Frank W. Butterfield
Although Frank worships San Francisco, he lives at the beach on another coast. Born on a windy day in November of 1966, he was elected President of his high school Spanish Club in the spring of 1983. After moving across these United States like a rapid-fire pinball, he now makes his home in a hurricane-proof motel, built in 1947, with superior water pressure. While he hasn’t met any dolphins personally, that invitation is always open.
Series That Are Mentioned
Nick Williams Mysteries
Daytona Beach Series
The Romantical Adventures of White & Eddie
The Adventures of Nick & Carter
Brad Shreve 0:00
We’ve got six men three decades and they all intertwined Frank W. Butterfield is here today to explain how he does that.
Welcome to gay mystery authors with Brad Shreve featuring interviews with some of the most renowned authors and up and coming talent and LGBT q mysteries, suspense and thrillers. Plus, Justin is here with her weekly recommendation.
Were so loose and easy.
Brad Shreve 0:39
Now we’re loose and easy. Start talking.
All right, we’re still loose and easy. And here we are recording for what the third time, Brad?
Brad Shreve 0:48
This is the third and gonna be the last time this time. We’ve got it down, Pat.
All right. It’s our it’s our third time’s a charm. So what did you do this weekend?
Brad Shreve 0:56
Well, what I did this weekend was I had a great interview with the guys over WROTE Podcast, Vance and Baz over there interviewed me both about my book, A Body in a Bathhouse. And then they we also talked about this show and the excitement of getting it started and in talking about crime fiction. Big shout out to them Vance and Baz of WROTE podcast. It stands for writers on the edge, I highly recommend the show.
And I gotta say I can’t wait for to hear it so that you can be the interviewee. Did they do one of those spinning wheel hard questions?
Brad Shreve 1:34
No, they don’t do a spinning wheel hard question. They asked questions about personal care.
Oh, well, I’m looking forward to it.
Brad Shreve 1:42
Thursday, f you’re listening to us on the day that we released this Thursday, their show is on Fridays.
Brad Shreve 1:51
If you’re listening, release day the shows on tomorrow. Listen in, you’ll get to hear my fabulous voice once again.
Brad Shreve 1:58
I gotta tell you about problem I’m having. It’s a problem that Maurice and I are having in bed.
Oh my god. We’re just going right there.
Brad Shreve 2:08
Drives him crazy. All night long. I kick off the sheets and the bedspread. And then I put it back on when I’m cold, hot again, I kick it off cold when I pull back up, and you were telling me that you have a solution?
Well, the first solution is you need to have separate comforters. Hey, my husband and I, we each have twin comforters so that, you know we can we can just do our own thing. And I got a new comforter this week. So Buffy, we’ve got a link on our website to Buffy. Then they make comforters. So I was looking at this thinking, well, do I really want to do this? They’re made from Eucalyptus and recycled materials. And it had a seven day free trial. So I said Well, well, and it’s interesting because you don’t you can return it for 30 days, but if you get it for seven days, they don’t charge your card for the first seven days. So I thought that was kind of nice. I didn’t have to wait around for a refund if I wanted to return it.
Brad Shreve 3:09
What do you have to lose?
Exactly. So I tried it and I absolutely love it. I have the cloud, which really is supposed to float on you and it really floats on you. I get under it and I can hardly feel that there’s a comfort on top of me yet it keeps me warm. And I haven’t been waking up with the night sweats of being too warm. So I love it. My daughter also climbed under it and said she felt like it was floating. So I think it’s a great deal. I think everybody should try it. At least those seven days and if you like it, which I suspect you will keep it.
Brad Shreve 3:42
Well, I’m glad you tried it out. Now I can get my own. Yeah, anybody that wants a Buffy. We do have links on the show notes for this show or any of the shows and also at the bottom of the main web page. So just go to www gay mysteryauthors.com and you’ll find the link on the show notes. Thank you for trying it out.
I did and it was great.
Brad Shreve 4:05
So who we’re talking about today what book
I am talking about Broken Woman, a Jinx Ballou mystery by Dharma Kelleher. Dharma is a trans writer, and her protagonist Jinx is a trans woman. I read recently on Twitter, she wrote this because she was tired of trans women always being the victims or the sex workers. She wanted a trans woman that kicked ass and let me just tell you, Jinx kicks ass. She’s a bounty hunter. And in this one, she gets dragged into being a private investigator. The woman that she’s got a bounty on is also transgender and she’s being protected by all women biker gang. So when they go to try to retrieve the the bounty The biker gang makes a deal and says, we’ll turn it over to you. Only if you can find the real killer. And after hemming and hawing and trying to get out of it, there really wasn’t any choice. So Jinx took out her old private investigator license and investigated a murder. Let me just say, her body count rivals any James Bond movie.
