What is Outcasts about?
Outcasts is a Young Adult fantasy novel about four enhanced teens who try to discover their origins. Lest people think, “Oh, another Fantastic Four ripoff”… not so! It’s more of an examination of the why as opposed to the how. And while there’s no shortage of action, it also focuses mainly on the individual relationships within the group. We have the MC, Mitch Kessler, who transforms to a gargoyle only when he’s angry. (He learns to control his transformation process later on in the story). He has a relationship with Callie, who’s a gender switcher, and she’s confused as to which gender she’ll end up as. Neil is a rock-man… ’nuff said. And Mitch’s best friend, Joe, is a spinning top. He can run and spin at high speeds, making him very effective as a crime fighter.
The plot concerns the Outcasts uniting under the US government’s aegis, breaking up- most of the the public doesn’t trust them, while some elements are indifferent to them- and then uniting again is when, ostensibly, a black-ops group, tries to kill them. Along the way, Mitch re-examines his relationship with Callie, decides he wants to stay with her, and he also tries to help his friends realize who they are. There is a HFN ending… and a sequel.
What inspired this story?
I wanted to get away from the usual punch-’em-up teen type of superhero novels. I’ve done those in the past and liked writing them, but I wanted to approach this novel from the perspective that our MC and his friends don’t like their powers or want them, and that they’re shunned by society for being what they are. For the record, I’m straight and married, but I have a lot of LGBTQI friends who are discriminated against simply because they are LGBTQI- no other reason. Discrimination in any form, religious/racial/orientation, is just plain wrong. I don’t push that as an agenda in the novel, but it comes out quite clearly. I don’t believe in spouting polemics. That’s a sure way to turn any reader off. But if they can identify with the characters, in this case Callie, they’ll get a better picture of how reality is.
Tell us a little about you, who is J.S. Frankel?
I was born in Toronto, Canada, long ago, and in my mid-twenties, I moved to Japan to work as an ESL teacher. Eventually, I fell in love with my wife, Akiko, and we got married many moons ago. We have two sons, and perhaps that’s helped to shape my writing and my outlook on life. I divide my waking hours teaching ESL and writing, and writing, while not a full-time gig, takes up a lot of time. The rest is for my family, movies, and food! Oh, and I love music videos… they provide great inspiration for my books!
How can we read Outcasts?
The book is available on Amazon. Oh, and you can also check out my novels as ExtasyBooks (links below).