NANCY JILL: Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Lady Grey tea and we'll get started. You said you like two teaspoons of sugar, I believe. I made snickerdoodles for today and we have a plum cake for dessert. Please help yourself.
Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
FRAN: I live in Murfreesboro, TN, but grew up in Hendersonville, TN. A little bit of trivia, I graduated from the same high school as Taylor Swift…in different decades of course! Come to think of it, in different millennia. My husband grew up a town over from Murfreesboro, so after we were married, we naturally gravitated to this area. Our daughter, Sarah, now 14, was born in Murfreesboro.
NANCY JILL: Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?
FRAN: I am proud to be an Indie author. When I first began writing, I investigated both traditional publishing and Indie. I waffled back and forth between trying to find an agent and going the traditional route or skipping that altogether in favor of Indie publishing. I discovered Joe Konrath's blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, which pushed me over the edge into Indie. I agree with his idea that an artist should reap the bulk of the benefits from their work. And I don't think anyone would argue with the fact that with the advent of the Kindle, Nook, and other e-readers, combined with the closing of Borders and other large book chains, the face of publishing is changing. Of course, if the right opportunity presented itself, I'd consider traditional publishing, but at the moment, I'm happily independent.
NANCY JILL: What are your hobbies?
FRAN: I enjoy hiking the woods in the park near my home. It's very serene as well as great exercise. My family also enjoys video games. My daughter and I play together for hours. We also travel quite a bit.
NANCY JILL: Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?
FRAN: Well, I don't want to give too much away, but I've always been fascinated by dreams. You know when you wake up from a dream that was so vivid that for several moments being back in your real world seems disorienting? Or the dreams that linger at the edges of your mind that leave you wondering whether it was really just a dream? That kind of dream.
NANCY JILL: How did you become a writer? When did you start?
FRAN: I fell in love with the idea of writing when I was in the third grade and read Little Women. I loved that Jo wrote, agonized with her struggle to become a writer, and wanted to be like her. I actually wrote a little cartoon which I shared with my friends in fifth grade. Let's just say I was a much better writer than I was an artist. I continued writing stories, sans the pictures in middle and high school. The idea of writing a novel has danced around my mind for years, but I was so busy earning a living, I just shoved it aside again. A couple of years ago, I mentioned the idea to my friend, Trena, who proceeded to hound the fire out of me until I actually sat down and started to write.
NANCY JILL: How long did it take you to finish your first book?
FRAN: I started the book in April of 2010. I'd only written about 16K words or so when my father became very sick, a recurrence of colon cancer. He went into the hospital early in June and died June 19. I spent July in a fog, numb from the pain. In August, I picked up the book again, determined to finish it in his memory. I had the rough draft complete by the end of the month.
NANCY JILL: Where do you like to write?
FRAN: My very favorite place to write is at the food court of the mall. I plug my headphones in and tune everything else out. I like writing at home, too, sitting with my laptop on the couch while my hubby and daughter watch television, but sometimes there are just too many distractions!
NANCY JILL: Favorite author(s)?
FRAN: Not to sound cliché, but I love Jane Austin. Her books really give such a good description of what it was like to be a woman living in the 18th century English countryside. Modern authors I enjoy are Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs, Ted Dekker, some Dean Koontz, and the occasional Nora Roberts or Debbie MacComber. I also enjoy YA authors like Ally Carter, Meg Cabot, and, Suzanne Collins.
NANCY JILL: How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?
FRAN: FINDING MY ESCAPE is my first book, and I'm currently working on the sequel MY WAY OUT. I have ideas for several other stories that I'd like to sink my teeth into.
HERE ARE LINKS TO FRAN'S BOOK
NANCY JILL: Thank you for stopping by today. I really enjoyed meeting you and wish you the best of luck with your books, Fran.