Frané loves to travel and create books based on her worldwide journeys. She is an artist and an author-illustrator, publishing around fifty books for children. Frané speaks at festivals in Australia and overseas sharing the process of writing and illustrating books, empowering both children and adults. She’s presented at the Edinburgh International Writers Festival, Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington D.C., the Eric Carle Museum, Beijing Bookworm Literature Festival, Brooklyn Book Festival, Bali’s Ubud Writer’s Festival, Singapore Asian Festival of Children’s Content, Bookaroo Festivals in India and Kuching, the Los Angeles and Bologna SCBWI Conferences and more.
Frané has served on the executive committee of the Australian Society of Authors, was the Regional Advisor for the West Australian Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators, In 2010, she received the Muriel Barwell Award for Distinguished Service to Children’s Literature, a State Ambassador for National Year of Reading and presently an Ambassador for Room to Read and Books in Homes.
“I grew up in a small town on top of the Palisades in New Jersey. From my bedroom window, I could see the famous skyscraper skyline of New York City. In the hot summer months, I could hear the shrieks of people riding on the roller coaster at a nearby amusement park. As a child, I always wanted to be an artist or a veterinarian. By the time I was eight years old, I had cats, dogs, fish, snakes, and a pet monkey named Hercules. I spent many weekends in New York City, browsing through museums and art galleries. I explored New York’s Greenwich Village with my green snakes entwined around my arm. I loved watching the painters wearing their black berets and the poets reciting verse with the audience snapping their fingers in approval.
At eighteen, I headed for film school in California and studied ethnographic film. I borrowed camera equipment and given film, took off on the road to the southwest, documenting a rodeo team, a long distance trucker, and the birth of a baby. Home was a beach house in Malibu, furnished with the discarded furniture of movie stars. We had Flip Wilson’s lawn chairs and Barbra Streisand’s settee. Working hard to help finance my studies, my jobs included running the projector at the local Malibu cinema, chauffeuring residents of Beverly Hills, and fertilizing cactus with a silver spoon at a desert nursery.
In 1978, I moved from California to the small Caribbean island of Montserrat. Stunned by its visual beauty, I began painting the old-style West Indian architecture and island life. My first book based on Montserrat was released in the United Kingdom as The Little Island and six months later, in the United States as My Little Island.
My work has led me on many adventures in numerous countries. Traveling continues to be a major source of inspiration as I render my impression of a country in oil and gouache paintings. My greatest ambition is to instill pride and self-esteem in children about their unique heritage and their ability to capture it in pictures and words.”