Q. Hi Francine! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.
A. Hi Shana. I write an LGBT series called the Everyday Family Series. It’s different from a lot of LGBT books because it focuses not on the gay parents, themselves, but on the kids living within those families.
I use this quote on the back of my book, sort of as my mission statement for the series as a whole. It’s what drives me to write these books: “Educating children about diversity at a young age will teach a new generation to be kinder and more accepting.” -Francine Lauriano
I try to write current-day, realistic stories that accurately represent children in LGBT families, in order to show them that they are just like everyone else. My first book in the series, called Odd Jobs, is about a young boy who’s encouraged to find a way to make some money so he can buy something he wants. He learns a few lessons about how hard work can pay off in the end. This is a lesson that can be valuable to every child, no matter what type of family they might come from, and the book points out the likenesses between kids, rather than the differences.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thanks.~Rosco’s Reading Room
I currently reside in New Jersey with my wife and children. I started writing when my youngest was about 2 years old, just as a hobby. At some point, I decided I really liked writing for kids, and I have been writing for about ten years now, give or take. I took a creative course to learn the craft of writing better. Eventually I returned to college and graduated with a BA in English/Creative writing.
When I started doing this, I found that there are many stories that represent gay parents, and so forth, but there is not much focusing on the children of same sex families. My series focuses simply on the children whose parents happen to be gay.
Odd Jobs: Trevor wants a new bike but his moms suggest and encourage him to find a way to earn the money. Can Trevor find a way to earn enough money to buy the new bike? Will the bike still be there if he earns enough money?
Q. Great concept for a book and a series. Can you tell us something about your latest success?
A. Well, I am not sure this counts as success, but one night, after working one of those super long days when you feel like the day is never going to end, I came home from work, got ready for bed, and had a bite to eat, but was wide awake from being over-tired. I popped onto Facebook when I received a notification from someone who purchased my book. Their review brought tears to my eyes when I read the amazing feedback they gave me. I felt renewed energy to keep writing more books like Odd Jobs that represent children in LGBT families.
Q. That’s fantastic. I think that definitely counts as success. Can you tell us what your biggest challenge is?
A. My biggest challenge is constantly being rejected for not being diverse enough or gay enough. What I mean by this is that the books are not focused on the identity of the parents. Instead my books focus on the children, themselves, who happen to have gay parents. And most of the places that I attempted to get published wanted to focus on the identity of the gay parents themselves. They weren’t interested in the concept.
It was very discouraging and hard to stay positive at times. But after enough of it, I decided to self-publish. Now, I find that promoting Indie books is hard enough, never mind LGBT family-friendly picture books. 😉
Q. That really does sound like a challenge. What plans do you have for the future, in terms of writing?
A. I would like to try my hand at freelancing. I plan to continue to get my stories out there even if I have to continue to self publish them. After taking some time off recently, I’m ready to get back into writing again.
Q. I hope you do. I’m sure your readers are eager for the next book in the series. Where can people keep up with you and buy your books?
And please take a look at my Book Trailer for Odd Jobs.
You can purchase autographed, printed copies here: https://francinelaurianobooks.wordpress.com/new-releases/
And please pop on over to my website: https://francinelaurianobooks.wordpress.com/
This is why I keep writing – when people leave reviews like this:
“Dear Francine, We received our 2 copies of your new book tonight by mail, and ceremoniously read it together, with my wife reading to our 2 kids. I’m a transman, and I’ve been a stepmom in my previous life, and we are embedded in the queer community whenever possible. We LOVED your book, for the artwork, the storyline (lost her fight with her garden hose, Trevor crying even though he’s a big boy, the ending (I loved it!), the various ethnicities present in a queer family, and more. Our kids are 5.75 and 3. Our 3 yr old son asked why he had two moms. Easily explained. He just does. And some people have…. and so on, or no moms and dads but aunts and uncles… Great job! Keep up the great work, fellow Jerseyan!… PS. We are having Fall Family LGBTQ storytime as part of our Pride School Atlanta, Inc. Info meeting next week- we’ll certainly be reading it aloud! And I’ll part with a second copy if i can bear it!”
Thanks for being here, Francine, and we wish you all the very best with your series. And thanks, everyone, as always, for reading.