For Frank Nunez, USF alumnus and part of USF Connect, becoming an author was a childhood dream that felt unachievable as he grew older.
His first degree is in finance, but after a decade of struggling to make it in that business, Nunez turned to writing. The first two books he published were non-fiction that focused on the financial crisis, but he then turned to fiction writing.
“What I like most about writing is writing about characters that take on a life of their own,” Nunez said. “They go through this period of self-discovery while trying to accomplish their goals along the way.”
He started self-publishing books in 2012 and recently released his seventh book.
He’s written novels about troubled boys in the wake of WWII, a star high school baseball player and most recently about a recent college graduate who gets investigated by the FBI after the financial crisis.
For Nunez, the story takes on a life of its own and while writing he doesn't take a lot of notes in favor of just seeing where the story takes him.
“I figure out an ending and just work my way toward it,” he said.
When writing, Nunez said he puts an emphasis on dialogue as his favorite element to write. He said it is important to developing a character and showing who that character is.
“I try to use humor in my books and I think that the characters do take on a life of their own,” he said.
Nunez said he mostly draws inspiration from other media he’s consumed along with creating what he views as fun dialogue in books that people will enjoy reading.
“A lot of people seem to think that creativity is something where you come up with a totally original idea, but often times that’s not the case,” Nunez said. “Really creativity is just taking things that already exist and making things better. A lot of writers can be very standoffish with their process, they think they have a muse or their work comes from the ether or something like that. Really, all they’re doing is combining books that they’ve read, stories they’ve encountered, movies they’ve watched and combine they blend it together to get something of their own.”
While drawing inspiration from people such as George Lucas and hoping to gain notoriety, Nunez doesn't define success in that way.
“For me, I think success is just being able to continue writing and being able to grow my business,” Nunez said. “Which is essentially what it is. It’s a business and (success is) to get my work out there.”