Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Welcome! Author - Rebecca L Frencl.

Author, Rebecca L Frencl.

 Grace : Welcome to fellow Solstice author, Rebecca L Frencl, who joins me here today. I've been looking forward to a good chat with  you, Rebecca, and so without further ado, please introduce yourself to the readers.
(PS For those readers waiting to learn how William Banks taught Marocco to do his tricks -as mentionned in the last blog post - please visit next Sunday. Thank you. G x)
Hi, Grace, my name is Rebecca L.Frencl. Thanks so much for having me here today. I appreciate the opportunity to talk to a fellow Solstice author.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid my favorite toy was a toy typewriter. I wonder if my students would even know what a typewriter is if they saw one?

(Me to! As a little girl I was given a 'petite typewriter' for Christmas, and hammered the life of out it.)

I wanted to write and I wanted to teach. For the last fourteen years I’ve been able to do both. I’ll be starting my 15th year of teaching 8th grade in the Chicago suburbs next year. It’s wonderful that I’ve been able to do both of the things I love. Over the last several years I’ve also become more of an activist. I have become very active in the teacher’s union at the local, region and state level. It’s something I never really thought about all those years ago when I first started teaching, but I’ve started to really appreciate the fact that our rights need to be safe-guarded for future generations. So, I guess I’m a mom, a teacher who runs the union and four extracurricular activities and writer, so I’m pretty busy. Honestly, when I have too much time on my hands I’m not really sure what to do with myself! 

On the personal front, I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for the last thirteen years. He was my prom date many years ago. We have a little girl, Brianna, who’s way too clever for my own good. She’s going to give me a run for my money when she gets a little older. She’s turning four soon and already has mastered the eye roll and, “Mom!” I also have two spoiled rotten puppies. Vinny is my old man. He’s a beagle/shepherd mutt we rescued 11 years ago. His little brother Guido is a beagle who was abandoned 6 years ago.

Guido and Vinny.
I love my job, all of my jobs—mom, teacher, writer and union rabble rouser.

Grace: The cover of 'Ribbons of Moonlight' is powerful and evocative, please tell us a little about the book. 
Ribbons of Moonlight is a time travel historical that actually started out as a personal challenge. I’d read the poem “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes years ago when I was in 8th grade. When I teach narrative poetry I’ve always taught that poem. I always loved it, always thought that someone should write a book about it. When I was in college I heard the Loreena McKennit song version of the poem, loved that too. It wasn’t until about 8 years ago or so that I realized that no one was going to write a book about it, so I would. I’d never written a romance before. I usually write fantasy, lots of magic, lots of save the world from the big baddie. Historical romance was going to be a departure for me. Could I do it? I was happy to discover that I could, though I admit it was tougher than I thought it would be. Fun, though. My newest work in progress is another romance.

Grace: Rebecca, how did you feel when you learnt that RIBBONS OF MOONLIGHT was to be published?

Rebecca: There was a happy dance involved at the end of it, I admit. I’d been burned in the past by a publishing company that folded without paying me a dime, so when I first got the email telling me that Solstice wanted to publish RIBBONS, I was cautiously optimistic. I admit after the initial shock the first thing I did was check out the company on the message boards and Writer Beware. It came up clear so then I read the contract about four times, asked several questions, ran it by a lawyer and finally signed. Then I called one of my oldest friends in the world and told her. Clare and I had always shared publishing dreams so it made sense that after I told my husband Brian, I’d tell Clare.

Grace: There is a lot of competition for readers’ attention these days. What is different about 'Ribbons' that makes people want to read it?

Rebecca: One of the things that I think is unique of my book is the “story behind the story” idea. It takes a classic tragic poem and looks at the “real” story. If you like the idea behind “Wicked” you’ll like RIBBONS OF MOONLIGHT.

Grace: It seems eBooks are taking off in a big way. What is your opinion on eBooks vs. traditional paperbacks?

Rebecca: I’m new to eBooks. RIBBONS was available in ecopy on February 13th, but I didn’t decide which eReader I wanted until the end of May. I finally decided on a Kindle. I can really see the appeal of an eReader, especially for travelling. It’s so much easier that packing six or seven books in the carryon—especially with how expensive the baggage fees are lately. However, there’s something to be said to actually be able to hold your book in your hands. I admit I stalked the mailman waiting for my print copies and I think it nearly needed to be pried out of my hands.

Grace: If you need to escape from the cares of the world for a while, what do you do?

Rebecca: Other than read? I love to read—all sorts of different genres. I love mysteries, horror, science fiction, fantasy and, of course, romance. I don’t like realistic fiction, though. I also love to garden in the spring and summer. I started a vegetable garden last year not knowing if I’d like it and now I mother my garden outrageously. During the school year I’m pretty busy with home, school, extra-curricular activities and union duties, but when I need to get away I like a good “happily ever after” movie or I escape to my kitchen. I love to bake and cook. My mom and grandma taught me how to cook and I love to dive into my tiny kitchen to make spaghetti gravy, meatballs, lasagna or any number of cookies. Needless to say my husband and daughter are always willing to try out my experiments. I also love to scrapbook. Traditional paper scrapbooking. Some people scrapbook because they take pictures, I take pictures because I like to scrapbook.
Rebecca's vegetable garden.
Grace: What is the kindest act anyone has ever done for you?

Rebecca: I think small kindnesses make life wonderful. I remember when I broke my elbow during the February 2nd blizzard this past winter. I had to walk around with a sling for the next couple of weeks, my students babied me. They made sure the doors were opened, I never had to carry anything, they even got me my coffee so I wouldn’t have to walk in the crowded hallways and get bumped. My husband frequently comes home with roses for me for no reason and my daughter loves to “help” me clean the house. There’s also nothing like a warm puppy snuggling up against you on a cold winter morning when you’re feeling blah. Didn’t Charles Shultz say, “Happiness is a warm puppy?” Well, Snoopy was a beagle like Guido and Vinny.

Grace: Have you heard of ‘Room 101’ – the room where an object once placed disappears forever…I wish all alarm clocks went there! What 5 things would you put in Room 101 and why?

1. All homework excuses—though I actually did have one student come in with a shredded assignment in a plastic bag. His puppy actually had eaten it!

2. Puppy Mills—I think dogs should be rescued not purchased. Cats too, though I’ve never owned one (I’m terribly allergic.)

3. Movies that celebrate idiocy and thuggish behavior—kids need real role models!

4. Video games that lure kids into ignoring the real world and having real friends.

 5. I think I’ll keep the 5th one in reserve

Grace : Thank you so much, Rebecca, for joining me today. It's been lovely hearing more about you and your writing life - I wish you every success with 'Ribbons of Moonlight' - I'm lucky enough to have a copy and it's next on my TBR list!
Before you go, can you everyone how they can purchase 'Ribbons of Moonlight'?
RIBBONS OF MOONLIGHT can, of course, be ordered from

Or on the Solstice website for ebook:

OR for print

My blog “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” is at:
I also have a fan facebook page—stop by and visit!


  1. I designed the cover for Ribbons of Moonlight and it remains one of my fave portfolio pieces. I just love Loreena McKennitt...I love to paint to her music. :-) Great interview!

  2. Oh wow, Danielle, that particular penny hadn't dropped, but now it has! ((Kerching!)
    The cover for 'Ribbons' is outstanding; I could look at it for ages just for the shifting moodiness, I've admired it ever since I first saw it. Beautiful work.
    G x

  3. Danielle, I love the cover! It's the background on my PC and my daughter was a little upset her picture had been replaced :)

    Grace, thanks again for the opportunity to visit with you!


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