Frederick H. Crook was born in Chicago in 1970 and lives in Villa Park with his wife, Rae and their three dachshunds. He began by writing fictional works all through high school and began self-publishing his dystopian sci-fi works in 2010. Other works are available through Solstice Publishing. His latest, Wraithworks, was just released.
About the book:
Gary Wraithworth is a websleuth who covers missing persons cases, cold murder cases, stories of the paranormal, and everything in between on his YouTube channel, Wraithworks. At a convention Gary and his wife Tera meet fellow YouTubers, and the Wraithworths agree to feature a series of murders and abductions all perpetrated by the same man. When the elusive assassin’s face is exposed all over the Internet, he makes the Wraithworths his next targets. Gary and Tera must run for their lives in this thrilling tale of a bloodthirsty political assassin out to silence them.
Wraithworks is available on Amazon as an ebook.
Why did you decide to write this book?
I had been watching YouTube for years, mostly for background sound or music while I wrote or edited. One day, I discovered a channel run by a man named John Lordan, called LordanArts. He covers missing persons cases, murders, myths, legends, etc. After some time of this, the idea of Wraithworks came to me and I just had to write it.
What genre is your book?
Most of my works are dystopian science fiction, though one is a ghost story. Wraithworks is a contemporary thriller.
Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?
The main character is based on John Lordan himself, but the plot is the natural progression of my imagination. My writing process is entirely mental, so given time, I’m bound to take a routine, menial thing and blow it completely out of proportion.
What makes your book unique?
I’m not sure there’s a lot of YouTube fans out there writing novels. If there are, I don’t know about them. As for me, it’s my only thriller set in modern day, so it’s unique to me.
Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?
Everything I’ve ever written is derived from countless hours of thought. I have a mind that won’t stop until I’m completely exhausted and sleeping, and even then, not so much. I tend to think of a storyline, ponder it for an indefinite time, and when I’ve come up with characters, a beginning, a middle, and an end, I’m ready to start typing it out. This can take months, but in two cases, it was nearly instantaneous. For example, the ghost story The Summer of ‘47 came to me while watching the 1958 Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin film, Some Came Running. I began writing the book the following week. The second time this occurred, strangely, was for the yet-unwritten sequel, The Fall of ’52. The entire story came to me in an instant, as if it had always, always been in mind. I had been watching the 1959 film, Suddenly, Last Summer, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Katherine Hepburn. I’ll be writing that book when the current work-in-progress is finished.
How do you develop the names for your characters?
If I have trouble, I decide what nationality the character is, and I look up baby names on the Internet. There’s countless websites dedicated to just that sort of thing, which is weird but true. After that, I put the name I’ve conjured through the Google test, which is, I search for it and see if the name is a character from somebody else’s work, or of a famous person, or if it turns out to be extremely common. If it’s any of those things, I think of another.
How do you decide on the setting?
The settings of my works follow along with my deep contemplations. Sometimes it matters, and it becomes glaringly obvious where a story needs to take place, and other times it doesn’t matter a damn. For instance, the setting for my dystopian story, Minuteman Merlin came naturally. In that story, Merlin is a man that lives in a missile silo converted into a home. One type of nuclear missile (ICBM) was called a Minuteman III, and I chose a former launch site in Nebraska for the setting. As for The Summer of ’47, I invented a town near Mt. Vernon, Illinois and called it Whittaker. In that story’s case, the location just needed to be somewhere in the U.S., so I made one up.
Do you have a writing mentor?
No. I find writing to be a completely personal and solo endeavor. I tend to do things my way and have never needed a mentor, or at least, I’ve never considered trying to find one. In fact, when I discovered the existence of writer’s groups, where authors share their works with each other, I found the idea appalling. While I do understand there are authors that find such groups helpful, and I have no problem with those that do, for we all do things differently, I don’t. I can’t stand the thought of other cooks in my kitchen.
What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?
I write Monday through Friday, beginning in the morning and ending when my mind is exhausted. I write on my laptop in my living room.
Anything else you’d like to add?
For any writers just starting out or have been doing it for a while and are getting discouraged by low sales or rejections from publishers, I have to say to them to let that go. Those disappointments are holding you back and changing your thought processes when it comes to the creation of new works. If you stop writing what you love to write because of these perceived failures, you will become miserable writing the product of compromise.
How can we find you?
The Tweety: @FrederickHCrook
Fb Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorFHCrook/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Frederick-H.-Crook/e/B00P83FW02/ref
Other books by Frederick Crook: