Winner, Ella Dickey Literacy Award, for Frank
When people ask me why I wrote a biography, I tell them it was on my "bucket list." Ever since I was a schoolgirl, I have enjoyed reading about other people's lives, and I determined that one day a book of mine would be in the biography section of the library. The decision to write about Frances Cleveland was made during my years as a marketing professor at a small, liberal arts college in North Carolina. The advertising textbook discussed the advent of mass marketing, and mentioned that a very attractive first lady's image was used, without her permission, to market a wide variety of products. That first lady was Frances Folsom Cleveland. I did a little background reading, and learned that she was our nation's youngest first lady, that her wedding took place in the White House, and that there was a 27 year age difference between her and her husband, Grover Cleveland. Such is the stuff of novels, but as is often the case, the facts may be more believable than if an author had used the same characters in a work of fiction.