Frances Hern

Favourite Quotes:

"I want a poem as happy with itself as a dog can be." Richard Harrison.


"When one does a thing it appears good, otherwise one would not write it. Only later comes reflection and one discards or accepts the thing. Time is the best censor and patience a most excellent teacher." Fryderyk Chopin.

"Luck is when opportunity meets preparation."  Robert Dugoni. 

"Poetry is not a thing you get, it's a thing that gets you."  Winnie-the-Pooh.

"When the first-rate author wants an exquisite heroine or a lovely morning, he finds that all the superlatives have been worn shoddy by his inferiors. It should be a rule that bad writers must start with plain heroines and ordinary mornings, and, if they are able, work up to something better."

F Scott Fitzgerald.

"A library is a storehouse of medicine for the mind." Leslie Zampetti.




Near Tolkien Territory in Birmingham, England


How I came to live in Canada:

I moved here for a year with my husband who is a petroleum reservoir engineer. That was in 1973! We've lived in Canada ever since.


What I wanted to be aged 10:

A librarian in the old library at Perry Barr where I lived. I can still recall its unique smell of books, polish and leather and the hushed church-like quiet inside. I thought that date-stamping and re-shelving books must be the best job in the world.


What I wanted to be aged 20:

A research laboratory technician in the genetics department at Birmingham University. This was interesting and fun. On sunny afternoons, if I wasn't busy, I helped a friend catch grasshoppers in the nearby fields (for research into chromosome mapping). I got quite good at catching them in my cupped hands – a skill that came in handy when a daughter acquired three hungry, juvenile stick insects.


What I wanted to be aged 30:

A mother. I have one son and two daughters.


What I wanted to be aged 40:

A writer. I think I'd wanted to be this all along but this is when I found out and it began to seem possible. I still love to write. In fact I start to have withdrawal symptoms if I go for more than 3-4 days without writing something.


Favourite childhood books:

The Famous Five and Secret Seven books by Enid Blyton

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Carbonel by Barbara Sleigh

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne


Early teenage favourites:

War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

The Day of the Triffids and other titles by John Wyndham

Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Historical novels by Nigel Tranter

Regency romances by Georgette Heyer

Contact at:
FrancesHern a-t FrancesHern d-o-t ca