The Author’s Journey: Grants Pass Writer Maps Fantastic Worlds
Traveling, exploring the outdoors and encouraging young, would-be writers are what stoke fantasy author Frank Morin’s creativity and help bring his mysterious and magical stories to life. Growing up on a small farm in Lewiston, Maine, where he learned to work hard and dream greatly, Morin says he read everything he could get his hands on.
“I was an avid reader; fantasies of all types and science fiction, a lot of different things, but my favorite (genre) was what I write—epic fantasy,” he shares. “One of the early books that had a great impact on me was The Hobbit; I remember reading that when I was around eight years old.”
Authors like David Eddings, J.R. Tolkien and Raymond E. Feist took him to places beyond his young imagination, leaving an indelible impression, and by high school he was ready to explore his own world, winning a scholarship to spend his senior year in Australia as a foreign exchange student. This venture expanded his horizons, followed immediately by a two-year church mission to Columbia, South America. Since then he has traveled to many countries including Egypt, China, Scotland and Italy, much of it for research for his novels.
“All of it has helped fuel the story, making it fun and real. I think a good writer is someone who’s a student of life, and of the world and the different cultures,” he says. “I think the more I travel, the more I see people are pretty similar and it melds into my work giving it, I think, a lot more vitality and reality.”
Morin’s first manuscript helped him cross the threshold to becoming a writer.
“I spent four years working on that book, completing it a couple of times, before I finally learned enough to take a masterclass from (best-selling author) Dave Farland. Then I finally understood why it wasn’t going to work,” he recalls.
He threw it out and started again, then spent the next two years working with a couple of big publishing houses that had given him positive feedback, but chose not to publish it anyway.
Rather than backing away from writing, he gleaned the best from this and, while on a long road trip with his family, was given the opportunity to experience his story in action.
“My kids were really young at the time, so within half an hour they were asking, ‘are we there yet?’, and I said, ok, let me tell you guys a story,” Morin laughs. “I started to think how am I going to tell a story that’s going to take six hours?”
Orating his book, much to the excitement of his kids, not only reignited Morin’s passion for storytelling but made it a family tradition to craft stories together. Through this playfulness of plot-building and formulating magic systems with his children, his Petralist series for young adults evolved. Today he enjoys visiting schools, teaching students how to build a story.
“I found, pretty much, when kids can enjoy Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, they can enjoy my books,” he says. “Even if they don’t understand all the different levels or nuances of the story, they can still enjoy the adventure and the humor.”
Morin is the author of 12 self-published books, including two series—Face Takers historical fantasy thrillers and the Petralist Epic YA fantasies. His upcoming three-book adventure, Mapped, is “…set in a world with three moons, on an archipelago of islands in a hostile sea where three children, marked with mysterious maps on their skin, embark upon a dangerous adventure to free their people from slavery”.
Morin enjoys hiking Oregon trails, taking his voice recorder and dictating chapters as he treks. Readers can explore his books, enter contests and stay up to date on his latest adventures at Frankmorin.org