Meet the author: Frances Watts

  • 4 min read

Frances Watts lo res.jpeg

I was born in the city of Lausanne, in Switzerland, and moved to Sydney, Australia –where I live now – when I was three. I have had 21 books published, ranging from picture books to books for teens.

When you were my age, did you like to read?
I have always loved to read. Always! From the moment I first held a book in my hands, I was hooked.

What was your favorite story?
Two of my favorite books then (and still among my favorites today) were The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. I’ve always loved books about animals, and nature, and friendship.

How do you get your ideas?
Ideas can come from anywhere. The Sword Girl series was inspired by a medieval castle near Lausanne that I often visit when I travel to Switzerland. I have also felt inspired to share my own interests with others (I have written a picture book called Parsley Rabbit’s Book about Books, which is all about…books!). I’ve even had ideas just walking down the street. The idea for myy first book, a picture book called Kisses for Daddy, came to me when I overheard a dad asking his young son for a kiss and the boy responded: ‘No! No kiss for Daddy!’ I always carry a notebook and pen wherever I go, so if I see or hear something interesting, I can write it down straight away.


Is it hard to write a book?
It is hard to do it well. I always take a lot of care with my books, writing several drafts and editing and rereading my writing to make sure it is good as it can possibly be – and that’s before I even show my stories to a single other person. But it is also very rewarding. For someone who loves books and stories as much as I do, it is the best job in the world.

Do you have a favorite among the books you have written?
I really do love them all, so I couldn’t choose a favorite. But I can tell you that the Sword Girl books are some of my favorite books to share with kids – and you actually mentioned the reason for this in your review, Bridget. The books are loved by both girls AND boys…because Tommy is awesome! I am so happy to see boys enjoying stories about awesome girls and seeing just how awesome girls are. It’s important to me to have strong, brave girls in my books who are also thoughtful and kind.

Will there be more Sword Girl stories? I really want to know if she becomes a squire!
There are no more stories planned right now…but I do believe Tommy will become a squire. (Me too!)

What author do you really like right now?
At the moment I am really loving the work of author/illustrator Jon Klassen. His new book, We Found a Hat, is so funny and clever. It is a perfect picture book, where both the words AND the pictures tell the story.

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?
If you want to be a writer, it is so important to be a reader first, and to read as much as you can. That is the best way to learn what makes a great story, and you can use that knowledge when you write your own stories. And reviewing books, like you do, is a really wonderful next step – it means you are really thinking about what you read. Your blog is fantastic, Bridget – congratulations!

Leave a Reply