Reviewer Fran Lewis: Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters’ degrees and a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently. She is a member of Who’s Who of America’s Teachers and Who’s Who of America’s Executives from Cambridge. In addition, she is the author of three children’s books and a fourth Alzheimer’s book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey: Ruth’s story in honor of her mom. Fran hopes to create more awareness for a cure of Alzheimer. She was also the musical director for shows in her school and ran the school’s newspaper.  Fran writes reviews for authors upon request and for several other sites. You can read some of my reviews on http://Ezine.com and on ijustfinished.com under the name Gabina. Click Here To Listen to Fran’s Radio Show and Here







6 Responses

  1. MY interview with sally
    A writer’s blog

    Interview With Fran Lewis, Tween Author Of The Bertha Series June 3, 2009
    Filed under: Business advice, Writing — sallyhanan @ 12:31 am
    Tags: Bertha Speaks Out, Fran Lewis, get published, My Name Is Bertha, promote, published, series, write, write fiction, writer

    I recently interviewed Fran Lewis, author of the tween My Name is Bertha and Bertha Speaks Out. Fran is currently working on the third book in the series—Bertha Fights Back.

    What do you love about writing?
    Freedom of expression is important, and after retiring from teaching, I realized that there were many new things I could learn to do. I love writing because it allows me to express my true feelings about any subject I choose.
    Writing is an art. I have always loved writing poems, short stories, and reviewing books or short stories (that my friends would write, that they wanted an honest opinion about). Writing children’s stories is something that I am new at and hope to continue doing.
    So far, you have written two books and are on your third. This has become a trilogy, possibly a series. What is it about your main character, Bertha, that causes you to keep writing?
    The main character, Bertha, is really me. Bertha is smart, and she has her own unique voice and personality. She is overweight, as I was as a child, and is often the brunt of jokes, ridicule, and more. Her sister is always prettier, more agile, and able to do sporting activities like dancing and ice-skating. Bertha is still a total klutz, but she’s a klutz with a great sense of humor. Bertha’s father won’t let her play any sports that requires running. She’s allowed to play punch ball, but only on the condition that someone run for her.
    Bertha goes through many of the things you endured as an overweight child—how has writing about them helped you?
    In both of my books, Bertha learns to deal with her weight issues, mean teachers that treat her unfairly, and the persistent feeling that she is hiding in her sister’s shadow. In real life, my sister and I were always best friends, and I guess I never expressed how I really felt about being the outcast and the overweight, not so cute sister. I never realized how much I was affected by what I went through as a child and by what adults were doing to me (and others who were overweight) until I wrote these books.

    You went from heavy to skinny in a few months after years of fad diets and mantras. What was it that finally caused you to start losing the weight?
    I lost the weight when my doctor called me one morning and told me my cholesterol numbers were off the charts, and that I was eating all of the wrong foods. I realized that my Dad died because he was overweight and had diabetes and more. My mom had a stroke and now has Alzheimer’s disease. I did not want to have any health factors that would cause me to have any serious problems in my future if I could fix them by dieting.
    I never went on a fad diet, but I did try the heart healthy one and modified it with my own plan. I lost over 75 pounds in three years and will never gain them back again. I walk every day, and I never eat eggs, fried food, butter or red meat. I eat lots of fresh fruit, and I love to snack on grapefruit whenever I get great white or pink ones. I never went on a real diet, and I think that is why I lost the weight. I enjoy food that is good for me, and I have never felt better in my life.
    I would be happy to share my plan with anyone who wants to try it.
    Have you had many young girls contact you about their own embarrassment of weighing too much? What kinds of advice do you give them, besides, of course, telling them to buy your book!
    I have had girls at my book signings, family members, and sales people (in stores that I knew before I lost the weight) tell me how empowering my two books are; they mention how great it is that I am reaching out to help them understand that what you look like is not who you are as a person. I would tell girls:
    Do not let others make fun of you. Feel comfortable with the way you are, even with your extra weight; when you are ready and want to lose the weight, you will. I always explain to girls and adults that losing weight is hard and does not happen overnight. It can really be discouraging at first. When I finally realized that I needed to lose the weight or I’d have other problems, it took me 6 months to lose 3 pounds. My dad was overweight, and I guess I always took after him.
    I have never hurt or insulted anyone, ever, for the way they look or dress. I have gone into stores and been made to feel that I did not belong there because of my weight. I was told in one store that a plus-size store was just across the way and maybe I should shop there. I will not repeat what I told the salesperson. Let’s just say she was encouraged to work elsewhere. To this day, I will not shop in many of the stores where the sales people were rude to me. It is true that you are treated differently in many places because of how you look or whether you can wear particular styles or not. That is sad.
    I think that buying my book would help all kids understand what someone with a weight problem goes through. I welcome e-mails from girls and adults—I love to help them and tell them how I did it, and possibly give them other resources to help them start their own journey.
    What have you found to be the best selling method for your book?
    The best method of selling my book is a hard question. Wherever I go, I manage to tell people about my books. I am on so many sites and have been the featured author on many. I’ve even had an interview on live radio, but no matter now many sites a writer is on, if someone is not looking for that genre, it will not be sold. I could use some help with that. I have blogs, websites, and e-mail addresses. I have five star reviews on many sites, and my books were just reviewed by Online Stories Magazine by Wayne Walker for the July issue. I will take suggestions for this question.

