Frank Luke is a prolific fantasy author. He writes both modern and medieval fantasy. He’s had short stories come out in several Planetary Anthology books by Tuscany Bay press. And I had the honor of interviewing him.

 

Tamara Wilhite: Which genre sells better for you: medieval type fantasy like “Hall of Heroes” or modern fantasy like your story Joshua’s Pawn Shop”?

Frank Luke: Modern fantasy has sold better for me. Honestly, that was kinda surprising.

Tamara Wilhite: Why do you think that genre is more popular?

Frank Luke: I started writing ”Joshua’s Pawn Shop” on a sudden inspiration. I gave very little thought to its popularity. As I’ve started treating writing more as a business, I pay more attention to what’s popular. But, I think modern fantasy sold better for me because people want to think the fantastic is just one step away. They identify with the situations better.

Tamara Wilhite: You met your wife in seminary. You write non-fiction for your denomination. How does that influence your fantasy works?

Frank Luke: I write for more than just entertaining the audience. Though, if they aren’t entertained, they won’t buy another. I also write to unveil God’s truth; it’s another way for me to teach. I love to dive deep into Scripture, and I want what I learn there to come out in my writing.

Tamara Wilhite: What else in your life influenced your writing?

Frank Luke: The two books series I’ve read that I imagine come forward the most in my writing are Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain series and the first six books of Weis and Hickman’s DragonLance setting.

Tamara Wilhite: Your story “Crucible” is described as lit-RPG. What does that term mean?

Frank Luke: Lit-RPG stands for Literary RPG. Stories in the genre usually take place in worlds that run on rule systems like pen and paper or video games. The references to the RPG system may be subtle like the Guardians of the Flame series or more obvious like in “Crucible.” They’re usually a portal fantasy where someone from our world goes into the other world. “Crucible” mixes the humor of adjusting to the rules with a serious issue for the main character. I can’t say much more about it. “Crucible” is actually my second Lit-RPG, but will come out before “Fun and Games”.

Tamara Wilhite: Your Amazon author profile is dominated by short stories in a variety of anthologies. Yet you’ve written novels, as well. What is your novel “Rebirths: A Tale of Azuran” about?

Frank Luke: Rebirths tells the story of a man of God who falls away while grieving. He gives in to despair and turns to black magic, hoping to bring his dead family back to life. The book certainly qualifies as high fantasy as it takes place in another world, unconnected to our own with a high stakes battle between good and evil. It’s been described as “CS Lewis writing Narnia after playing Elder Scrolls.” Incidentally, I have never played Elder Scrolls.

The most important thing to remember about Rebirths is how no matter how far he has fallen, redemption is still possible. I used “Once Called” for the title of the final third. That’s short for something a companion tells him near the start, “Once the Father calls, He does not uncall.” The scene where our hero embraces that saying and accepts that he is still to be a prophet gave me chills when I wrote it.

Tamara Wilhite: You have short stories coming out in the “Fantastic Schools” and “Planetary Anthology Series: Sol”. Do you have anything else coming out in the near future?

Frank Luke: I have four short stories under consideration at different places right now. Still waiting, I also have “Joshua’s Pawn Shop” with an editor who is interested in taking both it and “Lou’s Bar & Grill”.

Tamara Wilhite: What else would you like to add?

Frank Luke: I have found that writing Christian fantasy is a great way to connect the reader’s heart and head. By showing the characters acting out their faith and the journey to get to that point, it both teaches and encourages the reader.

Tamara Wilhite: Thank you for speaking with me.

Frank Luke: It was my pleasure.