More About the Author
Fran Baker has waited in vain for Vanity Fair to send her one of those Proust Questionnaires that run in the back of the magazine.
She hasn't waited idly, however. While keeping an eye on the mailbox, she's written sixteen novels, four of which have appeared on bestseller lists and twelve of which have been translated into more than twenty languages. (See Cathlyn McCoy for one of those novels.) As well, she's edited Hot Steel, the story of the 58th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, and written a couple hundred articles, book reviews, author interviews and op-ed pieces. She's also conducted a number of writing workshops in the U.S. and in Canada, and she's spoken about writing for publication to local, national and international audiences. In 1998 she founded her own small press, Delphi Books (www.DelphiBooks.us), which in 2011 will have seventeen print titles and a number of Kindle eBooks.
Now, with apologies to Proust, she's devised her own questionnaire:
Q. Where do you get off--oh, sorry. Where are you from?
A. I was born and raised in Kansas City, MO, and my prepaid burial lot is located there.
Q. What makes you think anyone's interested--strike that. What made you want to become a writer?
A. I was always a reader, as was almost everyone in my family. I would finish a story or a book or the back of a cereal box (did I mention I read those in a pinch?), and my imagination would be in overdrive with all the what ifs. What if she'd said this? What if he'd done that? What if this or that had happened? One day I started writing my own stories. I didn't tell anyone what I was doing. Nor did I quit my day job. I just put the seat of my pants to the seat of my chair and I wrote ... and was both surprised and thrilled when I started selling.
Q. Why did you name your small press Delphi Books?
A. It's named for the Oracle of Delphi, who was reputed to have been a woman over the age of 50.
Q. You're over 50? Mmmh, you don't look a day--
A. Please note that neither the Oracle nor I are telling how far over.
Q. Noted. Moving on now, what do you consider the most overrated virtue?
A. Cool beans, a real PQ kind of question.
Q. We're waiting for your answer.
A. After all the years I've waited to be asked ... Patience. I don't have much, and I'm rapidly losing my small store.
Q. You're the one who wanted to do this interview.
Q. Let's try this. What do you do in your spare time?
A. I knit - mainly scarves and hats and shrugs and mittens and afghans and baby blankets for family and friends and the occasional fan contest. And I bowl.
Q. You bowl.
A. As do millions of other Americans.
Q. How ... interesting.
A. For your information, I once beat 22,099 men and women to win the KCMO Mayor's Christmas Tree Tournament. That won me an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas. And several years in a row I won our family's Thanksgiving turkey.
A. I also read, but not in the genre in which I'm writing.
Q. And not, I presume, while you're bowling.
A. Are we almost through here?
Q. Can't happen soon enough. Getting back to writing, do you belong to any professional organizations?
A. I'm a member of the Authors Guild, Novelists, Inc., The Authors Studio, and The Society of Midland Authors.
Q. What are you working on now?
A. My original romantic comedy, "Romeo, Romeo" has been released in Kindle format. And I just finished writing a historical romance, "The Talk of the Town," that will be released in hardcover in September 2011. Now I've got two books in the hopper - one a follow-up historical romance and the other a romantic suspense novel that I wrote the first draft of a couple years ago. Oh, and I'm putting all my backlist books in Kindle format in case anyone missed them the first time around.
Q. If you could be a tree--
A. How Barbara Walters of you.
Q. Touché, yourself.
A. (Smirking) Thank you.
Q. Let's end this on another PQ note.
A. Yes, lets.
Q. What's your motto?
A. You want me to say something profound, right? Something memorable. Some--
Q. Something short.
A. "Style is truth."