Several of my college professors teased that I should become a romance writer because of what they claimed was my romantic viewpoint on just about any topic. I remember one of them said, “Frances, I think you could romanticize a paper about rocks.” Well, yes, he was probably right.
I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Washington, and then spent my career in the non-profit sector. As a fundraiser, event planner and executive, I helped raise millions of dollars for a variety of causes that included childhood diabetes research, wildlife conservation, elder care, and public television. My work took me around the country and to Europe, and gave me opportunities to partner with talented and well-known professionals and celebrities. It was a challenging career at times, but also rewarding and fulfilling. Somehow, though, I always felt that a piece of me was missing.
In time I realized that those teasing professors were actually on to something. They’d planted a seed, and that seed had been germinating in my heart for over twenty years. I finally knew what was missing. I wanted to share the stories that filled my head. I wanted to write.
I am blessed with a husband who understands the value of a dream, and over time we spent hours walking and talking about my deep-down desire to write. I wrote my first book and then all I could think about was writing another. But between family and career, time was extremely limited, so together my husband and I decided to put a few other dreams on hold in order to make mine a reality. I left my career and embarked on a dream.
We live in a small log home that we call our “empty nest” in the mountains of North Idaho. Surrounded by trees, wildlife and a rushing stream, much of my time is spent wandering through the forest or sitting on a well-placed, stream-side bench, always with a digital recorder in my pocket or a notebook and pen in hand. And always with an adorable cocker spaniel named Maisie at my side. This is a place I love…a place that gifts me with solitude and nurtures my daydreams into the stories I tell…stories about romance and the women who experience it.
As I think about it, I’ve always been enthralled with romance. Whether in books, movies, music or real life, show me romance and I’ll be a happy girl. In fact, romance has captivated me for as long as I can remember. I think I can blame the start of this on Disney. As a little girl, I’d come home from seeing Cinderella, Snow White, or Sleeping Beauty and start making up my own romantic stories. Next, I’d find someone—anyone—who would listen to my creations. I haven’t outgrown that.
Just as important as romance, though, are the journeys of the women who are characters in my books. I love to get into their heads and see how they relate to the world around them, how they grow, and how they handle the curve balls life throws them. And so, my books fall into the category of romantic women’s fiction…a blend of life and love that will always include sweet romance and the drama of life’s challenges and triumphs. Oh…and just in case you’re wondering…there will always be a great emotional payoff at the end (aka happy ending).
Along with writing, there is another longing that’s recently taken up space in my head and heart. I want to challenge women to find their light. To encourage them to believe in their inherent beauty, and to inspire them…regardless of what age they may be…to follow their dreams.
I love hearing from readers. I’d also like to hear from you if you have a dream you’d like to tell me about. Please feel free to contact me…I promise to respond. You can also follow me on any of my social media sites. Until then…find your light and follow your dreams!