Monday, September 3, 2012

Henry Franks by Peter Adam Salomon + Interview/Giveaway

Henry Franks by Peter Adam Salomon

Review by Lauren

copy from publisher, but all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Four thousand, three hundred and seventeen stitches, his father had told him once. All the King's horses and all the King's men had put Henry Franks back together again.

One year ago, a terrible accident robbed Henry Franks of his mother and his memories. The past sixteen years have vanished. All Henry has now are scars and a distant father--the only one who can tell Henry who he is.

If only he could trust his father.

Do his nightmares--a sweet little girl calling him Daddy, murderous urges, dead bodies--hold clues?

While a serial killer stalks their small Georgia town, Henry unearths the bitter truth behind his mother's death--and the terrifying secrets of his own dark past.

Sometimes, the only thing worse than forgetting is remembering.

Review: Henry Franks is a modern-relling, if you will, of the famous story Frankenstein. I've read Frankenstein twice for school and it's not really my favorite story, but I love the premise so to have a modern take is quite fascinating for me. In the end, I am really glad that I was given the chance to read this book.

One of the things that is interesting and different about Henry Franks is the set up of the book. It's mostly in third person point of view of Henry, but his dreams are first person. However, there are also some interesting additions to the book like newspaper articles, sessions from Henry's therapy, and the point of view of Henry's dad, giving you a look into his intriguing life.

I can't imagine living Henry's life. He doesn't remember the accident that killed his mom and gave him all his scars, not to mention the rest of his previous life. He's going to therapy but the panic sets in easily and he just wants answers. Luckily, he has a neighbor, Justine, who is willing to look past the way he looks and become his well as help him on his search for the truth.

My one complaint while reading the book were all the references to trees scratching Henry's house and other weather-related items. It fits, because there is a hurricane coming toward the town, but sometimes I just wanted less of it. Overall, that's one of the only things that bothered me. I enjoyed the mystery and I loved that not everything was obvious. Some things I thought I knew would switch on me last minute, which was great. It's fun to keep guessing and wondering...since it keeps you turning the pages for more!

And now, Peter Adam Salomon was kind enough to answer some questions for us!

1. Henry Franks is said to be a re-telling of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
Were you always a fan of this book or did the enthusiasm for the story come

I was a huge fan of the book growing up, but hadn't read it in a very long time
when I started thinking of writing a book sort of re-imagining Frankenstein. As
the story progressed, I became fascinated with the other side of the 'creation'
myth: how the creature reacts as they come to terms with being created. The true
enthusiasm for Mary Shelley's book grew as the character of Henry grew in his
own story, that search for himself and for acceptance and for understanding is

2. This is your debut novel, so congratulations on that! Are you already
working on a new story and is there anything you can let readers know?

Thanks!! I ended up writing two new Young Adult novels while HENRY FRANKS was in
the submission process (publishing is a lot of 'hurry up and wait' so I wrote
while waiting). One of those, an action/adventure thriller will hopefully go out
on submission soon. In addition I have been working on a couple of picture
books. So I've tried to keep myself busy.

The thriller was inspired by watching parkour videos on Youtube actually and so
writing the action scenes became an interesting experiment, but hopefully the
time spent 'researching' on Youtube will be worth it.

 3. Your website for Henry Franks includes some photos that highlight the
landscape found in the book. I love this idea! Did you take these photos and if
so, did you have them taken before, during, or after you wrote the book?

Actually those photos were taken by a friend of mine, Jon Cohen, who lives on
the GA coast. He's an amateur photographer who really needs a website of his own
(hint, hint) but in the meantime I'm very honored and pleased to showcase some
of his pictures on the Henry Franks website. He was one of my beta readers so
was familiar with the book and I gave him some suggestions of photos that I
thought would work well for the tour and he took the time to take the pictures
for me. Actually, I'd love to expand the photo tour concept so if any readers of
the book have photographs they think remind them of certain passages from the
book I'd love to have them send them in and I'll put them up!

