Frank and Pam Lione are also known as the writing duo F.P. Lione. Frank and Pam grew up on Staten Island in New York City, their churches were across the street from each other, they went to the same high school that had over four thousand students in it at the time, and even played a fourth-grade baseball game together, but never actually met until years later. Frank and Pam now have two grown sons and a golden retriever named Buddy.
CKN: Who started writing first?
F.P. Lione: I did. It was during a time of great sadness. Frank and I found ourselves in a place that life could not have prepared us for. We had experienced something so difficult and life changing, that it affected every area of our life. It was one of those things that showed you who your friends were, who you could count on, what people really thought of us, and tested us in every way. A parent’s nightmare. It was in this brokenness that I needed something to take my mind off all the bad that happened and focus on something positive. I was praying and the thought just came to me to start writing. I had never written before, except for advocacy letters for victims through an outreach in Manhattan. But my letters always got attention, and the writing was very easy for me. When I told Frank I wanted to write a book about cops and asked him if he would help me, he jumped right in. He’s a visionary Frank, but mostly he said it was good to see me animated, and not so sad. At that point, he just wanted his family to heal and thought the writing could be a start.
CKN: How did the two of you decide to start writing together?
FP: At first, he said it was great, that I should write the book, and I said, no, us, together…He said that he didn’t write, and came on first as consulting with police and procedure, things like that. But Frank is incredibly insightful about people and human nature, I guess that’s what made him such a great cop. He always saw what motivated people, whether it was crime, or addiction or homelessness. He reads people very well. It didn’t take him long to get on board, it was easy for him to draw from his experiences at the NYPD and after that we were on our way.
CKN: Tell us a bit about the writing process from start to finish.
FP: For our first novel, Frank was working crazy hours in Anti-crime and I had just left my job at a hospital in Brooklyn to be with our children. We didn’t want them with babysitters and I really needed to be home at the time. We worked from a small outline, main story points, broken down into numbered chapters with corresponding topic for that chapter and we pretty much stuck with that. I would do the research and the interviewing of people. When Frank came home from work after we took a walk and talked about our day I would go over what I wrote and record what I would be writing the next day. We developed the story together and moved it forward day by day. It went really quick, a lot quicker than I would have thought. We still write pretty much the same. At this point we’ve written five novels together and I’ve written two more on my own.
CKN: Do you ever disagree on the storyline or details? If so how do you move forward?
FP: We did at first. Frank tends to over detail and got concerned if something was perfect in detail. But this is fiction and sometimes when I look at our early stuff I cringe at how long winded it can be LOL. After a while he just trusted my instincts. As far as what we are writing about, what we do is yield to whichever one of us knows the most about the topic.
CKN: How do your family and friends feel about the two of you being a writing team?
FP: A lot of our friends don’t know we write together and I guess would be surprised to hear it. We don’t talk about it a lot. Our children are used to us writing. They love it and think it’s awesome. They love how we work together, our older son says, “mixing a street cop with a refined author.” They tell their friends about us. When my cousin’s husband found out we wrote and looked up our books, he was surprised and impressed, he couldn’t believe the reviews and that we had written so many books!