Storytime for Grownups – Author Spotlight: Christina Francine, ‘Special Memory’

Since we partnered with Waldorf Publishing, we have brought you insight into authors and poets, storytellers and biographers. Today, however, we bring you into the person behind a special sort of book, a picture book.

1cChristina Francine is an enthusiastic author of a variety of work for all ages. When not weaving tales or cultivating medicinal herbs, she teaches academic writing at the college level. She also is a licensed elementary teacher. Her picture book, Special Memory, is currently available to pre-order at Amazon and her leveled Reader, Mr. Inker, available in January 2020. Published works at Journal of Literacy Innovation, Joyful Child, Fjord Review, Internet Review of Science Fiction, ForeWord Reviews, MidWest Book Review, and Vegetarian Teen. She also believes raising her two daughters is the best thing she has ever done. Christina is a member of the Hamburg Writer’s Group and of the Buffalo-Niagara Children’s Writers & Illustrators (BNCWI). 

1) How did you get your start in the literary world? I first fell in love with writing stories in 4th grade and later pursued it seriously when my daughters were little. I also began writing information articles and over 250 book reviews for authors and publishers.


2) Can you tell us a little more about what you do? My love of writing and of making a difference in young people’s lives led me to teaching academic writing at the college level. I wanted to work with yet another variety of writing. I teach students how to write different styles of essays, do research, and cite that research in an essay. I utilize the 5 Writing Steps that consist of:


  1. Prewriting
  2. Writing
  3. Revision
  4. Editing
  5. Publishing


My thesis on the state of American students’ writing revealed levels not where they could or should be. Writing is a part of literacy. Without literacy, we become easy to mislead and to deceive. Journal of Literacy Innovation published my research Spring 2016.


The title of my work is:

“Students’ Writing Can Be Better: Encouragement and Time to Pursue Self Leads to Engagement and Better Writing, Resulting in Possible Increased Writing Levels Nationally”


Readers can read it here:


3) What is your favorite part about being an author? Writing is hard work and yet amazing. It is fun using my imagination and a great feeling to know I might have made a difference in reader’s lives.


4) How do you get your inspiration? My imagination has been big ever since I was a little girl. What a blast I had inventing and imagining. Play without pretending would never have been fun. An active imagination prevented boredom. I worry young people don’t exercise those much today. The world has many problems that need outside of the box ideas. The world needs helpful inventors.


There are a few tricks I use today to ignite my resourcefulness. One of them is listening to music. Another idea generator are my dreams. Some of my best stories come from those when I’m sleeping. Whole stories are played out sometimes when I’m slumbering.


5) Of all the characters you’ve created, which one would you like to see come alive on the silver screen? This is a hard decision because there are a few. If I had to choose one though, I’d say Asima, Dreamkeeper of Earth’s Children. She is the main character in a fantasy novel I’m working on. She is on a quest to see if true love not only exists, but also can endure time if it does.


6) What is the funniest thing to happen to you in your career? I see the words people speak, or those I speak as a kind of imaginary sentence in the air. No kidding. If someone yells, I see an explanation mark. If someone uses their in a sentence referring to something that belongs to them, I see their written in my mind’s eye and not one of the others such as “there,” or “they’re.” I know, writing has affected the way I hear and see, right?


7) Can you tell us a bit about your book? Special Memory is a playful, feel good story that suggests using positive memories to help in times of stress and difficulties. Positive memories can then provide strength and remind us “good” times will happen again.


Fiery five-year-old Emily is semi-cooperative when her mother announces the idea of making a SPECIAL MEMORY one summer morning. She doesn’t want to get used to getting up early for kindergarten. Despite herself, Emily finds dancing in the warm rain with her older sister and mother while wearing pajamas fun until the storm changes. Emily’s mother then pulls her daughters indoors and teaches them how special memories make a difference in our lives. Emily doesn’t think a SPECIAL MEMORY will help in kindergarten until her first day when she remembers sticky wet pajamas and hair, along with warm mud squishing between her toes.


