The Craft of Writing — June 2022

THE CRAFT OF WRITING — JUNE 2022

with FRANK DIBIANCA

As we continue our year-long dive into mystery, suspense, thriller, and fantasy novels, I’m especially excited and proud to introduce today’s interviewee, Frank DiBianca. Frank’s debut novel, Laser Trap, releases today! Click the image to go to the Amazon page.

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Meet Frank DiBianca

Frank DiBianca is a former medical physics and biomedical engineering teaching and research professor. He has written numerous novels and short stories in the suspense, romance and sci-fi genres. His first traditionally published novel is LASER TRAP: A SUSPENSE NOVEL, Iron Stream Fiction (2022) a romance-laden suspense. Frank and his award-winning wife, Kay, are both full-time writers who assist each other in their manuscript development.

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Debut author Frank DiBianca shares his long and happy journey to publication. Click To Tweet

 

Welcome Frank DiBianca, and thank you for joining us!

Kay, it’s wonderful to be on your blog! Thank you.

 

Please give us some background – have you always wanted to be a writer?

Well, my first “official” publication was in fourth grade when the publisher of the class newspaper asked me for a story. I wrote him “The Unknown Element” a sci-fi story about a new atomic element that had devastating properties. When all the teachers said they didn’t understand it, I knew I was off to a career in elementary particle physics! So. I suppose the answer to your question is “yes,” as a career in retirement.

 

What got you interested in writing novels?

I promised the Lord that I would use my later years to create and publish stories that magnify Him in a gentle, non-evangelizing manner, using compelling ideas and language.

 

How did you come to write Laser Trap, your first novel, which is being released today?

In 2013, I wrote a 9,000-word romantic short-story called The Love Coach (TLC). Then, I went through a long period of literary development and attendance at numerous writing conferences, which both helped me and discouraged me at times (because I had so much to learn). My main writing focus moved from TLC to a 120,000-word sci-fi novel called Centaur, and then back to TLC, by now a full-length novel with considerable suspense added. It was contracted in 2021 by Iron Stream Media and, by 2022, it had been further edited, rewritten, and rebalanced into a 78,000-word suspense romance novel by my publisher, Iron Stream Fiction, an imprint of Iron Stream Media.

 

What were the main obstacles and successes that allowed you to go from a writer with good ideas but shaky writing techniques to one with a debut novel that the book’s endorsers and reviewers are excited about?

Let’s hope this continues, but the short answer is a lot of prayer, seven outstanding editors (eight, including the editor who passed my manuscript on to the person who would become my Managing Editor at ISM), and a multi-published, award-winning novelist wife who was always there for me. A longer, and much more complete, answer can be found in my recent ACFW blog, The Long but Happy Path of a Debut Suspense Novelist.

 

Do you have plans for future books?

Yes. I’m writing a book that uses very simple math and geometry to magnify the Lord. I’m also working on a sequel to Laser Trap.

 

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

I could have cut my start-up time by more than half (several years!) by doing three things much earlier:

  • Get a developmental editor or writing coach long before you finish the first draft of a novel. If she will allow it, send her your synopsis or plot summary and as soon as you write them, sections of your novel. There are many stages of editing you will need later to be successful.
  • Even if you have a degree in English Composition, you still have to learn the structure, style, and much more of modern fiction, and this depends on the genre you want to write in. How-to-write-fiction books, YouTube videos, writing conferences, and so on, are very helpful.
  • Read, read, read in your genre. Choose highly-rated, well-recommended novels. Record and store in binders your impressions as you read (How you do this depends on the format: paperback, e-book . . . !). You should give serious consideration to writing a short review and (a) filing it, as well as (b) publishing it (on Goodreads, Amazon, etc.) This will be very helpful to you, the author, and potential readers of the book!

 

Where can we find out more about you and your work?

Because of multiple rewrites of Laser Trap, I have had scant time to update my author’s website frankdibianca.com, but after today’s June 7 book release, I will list all the unpublished prose and poetry I’ve written, as well as the new novel, now being published by Iron Stream Fiction.

 

Thank you, Frank, for being with us today.

It’s been a pleasure being with you, Kay, and in the shadows of some impressive predecessors.

 

Debut author Frank DiBianca shares his long and happy journey to publication. Click To Tweet

19 comments

  • Today’s the big day–the “birth day” of “Laser Trap”! Congratulations on the long journey! And how you’ve grown as a writer. May many blessings abound for you as you continue for the Lord’s glory.

    • Barbara,
      Thank you so much! You are one of the people who had a direct impact on LT. May I always be faithful to your last four words “for the Lord’s glory!”

    • Good morning, Barbara! Thank you for all you have done for Frank and me in our writing careers! We thought writing would be all about books. Turns out, it’s all about people.

      Many blessings to you, my friend.

      • Kay–
        I love that–that writing is all about people! Well said! 🙂
        Barbara

  • Good morning, Frank & Kay! Congratulations, Frank, on the fruit of your labor – a debut novel! I think Laser Trap is an awesome read, and it looks like a lot of people are going to feel the same as I do about it. You said your teachers didn’t understand your first fiction, so you were off to a career in elementary particle physics. The humor in that sentence is the same humor that charmed me all the way through Laser Trap. It was so fun to get to know you better through your fiction. Now, give us a little teaser on that sequel!

    • Lisa,
      I know two things for sure: I deeply appreciate your kindness, and I really don’t deserve it.
      As for the teaser, here are a couple of hints of what I foresee at this point. I wonder if Sirius is thrilled about having an odd number of feet. Also, Dan and Lana are probably going to be coming into a large amount of patent money. Knowing their characters, I wonder what they are going to do with it. And finally, there is the Stevie-Chumbo pair. I wonder if I can do anything with them. Thanks for giving me a chance to blab!

    • Good morning, Lisa, and thank you for stopping by and for your friendship. I can confirm that Frank’s humor is a consistent thread through the book — and through our lives. Have a great week!

  • Great advice! Looking forward to reading Laser Trap!

    • Y’know, Pat, if I’d foreseen ten years ago that the short story I was working on was going to morph into something a little bit palatable, maybe I could have pushed a bit harder on the accelerator pedal. Hope you enjoy the book!

    • Good morning, Patricia! Thank you for stopping by today. I think you’ll enjoy Laser Trap.

  • Good morning, Frank and Kay. Congratulations, Frank, on the release of Laser Trap. I enjoyed reading your story of your writing journey. Best wishes for success with your book!

    • Thanks a bundle, Steve. Kay keeps telling how much your little “Partners in Crime” group enjoys breaking the law! But I do hope you are covering your tracks carefully. It would be tough for me to live alone.

    • Hi Steve! It’s interesting, isn’t it, that we each have our own journey to publication, but we all have one thing in common. It’s hard work. 🙂

  • debbieburkewriter

    Congratulations, Frank! I look forward to reading The Laser Trap–great title!

  • Frank, happy “D-Day” to you. I had preordered your ebook on Amazon, so it came in a little after midnight. I’ve already read the first four chapters and can’t wait for more! Thanks for sharing your long and happy path with us. Just shows there’s always plenty for us to learn, doesn’t it? We are all still students. I’m hoping you see great success with “The Laser Trap” and its sequel(s)!

    • Good morning, Mel, and thank you for stopping by. Your work on Laser Trap was so important, and your friendship is even more so. Have a great week!

  • Mel, you were my first editor. How did you survive me?? And then there were those “footser” notes that accompanied your edits. They really helped me understand some major areas in my writing that needed improvement. I learned so much about writing from you and Barbara and later, the people at Iron Stream Media. Thanks to all of you!
    PS- I’m delighted you are enjoying the book.

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