Brad Shreve 5:27
So, let me tell you another thing about this book. You know you we often wonder whether the books in a series are standalone. The book works very well as a standalone the characters are introduce you know who they all are. The problem that I have is that there are spoilers to the previous books. So when she describes her previous cases, you find out who got hurt, who didn’t who lives who dies. And a little bit of the solution. So if you’re not into spoilers, and you actually want to start at the beginning, I would start at the beginning of the Jinx Ballou series, which is two books. And then I also do the Shea Stevens series who shows up in these books. And there are two books in those series. On the other hand, if you want to just dive in, you know, people dive in in the middle of TV shows, and don’t go back and binge watch from the beginning. If you’re one of those kind of people, this is really a great place to start.
Brad Shreve 6:35
Now, I’m one of those I don’t mind diving in the middle. I mean, it tends to be more fun to start at the beginning. But there have been times where one in the middle just really jumps at me and says, read me and I, I have no problem with it.
I really liked this one and i i did not regret doing it. And I would still go back and read the early ones even though I know lives. who dies who gets hurt? Who doesn’t?
Brad Shreve 7:01
How are you rating that this week?
This one is a thrilling recommendation. Brad
Brad Shreve 7:06
Thrilling. We haven’t had a thrilling before.
Nope, it’s fast paced, and as I say, a high body count.
Brad Shreve 7:13
Well, I’ll do one thing. One thing thing about Dharma Keller her and that is that she has started your own podcast as well. We’re going to talk about a little more last next week. I did want to let everybody know to check the gritty, gritty podcast, which Dharma has started about a month ago. So we’ll talk more about it next week. But the Gritty Gritty Podcast if you’d like to check it out. Do you have any news from Requeered Tales this week?
Buried on Sunday, which is the second book in the Goeffrey Chadwick series is coming out on Wednesday. And Jeffrey is often in one of those country estates, this one outside Montreal, Canada, and he and the hosts as well as the other guests were all held hostage by escape bank robbers.
Brad Shreve 8:00
So if that’s the news from Requeered Tales, and other than that, we will see you next week.
See you then Brad.
We’re sponsored by required tales, preserving our LGBT q literary heritage, one book at a time. Check them out required tales calm.
Brad Shreve 8:25
Frank W. Butterfield. It’s a pleasure to have you here today. Welcome.
Frank W. Butterfield 8:30
Hi, Brad. It’s great to be here. Thank you so much for asking me to join you. This is really exciting what you’re up to here.
Brad Shreve 8:37
Well, I’m glad you think so. It seems like a lot of other people do. It’s, it’s about time for something like this show. I’m hoping that it expands. Across the nation. A lot of people learn about the genre that we’re involved in. According to Frank, he worshipped San Francisco, but he lives at the beach on another coast. He was born on a windy day in November of 19. 66 which I’ve heard before, I don’t know how Frank knows that, but maybe his parents told him
Frank W. Butterfield 9:07
I was born in Lubbock, Texas. It was windy.
It’s always windy. It’s never not windy there.
Brad Shreve 9:14
Well, there you go. So it was an easy guess. Yeah. Now Frank was elected President of his high school Spanish club in spring of 1983. And then after moving across these United States like a rapid fire pinball, he now makes his home in a hurricane proof motel, built in 1947, with superior water pressure. And while Frank hasn’t met any dolphins personally, that invitation is always open. But we’re going to talk a little bit about you later. But first I want to talk about your series that you have you have three book series that you’re running. One is kind of in a state of flux. We’re going to talk about that. Your first series is the Nick Williams Series and right have you have written an amazing 32 books in the series? And as I understand Nick is the world’s richest gay man and his husband Carter Jones as a muscled firefighter, not too shabby. And that series runs from 1953 to 1968. Is that correct?
Frank W. Butterfield 10:20
Brad Shreve 10:22
Okay. And as I said that you’re ending and they’re going to carry on in another form. But what I want you to do is just tell us more about Nick and Carter in their story.
