20 Oct 2012

A tribute to a wonderful woman.

I've been meaning to write about my friendship with a woman from across the sea for ages. Work got in my way. Revisions, editing and a book launch all took time. But now, I have a moment. My words will take so much more.
Where should I start this tale? Place: England.
Five years ago, I joined the Internet Writing Workshop with what I thought was a finished novel, Still Rock Water. I'd taken several online classes on writing and wanted to learn more. I didn't even know how much work my writing would need to reach a publishing standard. But I found out with the help of many other writers who all looked at each other's work, chapter by chapter over the weeks, months, years.
One of those other writers: Edith Parzefall with her Strays of Rio, reached out to me from Germany with such sound, gentle assistance that we became good friends. On the internet, it doesn't matter how far apart anyone lives. With a time difference of only and hour, our communication was easy, whereas someone in America might need half a day to reply in cyberspace.
Both of our books are now published after years of work and many rejections.
Edith gave her help without counting the cost. She's marvelous with working out a plot and knowing where a scene should be added or when one should be removed because it's boring or not needed. What greater gift can one person give another than their time and patience? Everything else pales by comparison.
Her generosity extended to sharing marketing tips and materials.
You see, we wrote a series of four books together, starting several years ago. I came up with an idea of using my characters, who'd been reincarnated into a future world after the great flood destroyed civilization. I started the first novel with a young couple, who met after a tragic event. Edith Jumped in and introduced other characters. She took over the men--she's good with action.

Then she wove the two stories together until each group met at the end. She entwined the stories with such skill that nobody would know they started as separate stories. That's writing!
Double Dragon Publishing released the first book, Wind Over Troubled Waters, months ago. The other three novels will follow every six months. Look out for Knights in Dark Leather in November.
We've planned a meeting for over a year—after all, we're not too far apart. On each occasion, something got in the way. I feel I know Edith and I'm saving a big hug for when I meet her in the flesh.


  1. It's been a pleasure to exchange critiques with you, Francene. Many times you've helped me along the way with my solo books. Every writer should have a such a sensitive and encouraging reader at hand.

    Even more fun was creating the Higher Ground series together with you. I never imagined to write even one book with someone else until you lured me into Corn World of 2222. A wonderful journey over four books. I'm still amazed and grateful.

    One of these days, we'll meet. I'm saving an even bigger hug for you. :-)

  2. So true that "nobody would know [these books] started as separate stories." They're sewn together so magically! Knowing you two ladies--calling you my friends--is one of the biggest privileges of my life. :-)

  3. What a really nice tale of friendship and generosity in writing and across countries. Very neat and indeed, it sounds like you'll have to meet in person one of these days. At least to sign each other's books. Congrats to both of you and much success

  4. The IWW is such a wonderful community of writers, and Francene, you and Edith were both incredibly helpful as I worked my way through "Marina Melee" and then "Chupacabra." You both helped make the stories that much better. As you said, the internet makes distance irrelevant. When chatting online with the friends I've made their, I often forget that we've never met face-to-face.

  5. I was really impressed with Higher Ground because even with having seen some of Francene's work during my short time on IWW and having seen many of Edith's solo works in progress, I couldn't pick out who wrote what. It was all so seamless.

  6. From chapter one, I was there when you subbed Still Rock Water - and I couldn't wait for weekly installments. Yours was one of the first "whole novels" I read offlist, along with Lynne Hinkey's Marina Melee, Edith's Ruta 6 (now titled....?) and Amanda's Syzygy (then titled "To Be Human"). I loved meeting you all for the first time and even more, still being in contact with you. Rhonda and I talk daily, by phone or email. I raise my glass...er, coffee mug, right now...and say cheers to all of you!

  7. Beautiful post. This networking, meeting other writers who become friends, is a wonderful use of the internet. Though I'm no longer on IWW, I still have the friends I met there and the friends whom I met through those friends. :)

  8. Hi Francene .. I do hope this time the meeting works out and you get to spend some of that thing that is so precious "time" .. yet it seems the two of you obviously have what it takes to entwine successful stories ... sounds like a blogger meet made in heaven ... Have fun and lots of success to you both .. cheers Hilary

  9. Awww...Francene, you and Edith are two of my favorite people! So glad you two talented souls have come together to write such lovely novels! I'm blessed to know you both.


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