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Frances Macaulay Forde

Born in 1950 in Blyth, Northumberland, UK my parents took me to the middle of Africa when I was 4 and a half. Before we travelled, I had nightmares of crocodiles swimming underneath our rondavel on stilts with enormous spiders all over the round walls! The reality was exactly the opposite and I could not have had a happier upbringing until war broke out. The place I worked when I was a carefree 18 year old was blown up (BP Kitwe) so my parents put me on the next plane to Yorkshire and nursing in Harrogate General. 18 months away from home and I fell under the spell of a British solider (ironic?) who broke my heart. I limped home and worked for Dad in between seven years of working holidays in UK. Again, a broken heart made me run away to Australia where I met and married a bronzed Aussie. Two children and divorce saw me start again on my own - a lesson which lasted 17 years! Then the man who broke my heart in Africa saw my name on the net, spent 9 months convincing me we should meet again and flew on his silver charger to claim my heart again. I knew, the moment he hugged me, we were meant to be together so I flew back to Ireland with him for 14 months. We returned to Perth Australia in 2003 to marry with my family and friends at sunset, on Hillarys Boat Harbour. All my dreams have come true. I'm now a writer for page, stage and screen living happily on the Sunset Coast of Western Australia. One of my writing projects is our love story... so stay tuned :o)) Photos and more about my writing on my website:

Story: Solophyst


Each week authors will be given a new question to answer which will lend additional insight into their story and writing process. Do you have a question you'd like to see the authors answer? Tweet it to @aNextAuthor!

What is the best writing advice you've ever heard?
"Once you know the rules, then you can break them." Years later, I still consider the rules very carefully and whether the piece I'm working on is strong enough to ‘break the rules’.
When you start a new story do you prepare an outline in advance or do you just jump right in?
Often it’s an image or a song which inspires a poem first. Using that brevity of words required for poetry needs a very clear vision. It forces me to know what I really want to say and gives me a structure to re-write it into a larger format.
How do you deal with writing criticism, apart from just ignoring it?
Firstly, I never ignore criticism - even the negative is useful. Hopefully, the critic supplies constructive analysis or at the very least their considered response to my writing which is all of value.
America's Next Author has been running for almost 8 weeks. If you could re-submit now, would you change anything about your story?
Yes, I thought my contemporary take on 'Madame Bovary' would do. Quote: ‘But she could hardly persuade herself that the quietness of her present life was the happiness of her dreams.’ (Flaubert, C. Madame Bovary, p.53) Obviously not.


Alyce Wilson

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This is a good of "just desserts," where the woman must reap what she sows. The beginning was a little hard to follow, with the shifting narrative perspective. I was actually less interested in it when it seemed more like a flowery romance than I was when it began to get more real. Then, it really captured my attention.

A L Motsy

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I enjoyed your story. I think it could be expanded into something longer. It was well written and kept me reading.


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Nice story. Thanks for the critique!

Susan Gale Wickes

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An interesting take on marital bliss. I, too, would have enjoyed a little more action but I do believe a lot of thought went into the development of this story. It didn't hold my attention quite as much as I would have liked, but it has its merits.

Jester Queen

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I enjoyed the characterization of Michelle, and the way her disappointment and fantasy life developed until the two pushed her forward into bad choice after bad choice. I would have enjoyed a little more action to convey the story's events, but the characters were credible and the outcome well foreshadowed.

Lisa Rose

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If you start a marriage with a lie, it will probably end with one. This story just goes to show you that manipulation is a two-way street. When you have the time, would you review my story Drift Away and let me know what you think?


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Good story, and well written. Looking forward to the next story.


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Really enjoyed reading..a sequel would be good, did Michelle find a way to bring harmony back into her unhappy life?


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A great read, shows how easly your life can spiral out of control


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I really liked this story. Well written description of the selfish route to reaching for greener grass, and the comeuppance.


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Fabulous. Main character is a relatable anti-hero. Loved the references to modern Perth & it's suburban cultural ideals.


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I loved this story cant wait for more. Awesomeee


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Exellent, wonderful prose looking forward to more


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I enjoyed this story immensley

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December 18th, 2012
The winner of America's Next Author 2012 has been announced! [...]
December 7th, 2012
Questions and answers about the Battle Round. [...]
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America's Next Author is the first social writing contest. Friends, family, fans and publishing industry experts will read authors' submissions and nominate their favorite to be America's next major author. Everyone can participate!