Frank W. Butterfield 10:32
Well, Nick and Carter met across a crowded room in 1947. They were at a bar that did actually exist in San Francisco in North Beach called La Parisian which was one of my favorite little side stories. They literally it was love at first sight. Insta love the whole thing. And Nick spent the first year pretending like he was broke because he really didn’t know how to tell Carter that he was wealthy. his money came from his great uncle Paul, who had left it to him in and didn’t leave any of his money to any of the other family. That happened during World War II. And when the other family got wind of it, they sued him. And that was when Nick and Carter meet that lawsuit is still going on. And that’s part of the reason why Nick doesn’t want to talk about it. But when they first meet Carter’s a fireman and Nick is working as an orderly at General Hospital, which is now called Zuckerberg, San Francisco General Hospital, I think. But they meet, they get together and then a few years passed, and in 1953, after Nick has admitted that he’s wealthy and they’re living together in a house that they built by and they’re kind of, you know, have kind of worked into living together. Nick has become a private detective in the meantime, just mostly like tracking down husbands are cheating on their wives and that sort of thing, nothing big. Nick’s friend comes to him and says, hey, there’s this movie star who, for some reason was not arrested when this club was rated. And so Nick starts following that. And at the same time, his sister dies in a really strange car accident. And he has to figure that out what happened, who was involved, and that’s where the first book starts. That’s the unexpected areas. So the the result of that is that through a series of kind of interesting little twists and turns that Nick and Carter with a couple of friends of theirs ended up having dinner at the Top of the Mark at the top of the Mark Hopkins, which is a beautiful place, it’s open still. You can’t I don’t think you can have dinner there, but they are You have a bar with an incredible view. And Nick takes it upon himself to walk over to George Hearst, the son of William Randolph Hearst, who is more or less running the one of the big papers in the city called The Examiner and tells him off about this, that or the other, and basically ends up outing himself right in front of all these people there at the Top of the Mark. The main way that happens is that Carter’s so proud from Nick for doing what he did that he basically takes him in his arms and kisses him right there on the dance floor
Brad Shreve 13:36
in 1953. Well, that’s pretty dramatic for 1953.
Frank W. Butterfield 13:40
It is. So that’s where the fantastical elements of this story begin because there’s two things that are happening. One is that Nick is very wealthy, so he can kind of like deal with whatever slings and arrows may come to him. And the second is that predates anyone coming out on a national level or on a global level by about 30, about 25 years because the first person who really in real life did that was Harvey Milk.
So he comes out and there lots of people were sort of out in the intervening time, but nobody was out like, like, what I’m portraying, Nick to be. And that so there’s a fantastical element of that, which turns a few people off, but a lot of people just enjoy the ride, because that allows them to kind of move around in that time period and in brushing up against actual historical figures, and you get to see how that works itself out.
Brad Shreve 14:43
As you mentioned, you mentioned William Randolph Hearst and other celebs that tends to be a common theme in in your novels. Correct.
Frank W. Butterfield 14:50
Right, except that everybody’s dead. There’s three exceptions to that. of the what I’ve written about in the Nick Williams mysteries I wrote about Lance Brisson, who is Rosalind Russell’s son, he’s still alive. I did write this really fun interaction that happens with Hayley Mills. And Joanna Barnes. Joanna Barnes is the woman who steps on the ping pong ball in the movie Auntie Mame and also played the the woman that Brian Keith is going to marry in the Parent Trap. So Joanna Barnes and Hayley Mills for friends from having acted together in that movie. And they are Nick and Carter happened to be kind of around the corner from where there’s a TV show that they’re going to be on and they run into the two of them and I hopefully he they, if they ever read this book because they’re both still alive, that they would be pleased with what I said. But for the most part, the people that I’ve read about are dead.
Brad Shreve 15:53
I’m presuming that the ones that are alive you portrayed in a positive light.
Frank W. Butterfield 15:58
Well, Lance is always camp. So he never, he’s never shown up in any story because he is always off at school or camp. And Ross is always just like, oh, he’s doing great. And then they move on to something else. With Haley and Joanna Barnes that was like, Okay, I’m just assuming this will be okay, because they’re public personas. But however, as time moves on, more and more people are still alive. One of the persons that I was, I really wanted to write a lot about was the guy who played Perry Mason, whose name is going to come to me in just a moment. I remember, thank you remember who was gay, and sort of more and less open but not publicly but among people who knew him, but his partner is still alive. So I’ve kind of kept that at a distance. There’s a case where Raymond Burr is involved in a mystery where they go down to LA and help him I can figure it out. But everybody else yeah, I try to put as many historical figures in the books as possible and have real historical events referred to.
