Interview | Francis Ray

Francis, describe yourself for our visitors.

I’m a housewife, mother, and author. I graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a degree in nursing and a minor in sociology/psychology. Presently I’m employed by a large independent school district as a School Nurse Practitioner.  My hobbies include reading and gardening.  I love flowers as anyone who has read any of my books can tell.  My musical taste usually run to soft and romantic.

While researching my first mainstream novel THE TURNING POINT (later reissues as TROUBLE DON’T LAST ALWAYS) about an abused housewife, I was horrified to learn that my home state leads in domestic violence deaths.  To help women leave abusive and dangerous situations, I established the Turning Point Legal Fund to assist women with legal fees.  I give a portion of each royalty check to the fund that is administered by The Family Place, a women’s shelter. Anyone who purchases one of my books is helping a woman who can’t help herself.   

How do you find time to connect with God?

Just as you make time for all things important, you have to put God at the top of the list. This month my church, Concord Church, is having a 21 day Daniel fast for that very purpose.  We live busy lives, but we shouldn’t forget what is the most important.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

Jacquelin Thomas – REDEMPTION, Francine Rivers – REDEEMING LOVE., Bette Ford – AN EVERLASTING LOVE, Donna Hill- WICKED WAYS

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I read a wonderful book that showed true love.  Despite the many problems the couple faced, they stayed monogamous.  I wanted to write a similar story that celebrated real love and devotion – to love a person in spite of.  I joined a writer’s group, joined a critique group and began to learn about writing – character, motivation, plotting and all the factors that make a good book.  It took me five years to sell a short story to a confession magazine, and another two to sell that first novel on December 24, 1991.  FALLEN ANGEL was published by Odyssey Books in October, 1992.  Since then I have 37 titles in print.

Tell us about your current book?

Widow Traci Evans sits in on meetings with the lovely ladies of the Invincible Sisterhood because for a little while she can feel as if she  belongs. The members are all sweet older women who have lost their  husbands, but not their passion for life. However, unlike the other  women in the Sisterhood, Traci’s husband died while cheating on her.  Traci has no intention of letting a man make a fool of her again. Not  even if he begged. Even her newfound friend and neighbor, Maureen
Gilmore, can’t convince her to open her heart to love again. But when  Maureen’s gorgeous son Ryan admits he’s attracted to Traci, she might
have to rethink everything she knows about love. Maureen has some soul  searching to do as well. She’s interested in a young  policeman…and then the unthinkable happens, she starts having hot  flashes

Two women – two impossible situations.

NOT EVEN IF YOU BEGGED in stores January 24, 2008

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

I wanted to celebrate friendship and widowhood.  Unfortunately, several women in my neighborhood have lost their husbands.  However, they are still active in church and civic groups.  This story is to commend them for their courage and faith.  I also wanted to say that beautiful, intelligent, successful and strong women come in all shapes and sizes.

List your three most recent books.

  • ONLY YOU
  • IN ANOTHER MAN’S BED
  • IRRESISTIBLE YOU

What’s next for you?

Hopefully more books.  THE WAY YOU LOVE ME, a romance is scheduled for August 2008, I just finished another romance about NASCAR,  and I start this week on a untitled mainstream about a woman whose husband leaves her for a younger woman, then he gets hurt and has to move back home.  Should be an interesting book to write.

Where can visitors find you online?

www.francistay.com is my web site.  I also have a MySpace page at myspace.com/francisray