best wishes sister b fran smith

Meeting Fran Smith, author of Best Wishes Sister B

I’d like to welcome Fran Smith to the Thursday Throng. Frances is the author of Best Wishes Sister B.

The Fran Smith Interview

fran smithWhat is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?

I was named after the statue of Sir Francis Drake on Plymouth Hoe! (It could have been worse; my sister was nearly called Arthur.)

Are the names of your characters important to you?

Yes. Get a character’s name right and you’ve shorthanded their whole personality, especially in a comedy. I’m always on the lookout. Spittlehouse, Silversides and Kaziah were added to the irresistible names list in Yorkshire recently. (Feel free to use them, fellow writers.) In my Sister B books the names often reflect the flat fenland of the story’s setting. The very practical farmer is called Odge – roughly the sound of a welly in a puddle – and his wife is Delphine Odge, which I like for its combination of aspiration and mud squelch. You sense immediately that she has matching saucepans and fancies giving flatbread a try.

Have you ever written naked?

Of course. Under a mosquito net in Kenya. Usually in East Anglia I’m under a pile of sweaters, blowing on my fingers.

How do you remain sane while working? 

Writing is where I cut loose, release the inner anarchist and play, but having said that, I’m very driven and determined about getting it right. I have a word count to meet. I get up at 5.30am if I need to. I have at least another twenty novels to write, and I started late, so I can’t hang about. It feels perfectly sane to spend whole days living in an imaginary place among fictitious characters doing made-up things. There are occasional re-entry problems, where real life begins to recede, but curing that is what families are for. The most I would admit to is vagueness and the occasional gloom when nothing’s working (certainly not bad temper; nothing like that…). Mostly I just have this powerful sense of a tidal wave of words that I must, must, must get written.

Publishing something, on the other hand, is like the Jumblies going to sea in sieve. It’s a completely daft, hopeless and hilarious idea that anyone would ever want to read – much less pay for – your made-up work. And yet somehow, if you’re lucky, they do, lovely people that they are.

What was the most important thing you learned at school?

Books and writing will get you through most things.

If you could commit the perfect murder where would you hide the body?

If a murder is really perfect, foul play is not suspected (as the police spokesperson would say) so there is no troublesome hiding to be done. Either that or foul play is suspected, but it is also condoned by the society in question (we’re better off without that sort), so the body is just tidied away.

I’ve thought about this, and have the short stories to prove it!


best wishes sister bWHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT fran and her book?

You can find Best Wishes, Sister B in Kindle or Paperback format here:



These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.


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