Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Interview: Fran Orenstein

Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
I have had many roles in my life as daughter, student, wife, and mother, and have held many jobs. I was a single mother for a long time and am a proud grandmother of four. After retiring from working for others, I decided it was time to be self-employed. The first was in the healing arts as a Reiki Master/Practioner, and now as a writer/author with my own company, Sunwriter, LLC.

What inspired you to write?
My mother was a storyteller. I recall her stories of family lore, and the different spin she put on children’s fairy tales and stories. She was an inveterate reader and I grew up in libraries. I wrote my first poem around age eight after reading Bambi by Felix Salton. The book so moved me that I needed to express myself and chose to write a poem. That launched a lifetime of writing poetry and prose.

What authors influenced you as a writer?
It began as a child with authors like Felix Salton, Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden), Laura Ingalls Wilder (The Little House on the Prairie series), moving on to Shakespeare and Robert Frost, and today resides with Dean Koontz for his beautiful writing, Stephen King for his stories, Janet Evanovich and Christopher Moore for their humor, Ken Follett for his historical novels, and the myriad of authors writing modern women’s fiction.

What is your favorite quote?
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I~I chose the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
The World of Harry Potter. I would love to teach at Hogwarts, after all, I was born on Halloween.

What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
To understand language and structure, they must be a reader.
To produce an excellent product, they must be willing to accept critiques and editing.
To be published, they must be confident in their writing and persistent in their pursuit of the gold ring.

Are your books different than your personal favorite books by other authors?
I write in a wide variety of themes, genres and ages. My favorite reading genres are mystery, political intrigue, courtroom drama and horror, but most of what I write does not fall into those categories. I also wish I had the natural gift of humor in my writing.

What led you to writing in this genre?
I like writing for ‘tweens and teens. When I was a teen I loved historical novels and science fiction, and still do. As a kid I loved mysteries like The Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew. I always loved sci-fi and fantasy. Writing for kids in these genres is perfect. Now I’m writing for adults and stretching myself, because what I write is not what I generally choose to read, except with my book club, which has opened my eyes to other kinds of literature. However, having worked for so many years on women’s issues, I find that I enjoy writing for women.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Coming up with the idea and developing it.

Least favorite part of the writing process?
Getting into a routine of writing regularly. I tend to get sidetracked and before I realize it the day is gone.
Avoiding the danger of boredom, to which I am prone.

What are you currently working on?
I have several projects going to keep me interested. I am collaborating with someone on the first novel in a woman’s series. I am adapting and expanding a short story mystery into a full-length novel. I am editing the third book in a ‘tween fantasy series, and compiling my poetry into a book for publication.

Where readers can find you?
Visit Fran’s World at, and my pages on Facebook and Linked In and other sites listed on my website.

Was there a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?
Why do you write?
I write to fulfill a lifelong dream of seeing my work in print.
I write to leave a legacy. I write to hear my grandson say, “I’m so proud to have a Granny who’s a published author.” Then to hear my granddaughter say, “What are you writing next, Granny?”
I write to give pleasure, and hope that my writing will be a catalyst to healing the world; for every book has a subtle message.

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