About the Author
I'm thrilled to tell you that I sold my novel NAKED to Tyrus Books. This is my first novel for an adult audience.
Tyrus describes NAKED as "The Time Traveler's Wife" meets "Midnight in Paris." It will be out November 2013.
My son Tom Franco created the image for the cover and interior drawings of sculptures by Rodin and Camille Claudel. Drawing copyright Tom Franco 2013.
See Future Books/Events on this site for signing dates. Hope to see you there.
"The Time Traveler's Wife meets Midnight in Paris"
--San Jose Mercury News
"a seamless blend of fiction, biography, and contemporary culture"
-- Publisher's Weekly
Buy tickets for FACEOFF: TYRANNY VS RESISTANCE, Sept. 28, 6:30, Local Shorts Program
See poster and description at link above.
Are you looking for a 1 to 2 minute monologue, or do you know someone who is? I wrote the monologues, James filmed them for an art installation, and Tom designed the cover.
Teens in high school and college have already landed parts using the pieces! Perfect for a holiday gift!
Click this link to see the trailer, photos of James filming the monologues, and purchasing info for "21 Monologues for Teen Actors" at www.21monologues.com.
"Breakfast Club meets A Chorus Line" is how I describe it.
Check out my new page: "Guide, Metamorphosis" is a reader's guide to the novel, Metamorphosis, Junior Year. If you're interested in performing the play, just contact me. Photos from the play are included on the new page.
2 knees + 2 knees = 4 knees"
"Franco's rhymes swing effortlessly along with the animals' play..." - Publisher's Weekly
My blog has some photos from events on Oscars' weekend. Also some photos of my play, METAMORPHOSIS, JUNIOR YEAR, which premiered at the Palo Alto Children's Theatre.
Brilliance Audio recorded my novel Metamorphosis, Junior Year, and my sons James and Dave are the readers! They're spot on, of course. Click to hear.
What an experience to stage the play of my novel, "Metamorphosis, Junior Year." Click here to read about it.
The Palo Alto Children's Theater is putting on a play of my novel, Metamorphosis, Junior Year, in March 2011. Currently, I'm getting feedback from the teens who are workshopping scenes from the play I wrote and creating animated visuals of my son Tom's drawings.
As an added bonus, my son James is producing the documentary of the making of the play. I love teens, and the whole thing is very dynamic and collaborative. James even mentioned the novel on Jay Leno--they got some good laughs out of it.
The comedy troupe I belong to, Suburban Squirrel, finished filming our sketches in front of a live audience. I wrote and acted in two of the sketches. The laughing brought it to a new level.
I had a peak experience acting with my son James on General Hospital. Thank goodness I've been taking classes in acting on both stage and film at Stanford Continuing Ed. for six years.
When A Curious Collection of Cats was announced as an honor winner for the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award this year, I couldn't have be more surprised and thrilled. It certainly wouldn't have happened without my illustrator Michael Wertz!
More fun news: Zero Is the Leaves on the Tree was a nominee for the Northern California Book Awards, and...it won the Northern California Independent Booksellers Award for best illustrated children's book in 2009. My illustrator is Shino Arihara!
"The cool teen narrator, Ovid, may be on Facebook or texting his high-school friends in northern California, but he also recognizes the parallels between his life and classical mythology..." - Booklist
"Ovid captures it all in his private notebook filled with prose entries in realistic teenspeak, beautifully crafted poems that provide a back story and surreal black-line illustrations that the author's son reworked from his own high-school notebooks..." - Kirkus Review
The San Francisco Chronicle ran a wonderful article about my YA novel, Metamorphosis, Junior Year and how all three of my sons collaborated on it.
My son Tom and I are going to host more open mics for teens. I'll keep you posted. We had a wonderful event and open mic at Hicklebee's Books.
Take a look at more of my picture books and poetry collections below...
Review from Fuse8, School Library Journal said:
"Thirty-two poems cover every aspect of all things cat. From their tendency to attack feet from within paper bags to their dislike of leashes to their less than brave encounters with the native squirrel population...
Complementing her efforts is debut illustrator Michael Wertz who captures perfectly not only the feline physique and manner, but also its attitude, quirks, and personality.
To my mind, Franco really has a keen sense of how to make a poem interesting and like nothing you’ve ever encountered in a children’s poetry book before."
In the ABC Catalog of best books of 2009, chosen by independent booksellers
"...fresh and dynamic...steady rhythm and a sense of humor...playful tone." --Horn Book
"A cheeky romp through elementary school children's academic and social lives..." --Kirkus
On Booklist's list of lasting books of 2009
"Franco's words scan with an irresistible beat that will invite participation..." Booklist
Like Franco's Mathematickles, this is another fine addition to the growing number of books that make math concepts both enjoyable and memorable."
- School Library Journal
"Zero is absolutely brilliant!" - Valerie Lewis, Hicklebee's Bookstore
On Kirkus' list of best books of 2009
I've been painstakingly revising my latest YA novel. Can't tell you the subject yet.
I've gotten into comedy these days--writing and acting in SNL-type sketches with a comedy troupe, Suburban Squirrel, that's an offshoot from my Stanford drama class. My son James even mentioned us on Letterman--twice! We've given two performances, and we're hoping to eventually be online. And...Judd Apatow's crew came over to film a comic video I wrote. It was so much fun, I'm moving to LA to become an actor...just kidding. But, honestly, it did get me a Hollywood audtion, which James also mentioned on Letterman. Some people have asked about that: I didn't get the part but had an amazing time doing it.
My latest classes have been in Acting on Film with Marty Pistone at Stanford and Improv with Melanie Chartoff. They both help me with my writing.
I've written over eighty books for children and young adults—picture books, poetry collections, and nonfiction. I also write young adult novels and compile anthologies of teenage writing from across the country and around the world. I particularly love to show how exciting, sassy, and creative math can be, and how wise, honest, and insightful teenagers can be. I live in Palo Alto, California, with my husband Douglas. We have three sons, James, Thomas, and Dave--two actor/writers and a sculptor/illustrator.
My publishers include Candlewick Press, Margaret K. McElderry/Simon & Schuster, Tricycle Press, Scholastic, Harcourt, Grolier Children's Press, and Charles E. Tuttle. See featured books on this Web site. Other books include:
Conversations with a Poet, Richard C. Owen Publishers, consists of my personal philosophy about writing and teaching poetry, along with samples and guidelines for writing 16 poetry forms "...must-have 21st century pathway to poetry..." Lee Bennett Hopkins
See www.rcowen.com for ordering. (see image to left)
Night Is Gone, Day Is Still Coming, stories and poems by American Indian teenagers and young adults, Candlewick Press
Math Poetry, Goodyear Books, Arizona Book Award for best educational book
My Pinkie Finger, Grolier Children's Press
Counting Caterpillars and Other Math Poems, Scholastic
See www.booksense.com and www.amazon.com for a more complete listing.
For school visits, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Betsy Franco inspires trust in the various people she meets in the course of her work as writer, poet, and anthologist."
"very gifted and inspirational as a teacher of young children..."
El Carmelo Elementary School
"You were a big hit with my students."
"I really liked it when you said you like working with teens."
"You were very inspiring and your dedication to art is a great influence to me with my music."
Los Altos High School
"It was very inspirational...I found it helpful because I'm an artistic person and I plan to live my life in an artistic way."
Stephanie, Palo Alto High School