Brad Shreve 17:09
Well now the second book in the second series that you have is the Daytona Beach series. And this is what I’m most familiar with personally. You have four books in this series, features attorney Tom, Jarrell, and PI Ronnie Grisham. And that starts in 1947. And I believe it’s still is in 1947. Correct?
Frank W. Butterfield 17:33
Right. The first of the first four books they go through New Years or Christmas of 47 to New Years of 48. The fifth book, which will probably be the next book that I write, takes place during Bike Week of 1948, which would be in March. So those books are like I like to call them Perry Mason at the beach with a gay twist because Tom is an attorney kind of gets thrust into becoming a criminal defense attorney without much experience. And he so in order to educate himself, he has it like a mentor but he also reads a lot of Perry Mason books in order to like, figure out how to do things. It’s a lot of fun because I like the legal, legal procedural part of the stories. And I enjoy the fact also that those books are written in a slightly different way. The Nick Williams mysteries are written with the first person narrator which is Nick. But in the Daytona Beach books, I have five characters who give their POV not from the IM perspective, but from the third person. So we get to hear from Ronnie and Tom as well as Marvin who is Tom secretary, and then Howie who works for who’s going to end up working for Ronnie as a PI as well. And then Alice who Is who cleans house for Tom and Ronnie and cooks for them because she’s black. And she was a teacher at the local black high school here in Daytona Beach. But she got fired after they figured out that she was a lesbian. So, and she’s also kind of like working on her own thing that Thomas helping her do and all that. So it’s interesting to be able to see the same story through the different eyes of the different characters. It’s fun to write, it’s a lot harder to write than having a single I narrator first person, because you bet that, yeah, you’re getting into the heads of different people. But the more I do it, the more accustomed I’m getting to being in their heads. And they it’s also kind of fun because they can go off anddo things and we can find out about it. We don’t have to wait for them to come back and tell the narrator which is what happens with the Nick stories.
Brad Shreve 19:53
They’re on a different social level than right, the other Nick Williams. So do you have any any interaction with famous people with with this story,
Frank W. Butterfield 20:03
The only really, there’s nothing but they don’t go anywhere. They’re not like making Carter where they fly all over the world. They’re like very Daytona centered and like the furthest they ever go was like to Key West or up to Georgia. However, having said that there, they will be brushing up against President Battista of Cuba because Battista left. Here, when he was an exile from Cuba in the late 40s, early 50s. Before he went back to Cuba to be president for the last time, because he was president in the 40s. And then he was like overthrown a coup and lived here, and they’ve already kind of brushed up against him a little bit, but they’ll probably end up meeting him at some point. But that would be probably yet there might be others although they did go see Doris Day down at a hotel in Miami Beach. Well, three Yeah. Which was fabulous thing to write about, by the way,
Brad Shreve 21:02
So you couldn’t resist putting some historical figures in there?
Frank W. Butterfield 21:05
Well, there are, you know, and there’s definitely their actual historical figures in this like in book for that well, actually the judge who Thomas always at trial in front of was a real person and I’ve met people who knew him and gave me a lot of insight into his personality. He was something else. He was a Florida judge, I mean, in Florida in the 40s is this very different place than what it is now. So there was a lot of corruption and a lot of like double dealing and backroom stuff and all sorts of really interesting fun things that make for great story
Brad Shreve 21:46
The third series that you’ve started, your newest series, I believe. You have three books, and that’s the Romantic Adventures of Whit and Eddie. Understand this is more on the romance side with a with a touch of mystery. Is that correct?
Frank W. Butterfield 22:01
Yeah. So these are they really are adventures. There’s a little bit of mystery, although we haven’t had a mystery yet, but they’re just it’s the end. It’s contemporary romance. So that’s the book I’m working on right now. That book goes through the last two weeks of August and goes up against a hurricane Dorian as it was coming here.
Brad Shreve 22:22
Well, normally, we don’t talk about romances on this show. But we have to with this one, because somehow you have these three different stories that take place in different time periods. intertwined, right, so we can’t leave it out. So before we get to that, what can you tell us about Whit and Eddie, more about their stories, and how they’re different from the others?