4. What aspect of being a published author is the most surprising for you?

I had spent most of my life dreaming of the moment when I sold my first book and
despite being able to research the publishing industry online and following
along as others wrote about their journeys on their blogs I had never given much
thought to what happens immediately after that moment of selling my first book.
The actual nuts and bolts of the process. So in some respect, everything has
been a surprise, even those things which I knew to expect. Still, the first time
I saw the cover art, the first time I held the book in my hands, all of those
surreal 'firsts' associated with the publication of a debut novel have been a
wonderful surprise to some extent. It is still odd to think of myself as an
agented author, never mind as a published one. And I know that there are so many
talented writers still waiting for that moment when they sell their first book
so I'm trying to humbly, graciously, and thankfully appreciate every single
moment of this.

5. Are there any songs you would put on the Henry Franks soundtrack; meaning
songs that you feel fit the themes, characters, or even particular moments in
the book?

What a wonderful question! I need music in order to write, always having
something playing in the background as an emotional crutch of sorts (I have a BA
in Theater and Film Studies, with a concentration in set design and construction
for musical theater, so my taste in music runs to Broadway and 80's new wave, I
am definitely a child of the 80s). The one CD I was listening to pretty much
non-stop while writing HENRY FRANKS was the recording of Next To Normal, which
has similar thematic elements to HENRY. In particular, for the name alone, I was
always a big fan of "I'm Alive" from that show. Also, I always think of
Fantastic Dream by Alphaville as a song I'd love to put on a soundtrack, simply
because it's one of my all-time favorite songs and being able to introduce it to
a wider audience would be a good thing.

Some of the themes of HENRY FRANKS are so universal: trying to figure out who
you are, first love, wondering if your father is a serial killer (okay, that
last one maybe not so much) that there are probably a number of songs that fit!

6. The book is written in an interesting format; two point of views, newspaper
clippings, etc. Was this how the original draft was set up, and what made you
decide to add in these extra additions?

Actually both the doctor scenes and the news articles were in the book from the
beginning mostly because it made it easier to write (the news articles enabled
me to present information to the reader without having to write entire chapters
dedicated to that information...I thought that if I have a scene with a killing,
for instance, then I'd have to worry too much about pronoun usage and
description in order to keep the identity of the killer hidden from the reader.
In a news article about the killing, that worry is taken away). At one point I
wrote a number of additional 'news articles' in order to 'hide' the ones that
were important but we decided to stick with as few as necessary so as not to
overload the reader.

Enter To Win Your Own Copy of Henry Franks by Peter Adam Salomon (U.S. and Canada only)" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


Linda Kish said...

This sounds really interesting. I look forward to reading it.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Erika said...

This sounds like such an interesting take on an epic tale. Great interview! :)

Liviania said...

Good interview! I like Frankenstein and this seems like a nifty take on the story.

Rachel said...

I never liked the story of Frankenstein. It's so tragic in my opinion and I hate sad endings. I wonder if this re-telling follows in the same footsteps or has a better outcome. Not sure if this one is for me but I'm totally intrigued! It sounds like a wonderfully creepy story. I like the way the author used the newspaper articles as a way of telling the story without giving away the murderer's identity. Very original. Wonderful review. :)

Vegan YA Nerds said...

I've never read Frankenstein but this sounds really interesting, I already feel for Henry, poor guy! Great review!

Sam said...

I love the sound of this taking a different approach on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I wasn't a huge fan of the original story, so maybe this re-telling of sorts will be something I enjoy better. I love the cover for this book too. Brilliant review and interview! Thanks for sharing. :)

Meg K. said...

I saw HENRY FRANKS on NetGalley, like, half a year ago, but never thought to request it, since it sounded so creepy! Glad you enjoyed this, though. Like you, I'm not really a fan of FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley, but I thought that the concept was cool!

Great review and interview!

Jess said...

I have been looking for a really goo read, and this seriously sounds incredible!

Medeia Sharif said...

I've read great things about this book. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.