True Colorz is your web source for all things YA in the LGBTQ community! Our blog features new releases, featured authors, interviews, and reviews/recommended reading.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Featured Author: J.S. Frankel

J.S. Frankel was born in Toronto a rather long time ago and moved to Japan when he was in his mid-twenties in order to teach English to anyone who would listen to him. In 1997 he married the charming Akiko Koike and they decided to make their home in Japan for good.

Currently, Frankel and his family live in Osaka where he teaches English by day and writes until the wee hours of the morning. His specialty is Young Adult fiction, and Twisted is his first novel—a gender switch—and deals with sexual identity as well as the concept of finding love with that special someone no matter what form they inhabit or what they look like. He is also the author of the upcoming Lindsay Versus the Marauders which will be released in July of this year.

Connect with J.S. Frankel on Twitter @JessSFrankel or visit his website:

Q&A with Author J.S. Frankel:

  1. Tell us about your cover design. Is there any symbolism from the story reflected in the cover?

    In Twisted, you see the MC of the story, Charlie Matthews, staring into a mirror. This foreshadows the person he will become. (You gotta read the story, though!) It also shows that what we see in the mirror isn’t necessarily who we are.

  2. In what way is your story unique compared to other books in this genre?

    I think it gives a different ‘twist’ on the old idea of gender switches. Gender switching is not a new genre by any means and goes back to ancient Egypt. In more modern times, you have a number of television shows and movies that have dealt with it. However, they tend to bring a number of stereotypes which I tried to avoid. In large part, I think I’ve succeeded.

  3. What are your writing goals for the next five years?

    I’d like to keep writing for not only the gay market, but also for all markets. I really want to improve as an individual who can write from various viewpoints and age groups.

  4. Which of your characters is most like you?

    Good question! Probably Charlie, the main character in Twisted. He’s the kind of guy who’ll stick up for others even if it’s not the most popular thing to do. But I was always taught that sometimes you will become unpopular because of what you do. I’ve learned to ignore the criticism for it. I want to do my own thing—write about whatever subject matter I like—and if people don’t agree with it, then too bad. I won’t stop.

  5. How do you research for your books?

    I do a lot of research online and also consult my sister. For Twisted, I had to employ some terms used in the Middle Ages, and my sister who is well versed in those matters, helped me immensely.

  6. What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?

    My takeaway message for anyone is that you should never be ashamed of what you are. It doesn’t matter what race, religion, or creed you are, and it doesn’t matter what your sexual orientation is. People are people. You should be proud of the person that you are and no one has the right to tell you any different.

Now Available from J.S. Frankel:

Twisted Chivalry isn't dead. It just wears a skirt.

Highschoolers Charlie Matthews, his adopted brother Martin, and Sharon Collins win a contest to play an interactive medieval game as the avatars of their favorite characters. Their mission: fight off the monsters, storm the castle, and capture the evil king.

But things go terribly wrong. Charlie is dismayed to discover he is Angella of Avernon, the lead female character in the game. Fortunately, she's the most powerful avatar around, but he also finds out that he, Martin, and Sharon have been infected with a virus that will kill them outside the game, so they have to stay inside the scenario.

Trapped and beset on all sides, Charlie has to deal with the sexism of the characters circa 1430, his stepbrother's distaste for his female form, and his feelings about becoming a woman. In addition to fighting off the various monsters within the scenario, Charlie tries to fight his attraction to Sharon...and then realizes Sharon is attracted to him, which makes it all the more confusing.

When the deadly opponents in the game get the upper hand, Charlie must summon all of his love and courage to save the day and rescue Sharon. Will he understand that love is where you find it and that the gender of the one you love doesn't matter at all?

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