Frank W. Butterfield 22:45
Well, besides things differently, Whit is a retired football player, an NFL player who worked who played at the end for an expansion of fake expansion team that I came up with that’s in San Antonio called the Matadors Having previously played for the Vikings and for the Raiders, he grew up in East Texas and was the son of a basically a mega church pastor who’s, who’s at the level of like Benny Hinn or Jerry Falwell, and has had political connections and all that sort of thing. who dies in the first book? And Whit comes out, which is basically a cross between for those who play football, or know football. He’s a cross between Gronk, Rob Gronkowski, ask you for the paper plays for the Patriots or did who retired at the same time that we did. And Tim Tebow. So he is practicing faithful abstinence and is very much in the closet until he meets Eddie. Actually, it’s really until he begins to play for the Matadors because the Matadors, and here’s where the inner twinning starts. The Matadors are owned by Bob Jenkins and Mario Ostler who is inherited Nick and Carter’s big Empire when they died. So that was something that Nick and Carter set up. And like, because they didn’t have any family to leave anything to Not really. And so they wanted to find another couple like them that they could hand everything over to. So Mario ends up buying into the NFL as part of the expansion, and they hire Whit and then after they get to know what they realized he’s probably gay. And they need someone to help them come out. And that’s how Eddie and Whit meet. Eddie is essentially me. Almost all of his life story is autobiographical, parallel to mine. There’s some exceptions. There’s some things I take out like he’s not an author, but they’re almost everything else is my backstory.
Brad Shreve 24:47
Oh, I’ve gotta jump into that one, then.
Frank W. Butterfield 24:49
Oh, please. Definitely
Brad Shreve 24:52
So um, how do Tom and Ronnie from the Daytona series play into the Whitney stories
Frank W. Butterfield 24:59
In book 2 of the Whit and Eddie stories they discover that sorry that Ronnie Grisham who was the PI back in the 40s here in Daytona is still alive, not only still alive, but he has a Thomas passed away, but he’s got a new husband named Howard. And they have moved back to Daytona Beach. And from Fort Lauderdale, which is where Ronnie reaches out to Mario, when he begins to see all the stuff that goes viral about Whit and Eddie. Because you know, of course, that it becomes this insane story. And then he kind of in a way that only Ronnie could do he basically invades Whit and Eddie’s life and starts kind of bossing them around and telling them what to do and he’s a hundred-two, but really kind of viral and not at all about to croak so that’s that’s where the but in the meantime, but in the Let me try that again in the interim. Tom and Ronnie ended up working for Nick and Carter. Starting in the late 50s, and they’ve actually been in some of the Nick Williams mysteries, they showed up in a couple of them, including the last one. So they’re intertwined like that. And then there’s some sort of mysterious nobody knows really how it happened or what happened. Fall out between Ronnie and Nick, at some point in like the 80s or 90s. And no one’s really sure how it happened. But that’ll that’s yet to be discovered. I don’t know how it happened. So I’ll find out what everybody else does.
Brad Shreve 26:33
Well, I’m intrigued because what point of view are the Whit and Eddie?
Frank W. Butterfield 26:38
It’s Eddie is first person narrator. And it’s, and it’s me and the way I think and the way I talk pretty much
Brad Shreve 26:46
so this is interesting because you have 10 different point of view with the Nick Williams’s mysteries, the Daytona Beach series, and the Whit and Eddie stories. How much of a challenge is that to change that between the different storylines as well as the differences between the books.
Frank W. Butterfield 27:02
Well, it’s actually pretty easy because, at least for me anyway, because the way I write, which is I just basically sit down at the keyboard and let them tell me the stories. That’s actually how it happens. I don’t plot I don’t plan. I don’t have any sort of idea at all what’s going to happen with the book I’m writing right now, again, which is not the mystery section. But it’s, it’s the same way I’ve written all the books. I’m actually almost at the end of this Whit and Eddie book, and I’m just now discovering what has been going on all along, that I knew there was something happening, but I didn’t know this was what it was. And it’s kind of surprising actually, even for me. But that’s essentially what has happened with every single book I’ve written. I just show up and they start talking and I write down the descriptions of the things that I see in my head. And that’s how it all comes together. I don’t I’m really not A big fan of like plotter versus pantser I don’t, if anybody’s heard that term, the difference between someone who sits and plots, and then people go by the seat of their pants, I don’t feel like I’m really doing either one of them. I’m just literally hearing the story, and then writing it down.
