Featured Friday! Frank Dorrian
Frank Dorrian was born in 1987 in Liverpool – his hometown, a post-industrial cityscape, served as poignant inspiration for his creative efforts. He would commence writing in earnest during his teenage years, composing stories to sate desires of both expression and introspection.
Today, Frank is a qualified mental health nurse. He works in the field with people suffering severe psychiatric and psychological disorders, and additionally offers private mind coaching sessions for those needing a refreshing take on life’s trials.
When not writing, Frank spends his spare time reading, playing computer games and attending a martial arts gym. He has previously competed as a fighter domestically in the UK and abroad in Thailand.
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
For me, writing fantasy, it’s the sense that you’ve somehow managed to create something enormous. Fantasy authors build worlds, heavens, hells, mythologies, legends, cultures and philosophies, as well as the usual characters and plotlines that make the meat of a story. That really takes some work, you’re playing God, essentially, within the confines of your own imagination. It can be exhausting. There’s a real sense of accomplishment though, once you’ve finished putting pen to paper, that does make it all worthwhile.
I’d been fond of writing stories ever since I was little, but started reading properly in my teens when I borrowed The Hobbit from the school library on my dad’s recommendation and followed it up immediate with The Lord of the Rings. I started writing fantasy the moment I’d finished the last page. I was 13 and those early, naive efforts will (thankfully) never see the light of day, but I kept on with it until I was about 21, in one form or the other. I actually wrote the first two chapters of The Shadow of the High King (in an extremely rough format) in 2008, but never had a solid idea for a story. After a brief falling out with the fantasy genre, and realising that it could be grown up and realistic (and have swear words in it), I finally got an idea in mid-2014 and started writing in earnest.
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
Several! I would say my biggest influences though are… George R. R. Martin (who taught me it’s ok to swear in fantasy), Mark Lawrence, Robin Hobb, Joe Abercrombie and Bernard Cornwell. I’m also inspired by a lot of things people probably wouldn’t expect – Adventure Time, Dark Souls, the old 80s Transformers cartoons, and pretty much every thrash and death metal band going!
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
Just write, then keep writing, and don’t ever stop. The only wrong thing you can do when you’re first starting out is to not write down literally everything that you have an idea for. You don’t become a writer without writing.
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I enjoy anything with a genuinely good, engaging story. I have a preference for character-driven stories, mostly. My favourite genre is fantasy, whether high, low, historical or grimdark, but I’ll honestly read anything that grips me.
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
Most likely Anselm, or Ceatha – they’re about as nice as my characters get!
Which book do you consider a must-read?
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
There’s been several small edits that I wish I could have included but had to snip off due to word count constraints. Most of it was little snippets of dialogue or world-building elements that I personally enjoyed but were just unnecessary in the overall design of the book. They didn’t contribute to the story, unfortunately, so they had to go. Maybe I’ll reuse them someday!
I’d say most likely one from The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson – totally alien world, really imaginative stuff.
If you could pick an Author to write your biography, who would it be?
Definitely Bernard Cornwell, but he’d have to write it as if he was writing an Uhtred of Bebbanburg novel, so everything I’ve ever said was suddenly gruff, manly and profound in a simple, Viking sort of way. I’d want my own longship in there somewhere, too.
We all know the phrase “the book is always better than the film.” Which film would you like to see remade as a book?
The Dark Crystal – I loved that film!
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
Long haired Scouser learns to fight, becomes nurse, writes book.
What’s exciting you about your next project?
I have a couple I’m chipping away at right now. I’m working on The Weaving Shadows Book Two (working title: Wolfkin, but expect that to change). It’s going to be quite different to The Shadow of the High King, there’s going to some surprises, and it will answer a lot of questions I’m sure my readers have about where I left things with the first book. I’m getting to explore a lot of new characters and a different side of things with this book, so I’m having quite a bit of fun with it!
I’m also writing a light-hearted non-fiction book that will be out soon, regarding my hometown of Liverpool – Scouserisms: A Beginner’s Guide to the Liverpool Accent, Dialect and Culture. It’s pretty much a Scouse in-joke (we love to laugh at ourselves more than anything else) as well as a bit of education regarding Liverpool’s culture and history and an in-depth guide to speaking Scouse fluently and convincingly.
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
‘Justice for Harambe.’
A big thanks to Frank for taking part, check out the links below to find out more: