Frank DeStefano grew up on Long Island, New York, and spent his early childhood watching all types of action films, especially science fiction. He is still an avid movie-goer and spends much of his free time enjoying movies with his friends. He also goes to see Broadway shows and has a special love for Les Miserables. In addition, he loves baseball and is a big fan of the St.Louis Cardinals.
Frank is appreciative of the support and encouragement given to him over the years by his family and friends. With a constant influx of new ideas, he expects that his keyboard will continue to help him produce many interesting and exciting new literary works.
Well, we’re here to talk about your books, The Dark Legend of the Foreigner and The Dark Legend of the Foreigner II, so let’s get right to it. Please give our readers a brief description of each of your books.
The Dark Legend of the Foreigner is about a Japanese warrior named the Master, who was frozen four hundred years ago in feudal Japan. The Lees, the Master’s mother and father, are great warriors and are asked by the shogun leader to help them overtake the villages surrounding them. The Lees feel disrespected, as all the shoguns know that they are great warriors. They choose not to help the shoguns. Instead they wipe out an entire clan of shoguns, leaving them all dead. After doing so, they know they have to leave, so they head up to the mountains of Okla, where they raise a child named the Master. After raising him, they ask their god to give them a gift. He grants them the power of the five scrolls of terror, which will later give the Master immortality. As the Lees take a trip down Okla Mountain, an ancient wizard has a shogun army ambush them. The Master sees them dead and brutally kills all the shogun clan. He goes to the end of town and battles an ancient wizard. The wizard freezes the Master, supposedly for eternity, but instead, the curse will last only four hundred years, and he will wake up in Central Park.
The Dark Legend of the Foreigner II: The Dark Lords is a continuation of the first book. It takes place in New York City as we follow the journey of the Master from Manhattan, where he finds a new ally named Nemesis, and takes a journey to Romania in search of a new formula. In doing so, he learns who he truly is, something he never knew before, and discovers he isn’t the only one with powers.
I’ve read online that the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day inspired The Dark Legend of the Foreigner. Can you tell our readers how the movie influenced your writing?
It doesn’t take much more than a small idea to be creative and turn it into something big: a simple story done in a fantastic way. The film that was done was different. It was inspiring and was something that stuck with me. My ideas can come as simply as when I’m walking down the street or something along that line.
Do you think growing up on Long Island or your early family life has an impact on your writing style? If so tell us how?
I was raised on Long Island and have lived there my entire life. I enjoy what Long Island has to offer and Manhattan as well. Life is all about learning and discovering new things, or particular things of interest. The more I learned and grew, the more my mind opened up. The fact that science fiction has really expanded in the past fifteen years gives great opportunity for new and established writers to excel in this genre.
What do you do if you ever get stuck while writing a scene?
I usually try to watch something on television or just take a half hour or so to let my mind feel loose so it can breathe.
Who is your cover artist? I was fascinated to see you used artwork versus stock photo images, which is what many authors currently go for.
My cover artist is Vanesa Garkova. I found her through Facebook, and I’m so glad I did. She has done amazing artwork for me. I couldn’t believe how amazing it turned out to be. I am very loyal. I plan on using her for whatever I write and will give her all the credit I possibly can for her work.
Who is a creative person (not a writer) who has influenced you and your work?
That answer is a simple one: not really a person but music, specifically the music of the rock band Linkin Park. Their music inspired me while I was writing The Dark Legend of the Foreigner books. “Burning it Down” was the song that prompted me to write the first book. The music moved me and fit right in. I could picture certain songs with certain scenes. If the books were made into a movie, the music of Linkin Park would be part of the project.
On a personal note, tell us a little about your “real” (non-writing) life, family, job, etc.?
I have a great family, who have supported my dream and who back me so much. My writing became an instrumental tool that helped me through a divorce a few years ago. Writing has meant so much to me, and the characters I’ve created have helped me get through a lot.
Jim, my best friend of seventeen years, has been one of the most supportive friends I could have. He built my website, thedarklegendoftheforeigner.com, and has helped me with numerous other things, including finding local events and trying to find a home for Dark Legend. He has helped me more than I can ever be thankful for.
I also have to thank my girlfriend, Jennifer, for giving me the backing and the support that she gives me on a daily basis. She gives me confidence. She and the things that she has done for me have meant a great deal to me. It is always the little things that people do that mean a lot to me.
What is your favorite science fiction book and movie?
I love Independence Day, and it inspired my creativity a lot. I also love any of the Marvel/DC movies. But my favorite movie will always be Braveheart.
Just curious, if The Dark Legend of the Foreigner series were to ever be adapted into a film, who would you want to play the main characters in the movie? Why?
Mark Wahlberg. He is a very diverse actor. He can take on any type of role and excel at it.
Do you have any advice for the yet to be published writers who may be reading this interview?
Yes, I do. Never stop writing, never give up on your dream, and take each boundary in baby steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Never stop believing in something that you may believe in and others don’t. Never get discouraged about anything, no matter how difficult it might be.
What’s next on the horizon for you as an author?
I am always trying to write and always coming up with new ideas from the movies I watch. I have three manuscripts that need to be edited sitting in my computer. The stories aren’t related to The Dark Legend of the Foreigner. But sometime in the winter, I will be headed back to the keyboard for a third. “Legends never die: they only begin.” That’s a quote from the book.