Dorothea Benton Frank

You’ve asked me to tell you why I write but I think the answer might be longer than the fifty or one hundred words you’ve allotted me. In the beginning of my career I wrote to understand what I was feeling at that time. I was motherless and bereft. I had stopped working to raise my children and was without an income, so in so many ways, I had no power over my future. And finally, I felt like my voice didn’t matter. I became very angry and frustrated and because no one listened to me or wanted to hear about the grief I carried, I retreated to the familiar, that is, I began to write my story down on paper. Writing gave me the release I didn’t even know I needed and I realized very early on that it left me with a kind of satisfaction I could not find in any other career. People wrote to me and told me they identified with my stories and the way I viewed life at that time. They told me my novels made them laugh out loud or that certain parts of my writing made them weep. I was connecting with a larger world than I had known before and I began to feel better. So I stuck with it. Over time my focus has changed. Now I write to learn and I write to entertain. I write about things that impact my world, the world of my children or about issues that bother me. If something bothers me or worries me I hope that my readers feel the same way. So hopefully, my novels start a discussion that brings about greater understanding, more tolerance, and maybe even solutions. I have found that good friends and a shared healthy sense of humor make the heartbreaks of life more bearable.

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