreams, the voices warned her before her MIA brother, Peter went missing. They warned of her sweetheart Kendal's death, a death which multiplied the heartache. To overcome their separation, she must give life to unwanted dreams and make room for a stranger, no matter the consequences.
Jesus' Little Sister Ruth
Price: $3.99 $2.99 USD. (25% off until Dec. 31!) Words: 93,410. Language: English. Published: June 3, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Jesus of Nazareth was my brother, a big brother I adored. Follow my story as it unfolds...as I learn who I was.
Final Entry
Series: The Mater's Series. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 84,570. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Literature » Literary
What to do? What to do? When Savvy passes into the afterlife, she must choose between four of her lovers, all of whom expect to spend the rest of forever exclusively with her.
Once Without Dying
Price: $3.99 $2.99 USD. (25% off until Dec. 18!) Words: 122,450. Language: English. Published: March 16, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Literature » Literary
Three young woman of different faiths, Sheeawna-a Christian, Akilah-a Muslim and Mali-a Hindu support each other through heartaches, love affairs, abuses and struggles. They gain the courage to pursue a unifying force and common purpose with a mystic, a female rabbi, a Zennist and a follower of Native American spirituality. It is a powerful story of love, romance, respect and honor.
Resurrection Rose
Series: The Mater's Series. Price: $3.99 $2.99 USD. (25% off until Dec. 31!) Words: 94,780. Language: English. Published: February 6, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Literature » Literary
(5.00 from 1 review)
What if you had the ability to paint people back to life? Would you do it? What if you didn't know you had the ability until they started showing up? That is Bethanie's dilemma.
Tater's Maters of Hootenanny Flats
Series: The Mater's Series. Price: $2.99 $2.54 USD. (15% off until Dec. 31!) Words: 76,800. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Literature » Literary
(5.00 from 1 review)
It's very possible you need to know these four antique women and the dog who secretly guides them. They make moonshine, grow pot, engage in romantic escapades and hanky-panky, avoid the revenuers and plan their biggest undertaking, which extends far beyond anything they have ever known, an earth revival project. Follow them as they defy all standing in their way
My Brother Murdered His Neighbors
Price: Free! Words: 124,430. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » True Crime » Murder, Nonfiction » Psychology » Addiction
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
If you've ever wondered what it's like to be the family of a murderer, my true story will show you, allowing you to experience it with me. You see my big brother, the guy who gently dabbed mud on my bee sting when I was four to ease my pain and bounced me trampoline-style on a blanket, murdered his neighbors. This heart-wrecking event devastated not only their families, but ours.