Brad Shreve 28:17
As a person that maps out the entire story. I’m really fascinated by that. And anybody that can do that, and it’s quite impressive to me.
Frank W. Butterfield 28:26
Well, if I was to map out the story, I would never write a book. That’s just, you know
Brad Shreve 28:33
It would take away the pleasure from you?
Frank W. Butterfield 28:34
Well, they would take away the pleasure, but also I just would never finished mapping out. That’s something that’s something I discovered a long time ago, back in my previous life when I was a project manager. When I started doing the things that project management training was telling me to do everything that I was doing granted to all because I would get all in and they talk about this, like you get into the project and the project management and instead of actually doing the work, or getting other people to do the work for me, it’s like, No, I just need to be at the keyboard. And when I’m ready, put my fingers on the keys, and then find out what’s going to happen next.
Brad Shreve 29:12
That sounds fun. And in, like I said, I’m impressed. And I’m going back to the Nick Williams mysteries. Book number 32. And I apologize, I don’t remember the name of it.
Frank W. Butterfield 29:23
The loveless lawyer.
Brad Shreve 29:25
Oh, I would have been, I think would have been right. If I guessed that is the close of the Nick Williams mysteries. Right? Yet we are not seeing the end of Nick and Carter. No, it’s going to be the adventures of Nick and Carter, is that correct?
Frank W. Butterfield 29:38
Right, because what I wanted was a little bit more and I almost did this funny almost did this back at book 20. But it didn’t feel right. I want a little bit more room to write more about what happens with them and not have to have every book actually have a whodunit in it. There’s still going to be mysteries. But I also want to be able to write like pure romance. I just want to be able to write adventures and maybe more like things like espionage and suspense, and not always have to have a what happened and who did it. And here’s the summary of how things happened and that sort of thing. I just want the books to be a little bit more freeform. And to kind of sort of make sense, like, the last book is 1967. This then the first book of the adventure series is going to be January of 1970 Years Day. And it typical Nick fashion, we’re skipping all the things that everybody thinks we should do. Like there should be a whole thing about the Summer of Love in 67. And then like the Democratic National Convention in 68, and the election of Nixon, there was no book that happened around the Kennedy assassination. And what am i readers came back to me was like, I was really hoping to see that and I was like, Well, you know, we know all about those things. What I’m much more interested in is like, the Tay-Bush raid, which was kind of the last really big police raid of a bar in San Francisco. And it was in 1960. I’m going to get the date wrong, either 61 or 62. And that’s kind of it’s not the center of one of the stories, but it very much happens in it. And that that rate actually kind of changed. It was the predecessor of kind of the Stonewall era for San Francisco. But the real Stonewall in San Francisco happened and this is in the app. This is referred to a lot in this last book, The Loveless Lawyer was that the Compton Cafeteria riot, which took place sometime in August of 66. But no one knows for sure, as there are no records there, the people who were there and who went through it, but nobody really knows what the date was, but that for people in San Francisco that was kind of like the Stonewall, and so I was like to joke that when Stonewall happens, which also we’re going to skip because the first story is in January of 70 for the next series. When Stonewall happened, what people in San Francisco got was the gay Freedom Day parade in summer of 1970. That’s what really happened. And because Stonewall, the idea of Stonewall had happened there much earlier than it did in New York. But of course, the reverberation of Stonewall throughout the whole country is a benefit to everyone, including people in San Francisco.
Brad Shreve 32:22
Right there. There have been many protests before we have on record. They’ve been protests before but Stonewall was the catalyst to the to the gay rights movement.
Frank W. Butterfield 32:31
Yeah, but on the national level, but in San Francisco, I did already it was already in full bloom by the time Stonewall happened. So that’s it. That’s the kind of thing that I do want to write about the things that are kind of like over in this from a historical perspective, the things that are over on the side.
Brad Shreve 32:48
I couldn’t question I have to ask you. You write three series at once. I follow you on Facebook and you’re regularly at the beach. We see you traveling around Florida. I know you put a lot of research into your book. Have you seen a TV or a movie in the last three years? I mean, how the hell do you do it?
