Monday, December 5, 2011

Interview with Frank Scully, Author of Empty Time

Frank Scully was born and raised in a small town in North Dakota and received a Bachelor’s degree in History with Phi Beta Kappa Honors and a Juris Doctor degree in Law from the University of North Dakota. He then served more than five years as a Judge Advocate General Corps Officer in the U.S. Army in the U.S., Vietnam, and Thailand. After that he attended the prestigious Thunderbird School and received a Masters in Business Administration with honors. In his professional career he has worked as a manager with large aerospace and defense manufacturers and also owned his own small business.

Depending on the vagaries of the universe he has been well off at times and broke, but never broken at other times. Blessed with an understanding wife who gave him twin sons, he has remained through it all a dreamer whose passion is writing stories that will entertain readers.

Please visit the author’s Website at:


Empty Time is a thriller crime novel with a modern day high concept setting. Today’s corporate titans are much like the feudal lords and barons of medieval times. They fight and scheme their way up a ladder of prestige, privilege, wealth and power. The major difference is the lack of a belief in a coherent code of conduct or moral precepts. Chivalry is dead. Working on a global scale beyond governments and borders, these new aristocrats are almost untouchable. To take over a large leading-edge technology corporation, three top executives are willing to commit murder and fraud to manipulate the stock market and the international currency exchange market. To divert attention and provide a patsy they set up Jim Lang to take the blame before he is to be killed. He survives and discovers through the sacrifice of another that in order for life to have meaning he must be willing to give it up for something. To save the people he loves he must put his life on the line to turn the tables on his former colleagues.

When did you begin writing?

I began writing with an eye towards publication in 1991. My wife finally got tired of me saying I could write something as well as some of the authors I was reading and bought a word processor for me and told me to prove it. The word processor was a pretty primitive one but it was better than a typewriter. I sat down and started. I must now admit that my first attempts were not worthy of publication but I kept at it and kept improving.

How did you get published?

I started the road to publication the usual way. I sent out queries to agents constantly. Over the years I received more rejections than I could ever count. If I kept all the paper rejections I received I could recycle the pile into enough pressed wood to build several houses. After queries and rejections became electronic I was no longer causing entire forests to be cut down but the results were the same. Along the way I did engage agents occasionally, and although I got very close to print a few times, something always seemed to come along that left me a few steps short of publication. I did manage to avoid the many scam agents and publishers.
And then Lea Schizas started MuseItUp. I heard about it through the grapevine from other authors and sent a note of congratulations and also a query. It was a very short time from that query to acceptance and then to publication. I have been very happy to be a part MuseItUp and to work with Lea and the amazing group of editors and cover artists she has put together. I now have three books out through MuseItUp and three more scheduled to come out in the next year.
Tell us more about the book and how it fits into your series?

I am writing a series of stand-alone mystery/suspense/adventure novels, at least one for each decade of the 20th and 21st century, set in different locales with both continuing and new characters in each one. I call it the Decade Series. There is something unique in each decade that marks it as separate from what went before or what follows. I explore aspects of what is unique as it is expressed in the locale chosen and how it affects the culture, characters and the tenor of the times and yet also see the common humanity that never changes. While the larger characteristics of the decade provide the background against which the story is told, I like to find certain lesser known events and circumstances that signal significant shifts around which to build the plot. The stories are not written in any chronological order.

Empty Time is set in current time frame and is a story of corporate greed gone global. We’ve had privileged classes and greed around since the beginning of man so that is a common thread. However, with the tools at their disposal now and the amount of money and power possible, why wouldn’t corporate titans do whatever they can to win?

What inspired you to write this story?
Ideas for stories tend to pop into my head regularly and what I need to do is weed through them to find the ones that have the substance I want to explore and develop. This one appealed to me. I have worked for several large corporations over a 40 year career and have watched corporations change. There have been generational shifts over the years from the WWII generation to the Boomers to each generation that followed. As the generations each moved into leadership roles in corporations, corporate culture has shifted to what it is now. Management pay has ballooned, the divide between management and worker has grown into a chasm. There is now a separate class of people at the top who control vast wealth. The story was easy to write.
Who are your favorite authors?

My favorite authors include some of the old masters such as Raymond Chandler, John MacDonald, Ross MacDonald, Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade and others. Current writers I like include Michael Connelly, Martin Cruz Smith, and Walter Mosley.

Where can readers buy your books?
Empty Time and my other books, Resurrection Garden and Dead Man’s Gambit are all available at:

and also:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other online eBook retailers.

What is up next for you?

I have three more books in the Decade Series coming out next year from MuseItUp. Blood Sins, Gravedigger’s Open House and Vacation Man.

I am working on a seventh now tentatively called Digital Death. It involves outsourcing of work to India, software piracy, international bank skimming, terrorists, spies and murder, of course. The hero in this one will be a bit different. A young orphan who survived the boat exodus from Vietnam in the 70’s has grown up to be a remarkable man.

What would you say to a class of aspiring authors?

It’s a cliché but true. You can only perfect your craft by practicing constantly. Write and then write some more. Write because it is what you enjoy. Write because it makes you happy. Learn to love to edit.


Cheryl said...

Thanks for the great interview, Frank. Best of luck with your latest book.

Frank Scully said...

Thanks for having me as a guest.