Frances Lawson was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1955. She is a direct descendent of the Libeau family, one of the original French families who left Rochefort, France in 1840 to found a colony in Akaroa, New Zealand. Frances is a member of the Libeau Descendants Society of NZ. She remains passionate about her French origins and would like to become a French citizen. Originally a teacher, she spent many years in the commercial and local government sectors before moving to France in 2010.
A past contributor to New Zealand Geographic, she is author of the popular blog To the Ends of the Earth. When she's not writing she's teaching English, taking photographs, public speaking, gardening or adding to her bucket list. It's clear the adventure has only begun.
She can be contacted via the book site www.followmyheart.co or her blog To the Ends of the Earth at http://francesbigadventure.blogspot.com
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.
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.