Author Interview: Irises by Francisco X. Stork

Welcome to Author Francisco X. Stork

Francisco Stork works in Boston as an attorney for a state agency that develops affordable housing. He is married to Jill Syverson-Stork. He has two children who are now adults.


Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
If the book is for you, it will make you feel and think and question what you have never felt, thought or questioned before.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
My most challenging project right now is the writing of a hopeful, meaningful, and uplifting book about a young girl suffering from depression.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I don’t know if there was anything in particular that inspired. When I was in first grade in Mexico, the teacher put me in front of the class to tell stories I made up on the spot while the rest of the class worked on crafts. I was terrible with crafts so he figured this was something useful I could do. How he figured out that I could tell stories is that I was very good at lying. When I grew up I simply found the best way to keep on telling stories.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Talking to a class of teenagers who had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, and who had read Marcelo in the Real World. Listening to their accounts of how they saw themselves in the character of Marcelo.

What was your favorite book when you were a teen?
I liked all of J.D. Salinger’s books but especially Franny & Zooey and his book of short stories.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
For Irises, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, as sung by Eva Cassidy would be perfect.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Keep a journal and write every single day. Put anything you want in there and don’t think too much about what you are writing, just write. Read constantly, read different kind of books than you usually read. Find an author who writes so well you can never hope to imitate and re-read his or her works. The above will teach you how to write. But to learn what to write you must open yourself to love in whatever form it comes (to it’s pain and its gladness), for love will show you what the world most needs from you.

What is your favorite Quote?
Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need. (Frederick Buechner)

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
I usually see parts of me split between the two main characters in a book. In Marcelo I saw myself in Marcelo with his difficulties in surviving in our competitive, fast-paced world and also in Jasmine when she puts on a tough game-face during the day and then at night becomes herself and composes beautiful music. In The Last Summer of the Death Warriors, I saw myself in the angry, practical Pancho and in the idealistic, philosophical D.Q. In Irises, I saw myself in the artistic, intuitive Mary and in the goal-oriented, rational Kate.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?
A love triangle involving Mexican vampires.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Find a job that you love, that you are good at, and that is useful to others.

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
I get up at around 4:00 A.M. and read and write for until 6:00 A.M. I catch a train to work and read something “inspirational” on the trip. Usually from one of the major world religions. I work as an attorney in a state agency that develops affordable housing until 4:00 P.M. I read from a work of fiction on the train ride home. I play with Hobbes (my schnoodle) eat dinner with my wife, answer e-mails, read books I’ve been asked to blurb or books sent to me by Young Adult author. If I don’t have a writing deadline, I watch TV for an hour. If I have a deadline, I work until 11:00. Weekends are different because that’s is when I do most of my writing.

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
Jersey Housewives. (Research, of course!)

Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is….
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

Do you prefer a bunch of small gifts or one big expensive one?
A whole bunch of small ones spread out over a life time.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m a fan of all of Clint Eastwood movies – especially the Westerns. I’ve watched Unforgiven probably ten times.

Irises by Francisco X. Stork

Two sisters discover what’s truly worth living for in the new novel by the author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD.TWO SISTERS: Kate is bound for Stanford and an M.D. — if her family will let her go. Mary wants only to stay home and paint. When their loving but repressive father dies, they must figure out how to support themselves and their mother, who is in a permanent vegetative state, and how to get along in all their uneasy sisterhood.THREE YOUNG MEN: Then three men sway their lives: Kate’s boyfriend Simon offers to marry her, providing much-needed stability. Mary is drawn to Marcos, though she fears his violent past. And Andy tempts Kate with more than romance, recognizing her ambition because it matches his own. ONE AGONIZING CHOICE: Kate and Mary each find new possibilities and darknesses in their sudden freedom. But it’s Mama’s life that might divide them for good — the question of *if* she lives, and what’s worth living for.IRISES is Francisco X. Stork’s most provocative and courageous novel yet.

Also by Francisco X. Stork