Pen name: Fran McNabb
Facebook: @ FranMcNabb,author
Genre: Contemporary and Historical Romance (G and PG13)
- Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up on the Gulf Coast with men and women who made their livelihood from the waters of the Mississippi Sound and Gulf of Mexico. My husband and I still live here on a quiet bayou harbor. We love the water and spend a great deal of time boating and fishing and visiting the nearby islands. It was natural for me to include stories that involve the water when I started writing.
- When and why did you begin writing?
It was easy for me to try my hand at being a writer. I taught high school English and journalism Everything I did— classroom instruction, school yearbook, and school newspaper—all involved writing. Since I loved reading romances and stories about relationships that had happy-every-after endings, those are the types of stories I wrote.
- Are your writings based on someone you know or events in your on life?
I think it’s impossible for a writer to write and not include events or character traits that are familiar to her or him. Someone who has experienced an emotion or an event is more likely to describe those deep feelings if that author has experienced it herself. My Civil War romance ON THE CREST OF A WAVE is based on what the vivid memories I have from living for a short time and playing on Ship Island and in Fort Massachusetts as a child.
- Do you have a mentor or writing group?
As a beginning writer, members in Romance Writers of America whom I met through local meetings and at conferences guided me and showed me how to write for publication. Now my fellow authors from our previous publisher, Avalon, have a loop and we support each other through our problems and with encouragement.
- How do you help new writers?
I love teaching writing workshops or giving private lessons to beginning writers, especially if they are eager to learn the ropes of the publishing industry. I have invited many into my home and we sit and I give them a quick overview of what I think will help them.
- What are your current projects?
I’m working on a Christmas themed sweet romance set in Key West. Right now I’m calling it A GIFT FOR EMILY. Emily, the daughter of a widow, has a life-threatening disease if not given the proper medical attention which Mom can’t afford. Help comes in the form of a rich New York investment man.
- What do you find most challenging in your writing?
Marketing to me is the hardest part. Today authors have to be so much more active in promoting their books, and I’m not a big self-promoter.
- Do you have any advice for other writers?
For beginning writers my advice is to join a writing organization and learn all you can about the trade. Of course that goes for all writers. I’ve been published since 2006 and I still attend writing conferences and sit through workshops. There’s always something new that I take away. Never stop learning.
- What are your hobbies?
I love to paint. I don’t consider myself a serious artist, but I paint bookmarks and other “smalls” that complement my books and sell them at festivals.
- What TV shows/ films do you enjoy watching?
Hallmark movies, especially those with Christmas themes
Fran, two questions: Are you an independent publisher of your own works? Do you outline your works or let the stories guide you?