10 QUESTIONS FOR…Frances Cole Jones, author of “The Wow Factor”


Author interview with Frances Cole Jones9780345517944

1. Tell us about your latest book:

The subtitle of The Wow Factor is “The 33 Things You Must (and Must Not) Do to Guarantee Your Edge in Today’s Business World.” The idea is that in this economic climate people need immediate, practical solutions for finding a job, positioning themselves for promotion, keeping their customers’ trust– generally maintaining their edge no matter what their situation. With this in mind The Wow Factor offers11 habits I’ve found my clients must have, 11 things I’ve realized they’ve must know, and 11 things I’ve discovered they can do today to be more effective tomorrow. My hope is that the readers of The Wow Factor will gain the tools they need to do the same.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

By being a lifelong reader— someone who can put words together effectively has always made me swoon. After that I was lucky enough to work with teachers and mentors who pushed me beyond– so far beyond—where I was comfortable. 

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I get up about 5 a.m. and write until about 9 a.m. After that, I practice Ashtanga yoga; then I work with clients in the afternoon. In between, I’m usually walking my dog.

4. Describe your workspace

My workspace is anywhere I can open my computer—I’m not picky. I write at my desk, on my bed, on the sofa, on buses, trains, airplanes….

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott, Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger, Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.

6. Tell us three interesting/crazy things about you

  1. I’ve been practicing Ashtanga yoga for twelve years. Ashtanga asks you to be on the mat six days a week: you’re tired, you practice; you’re busy, you practice; you’re sad; you practice, etc. Incorporating this discipline into writing has been incredibly helpful.
  2. Thanks to Ashtanga, I can stand on my hands and put my feet on my head—before I started I couldn’t touch my toes.
  3. I consider brownies perfectly legitimate breakfast food.

7. Favorite quote

“Write toward vulnerability. Don’t worry about appearing sentimental. Worry about being unavailable; worry about being absent or fraudulent.”

                                                            Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

The best part of being a writer is getting paid to write—how extraordinary is that? I’m grateful because it’s a privilege. I don’t know that there is a worst part—I would say the hardest part is that moment about 1/3 of the way into the writing process when I inevitably say to myself, “Well, this is just absolutely awful and I have no idea how I’m going to make it work.”

9. Advice for other writers

Find people who will give you honest—constructive—feedback. It’s not enough to say, “This is just great!” Or “This isn’t working.” You need someone who can say, “This is great and here’s how I think it can be better.” Or, “This isn’t working but I think this is how you can make it work.”

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

My writing experience was a long time coming — when my agent first told me she thought I had a book in me, I told her I thought she was delusional. What I discovered, thanks to her patience, is that—for me—finding the right tone was the hardest part. Putting words together wasn’t tricky—putting them together in such a way that others responded to them was. We went through seventeen drafts of the manuscript for my first book before she thought it was ready to go out into the world- this is why I so strongly recommend finding someone you trust to give you feedback.

The Wow Factor is available on Amazon here:


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