Every once in a while I come across new, up-and-coming authors with interesting stories. K.C. Frantzen is one such author. When I met K.C. at Market Square in downtown Knoxville, I was immediately interested and touched by her heart to provide safe and encouraging stories for children and pet lovers. Her series “May the K9 Spy” currently has three books with a fourth in the works, and each book is based on her real-life dog, May. Recently, I had the opportunity to interview K.C. about her book.
Andrew: I am so glad that it worked out for you to join us today, K.C. It was great meeting you at Market Square in downtown Knoxville. Do you often participate in the local activities?
K.C.: Thank you for having us. I say us because, in reality, I’m only the transcriptionist and translator. May is the REAL author… :). You know, this was the very first time we’ve done something in Knoxville, though we’ve done things in the area. We were so glad to meet everypawdy!
Andrew: You live in Crossville, correct? How long have you lived there?
K.C.: Our family moved from Texas a couple months before 9-11. We tell about the move, among other things, in our first book. We really love Tennessee and the people here. It’s home.
Andrew: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you come to know the Savior?
K.C.: My parents actually. I was in Sunday School when about 4 years old and as the teacher gave the clear Gospel message of faith alone in Christ alone, I remember wanting to believe again, just so I could be super sure. So, I’ve been a Believer for over 50 years. (Gasp. Can that possibly be?)
Andrew: Tell us a bit about your books. Exactly who is “May the K9 Spy” and what type of trouble does she get into?
K.C.: Ah, BOL! (That’s Barking Out Loud as May would say.) All KINDS of trouble for sure and for certain! May is our very own Schnauzer with quite the story to tell. It’s mostly true but shhhh. She’s not REALLY a spy.
In the first book, May on the Way: How I Become a K9 Spy (which May writes in first dog), she tells how she was rescued from a bad situation and moves to the country home of a grouchy Labrador. One day, she’s out where she’s not supposed to be and encounters a talking Copperhead, a birdie drone… and a rickety old shed with a secret. She’s on her way to becoming a K9 Spy! Then there is the hawk attack… My yes. Lots of trouble.
Book 2 finds her in K9 Spy boot camp. She makes a poor decision during training exercises and gets dognapped! She ends up in Paris, where she teams up with a feral cat who lives in a cemetery. They go on a mission together in (and under) Paris… including tangling with bees and sewer rats, oh my! You can read all about it in May Finds a Way: Peril in Paris.
In the 3rd book, May Leads the Way: Trouble Near Tofino, she’s finally a full agent in the K9 Spy Service! There’s an EMP situation, mosquito drones, deadly microchips, enemy dolphins, nuclear submarines. Really we can’t say much more. Mission’s classified…
Overall, our themes involved hope and opportunity, where good triumphs over evil, with fun twists and turns along the way.
Andrew: Who is your intended audience?
K.C.: That’s a great question! We intended to target middle grade readers, say 8-12 years old, but quite honestly, so many adults enjoy our books that we now say it’s for “animal lovers 8 years old and up.” Last we checked, our most senior fan is 94. This simply amazes us but honestly? We like good kids stories ourselves so it’s understandable that’s what we offer.
Andrew: What made you want to write your “May the K9 Spy” series?
K.C.: I was blessed to graduate from the Christian Writers Guild Apprentice Course about a decade ago. Knew I wanted to write something, but didn’t intend on writing novels exactly, certainly not a whole series. About 2008, I was having trouble sleeping. The seed of a story was niggling at me at odd hours, day and night. One morning I sat on the edge of the bed and said aloud to God, “Alright!” That was the day I began putting ideas on paper for the first book. It took a little over 4 years to go from idea to book in paw.
Andrew: Had you done much writing before?
K.C.: Off and on. I got the bug in elementary school and wrote things for newspapers and magazines on occasion, some marketing things, letters to the editor. Nothing particularly serious. Never really envisioned writing novels!
Andrew: How many books do you plan on writing in this series?
K.C.: As long as our fans continue asking, we’ll continue writing. Book 4 is in the plotting stages now, so suggestions and ideas are welcomed!
Andrew: What do you hope to accomplish with these books?
K.C.: You got it already in that question. Hope. People of all ages are hurting and have lost hope. In fact, the person book 1 is dedicated to gave us the first “ping” that we were on the right track. We’ve had many confirmations since in the form of emails, letters, original artwork, hugs… It’s amazing.
May and I would like any/everyone to know that if you’re still breathing, there’s ALWAYS hope, that the Creator (as May says) has a plan and “Opportunity is on the way.” She is the pawfect example in real life!
We explore things like faith and trust and forgiveness too. It’s exciting to read some of the reviews on Amazon from people we’ve never met and realize that they “get it.” Some have written that they especially enjoy the stories because we present Truth without being preachy. YAY!
We strive to write intriguing stories, based on current events and real places, stories you don’t have to worry about your kids reading. There’s suspense but nothing overly scary. Serious topics are not shied away from, but presented in a way children can process. In fact, we’d like to think if a person encounters something in their own lives, that they’d think back to how May handled it. Maybe life’s journey will be a little easier!
Andrew: Where can we purchase “May the K9 Spy”?
K.C.: Thanks for asking! If you’d like hardcover copies, check out our website. When you click on “Listen to Chapter One” you can hear me read too! (May was going to do it, but we thought not everyone speaks critter so I’d better translate.)
You can also find links to the books in digital format on Amazon. Even if you don’t have a Kindle (we don’t), you can still download them through Amazon.
What a pleasure to meet you and your readers. We look forward to hearing from you!
The views expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of Surrendered Image.
National Speaker and Author of Fight for Grace
© 2014 Andrew Nelson