All posts tagged #MFRWAuthor

What’s Next? (#MFRWAuthor)

Published February 16, 2018 by francesothomas



This week’s blog topic is top five things on my bucket list. This is a tough one. While I never called it a bucket list, I’ve already achieved many of the goals I’ve set for myself over the years. Are goals and a bucket list the same thing?

I guess the top of the bucket list now is to write a best-seller. I’m not even sure what that means any more. New York Times? USA Today? Actually in my case, I should say seller, not best-seller. I would be happy to earn even a modest amount of money from my writing.

Tying in with number one is my wish to see a book I have written made into a Hallmark movie. I no longer read or watch anything fictional that does not have a happily ever after. Real life is quite enough to deal with thank you very much.

For number three, I wish I could travel extensively through Europe, particularly Italy and Austria. One for the food and wine and the other for the music.

Number four is the evergreen wish to reach and maintain my ideal weight, preferably with no effort on my part. See above regarding food and wine. I’m pretty sure bucket list items shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.

Rounding out the list is the desire to live in a small college town. Any schools need an adjunct with an educational psychology degree? Feel free to call. Extra points if you will allow me to pursue a doctoral degree on your dime.

I can’t wait to read what my fellow authors have to say on this subject. Take a look here.




My own personal book club (#MFRWAuthor)

Published February 9, 2018 by francesothomas


This week’s blog topic is what five authors dead or alive I’d like to meet.

The first is easy. I’d love hanging out with Janet Evanovich. I have read all of her Plum novels and belly-laughed at every one. Imagine sitting down with her over a glass or three of wine and finding out if Ranger is based on a real person. She lives only a couple hours away from me, so this can easily be arranged if you’re listening, Janet.

My next choice is Eloisa James. What fun it would be to talk about how her university students react to her as both a Shakespearean scholar and a romance author. I was an adjunct professor briefly myself, and I’m sure we’d have lots of stories to share.

That brings me to number three. Shakespeare himself. Am I stretching the rules to include a playwright? If so, I don’t care. How brilliant he was to have written so much that is just as valid today as it was centuries ago. What a wit, and what a student of human nature.

Since I’m rule-bending, for number four I’d pick Stephen Sondheim. I love his music, largely because of his erudite lyrics filled with astonishing rhymes. “What makes him look reptilian is the brilliantine.” C’mon. Who wouldn’t want to have written that line?

Number five? This one is tougher. Do I go with perennial favorites Louisa May Alcott or Charlotte Bronte? The indefatigable Nora? Nah. I think I’ll go with Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I have probably read and enjoyed all of her books. Her football player heroes are yummy yet down to earth.

I think I’m seeing a pattern here…

Read about which authors others have chosen here.

Parachuting In (#MFRWAuthor)

Published February 2, 2018 by francesothomas



The topic for this week’s Marketing for Romance Writers blog challenge is what book influenced my life. I thought for a long time about this one. What novel can I say influenced me? Little Women was an early favorite. I always loved Gone With the Wind. What about Jane Eyre?

Then it hit me. I enjoyed the works of fiction, but to say I was influenced the book had to be nonfiction. My choice is What Color Is Your Parachute, the perennial best-seller by Richard Bolles.

I had toiled (and I do not use this term lightly) in the insurance industry for more years than I care to count when I decided I couldn’t stand it any more. A friend of mine suffering the same sort of angst suggested I go to the counselor she was seeing.

Said counselor put me through multiple check lists and exercises including those in Parachute. I am admittedly a self-help book junkie, but I never actually write out the answers to all of those questions the authors pose. This time I did. What emerged was the decision to go to grad school and pursue a degree in educational psychology.

If you are facing a mid-life career crisis as I was, I urge you to get a copy of Parachute. Much wisdom and practical advice reside therein.

More importantly, if you are the parent of a teenager, get them a copy. Don’t make them wander in the desert of an unhappy job when they could find a better path.

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Backup Singers R Us (#MFRWAuthor)

Published January 26, 2018 by francesothomas


This week’s topic in the Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop is what I would do if I couldn’t be a writer.

I actually worked in the insurance industry for far too many years before I became a writer. I most assuredly would not do that again.

For a short time, I worked as the administrator for the local chamber of commerce. That was a little better.

Most recently, I was an adjunct professor at a community college. Pretty good fit.

But this challenge is for authors, so my answer can be fictional, right?

If I weren’t a writer, my dream job is back-up singer. I want to be one of those three women at the back of the stage, oohing and aahing in perfect harmony while performing some variation of the Temptations dance step, preferably attired in sequins.

Failing landing a gig with Michael Bolton or Barry Manilow, I would be OK with being a part of the chorus for the annual PBS Fourth of July concert.

Then I could write about it.

Take a look at what some other authors have to say on this topic:

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Write What You Know (#MFRWAuthor Blog Hop)

Published January 19, 2018 by francesothomas



The topic for the  third week’s blog hop is how much of myself is in my writing. The old saw to write what you know is an old saw for a good reason. Really, what else could you write about?

Luckily for me, I had the opportunity to be the editor of my community’s weekly newspaper. As anyone who has worked on such a publication knows, being the editor means covering any and all local events, writing all the articles, and taking photos of everyone involved. Even a relatively short stint in that role has provided ample material for my Calusa Town Tales series.

You see, I live on an island off the coast of Florida. You might envision beaches and high rise condos, but you would be mistaken. My island has no beaches. What it does have are lots of people fiercely determined to preserve the ecology and the “Old Florida” atmosphere.

My fellow residents are a colorful, opinionated bunch. Some retired here after lives in corporate America. They now have the time to paint, make music, and, oh yeah, write books. Others have lived here for generations, fishing and growing tropical fruits. Still others are snowbirds who come here every year for several months.

Take it from me, they all know how to party. And they also are amazingly quick to pitch in to help anyone in need.

You’ll have to excuse me now, so I can go look for more story ideas.