I’m thrilled to introduce my dear friend, Fran Lewis. Fran is an incredible woman who never ceases to amaze me with all that she does. She’s an author, reviewer, radio show host and all around wonderful person. I’m proud to call her my friend.
Dellani Oakes: When did you start writing?
Fran Lewis: I started writing when I was about 4. I do not remember a time when I was not writing stories, poems or passing notes to my sister under the blanket at night. My mom would say lights out but never knew we had flashlights under our blankets and note pads so that we could send each other messages whenever we wanted. Writing short stories, poems for cards and longer stories was always something that I loved doing. Writing my first children’s book was my Aunt Tova’s idea. She made me promise her before she passed away that I would do something with my writing skills other than write lesson plans and help some of the teachers in my schools with their observation lessons. She encouraged me to write short stories, articles and post them on writing.com which I did and then my first book. Little did I ever know that I would be writing book reviews, online interviews, blogs, endorsements, intros to books and much more.
DO: What gave you the idea for your first book?
FL: My nephew Jake was laughing at the way I was sitting in a restaurant. I was pouting because I had just started my diet. My sister looked at me and said that I reminded her of my grandma Bertha who sat the same way. I told her she reminded me of my spoiled Aunt Tillie. My nephew Jake cracked up and just started to chant: You are Bertha and she is Tillie and that would be great as the characters in a book. Thinking about some of the wild things my sister and I did as kids I decided to write my first book which were 6 short stories. Each story is another real life and true adventure that my sister and I had growing up.
DO: What genre do you write?:
FL: Children’s books, non-fiction/self-help and hopefully a murder/mystery
DO: What do you do to keep yourself focused?
FL: My sense of responsibility to the promises that I make to myself and others. When I promise an author to complete a review I tend to make sure it is done way before they expect it. My mom would always make sure that homework was done the very minute we walked through the door even on Fridays. I enjoy reviewing books, and working with authors and I think since I have had so much sadness in my life working and helping others keeps me focused and centered and allows me to put the sadness aside.
DO: What inspires you?
FL: It is not what but who that inspires me. My sister was my biggest fan and she kept me motivated, on task and was always there to present and give her constructive criticism to my stories, reviews and more. I really miss her. She really thought that what I am doing was great and enjoyed being part of it especially at signings, readings and other events.
DO: Do you stay with one project or do you work on multiple projects?
FL: I can focus on at least three or four projects at once.
DO: What is your writing process?
FL: I never really think about a process I just write. What comes to mind and what I feel like writing about is what comes out on my computer. One day it could be a review the next a short story. I tend to write down all of the my projects on a notepad and prioritize them and go from there.
DO: What is the theme of your novel?
FL: If and when I decide to write one it will be a murder based on a true story.
DO: What is your latest release?
FL: Because We Care, a book for caregivers. (Review below)
DO: What other books do you have published?
FL: My Name is Bertha
Bertha Speaks Out
Bertha Fights Back
Memories are Precious
Sharp As A Tack or Scrambled Eggs Which Describes Your Brain?
DO: Where are your books available?
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/fran-lewis
“Because We Care” is an innovative and easy guide for caregivers, volunteers and families of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury or a family member in need of outside assistance. Divided in three parts, “Because We Care” is easy to read and full of straightforward, no nonsense information.
Part One is a comprehensive, simple to understand guide for dealing with an Alzheimer’s patient. Fran lists warning signs so an individual, or their loved ones, can decide when there is a problem and seek medical advice.
Daily experiences with her mother’s deteriorating condition from Alzheimer’s, gave Fran a realistic viewpoint. She learned first hand how best to deal with her mother’s disease. These pointers are listed and easy to comprehend. Fran doesn’t sugarcoat or talk around an issue but confronts it head on.
“Because We Care” is full of helpful hints on how to deal with an Alzheimer’s patient, questions to ask doctors, as well as tips and reminders to care givers to take time out for themselves.
Part Two of “Because We Care” deals with Traumatic Brain Injury. The reader learns to recognize symptoms and signs that you should seek medical attention. It also lists simple preventative measures to keep from getting a traumatic brain injury.
Part Three concentrates on protecting the elderly. Elder abuse is a growing concern in our world. Fran Lewis targets the problem and lists helpful tips to identify abuse or neglect—as well as resources to report it.
“Because We Care” is uncomplicated to read and understand. It’s written in plain language, not in complex medical jargon. This is a must have book for anyone dealing with an Alzheimer’s patient, particularly one in a care facility.
Fran’s first hand experiences lend a great sensitivity to her words. Though she confronts the tough issues, she never loses focus on the people.
The proceeds from “Because We Care” are being donated to patient care and research for a cure to Alzheimer’s Syndrome.
© Dellani Oakes 2011