Exclusive Interview with
C. F. Francis
When did you start writing?
What makes writing your passion?
I enjoy creating characters to spend time with and that others will connect with.
How long have you been writing?
About six years, although I did it for myself for years before that.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Scary. I was putting myself out there for others to judge.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
The men in the series are all Special Forces. I am fortunate to have met some when I was shipping packages to soldiers oversees. Some of us became friends and share stories. They are happy to assist when I have a question.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Marketing. I don't like it and will admit to being bad at it.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
Sometimes. Most of the time it's just distractions that take me away from writing. I love to write.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I keep going because I have people who believe in me. Professionals tell me I'm good enough to rise to the top. I hope they're write because writing is not cheap nor will it make you rich. It's kind of like sports. There are a lot of good players out there but very few make it to the big leagues. So mostly, I write for enjoyment.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
I'd tell myself to do what made me happy. I went into business but my heart was in the outdoors. I've always regretted not going into a field that brought me close to nature. As for writing, I always wrote but never thought of it as a career. Open you mind and do what your heart tells you.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I do, though I know it's not recommended. However, I've been fortunate not to get any bad reviews.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
My first book, Sanctuary Island, was written for fun initially. The female lead was similar to me. A relative said they could see my personality in her, but she is really what I want to be.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Spend the money on the cover. People who don't know you won't pick it up if the cover doesn't appeal to them.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
Many readers will email me or post on one of my social media accounts. I always interact.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
No one recognizes me in public, for which I'm actually grateful. As for appreciating my work, those that read it seem to do so very much.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
I have several so it wouldn't be fair to pick one. Nora Roberts romantic suspense series are almost always great. I miss reading Julie Garwood. I'm hoping she has a new release soon. There are others, Heather Graham, Toni Anderson...too many to name.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Who wouldn't like to be as big as Nora Roberts, but I don't see that happening. I'd settle for having my books pay for themselves and getting good reviews.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I did rewrite the first one but never put up the changed version. I did not take formal writing classes when I began to write. Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood, Tami Hoag were my teachers. They all "head hopped". I didn't know that was a general industry no-no. I was asked to rewrite it with only to points of view but it was my "baby" so I never uploaded the change.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
That's a tough one. I love to travel so one of the authors that works different parts of the world into their books would be the one I'd pick. Before the pandemic, I lived vicariously through Jane Ann Krentz who was a world traveler before we all locked down.
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
I'd ignore and block them.
What would you say to your readers?
That I hope they enjoy my stories. I do my best to write page-turners with happy endings. I hope they find joy in the stories.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live in Southwest Florida near Sanibel Island, which is the backdrop of my series. I'm lucky to be married to a very supportive man.
What is your day job if you have one?
I left my day job to write. Once I started publishing, I found working in an office excruciating .
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I don't have much free time. We travel when we can.
Did you have a happy childhood?
I'll skip this one. Family drama is something I'd rather not share.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
A lack of good books. I was a voracious reader and ran out of things to read in my genre.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
I just published my last book and just started a new series. I do have an unpublished "short" story which seems too long for most venues.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
The arts and civics are missing. There is too much emphasis on sports, which I believe is necessary but arts and an understanding of our community are just as important.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
Peace, of course. Civility. Lack of poverty.
What is your favorite music?
Old rock 'n roll and Jimmy Buffett
Share a secret with us 🙂
I do kill off some people in my novels that crossed my path (of course, I change the name).