About Dorothy Francis

Dorothy Francis

Click here for a Q&A with Dorothy

I grew up in Kansas and graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Music degree. I played trumpet in an all-girl dance band before I began teaching music in Orange, California middle school.  Later, I married jazz saxophonist Richard Francis and moved to Iowa where I helped raise our two daughters, gave music lessons, and began learning to write. 

After writing children’s stories for several years, I tried writing a children’s novel.  Analyzing Phyllis Whitney’s Mystery of the Golden Horn put me on the right track for writing success.

I studied the Whitney book, page by page, analyzing the writing techniques she used.  A publisher offered a contract for the next book I wrote after studying Whitney’s techniques.  I then revised my rejected first book, and received a contract for it, too.

I was off and running—well, at least jogging. 

People asked when I was going to write a book for ‘big people.’  So I tried writing short stories for adults.  When “When in Rome” won a Derringer Award from the Short Mystery Fiction Society, I began writing and selling adult mystery novels.

So far, I have 74 children and adult books to my credit and The Fat Lady hasn’t begun to sing yet.  In fact, I don’t even hear her clearing her throat.

Thanks for stopping to read this bio.  I hope you’ll stick around and sample some first chapters of my novels.