Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Christina Francine is an enthusiastic author of a variety of work for all ages. When not weaving tales or cultivating medicinal herbs, she teaches academic writing at the college level writing and workshops. She also is a licensed elementary teacher. Her picture book, Special Memory is available in September 2019 and her Reader in January 2020. Other work includes her analysis on the level of students’ writing across America published Spring 2016 in Journal of Literacy Innovation. Students’ level isn’t where it could be. Her reviews of others work numbers 250 and she’s published numerous articles. Christina believes connecting writing with play is linked to higher creativity and invention. She also believes raising her two daughters is the best thing she has ever done.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
There are two
Special Memory is a picture book inspired by a lesson I shared/created with my two daughters when they were little. My youngest didn’t want to go to Kindergarten. The lesson is about how memories help us through difficult times.
Special Memory is a playful, feel good story that suggests using positive memories to help in times of stress and difficulties. Positive memories can then provide strength and remind us “good” times will happen again.
Fiery five-year-old Emily is semi-cooperative when her mother announces the idea of making a SPECIAL MEMORY one summer morning. She doesn’t want to get used to getting up early for kindergarten. Despite herself, Emily finds dancing in the warm rain with her older sister and mother while wearing pajamas fun until the storm changes. Emily’s mother then pulls her daughters indoors and teaches them how special memories make a difference in our lives. Emily doesn’t think a SPECIAL MEMORY will help in kindergarten until her first day when she remembers sticky wet pajamas and hair, along with warm mud squishing between her toes.
Mr. Inker Finds a Home is a Reader inspired for immigrant children because these students need stories about them. There isn’t much currently.
Rafiq misses his friends from Pakistan and a boy at school makes fun of his name. It is not easy being an immigrant in America. Rafiq knows he’s safer in “the land of the free,” yet he is homesick. When he receives a fancy pen for his birthday, he discovers his new best friend, a talking pen. Sometimes Mr. Inker is too proud and his jokes corny. He can be a real stinker, but he helps Rafiq with English words, makes him laugh, and finds a way to connect Rafiq with his old friends through traditional letter writing. This Step 3 Waldorf Reader is perfect for boys and girls ages 5-8.!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Nothing unusual. I edit often and take breaks between and drink a lot of coffee.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
There are so many, but Virginia Woolf made quite an impact on me.
What are you working on now?
I’m editing my fantasy novel about a dreamkeeper for Earth’s children. This story came from the skeleton of a dream that I filled in throughout a few years. I’m still agonizing over the intended audience is YA or New Adult.
Asima, the protector of human children’s dreams, goes searching for true love, even though she is forbidden to take a mate. The tiny dreamkeeper cannot help herself though when she stumbles up Nicolas, a young man creatively rich in music and song. She enters his dreams; something all dreamkeepers are forbidden to do. Eventually, her job is affected, as well her health and she needs to fight Magnus, a class four sleep demon and save a thirteen-year-old girl (Callie).
Both Asima and Callie are close to ruin and when Callie’s classmates begin to pick on another new student, Callie finds her strength. Not Asima however. The Dreamkeeper of Earth’s children is not able to save herself and her life-force grows dim. Magnus had begun his revenge.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I market online and off trying to get interviews, reviews, appearances, and more.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
If you really want to be a great writer and publish your work, you cannot give up. It may take a lot of work.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
It is the same advice that I give: “If you really want to be a great writer and publish your work, you cannot give up. It may take a lot of work.”
What are you reading now?
Textbooks. I continuously work to improve my writing classes. Right now, I’ve adopted OER (Open Educational Resources) texts. Students cannot always afford textbooks and by using free texts that other academics provide, they don’t have to shell out an extra for books.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I want to make the novel I mentioned about a dreamkeeper for Earth’s children the best it can be and then make it available. One particular big publisher has expressed interest and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
This is difficult because there are many. I’d say one thick fantasy novel and two how-to write better books.
Author Websites and Profiles
Christina Kennison Website