Frank W. Butterfield 33:12
No, I don’t go to the movies. Well, okay, that’s not true. I went to go see I seen I probably going to go see Downton Abbey because I really do need to see that a movie theater. I saw one movie last year, which was the first one I’ve seen since the summer of 16. Which was, don’t tell anybody, Mamma Mia 2 because I had to see Cher on the screen. That was fun. And I was like, Yes, like I was secretly shamed about it. But I love that movie. I love the story. And it’s very silly, and it’s a lot of fun anyway,
Brad Shreve 33:43
and you have Abba music. So
Frank W. Butterfield 33:46
yeah, that was it was Cher and Abba, and it was fabulous. I do watch like my background. noise is either Turner Classic Movies, whatever’s on or I’ve got the entire Perry Mason series on DVD so I just pop into DVD and big i don’t i don’t really participate in popular culture hardly at all. And which I’m totally happy with. Because I spend a lot of time exploring the things that I want to know more about that happened back when
Brad Shreve 34:17
Now do you think writing the Whit and Eddie series, since it’s a contemporary series, are you going to have to start looking more into the Pops here pop culture or these don’t think that’s a concern?
Frank W. Butterfield 34:28
Well, what’s really funny is so when Whit and Eddie to get together Whit is very like he’s 35 and he’s a football player. And so he’s very like, bro, like, he’s like, Hey, dude, and all that. But after they kind of get to know each other a little bit and he gets more comfortable with Eddie, all of a sudden they begin to realize they have all these same things in common. Eddie loves me old movies and old music because to me and for him It’s like it’s a gay thing. That’s Whit likes all that stuff because when he was growing up, that’s all he was allowed to watch or listen to, because his parents didn’t want him exposed to because he was born in 84 didn’t want him exposed to rap, or this or that, or the, you know, like they wanted him to, like, just have like a very wholesome upbringing. So he actually knows more about old movies than Eddie does. Which Eddie keeps saying like, Are you really sure you’re a football player? Like, what football players like know the lines from Casablanca? I’ve never heard of this. So that’s kind of a fun thing. And yeah, popular culture does pop in, but it’s just from things that I see like that pop, give them like that jump out of the screen at me, just from like looking at other stuff. And every now and then if I need some sort of reference, I like text my sister who’s The same age as Whit and then I can run with that.
Brad Shreve 36:02
So there you have a resource.
Frank W. Butterfield 36:05
Exactly. Yeah, just just like the people who helped me with the football team because I know nothing about football. That Fortunately, my brother knows pretty much everything. And he helped me figure out how to do it. And then also a couple of other readers have been really helpful.
Brad Shreve 36:20
Yeah, the only thing I know about football is they get into a circle. They run for about 10 seconds, and they get into a circle again. I don’t see this action that people talk about. So I know nothing about football either. So as far as your characters go, I believe Nick Williams has known you the longest. What would Nick Tell me about you?
Frank W. Butterfield 36:47
He would say that he’d say, He’s a good kid. Good, good. Yeah, that’s that’s a very Nick thing to say.
Brad Shreve 36:59
Well, pushed a little further here. Then, one day a few years back, I guess three years ago, you devoted your life to writing and you’ve written almost 50 books. What would your life be like before you went insane?
Frank W. Butterfield 37:14
I have another business that I do. that sits over on the side that’s kind of like coaching. And so that’s what I was mostly doing. What I was doing in particular was from about 2011 until 2015, as I was driving all around the country going anywhere I wanted to go that caught my fancy. And I did lots of cross country trips, I did a whole circle of the US twice. I did lots of trips from like Jacksonville to Santa Monica on, you know, going the whole length of it. And I did the same thing on 80 I think, and I tried to drive U.S. 2 all the way along the Canadian border, and then I tried to drive US 84 from Georgia all the way up to California to Colorado. And discovered like this is why people love interstate freeways is because you don’t go 40, 35, 30, 50 all the time. Prior to that I had a real job where I was a project manager for a contractor. And when I finally decided to leave Austin and just go on the road, it was just because I’d always wanted to do that. And so I did it until I was ready to stop and then I ended up here in Daytona Beach was which has its own very long story, but discovered you can drive on the beach here and then I was like, I’m not leaving. Because I get to be in a car and on the beach at the same time. This makes me very happy. There’s like two of my favorite things in the world combined together. So I’ve been here and you said like going around Florida. I don’t. I go to and from Orlando. I’ve gone to Savannah twice since I’ve really I’ve gone to Fort Lauderdale twice since I’ve lived here. And that is like too far. I don’t really actually want to go. I have this whole thing about wanting to live here and not wanting to go anywhere. Which anyone who knows me is constantly shocked and like what your where’s the real Frank? And what did you do with him? Because that’s not the way I used to be. I wanted to always be on the run. So another way would be to say, I was insane until I discovered writing and now I’m kind of like more like a normal person, sort of, but I’ll never be normal.
