About Frances

“Frances Wood's engaging
'Down to Camp'...tells an ongoing story that connects today's reader with a vivid snapshot of
19th century life."
~Warner Blake, President
Snohomish Historical Society, Inc.


Nina Blackman Bakeman (above)

The stories of strong pioneer women, particularly those living in the Pacific Northwest have always intrigued Frances, from Fay Fuller, the first woman to climb Mt. Rainier, to Nina Blackman Bakeman, her own great grandmother.

In 1887 Nina left her well-to-do family and her fiancée in Oakland, California, to accept a temporary teaching position in the rough mill town of Snohomish, Washington Territory. She struggled, survived and thrived in this small town,making it her home. Although Frances never knew her great grandmother, the story of this pioneer schoolteacher has influenced the direction of her life. A brief account of Nina’s life is included in Frances’ book Down to Camp: A History of Summer Folk on Whidbey Island and at the Women’s Legacy Project web site.

Frances has written a fictional account of her great-grand-mother's life in a young adult historical novel: Becoming Beatrice. In the novel, the Nina character called Beatrice struggles to escape the controlling ways of her mother and to be accepted in her new town. To survive, Beatrice must give up her privileged Yankee prejudices and dig down deep to find who she is and what she really wants in life. Along the way she befriends an Indian woman, overcomes charges of murder and witchcraft and falls in love with an uneducated German immigrant.

Frances is seeking an agent to represent Becoming Beatrice.








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