Praise for Special Memory


– Readers will find “this tender story confidently illustrates the notion in a way that will be heartening to both child and adult. Parents will thank Christina Francine for her accessible gift of wisdom, which hides a transformative life skill in its gentle pages. Create a special memory to help balance the fear. Special Memory is a modest story about helping an apprehensive child overcome her worry. It sounds easy enough.”                                 — Nina Fosati, Literary author and editor


– Young readers learn two lessons in this charming story (Special Memory). One, special memories can be deliberately created; and two, memories are great tools for offsetting fears and anxieties. And as a bonus, there is an activity guide at the back of the book that explores the themes therein, and, since the particular memory in the story is weather related, it also includes a great introduction to some climate essentials.

— Joan Schweighardt, No Time for Zebras, and several novels.


– Play with toys and watch cartoons, or go to kindergarten? Little Emily would much rather sleep late, stay home, and play all day! But what is it about thunderstorms and nightmares that would change her mind and make her happy to go to school? When Mama takes the girls on an unexpected outside adventure, Emily and her sister Becky learn the importance of taking time out to create memories. Memories can create smiles, even on the first day of kindergarten.  

—Maureen Lindstrom, E. H. Butler Library, Buffalo State College


Special Memory

By Christina Francine

Illustrator Adryelle Villamizar

Available at Amazon and at Waldorf Publishing

2140 Hall Johnson Road 102-345, Grapevine, Texas 76051 P: (972) 674-3131

ISBN # 13 – 978-1-64467-925-8

ASIN # 10 – 1644679256

Sept. 15, 2019 ~ $10.95 USA, $14.95 Canada

8) What is your next big project? My next project is the fantasy novel I mentioned about Asima the dreamkeeper for Earth’s children. Here is a better description:


Asima, the protector of human children’s dreams, goes searching for true love, even though she is forbidden to take a mate. The tiny dreamkeeper cannot help herself though when she stumbles up Nicolas, a young man creatively rich in music and song. She enters his dreams; something all dreamkeepers are forbidden to do. Eventually, her job is affected, as well as her health, and she needs to fight Magnus, a class four sleep demon and save a thirteen-year-old girl (Callie).


Both Asima and Callie are close to ruin and when Callie’s classmates begin to pick on another new student, Callie finds her strength. Not Asima however. The Dreamkeeper of Earth’s children is not able to save herself and her life-force grows dim. Magnus had begun his revenge.


9) Anything else you’d like to add? My Level # 3 Reader titled Mr. Inker Finds a Home and will be released Jan. 15th 2020 through Waldorf Publishing. A Reader is a book often used by schools to help students learn to read. This is the first of a series and was created with immigrant children in mind because there aren’t many stories about immigrant children available in American schools. Mr. Inker is for all children however. There will be more books about Mr. Inker to come.


A little About Mr. Inker Finds a Home:


Rafiq misses his friends from Pakistan and a boy at school makes fun of his name. It is not easy being an immigrant in America. Rafiq knows he’s safer in “the land of the free,” yet he is homesick. When he receives a fancy pen for his birthday, he discovers his new best friend, a talking pen. Sometimes Mr. Inker is too proud and his jokes corny. He can be a real stinker, but he helps Rafiq with English words, makes him laugh, and finds a way to connect Rafiq with his old friends through traditional letter writing. This Step 3 Waldorf Reader is perfect for boys and girls ages 5-8.!


Be sure to look for other books about Mr. Inker who is sometimes a stinker.

A unique idea – a talking pen. In an age where cell phones seem most kids’ friends, the author resuscitates the original means of communication: the pen! A talking writing utensil becomes an immigrant boy’s best friend. Immigrant children will like reading a book about themselves combined with a little fun and magic. Not only will they learn to read, but have fun at the same time. Mr. Inker will bring smiles to immigrant and American children alike. The story may even cause a chuckle or two. Teachers and parents will like the learning within each story and the learning section at the back of the book.


For more information about these and other books by Waldorf Publishing, visit their Facebook page.



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