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About Frances

About Frances

I wrote my first story when I was eight years old. I was living in Scottsdale, AZ, at the time. I was a voracious reader, and I was convinced that novelists were basically the same as magicians: how else to explain the fact that just by putting words on paper, they could create whole worlds? I wanted nothing more than to be a part of that magic.

So over the course of several days, I wrote “Mary and Sarah the Doll”—the adventures of a doll who is stolen by a bird and winds up in the hands of a fisherman’s daughter. My beloved third grade teacher typed it up and sent it into Highlights magazine, and for the next several weeks, I went to bed each night dreaming of my impending fame. Alas, it wasn’t to be: Highlights rejected the story, but my fate was sealed by then. One way or another, I was going to be a writer. (Thank you, Ms. Goudy, wherever you are. It’s amazing what a difference a good teacher can make it in a child’s life.)

I eventually went to Harvard and wrote my first novel: like most first novels, it wasn’t all that good, but it had some good bits, and I learned a tremendous amount from the wonderful professors who helped me with it. I got an MFA in creative writing from Mills College, and during the following years, I kept writing as I taught at the University of New Mexico and at Mills. However, it wasn’t until after I became a mother that I realized I wanted to write for children and began The Misadventures of the Magician’s Dog: you can read about my process for writing the novel on the blog of my lovely agent, Sara Crowe. I knew as soon as I started telling the story of Peter, his sisters, and The Dog that I was finally writing the book I had always wanted to write—one that was funny and true and from the heart.

I now live in Los Angeles with my partner and our three children. I write; I work as an editor and writing teacher; I juggle playdates, music lessons, and cuddle time; and -- like parents everywhere! -- I don’t get much sleep. I’m currently finishing a new middle grade fantasy, and most days I really do feel like a magician, which is pretty much the best thing in the world.

Thanks for visiting my site. I hope you enjoy reading about Peter’s adventures as much as I enjoyed writing about them!

Photo credit: Rita Crayon Huang