By AK Dale
TUSTIN, Calif. – Keeping his writing within his own headspace, Franz S. McLaren, worked his way up the path as an author by penning a number of short stories.
Finally he managed the mustard to write his first novel and in doing so metamorphosed into a fantasy writer from his once horrific style.
“For as long as I can remember, I have written horror short stories,” McLaren said. “Twelve years ago a decided it was time to put on big boy pants and write a horror novel. Within three chapters I found I could not keep it from twisting to fantasy. That effort has just been released as the YA novel Trail in Lavondel. I still write horror short stories but my main love is writing fantasy books.”
While working on his craft for so many years, McLaren has worked as a logistics consultant for T&L Communications, where is the co-owner of a company specializing in logistic engineering and technical data development.
So he may be busy, but he finds a way to keep writing.
“I write constantly in my head. I see the world in terms of stories and plot lines,” he said. “When I sit at the keyboard I need nothing but time. There is never enough to write all I want to. Every hour I spend at my day job feels like time I steal from writing. Books sales have relieved a great deal of financial pressure but the day job still pays the bills. If sales continue to climb as they have, I hope to retire to full-time writing within the next two to three years.”
Father of four and married to wife, Pat, McLaren has plenty of distractions and people who require his attention. Those include the characters inside his head who he hopes to give life to before all is said and done.
“My long term goal is to write everything I want to. It is not an achievable goal nor would I want it to be,” McLaren said. “Absolute success would be to write all I want every day and yet enter the fields beyond with dozens of books still unwritten.”
Some of his inspiration to write may have been given an extra dose of adrenaline in his earlier days thanks to some special help.
“George Clayton Johnson, co-author of Logan’s Run, took me under his wing after my first attempt at novel writing and taught me how to find my voice,” he said. “I have rarely sat at a keyboard when I do not thank him for his time and patience.”
That kind of respect from a fan or apprentice can only make a writer’s life even more worth penning.
“Every time I receive a fan letter telling me my words have changed their lives for the better, I soar for days,” McLaren said. “Money is nice, the feeling of accomplishment is unparalleled, but those words of thanks feed my soul.”
A fan of Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, and especially, J.K. Rowling, McLaren has a lot of questions still to ask those who he hopes to emulate.
“She has done so much with so few advantages to start,” he said of Rowling. “I would want to pick her brain dry of marketing talent.”
Another talent is the ability to critique one’s own work and improve from it. This may be something that ultimately gets McLaren to where he wants to be in the profession.
“With every book I learn more about the craft and see the mistakes I made in the past,” McLaren said. “I tell myself that someday I’ll go back and update earlier works but it will probably never happen. There are always too many new ideas to pursue.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION on FRANZ S. MCLAREN and his WORKS,
The Press thanks you for taking the time to read this column/article. The Press is an Alan Dale creation and is inspired by his DEAD NATIONS’ ARMY (DNA) book trilogy which launches in July with his first novel, “Code Flesh.” The Press hopes you consider subscribing to the site and look forward to more interviews, news features, columns, and many more in the future. Once again, thank you for joining us here at the Press!