    Your heart is that heavy girls will be helped through their pain in the crucial, formative years of puberty. Obviously, you have a lot of compassion for those who are hurting. Are there other areas of suffering in others’ lives that you would love to help ease?
    My mom has Alzheimer’s, and it has had a devastating impact on my life and my family’s life. She is in the last stages of the disease and is at home with split-shift home health aides. It is hard for me, because I have to monitor her care on a daily basis as well as give her the medications she needs twice a day.
    I am writing a book about how she dealt with the illness when she first learned she had it, and how she is now. The book will include research and information about the disease, websites to find more support, as well as original poems and stories that I and other members of my family wrote. There will be a dedication section and a good memories section. The dedication page will be for short sentences or paragraphs dedicated to anyone who wants to wish my mom well, and the good memories section will have post by relatives whose family members have, or had, the illness.
    To read more from Fran, you can find her here: kidsread.ning
    Fran also loves to read other genres and review unknown authors: gabina49.webs
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    Comments (3)

    3 Responses to “Interview with Fran Lewis, tween author of the Bertha series”
    June 3, 2009 at 8:48 am

    June 3, 2009 at 8:52 am
    I can’t wait to buy your books. It is great that you want to help so many children overcome their fear of being different. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

    fran lewis Says:
    June 3, 2009 at 1:51 pm
    Hi this is Fran Hi Marcia glad that you want to read more of my books. Bertha Fights Back will be out soon. It is a chapter book and it will deal with real life issues older children face in school today. fran

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  2. Oh rats. We have a really engaging and entertaining book for your review consideration, but after pouring over both of your blogs, we’re at a loss as to figure out how and where to submit. Might there be an email address you could share so that we could provide you with an overture letter?

    Please advise. And apologies for somehow overlooking how and where to direct our request.


    Kat Chang
    A Div. of CTE, LLC

  3. Hello Fran,
    I wonder if you might be interested in reviewing my novel, a 90,000 word medical suspense titled, The Art of Forgetting.

    Dr. Lloyd Copeland is a young neurologist who is tormented by the conviction that he has inherited the severe, early-onset dementia that has plagued his family for generations – the very disease which spurred his father to take his own life when Lloyd was just a child. Withdrawn to a life of emotional detachment, he looks for solace in hollow sexual trysts as a way to escape his throbbing loneliness. Still, he clings to the hope that the highly controversial treatment for memory loss he’s been researching will free him from his family’s curse.

    But when odd mishaps take place in his laboratory, his research is blocked by a hospital review board headed by Erin Kennedy: a beautiful medical ethicist with a link to his troubled childhood. The fight to salvage his reputation and recover the hope for his own cure brings him face to face with sordid secrets that rock his very self-identity. And to make matters worse, he finds himself falling irretrievably in love with the very woman who seems intent on thwarting his efforts.

    You can contact me by email at artofforgetting@gmail.com or at my website: http://theartofforgettingbook.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/coming-september-1-2013/

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best wishes,

  4. Hi Fran,

    My name is Phoebe Kemp, and I am working with musician, teacher and writer Clive Stocker to promote his new book “How to become a Confident Performer”. The book is jam packed full of hints and tips to help musicians to have enjoyable and stress free performances.
    I was wondering what is the best way to submit a book for review on your blog? Please check out the Confident Performer website(confidentperformer.co.uk) and get it touch if you would like to hear more about the book and consider it for review.
    Best wishes,
    Phoebe Kemp

  5. Hi Fran,
    I see Tova Ross was your aunt. I would love to share a few memories if you wish…
    Email me, David Miller
    PS 67 Class of ’62

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