"Ask Frank" Blog Tour & Book Giveaway

Welcome to Author Frank Peretti

With more than 15 million novels in print, Frank Peretti is nothing short of a publishing phenomenon and has been called “America’s hottest Christian novelist.” The Oath (Word Publishing 1995), sold more than half a million copies within the first six months of release. The Visitation (Word Publishing 1999), was #1 on the CBA Fiction Bestseller list for four months. Born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada in 1951, Frank is a natural storyteller who, as a youngster in Seattle, regularly gathered the neighborhood children for animated storytelling sessions, drew comics, and tapped out stories on his mother’s portable typewriter.
His journey toward becoming a writer had its side trips. After graduating from high school, he began playing banjo with a local bluegrass group, then worked as a musician and odd-job man for a small recording studio.
Shortly after he and his wife Barbara were married in 1972, Frank toured with a pop band and then a modest Christian music ministry.  He later studied English, screen writing and film at UCLA before spending five years helping his father pastor a small Assembly of God church in the Seattle area. During those five years he labored at night, on weekends, any chance he got, to write his first novel, This Present Darkness, the book that would catapult him into the public eye – eventually. Numerous publishers rejected the novel and Frank gave up his pastoring position to work in construction and odd jobs to make ends meet. Even after Crossway Books published This Present Darkness in 1986, the novel sat on store shelves largely unnoticed.
Two years later, Frank was working at a local ski factory when word-of- mouth enthusiasm finally lifted This Present Darkness onto a tidal wave of interest in spiritual warfare. The book appeared on Bookstore Journal’s bestseller list every month for more than eight years. His two spiritual warfare novels, This Present Darkness (1986) and Piercing the Darkness (1989), captivated readers, together selling more than 3.5 million copies. The Oath was awarded the 1996 Gold Medallion Award for best fiction.
For kids, Frank wrote The Cooper Kids Adventure Series (Crossway and Tommy Nelson), which remains a best-selling series for children with sales exceeding 1 million copies. In August 2000, Peretti released the hilarious children’s audiocassette series titled Wild and Wacky Totally True Bible Stories, reprising his role as Mr. Henry, the offbeat substitute Sunday School teacher found in two Visual Bible for Kids videos. In 2000, Frank released his first-ever non-fiction book, The Wounded Spirit, in which he deals with the problem of bullying.
In all, including his current work, Illusion, Frank has written nineteen books of various size for various ages.
Frank and Barbara live a simple life in rural Idaho. He leads worship at their church, Barbara paints in watercolor, and they enjoy being with their close friends.

Interview:
Did you model any of your characters after anyone in particular?
I suppose I did, whether knowingly or not. I often begin with a real person when I begin to create a character because right away the character has depth and realness. I can say that the concept for Mandy began with a real girl I happened to see in a talent show shortly before I began writing Illusion. Her routine was absolutely hilarious and her big eyed smile, reminiscent of Carol Channing, reached clear to the back row. Whenever I wrote about Mandy, especially Mandy performing, I envisioned that girl.

What is your favorite scene in Illusion and why do you love it?
Illusion has several very emotional scenes that move me and it’s hard to pick just one as a favorite.
I love the birthday scene because of the exquisite tension between Dane and Mandy, the longing for- and the avoidance of love at one and the same time. I love the restaurant scene in which Mandy is suffering from multiple realities all crashing in on her at once … and then encounters someone from her past who changes the whole direction of her life. I love the scene in which Dane and Mandy finally meet and talk with each other because of the cat-and-mouse game they have to play in the dialogue. I love the crushing midpoint scene in which a waltz turns to tragedy … Well, I could go on, but I won’t.  Don’t want to spoil the story for anybody.

What was the inspiration behind Illusion?
As with all of my stories, there is no single source or spark of inspiration.  Every story comes together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle spilled out on a table. Lots of little ideas float around looking for partners, and then they connect, and then they find other pieces, and ideas lead to other ideas, and before long I start to see a story appearing.

How did the title for Illusion come about?
Choosing the title for this book was a collaborative process between me, the publishers, the marketing people, the art department … wow, you want to talk about more than enough cooks in the kitchen! I was hoping we could come up with a title that had more than one word just because there seems to be such an obsession these days with one-word titles, but Illusion seems to be the most functional title we could come up with.  It took us a long time going through a lot of choices to find it, and I guess it turned out to be the title that gave us the most bang for the buck.  It addresses the fact that Dane and Mandy are illusionists, but on a deeper level it addresses a major dramatic thread of the story, that of Dane and Mandy trying to figure out what is real and what isn’t. Even the cover of the book speaks to the content of the story: a mysterious girl, her face turned away from us so that we don’t know who she is, accompanied by doves, about to step through a curtain to go on stage. All of these are strong thematic elements from the story.

Describe Illusion in five words or less.
Love. Separation. Longing. Quest. Reunion.
On March 6, 2012, Howard Books released Frank Perett’s Illusion, his first new novel in seven years. In the first two weeks of its release it climbed onto the New York Times Bestseller list. With more than 15 million novels in print, Frank Peretti is nothing short of a publishing phenomenon and has been called “America’s hottest Christian novelist.” He is the author of bestselling novels This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness as well as sixteen other novels. 

From March 26 to April 4, 2012, nine authors, pastors, book reviewers and bloggers will post answers to questions they’ve asked Frank Peretti through the “Ask Frank”  Blog Tour. The questions will range from those about Frank’s writing process and inspiration to why it has been seven years since his last major novel to what kind of coffee he likes to drink. All will be compelling posts to inspire and educate you. 
Visit the Blog Tour Page: http://askfrankblogtour.weebly.com/index.html


Illusion

Dane and Mandy, a popular magic act for forty years, are tragically separated by a car wreck that claims Mandy’s life—or so everyone thinks. Even as Dane mourns and tries to rebuild his life without her, Mandy, supposedly dead, awakes in the present as the nineteen-year-old she was in 1970. Distraught and disoriented in what to her is the future, she is confined to a mental ward until she discovers a magical ability to pass invisibly through time and space to escape. Alone in a strange world, she uses her mysterious powers to eke out a living, performing magic on the streets and in a quaint coffee shop.
Hoping to discover an exciting new talent, Dane ventures into the coffee shop and is transfixed by the magic he sees, illusions that even he, a seasoned professional, cannot explain. But more than anything, he is emotionally devastated by this teenager who has never met him, doesn’t know him, is certainly not in love with him, but is in every respect identical to the young beauty he first met and married some forty years earlier.
They begin a furtive relationship as mentor and protégée, but even as Dane tries to sort out who she really is and she tries to understand why she is drawn to him, they are watched by secretive interests who not only possess the answers to Mandy’s powers and misplacement in time but also the roguish ability to decide what will become of her.

Giveaway Details
1 copy of Illusions
Open to US only
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