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Character Interview: Frankie Winesky from Joan Schweighardt’s novel, ‘The Accidental Art Thief’



TheAccidentalArtThief_medWe’re thrilled to have here today Frankie Winesky from Joan Schweighardt’s new novel, The Accidental Art Thief. Frankie is a 52-year-old auto mechanic living in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Frankie. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Number one, your introduction missed the mark. So let’s set the record straight right now: I am not your average auto mechanic. I am the owner/operator of my own auto repair business. I got a corner lot, a nice big garage with three hydraulic lifts, a brake lathe, a high performance tire changer, a wheel balancer, a bathroom, and a nice cushy office with a big oak desk and a/c.

You bring it in, I work on it, no matter what shape it’s in. And 99.99 percent of the time I get it running again. But I’m best known for the work I do on vintage models. I got two of my own: a ’65 Mustang convertible and a ’66 GTO. Cars are my life. That’s why when I wanted to find a way to thank my little sister for, um, saving my life that one time there, I bought her the Firebird: V-6 aero snout with a one-piece fold-down seatback, which would have come in handy if she’d had to live in her car, which, if not for me, would have actually come to pass. A muscle car for a chick with no muscle, figuratively speaking.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently? 

The author nailed it. I think she really helped the reader to understand the great inconvenience it was to have my sister and her mutts moving in with me. I think readers will really appreciate the sacrifice I had to make to accommodate the three of them.

What do you believe is your strongest trait? 

Besides knowing more about cars than probably 99.99 percent of the people on the planet? Probably I got more good car stories than anyone else too. Click and Clack, the Car Guys on that radio show? They’d be the only ones in my league.

Worse trait? 

I wouldn’t really say I have a worse trait. Not that I can think of on the spur like this. Worse thing I ever did was screw up a relationship with this woman Gloria. Ah, Gloria. You can read about her in the book if you’re interested. That mistake cost me big time. And all for a one-nighter with a thirty-something-year-old who I never saw again. You live and you learn.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)? 

Funny you should ask. My sister asked me the same question the other day and I said right off the bat, George Clooney. He’s taller and he’s got more hair, and maybe we don’t look that much alike, but we carry ourselves the same, if you know what I mean. We got that confidence thing going. Zincy laughed. She said, “Honestly, Frankie! I’ll give you William H. Macy, but that’s as far as I’ll go.” I said, “Fine, I’ll take the H-man.” Clooney is better looking, but no one is as cool as Willy H.

Do you have a love interest in the book? 

Oh, do I ever.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out? 

How can I say this without being a spoiler? My sister committed this crime, see? And being her big brother and all, I had to cover for her. I had to more or less undo the bad thing she did. Remember the scene in Mission: Impossible where Tom Cruise is dangling from a wire being held on the other end by someone he doesn’t even trust? Suffice it to say I had to endure almost the exact same predicament to save my sister’s ass. I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but there was some uncertainty about how it would all turn out.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why? 

Shite, I can tell you right off the bat that I wouldn’t want to be my sister. She ain’t wired right, if you know what I mean.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away? 

Ooh la la, at least from my perspective. Ooh la la, and bring on the homemade tarts and ginger ice cream!

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it? 

Give me center stage. And let me tell more car stories.

Thank you for this interview, Frankie.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future? 

Count on it.


joan Joan Schweighardt is a former indie publisher who now works as a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and editor. The Accidental Art Thief is her fifth novel.

Connect with Joan on the web:

Website / Twitter / Facebook

Find The Accidental Art Thief on Amazon.

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