Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day One with Frances Devine!

AngelaJodiephoto © 2005 Angela Thomas | more info (via: Wylio)
Hi. I'm Frances Devine. Mother, grandmother and late-in-life author.

I was born in Donna, Texas, a town in the Rio Grande Valley, and they tell me my name was supposed to be Donna Delores. I've heard several different versions of how that morphed into Frances Lee and have no idea which one is correct. I grew up feeling like I'd been robbed of my true name. To me, Donna Delores seemed much more romantic and mysterious than plain old Fances. I was also jealous of my sister, Edith, who was old enough to learn how to say "much, aqua, no?" before we moved to Dallas when I was nine months old.

In Dallas I met a girl named Glenda who lived across the street, I still consider her my best friend although I haven't set eyes on her since we were in our early twenties. We used to sit on the curb in front of my house at dusk and tell ghost stories. We'd get so scared that we'd both bolt for our houses. Those were the days.

At the early age of eight, my family moved to a little community in East Texas called Brushy Creek. Pine Tree country. This little city girl was afraid of everything from chickens to the little bull calf who stared at me from his pen. A low well stood on our back porch and each time I had to draw water I was afraid I'd be pulled in.

My brother and sisters, except Edith, were all grown and married before we moved there and Edith left a year later, so there I was stuck in the country all alone. I made new friends, but none like my best friend Glenda. But that's when I learned to dream big. I remember sitting on the seat of the farm wagon and living out a whole wagon train adventure inside my head.

When I was nine I wrote my first story. My inspiration was a picture that hung on my mother's wall of The Lone Wolf featuring the wolf called Two-socks. I had recently read Silver Chief, Dog of the North, so I'm not sure how many of the ideas for my story came from that great book, but if I plagiarized or came close to it, I didn't realize it. From that moment, the dream of my heart was to become a published author.

As they say, "You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the girl." That's very true, but I found there was room in my heart for other places as well. In 1983, I moved with my husband and younger children to southwest Missouri. At first I felt like I was going to suffocate from all the trees and hills, and after a while, I grew to love my new state.

Through the years of raising my seven children and delighting in my grandchildren, I'd given up on my dream, but God hadn't. In my mid-sixties, I signed my first contract.

My latest series is about historical Branson. When I first discovered Branson and Silver Dollar City, I was mesmerized. Since I'm about a hundred miles north and east of the area, I didn't get there as often as I'd like, but while writing this series my heart grew even closer to the Missouri Ozarks.

White River Dreams is about a young woman named Lexie who was also transplanted to the area when she and her brother were orphaned and came to live with their Aunt Kate. Already restless, when her brother decides to marry, the thought of living with him and his new bride is more than she can take.

The hero of the story is the captain of a steamboat, transporting supplies up and down the White River. These two are thrown together to care for eight-year-old orphaned twin girls, Addy and Abby. Their stories will be the focus of books two and three. I'll talk a little bit about those in tomorrow's blog.

Do you have a dream of your own that has been fulfilled or is still on hold? If you'd like to, leave a comment and share it with us.

See you tomorrow.



  1. That is so great that you finally saw your dream come true. I have always dreamed of playing the piano. We could not afford lessons. But I've kept that dream alive in my heart still (and I'm 55). A few years ago I bought a use piano from a Bible college but family, work, and finances have still held me back from that dream. I can still picture myself sitting down and really sounding out great music. My favorite would be gospel. Would love to play for the Lord, but it has never really worked out. But I'm still playing in my heart

  2. Hi Patsy,
    Thanks for your comment and I hope you never give up on your dream.