Friday, March 16, 2012

Guest Author Francene Stanley on The Birth of a Novelist

          As a child in Australia, I grew up entertaining my two younger sisters with stories. Enthralled, they watched me dancing the role of Cleopatra, dying from the bite of an asp. Lost in the wonder of fluidity and the attention of my audience, I thrived.

With the passage of the years, when the body goes through the most amazing transformation from child to woman, I used this grace in my walk. I attracted an action man, strong, handsome and charismatic. Perhaps instinct drew me to a partner who would provide healthy children. Deep inside, I rejected the little voice warning me not to let him control me. I discovered that turning a blind eye to his rages would appease his jealousy. I committed to love and all it entailed—through sickness and in health.

By the time I reached twenty-four, three wonderful children occupied my time, and any chance of a career sailed right past me. Caught up in The Good Life, I taught my children to respect and consider others. Together, we collected rubbish on the beach, helped the aged and strove to be the best we could be.

My husband worked at an advertising agency, so I didn't see him much during my twenties. With his charm and talent, he caught everyone's attention while I acted as his side-kick. But the pressure of work caused him a nervous breakdown. My stepfather offered the chance to leave city life behind and move to a little seaside town—a place where my husband could relax and heal while building sand-hill protection with a view of the ocean crashing on the shore. Here, I went through another transformation. Although he recovered, I saw my husband's bullying with new eyes.

Fantasy became the powerful instructor I needed, the means to transport me into another world, one distant from his demeaning tactics. I read my grandmother's early, extensive collection of science fiction as well as Ayn Rand's novels and Edgar Cayce's readings on the afterlife.

When the children left home, my love went with them. I committed to keep faith with my pledge and continue to strive for my best.

My husband's illness pinpointed bipolar. Although he'd latched onto the sympathy of the first real friend in my adult life, he still wanted my support. When he moved in with my ex-friend, he gave me a freedom I wasn't ready for. Full of sorrow and torment, I forgave myself.

With no expertise, I worked as a nanny, eventually travelling to England. All alone in London, I survived amongst borrowed luxury. But my spirit longed for love. A prince in the guise of an accountant appeared.

Free at last, I explored other ways of expressing myself. First I wrote songs—at least fifty. Seven of the best, produced as demos, molder in files without me ever acquiring the necessary drive to get a producer's interest. Poetry, so similar in rhyme and beat, involved me next—a hundred tomes. The frustration of writing and writing, with no chance of airing the result, caused a change of direction. I wrote my life story for my family.

Right. Done. But what about all I'd learned during my wonderful life?

Use my story as the base of a novel. Show how a gentle, naive woman CAN survive in the face of aggression. Demonstrate how to use the power of the mind to overcome every obstacle with time, space and patience—as Edgar Cayce advocated.

And that's where fantasy came in. An inherited star moonstone ring sweeps Liliha, my heroine in Still Rock Water, away in random visions to help someone in distress. She's so much more than a woman borrowing the story of my life. Liliha took over and created her own circumstances. Her story will inspire each reader during the ride to the joyful ending.

Due to be released soon by Solstice Publishing, Still Rock Water comes first in the Moonstone series. The three books to follow will involve the reader in love, heartache and a fresh start for Liliha.

Francene's blog:!/FranceneStanley


  1. Your life and your writing are a wonderful inspiration to face life's challenges and push on, even when one might feel trapped, betrayed, hopeless. I'm happy the first book in the moonstone series will be published soon. Congratulations to you and your future readers!


  2. Wonderful blog about a wonderful good hearted gentle soul. Enjoyed this blog today! Holly Michael

  3. Enjoyed this so much, Francene. You are quite a lovely lady.

  4. I'm thrilled your Still Rock Water has found a good publishing house, Francene. Congratulations. That is wonderful news. Your novel is as inspiring as your journey has been. I wish you all the success in the world.

  5. Francene, I knew I felt a connection with you and Liliha, when I started reading "Still Rock Water*. As *The Lost King* did for me, it appears your fine novel grew from a desire to transform through fiction some very real personal pain. Well, we writers are told to "write what you know"...

    1. Thanks for responding to my blog. I agree, Francene definitely knows how to pack what she knows into a well-versed novel.