Brad Shreve 39:31
So and that’s a good thing, Lou. Well, what is your writing journey? What How? How did that I’ll begin. What’s your earliest recollection, wanting to be a writer?
Frank W. Butterfield 39:41
Well, I’ve always wanted to write when I was nine years old, I was at my grandmother’s house and tried to write a short story and couldn’t quite figure out how to do it. But so I just for whatever reason, decided, well, I don’t know how to write. And this I was always an A student. But I would always kind of argue with my English teachers about the formulaic writing that we were being taught. And I was just like, this doesn’t really make any sense. I don’t understand what we’re doing this what is this for and they were like, don’t bother me kid, like, you know, just like, just go to your work. When I was about 30, I suddenly had an idea for a mystery, a gay mystery novel, that kind of sort of was inspired by Mark Zubro, and he is the series that he wrote about the baseball player. In fact, it is that whole thing of like the baseball player in the teacher, they were a couple, and have kind of inspired a lot of the things that I’ve done that the way he captured that and the dichotomy between the two men having different kinds of perspectives and jobs that they’re doing has always been in the background of everything I write. But I tried to write this short story or this novel, and I got two or three chapters in What’s funny is I had a co worker who was a fan of Jane Austen. And for some reason, I thought I’d show it to her to see what she thought and she didn’t like it. And was very clear about it. But what I did discover, after in the third chapter, there was an encounter between the main character and a waitress, like the waitress kind of came into the story and took off. And now I recognize what was happening that the way that I right now was actually happening in that chapter, where I just let the characters Tell me what they’re doing instead of trying to figure out what they were doing, and then put it down on paper. But again, I but I didn’t really understand it. And so it wasn’t until 2016 when I was writing, fan fic kind of slash fics stuff that will never see the light of day. And I wrote about 300,000 words, and I kind of got into the habit of like writing in the afternoon. I would try and write three to 5000 words a day. And after I realized there was, I was never going to be able to sell that. I finally just sat down one day and said, Okay, fine, I just want to write a story that I can sell. And that’s when I met Nick, what a great story. Yeah, and it’s a lot easier. There’s still challenges because there’s sometimes that I get, get emotionally involved in what’s going on. And I don’t like where I see things going. And so I’ll kind of like slow down. And I’ve done that probably in the last two books more than I’ve ever done, because the last two books have been very momentous.
Brad Shreve 42:37
So if our listeners want to follow you or find your book, what are the best ways for them to do so?
Frank W. Butterfield 42:46
So my name is Frank W. Butterfield and I have a website. That is website that is frankwbutterfield.com. You can find me on Facebook by searching that name as well. Those are the two best best ways to get in touch with me on my website, I have every book listed. that’s available. You can find me on Amazon because that’s my only place to sell. Yeah, that’s Facebook is a really great place to connect with me as well. And I, I try to reply to every email I get every message I get. Because I always appreciate hearing from people and what they think about the books and how much they’re enjoying them. And I get lots of really, really sweet notes from people.
Brad Shreve 43:27
Before I let you go, I ask every author on the show a question that author’s hate. Let me spin the wheel here. (Sound of spinning wheel) Have you considered getting a real job?
Frank W. Butterfield 43:44
No, and I’m really glad to announce that I got sort of semi fired from my last job and was told that under no uncertain terms would there ever be any references and the bridge got burned and I could get a job at Starbucks to whatever But there’s I wouldn’t ever make. I mean, that would be a waste of my time in terms of
Brad Shreve 44:05
And you have plenty of fans
Frank W. Butterfield 44:07
So I don’t really need another job. Well, I do. Yes. That’s That’s why I’m making money. So yeah, that works out really well.
Brad Shreve 44:14
Well, Frank, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you.
Frank W. Butterfield 44:17
It’s been great speaking with you, Brad. Congratulations. This is really great.
Brad Shreve 44:27
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