Francine Puckly writes young adult realistic contemporary and historical fiction and is a co-founder and blogger for 24CarrotWriting.com. While her first book deal sits somewhere in her future, she has completed a collection of slice-of-life essays and two YA manuscripts which she continues to revise and rethink while she toils over the outline and first draft of her fourth project. She made her start in the writing world creating training and development manuals for team building. She is a lover of all things writing (fiction and non-fiction), in any form she can get it (audio recordings and the written word), for any age (from picture books to middle grade to young adult, new adult, and old adult). Her publishing credits include more than 50 humor essays which have appeared in numerous regional magazines and newspapers.
Francine joined the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and an affiliated critique group in 2005, co-directed the 2006 and 2007 SCBWI New England annual spring conferences, and has been an Assistant Regional Advisor for the New England chapter since 2009.
When not writing or obsessively checking off her to-do lists, Francine enjoys taking long walks on rural roads, digging in her flower gardens, baking, playing various musical instruments, and racing to finish her monthly book club selection. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband of twenty-five years, two teenagers and her New Adult feline writing companions, Sid and Cora.
PASSIONS: Family and friends, traveling, scribbling, gardening, walking, baking
LIFE MOTTO: “I’m fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.” (Quote by Leigh Standley of Curly Girl Design)
WRITING IS BETTER WITH: Sid and Cora (the family cats), dark chocolate, and a steaming mug of Celestial Seasons Morning Thunder or Harney & Sons Earl Grey Supreme
ONCE I’VE FINISHED WRITING, I ENJOY: Seltzer with lemon or a big, fat glass of Riesling (summer) or Pinot Noir (the rest of the year)
BON APPETIT: Francine believes food is mood and weather dependent, but she's never turned down mangoes or blackberries, grilled portabellas, eggplant parmigiana, her mom’s cream puffs, spinach artichoke dip, Georgia’s espinaca or Aunt Margaret’s pound cake, cinnamon rolls, or a good New York style cheesecake with cherries on top...to name just a few.
LIFE’S CONTINUOUS BATTLES: Claiming desk space (Cora loves to bask under the heat of the desk lamp or on top of the warm laptop), keeping her butt in the chair to finish a manuscript, managing the family schedule, and staying ahead of the weeds in her garden.
LISTEN UP! On the music front, Francine loves everything from jazz to current pop to new age to 80’s dance music. Dan Gilbson’s “Seaside Piano” usually kicks off her morning writing session, and when she's particularly stressed, Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” plays over and over--any season of the year--until the nerves and anxiety have settled.
WATCH OUT! Francine's favorite movies tend to be ones that make her laugh or leave her with a sense of hope and happiness, so the list is topped with Elf, The Wizard of Oz, The Help, The Book Thief, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Somewhat recent favorites are Cinderella, Bad Moms (because a woman needs a little senseless humor the day after she drops her first child at college), and Hidden Figures. Her DVR is programmed to record every last Modern Family and Black-ish; she was rather addicted to Downton Abbey in its day, and now she gets her "passionate period drama" fix with Poldark and The Crown.
READ ON: It’s an ever-changing list, but here are a few of Francine's favorite books:
The Thief in the Botanical Gardens by Diane Redfield Massie
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
Strega Nona by Tomie De Paolo
Why the Bananas Split by Rick Walton; illustrated by Jimmy Holder
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart; illustrated by David Small
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch; illustrated by Michael Martchenko
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf by Jon Scieszka; illustrated by Lane Smith
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. & John Archambault; illustrated by Lois Ehlert
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Pandora: Mythic Misadventures by Carolyn Hennesy (series)
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (series)
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
Blubber by Judy Blume
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going
The Liberation of Gabriel King by K.L. Going
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Life of Pi by Yan Martel
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (series)