WR: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you write? Why?
FL: I was born in the South Bronx and grew up in a multi – ethnic neighborhood. Being overweight made it hard for me to join the other kids playing ball in the street and even sledding on snowy days. I got picked on a lot by the other kids and had to toughen up real fast and not allow myself to be bullied by the other kids. I learned at an early age that kids can really be mean and I never wanted to be mean and retaliate in return.
I graduated Hunter College with my BA in classical music and performance. I have a Masters in Education and one in Reading Disabilities. I have another Masters in Administration and Supervision and I worked in the NYC Public Schools for over 36 years. I was the Dean of Discipline and the Reading and Writing Staff Developer. I often consult with my former colleagues helping them write lesson plans and do research for their Master’s Degrees.
When I decided to write my short stories I realized that I had a lot to say about my youth and in both of my books I tell about a ten year old girl named Bertha who learns to deal with real life issues kids face today at home and in school. I am the author of three children's books that are all the online reseller's sites and currently waiting for my book Memories are Precious a book about my mom's journey with Alzheimer's to come out at the end of this month. I hope to raise money and awareness for a cure. Because We Care is dedicated to the memory of my sister who died last year from TBI and my mom from Alzheimer’s.
As a new member of Who’sWho of Cambridge’s Executives, Professionals and Educators I have been fortunate to meet many educators and authors throughout the world. I enjoy reviewing books for authors, upon request as well as reviewing books for ijustfinished.com, manic readers and Bookpleasures.com. I do reviews for authors upon request. I love reading what other author's write and my reviews are honest and open but I feel that every author deserves respect when reviewing their work. I pride myself on giving honest reviews and I always look for the positive in every book review.I am the host of Focus Discussions on Blog Talk Radio on the World of Ink. I host Book Discussions on Blog Talk Radio. My latest release is Faces Behind the Stones. I review for many major publishing companies and I have interviewed many NYTimes best selling authors.
WR: If you could be any one of your characters, who would you choose?
FL: I am one of my characters. I am Bertha. The characters in my children’s book are people in my family. I am Bertha. My sister Marcia is Tillie and the rest are family and friends. My sister, passed away last year and she provided a lot of the fuel for Tillie’s character. She thought this was great and we shared many fun times together and discussed each story and each event before I writing the book.
WR: What is your creative process like? Do you need music to write? Silence?
FL: I write directly on my computer. I never use an outline or have anything preplanned. I decide on the topic or main plot and I go from there. I can write with music or without. If it is music it has to be classical.
WR: What is a guilty pleasure of yours?
FL: My guilty pleasure is shopping. Whenever I need to take a break from reviewing books, the radio show or just writing and I do something special for myself by going shopping.
WR: What inspires you?
FL: I have been writing all of my life. As a reading and writing staff developer I worked with students that were reluctant writers and encouraged them to join me as I wrote along with them. I loved writing short stories and poems as a child and decided when I retired early from teaching to write my first children’s book. I was encouraged to write my first children’s book by my aunt and my third grade teacher who still remains a close family friend. I love sharing my real life experiences growing up and helping children that have been bullied, overweight and low self-esteem deal with these issues and more after reading my short stories. Just knowing that my reviews help another author really keeps me going and wanting to do more. I love sharing my ideas with others and what started out as a hobby turned into a second career. My aunt before she passed away told me to use my skills as a writing staff developer and educator to help kids deal with bullies and to create another avenue for my talents.
WR: What is one of your worst pet peeves?
FL: I really dislike anyone who gets impatient when someone does not understand what they are saying or a parent who loses control. I love kids and when I see parents yelling in the street or using their hands I cannot tolerate it.
WR: Describe what a perfect day would be for you.
FL: A perfect day is going for a morning walk, getting my oatmeal and decaf, spending the day at a museum or concert and going for an early dinner with my husband.
WR: If you could bring any fictional character to life, yours or anyone else’s, who would you pick?
FL: If I could bring any character to life and have a conversation with that character it would be Poirot. I love the way he figures out the evidence in a crime and his powers of deduction are great. Writing mystery thrillers I would love to talk with him to learn more about solving crimes and how he manages to foil the criminals every time. I would love to ask him how he develops his theories, can study the scene and know who did it. I would also love to bring back Perry Mason to get another perspective.
WR: If you could shape-shift, what animal would you turn into and why?
FL: I have been told that I have a strong personality and often can overtake just about anything or anyone that stands in my way of getting things done. I am also an advocate for the elderly after taking care of my mom for ten years. If I had to say I would probably either be dangerous python or cobra.
WR: Where can we find you and your work around the web?
FL: You can find all of my books on Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and all of the online resellers. You can find my reviews on bookpleasures, on my facebook page Fran Lewis’s reviews, mindseye, bookmarketing,ning, booktown and manic readers.