About Frances

My Story
My dad and grandfather were writers, but early on I thought that either my brother or sister would be the writer of my generation and turned instead to art and teaching. In 1992, I looked around and realized that the writing job was still vacant, so I grabbed it. Like opening a spigot of words, I wrote day and night to catch up on lost time. I jumped into a non-fiction certificate course at the University of Washington, (following the footsteps of my father who wrote non-fiction books) became editor of the Seattle Audubon newsletter and convinced the local paper they needed a bird watching column.

Shortly after, my two sons left home and I began researching our family history, which grew into my first book Down to Camp: A History of Summer Folk on Whidbey Island. That book prompted my second book Community at the Crossroads: The History of Bayview on Whidbey Island. Next came Langley, a photo history with Arcadia Publishing of the town where I live.

Along the way I wrote Brushed by Feathers: A Year of Birdwatching in the West (Fulcrum Publishing). This book is particularly special to me since it brings together my writing, art and lifelong study of wild birds. After that I began writing scripts for BirdNote, a daily radio program on the intriguing ways of birds.

After years writing about birds and local history, I enrolled in the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts’ Whidbey Writers Workshop to pursue an MFA in creative writing. That program has taken me into writing young adult historical fiction. Now I am following in the footsteps of my grandfather, who published several YA historical
fiction novels more than 50 years ago.

My husband I make our home on Whidbey Island, Washington.
We tend a vegetable garden, a small vineyard and a flock of chickens. I continue to write and paint within a mile of the cabin where my grandfather crafted his first novel many years ago. Daily I marvel at the beauty of the natural world and the large variety of wild birds that share our lives.


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