Interview with Frances Lawson

When did you first start writing?
I enjoyed creative writing at school. One of my first pieces was titled The Pot Cupboard describing a ghastly environment in a pot cupboard. Then at Teachers College I wrote a children's book on three children becoming lost while on holiday and surviving in the New Zealand bush. Over the years the creative side has been diluted by the need to write business reports, research papers and all things non-fiction. Maybe I'll get back to fiction one day but right now it's non-fiction that's driving me.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It tells the rather harrowing process I went through in determining my main goal in life, looking for love, dismembering my former life and trying to survive long enough to establish a new, possibly temporary, life on the other side of the world. I never could have dreamed of what lay in wait for me. It's a cautionary tale full of useful information on 'how to' immigrate from New Zealand to France, how to survive romances with French men and French administration. At the end there's always hope.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I realised I had a good story to tell; both entertaining and instructive, but I couldn't get literary agents to make a commitment. They want a sure winner though what's the next hot thing just keeps changing. I figured I might as well learn how to do it myself and get my story out there a lot faster than a heritage publisher would do, even if I'd found an agent. The chances of getting a publisher are so remote it's scarcely worth bothering. I also like having control over my own work and the finished product. It's been a difficult learning curve being an indie author and it's not cheap if you want a professional product.
What are you working on next?
It's a toss up right now between a more practical guide as a companion to Follow My Heart, or another memoir or fiction based on experiences during my younger years.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have many books, including real collector's editions of JRR Tolkien, Philippa Gregory's earlier historical fiction, Julian May's paranormal series. Frank Herbert's Duen series. Actually, I have an eclectic mix right now.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
If it's the university year I'm teaching English in France or gardening on my tiny balcony. You can be sure I'll be searching for material for my blog at and taking photos of fascinating France, reading, fine tuning the marketing of my book and yearning for some stability in my life. I'd love to get back to bellydancing and playing the violin.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No but one of the earliest when I was 8 would have been The Pot Cupboard.
What is your writing process?
I plan the order of content, amassing support materials. Then I sit down and write. If I get stuck I go back and edit previous chapters while waiting for my inspiration. I frequently edit. Then, When I've finished, I hire a professional editor to pick up on the stuff I've inevitably missed. Then I might add, delete and adjust yet again.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I like to share my ideas and thoughts as well as my emotions, especially on topics that others prefer not to open up on. Hopefully the information I share can help readers avoid similar holes I've fallen into over the years.
Published 2014-04-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Follow My Heart
Price: $7.95 USD. Words: 90,140. Language: English. Published: June 17, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Motivation & inspiration
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
A series of negative events forces Frances to refocus on what she wants from life. Despite the risks, she sets off with hope in her heart to make a new life in France. What she finds is more than she imagined. Changing a life to this extent means there is no going back to a former life. Even her birthplace is irrevocably changed forever. Contains photographs of France.