Welcome to Birds and Books: Writer S.J. Francis

Today I'm pleased to interview S.J. Francis and introduce you to her debut novel, Shattered Lies, published by Black Opal Books. 

 The purpose of these questions is to allow your readers to get to know your protagonist on a deeper level, so here goes:
It’s time to get your protagonist, Kate Thayer, out of her comfort zone, if life as a veterinarian even has a comfort zone. You want to present her with a challenge and you’ve given her the following choices: climb Mount Everest; run a Marathon; trek across the Sierra Desert with a tribe of nomads; or sail around the world alone. Which would she choose?
SJ: Knowing Kate, she’d choose to sail around the world alone. As an independent strong woman, she’s quite comfortable with herself. I can see her packing up her sailboat with tons of books for her to read. She’d probably take her cat along that she rescued, and her cell phone to keep in touch with her grandmother.

If Kate could live in another time period, which would she choose and why?
SJ: I’d have to guess that if Kate could live in another time period, it would have been before the Civil War. But she wouldn’t need the war to free slaves. She wouldn’t have any, or if she did, she would free them herself, simply because it was the right thing to do. She doesn’t consider herself better than anyone else. She cares for everyone.

If Kate could change anything in her life, what would it be and why?
SJ: If Kate could change anything in her life, I’d have to say that it would be to go back in time in order that she could change the way her life turned out.

What do you and Kate have in common?
SJ: Kate and I share a deep love for animals. Saving them and speaking up for them and whatever else it takes to make them safe.

If you and Kate had an argument, who would win and why?
SJ: Undoubtedly I would. I have a stronger personality and wouldn’t back down no matter what.

What’s in store for Kate in your next adventure?
SJ: Without giving anything away, we’ll see what happens in her newfound relationships. What will happen? Will they survive the secrets and lies?

She knew that bigotry existed, but she had never experienced it quite

 like this before…

     Kate couldn’t say anything for a moment. She was just too astonished. “Wh—what? Excuse me? What you did you say?”

     The other boy with brown hair spoke, “Sorry, miss.” He giggled too. “You have to excuse my friend. He’s a little drunk.”

     “How old are you two?”

     They didn’t look older than eighteen, and had acne breakouts on their cheeks, but she knew better than anyone that looks could be deceiving.

     “We’re old enough,” the rude one said.

      Sam returned just as the rude one spoke again and pointed, “Hey look, it’s the Jolly Giant Nigger.”

     Kate shot to her feet so that she was between Sam and them.

     A porter was with Sam. “Is there a problem, miss?”

     “Yes,” she said without facing him. “We’d like to change our seat.”

     “Of course, Sam asked too. We have another place for you over here, if you both come with me.”

     Kate moved to leave. The two young men said nothing, which was a good thing. She swore she could feel her blood boiling in her veins. If they said one more thing…

     Sam stood aside to let her exit and then she heard the young man. “Goodbye now, Uncle Tom.” Giggling. “Enjoy your meal, Uncle Tom, so nice to see you.” More giggling. “Dumb nigg—”

     He didn’t have a chance to finish. Kate snatched the water glass from the table, threw the water at him, slammed the empty glass down hard on the table directly in front of him, and glared into his eyes. “You disgust me! It’s people like you who have turned this world into shit!”
S. J. Francis is a freelance writer with over three hundred publication credits, a University Lecturer with doctorates in English, Mass Communications and Law, and most recently, a novelist. Francis writes for many publications, as well as regularly contributing to the local newspaper. Francis’ background also encompasses working as a television producer. A frequent traveler, Francis has resided in thirteen states and three countries. A confirmed bibliophile, when not writing Francis can be found reading a good book, or spending time in the outdoors. Francis currently lives in Mississippi, where a major part of Shattered Lies takes place—but grew up in New York City, where the latter portion occurs—and has a great respect and fondness for both places, and considers the world a notebook full of endless ideas. Francis’ first novel, Shattered Lies is a women’s fiction/mainstream/family saga novel. The family dynamic is a never ending source of ideas and Shattered Lies is no exception. As in all the stories Francis writes, in the end, it’s all about family. Future projects include a sequel to Shattered Lies and a novel about the dynamic relationships in Hollywood. Shattered Lies will be released by Black Opal Books in 2015.
Special note from S.J.
In honor of the launch of Shattered Lies, I’m offering a giveaway for someone to win a printed copy. To all those who leave a comment here today, or those that contact me at my website, you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a personally autographed copy of my debut novel, Shattered Lies. Two copies are available giving two of you a chance to win.

Just leave a comment here or go to my website and drop me a line with “Giveaway” in subject line at:


 Good luck and thanks so much for stopping by. It was my pleasure to spend time with you. Thank you so much, Kathleen for hosting me. It's always my pleasure to connect with other authors and readers.

FYI: The drawing will take place at the end of my blog tour on Saturday, December 12, 2015. I will contact the winner at that time to request your mailing address to send you the printed copy of Shattered Lies.
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