Meet the Authors
The Space Coast is home to many talents. This month, we explore the authors behind the titles to find out what inspires them and how their journey to publishing began. You might even find your next exciting read!
At a recent speaking engagement at the Central Brevard Library, Marshall Frank quiets the room by playing his violin. Once the group’s attention is captured, it doesn’t waver until he stops his presentation. Recounting his days as a homicide detective from Metro-Dade Police Department for 30 years, he weaves the story of his life in the context of describing each of his books. He’s written 7 fiction and 4 non-fiction books, “I’m kind of a write-aholic,” he admits. He started writing after his retirement while living in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. He took one writing course but wasn’t impressed, so he did his own research, reading novels and teaching himself the art. All his novels have some aspect of truth, either motivated by a case he worked on or a particular experience. His latest book, a suspense novel titled “The Upside of Murder,” includes the intriguing response that Marshall received from an “off the record” question about the best way to kill someone and not get caught. But he doesn’t just write books, he has a blog about social and political issues and writes for newspapers. Marshall is also an active member of the Creative Arts Foundation of Brevard, a nonprofit that supports disadvantaged children who are gifted musicians. “I wear many hats”
first article was published at the age of 16 in Woman’s Day magazine. She was paid $5. “It was really exciting,” she said. Since then, she’s collaborated with both her mother and her daughter on books of varying subjects including raising special needs children and science projects. “Special Kind of Parenting,” written with her mother, was published in 1985. Later, Joyce’s experience as a judge of science fairs for 25 years led her to collaborate with her daughter on a book about creating science fair projects for high school students. The publisher then asked them to write another book for grade school children. After her daughter, Heather Tomasello, graduated from college and began working at the University of Florida they collaborated again, this time on a book for 20-somethings called “Before You Call Mom, A Real World Survival Guide.”
“It was great fun,” Joyce says. “We are so like-minded. Our writing is so seamless I can’t tell who wrote what except for the parts about math, which I know she did!” Both Joyce and her daughter are still writing, though individually now. Joyce also regularly travels to Ecuador on medical missions, taking 12 teams in 10 years. She has now also self-published several fiction books.
Holly Fox Vellekoop
Holly Vellekoop began writing as a child. As the youngest of eight children, “I would sit and write to express myself and be alone.” She mostly wrote poems and short stories and began writing her first book while working as a nurse in a mental health hospital in Pennsylvania. After she retired and moved to the area in 2003, she began to devote more time to finishing the book. “Stone Haven: Murder Along the River” was published in 2006, a murder mystery set in her hometown of Danville, Pennsylvania.
Her second book, “How to Help When Parents Grieve,” is about her own experience losing a son to cancer. She wrote about her own path and interviewed other parents about their grief after the loss of a child, what helped them, and what didn’t. The book includes an interview with the parents of Junny Rios Martinez. “You never get over the grief,” she says. “You get over the shock and trauma.”
Her latest book, a thriller called “Justice and Revenge,” finds her asking the question, “How far would you go to gain justice for you and your family when a loved one has been harmed or murdered?” Much of the book is set in the Palm Bay/Indialantic areas. She has also written a science fiction book which made it to the second round of Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award contest. “I write about things that I think about and what’s true to me.”
Mike Roy’s “Something Like Salvation” is about a subject that millions of books have been written about – love, but not many books are written like this one. According to the author, “It is a uniquely poetically written collection of short stories that look at the beginning moments of a relationship when the grand immensity of positive potential is still perceived as an inevitable possibility.”
Mike has been writing poetry his entire life. After graduating with a degree in business management, he wrote his first book. “Something Like Salvation,” his second, was published in 2008.
The short stories chronicle tales of a first crush, love at first sight and destiny – inspired by everything from lines of a song or story lines from a movie.
“Thus the title which simply says that when we find the right person, we’re saved from the darkness life would otherwise be.”
Sometimes he writes the ending first, creating the plot by envisioning how the characters make it to that point. Though working full-time, Mike still writes every day, developing a habit that he hopes to turn into his full-time profession in the future. He has also written plays performed at Surfside Playhouse and produced films. He is currently halfway through his next book, a novel about what else? A love story with an unexpected twist.
Copies of the book are available at Publishamerica.com
Welcome, Twitter visitor! If you enjoy this post, don't hesitate to retweet!