1. Name: Frank Kelso (Pen Name for Frank Coombs)
2. Country: USA
3. Do you prefer to read a particular genre?
I read a several genres, westerns, syfy, fantasy, adventure/thrillers.
4. Do you write in the same genre? If not which one?
I’ve had most success in writing westerns.
5. Have you always written and what got you started professionally?
I worked as a research scientist for 30 years, which required that I write grants and publish profession articles, book chap, etc. I found the freedom to write wherever my muse took me more enjoyable, but it’s taken a while to quit my day job.
6. How many books have you published?
2 novels, 5 short stories. (I have 2 novels completed and in editing/proofing for 2018)
7. Which one would you like to tell us about?
My most recent book released Oct 18, 2017, The Apprenticeship of Nigel Blackthorn. It was #1 on Amazon westerns>YA the first week of Dec 2017.
8. Why did you write this book book and what is it about?
While visiting Silver City, Idaho, I learned a little known story of how the Owyhee River and wilderness earned its name. Methodist missionaries came from Hawaii to convert the American “heathens.” The locals asked where the missionaries came from and spelled the name phonetically; Hawaii became Owyhee.
The book is a Coming-of-Age tale set in 1853 about a Methodist missionary family that came from Wales in the UK to convert the wild heathens, but are killed by the first ones they meet. Their only son, thirteen-year-old, Nigel Blackthorn, survived and is rescued by a passing mule train. 200 miles later, at the first settlement, Nigel has a choice, go to an orphanage, or join the mule train as an apprentice. Years later, he wonders if the orphanage would have been easier.
ASIN: B07627JJGM ISBN: 978-0-9906025-8-3
10. What would you like your next book to be on?
My next book is “A Message to Santa Fe” where the lad is 20 and the US Civil War is about to begin. Using the nickname “Thorn,” he is undertaking his first assignment alone after completing his apprenticeship. The simple task of taking “A Message to Santa Fe” becomes a trial of survival when he rescues a Spanish heiress from the Comanche.
11. If you could go anywhere in the universe, where would you go and why?
I’d love to travel into space and be on the first contact team. I believe we are not alone in the universe and would love to meet new species.
12. Is there anything you can share about yourself or your work that not many people know?
My parents were physicians and my father travelled to lecture. When speaking locally, he would bring me along dressed in a tuxedo. He’d carry me on the stage on his arm, like a ventriloquist’s dummy. He’d sit, putting me on his knee and point to different bones, asking me to name them. While I answered, he’d light a cigarette or drink some water. (Remember, the audience are doctors and nurses.) He received polite applause, but he surprised the audience when he slid me off his knee to stand and walk off the stage; they had assumed I was a “prop dummy.” At the time (age 5), I knew all of the bones in the body and the major muscles.
13. What is your favourite foreign food?
I’ve had Dim Sum in Beijing, Bouillabaisse in San Marie de la Mar, France, and Paella in Spain. Those are my favorites, but if I had to pick one, Dim Sum.
14. Are you, or have you ever been a terrorist?
In the USAF, I trained monkeys to fly (simulators). Years later, when declassified, Hollywood made a movie about the project with Matthew Broderick, called “Project X.” I’m sure the monkeys considered me a terrorist from negative reinforcement.
15. Have you ever accidentally called your spose/partner by the name of a character in your latest book and if so what was his or her reaction?
No, but even worse, I called her by my ex-wife’s name, once. Fortunately, it was in a family group and not the bedroom.