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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Sometimes I Write when I'm not Writing about Other Writers by Fran Joyce

I’ve reviewed a lot of books and helped bring some very talented authors to the attention of my readers. It seems like I’ve been reading books and writing all my life. I started out reading whatever I could get my hands on. When I was in elementary school, our library had limited space, so the Bookmobile would come twice a month. Those were my two favorite days. I discovered Nancy Drew and Stuart Little, and I wanted to grow up to write one of those books on the shelves of this sanctuary on wheels. I started writing stories and poems on spare pieces of paper I managed to liberate from my school supplies, and while most of my class grumbled, I lived for each writing assignment.

I started writing seriously about eleven years ago, but I was sidelined by a cancer diagnosis and the subsequent break up of my marriage. After I completed treatment, I took a break from writing query letters about my first project to write, Dancing in the Rain, which chronicles my journey through breast cancer treatment and the experiences of four other breast cancer survivors.

Terry Kish wrote an article about my self-published memoir which brought Kim Epp Frenette, the founder of the e-journal, Wise Women into my life. Kim offered me a spot on her writing and editing team. She became my mentor and friend. From there, I was recruited to be the content coordinator and writer for three local publications.

Interviewing and writing for these publications helped hone my writing and editing skills, but left me little time to work on my own projects. In 2016, I decided it was time to dust off my first manuscript. After some helpful guidance from Ann Howley, I made revisions and decided to self-publish.

I like self-publishing because I can set my own prices and remain in control of the project. I hate self-publishing because my work does not have the clout of a publishing house behind it, and I have to do my own marketing and pay for it myself. Also, my book is part of a sea of work that may or may not merit publishing.

His Life’s Work is a mystery thriller. Jonas Walker was a pillar of his community for over 70 years until he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and had to be admitted to a long term senior care facility. He was a devoted husband and father, active member of his church, and a Boy Scout leader. It was the perfect life… but his diaries tell a different story.

Is Jonas Walker a serial killer or a frustrated writer?  He claims to have taken souvenirs of his kills…pieces of jewelry given to his wife. Armed with his diaries and these trinkets, private investigators CeCe Lawrence and Daniel Lundqvist are in a race against time to find the truth. Will their investigation ruin an innocent man’s reputation and destroy his family, or will it bring justice for his victims and closure to their families?

When it becomes clear Jonas couldn’t have committed the last murders, CeCe and her colleagues must find the second killer before CeCe becomes the next victim.

My protagonist, CeCe, is a work in progress. Everyone battles insecurities at some time, but two popular female character types don’t. One confidently rocks skinny jeans. She eats and drinks whatever she wants without ever exercising or gaining a pound, and she never needs more than lip gloss to be picture perfect. The other is an unapologetic plus size. While it’s great to show strong women who are confidant and comfortable with their bodies, I wanted CeCe, like the rest of us, to struggle to get there.

CeCe is smart and beautiful, but damaged. She is a compulsively neat perfectionist recovering from an eating disorder and a failed marriage. According to her mother Vivian, “Beautiful things happen to beautiful people.” CeCe is constantly trying to find the hidden flaw that keeps her from being beautiful.

This book deals with a serious subject, and it has some mature content and language.

His Life’s Work and Dancing in the Rain: Surviving Breast Cancer and Learning to Embrace Life are available on Please visit and like my author’s Facebook page, Frances G. Joyce. I am on Twitter as FrancesGJoyce. If you like my book, please consider writing a review on Amazon or Goodreads. I will keep you posted about upcoming book signings. You can also contact me at

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