Until now, I’ve spent three-plus decades writing award-winning nonfiction, including eight books, mainly about consumer activism and business social responsibility. For instance, Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love (Beacon Press) was named one of the best books of 2012 by Library Journal. In addition, I’ve written regularly (as either a staff editor or freelancer) for The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsday, The Scientist, and many other publications, as well as book reviews for The New York Journal of Books and The National (based in the United Arab Emirates).
But I started writing fiction when I was four years old, and now I’ve begun to achieve my lifelong dream with THE HEIRS – my first published novel.
COMING IN MAY: My debut novel THE HEIRS will be published May 3 by Stephen F. Austin State University Press.
Born: Philadelphia, Penn.
Grew up: Philadelphia; Los Angeles; Lowell and Lexington, Massachusetts
College: University of California at Berkeley, Phi Beta Kappa, BA in English
First started novel: Approximately age 4
First completed (unpublished) novel: Approximately age 12
Earliest signs she might actually succeed as a novelist:
- “Finish This Story” submission published in “Jack and Jill” magazine at approximately age 8.
- Selected as a participant in fiction, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, 1991
So how did she get sidetracked into journalism for decades? It wasn’t a sidetrack! A sophomore roommate at UC Berkeley suggested that if she liked writing so much, she ought to try the student newspaper, The Daily Californian. So Fran walked into the newspaper office, got her first assignment – and was happily hooked!
In fall 2001, just as 9/11 was prompting her, like so many other people, to rethink her life, her goals, and her career -- and she was getting a little bored overseeing the annual Real Estate Special Section for Crain’s New York Business once again -- she was offered a book contract by John Wiley & Sons for her first nonfiction book, The Merck Druggernaut. So she set off to explore yet another fulfilling, nonfiction career track.
And she loved digging into the research and writing of nonfiction books for more than a decade. But finally, she looked up and said: Whatever happened to the novels I was going to write?
Memberships: American Friends of the Heschel Center for Sustainability (board secretary), Science Writers in New York, GetOrganizedBK, Park Slope Food Coop (Agenda Committee), Downtown East for Progress
Other interests: … running (typically 6.5 mi/day); studying Russian, French, and Hebrew; community service, especially working with refugees and cleaning up Prospect Park; volunteering on political campaigns; piano; learning to read Torah; re-learning to ride a bike; travel (next stops: Stonehenge; Venice, Italy; Greece); and of course, family and reading