Author Showcase: Frances Rinaldi on Writing, Travel and Friendship
By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: June 9, 2011
Frances Rinaldi: My first book was published with a push by my father. In 1993 I joined The Brevard Theatrical Ensemble with the intent to get over my fear of public speaking. It took sometime before I developed the courage to share a story. But a strange thing happened. While listening to others share their stories I began to remember stories my grandmother had shared with me. I shared these stories, started writing new stories, and within a year had a small collection. I illustrated the stories and with my father’s encouragement put the book into print. For some reason, for the next few years I wrote stories for performances and had no desire to publish them. Then, two years ago I came up with an idea for a series of books, and took on the challenge of writing a novel. I am hopeful for a release within the year.
How Silver fox and Coyote Came to Color the Butterfly was the result of a small miracle. I was working on my novel. In this novel there is a Native American Broadway play where the Butterfly dance is being performed while a storyteller recites the tale. My computer crashed. I lost the story. I have a butterfly garden. While my computer was being fixed and I was in my garden this story came to me. The one in my novel is much different.
How Silver fox and Coyote Came to Color the Butterfly is a tale of friendship and travel. From where did you draw your inspiration for this book?
Travel is one of my greatest joys. Taking my children on trips and seeing the joy in their experiences is another wonderment of life. Over the last several years I have added the adventure of travel into my life by taking on challenges such as riding my bicycle across the US and hiking Spain with friends. These adventures push you to the max and getting along with your friends can sometimes be a challenge, and is certainly worth the effort.
What makes How Silver fox and Coyote Came to Color the Butterfly unique?
The original intent was to share the life cycle of the butterfly. I couldn’t wait to paint the pictures. Then, while painting I thought about how much fun it was to see the faces of children when they discovered the miracle of mixing colors. So, I incorporated mixing colors into the book. The fact that it ultimately became a story of friendship is what I believe makes it different. In other words, “discovery is more fun when shared.”
What age group is it intended for?
The book is intended for ages between three and eight.
Is there one overall message that you hope readers will grasp?
I know this is a universal message, but it doesn’t hurt to be repeated. “To treat others as you want to be treated, and to respect Mother Nature.”
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating this book?
How much work it takes to get a book published and to get it out to readers was a surprise. I believe most writers have a message they want to share. Writing the book is easy compared to getting it into print and out to readers.
What does your family think of your writing?
They are all very supportive. I couldn’t have gotten my books into print without their help.
You have published two books, thus far. Do you have another book in the works?
Yes, I am branching into a series of novels. This is a new venture for me. I have written numerous short stories and shared them on stage. Writing a full length novel takes a great deal of dedication.
Which books from your childhood would you say influence your life the most?
The Ledgerbook of Thomas Blue Eagle
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Tacos Pueblo by Jonathan Warm Day
Windwalker by Blaine M. Yorgason and Brenton G. Yorgason
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
There is a saying that I have taken on as my motto. I am not sure who said it first, but it goes something like this:
“You are where you are in life because of the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read.”
For more information, visit www.redfoxpublishing.net.
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