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I Published My First Book At 55 Image Credit: Your Family
I Published My First Book At 55 Image Credit: Your Family

'I Published My First Book At 55'

Francine Beaton Became A Published Author For The First Time At 55. During Days Spent In Hospital By Her Daughter’s Side, And Later Caring For Her Frail Mom, She Found Solace In Writing.

Nolwazi Dhlamini

If someone told me 20 years ago I’d become a published author, I would’ve laughed in their face. At that stage, I was dedicated to my job as a personal assistant to a high-ranking government official. Even though I’ve always loved reading, writing books was the furthest thing from my mind. Back then all I wrote were letters, memorandums and the occasional speech.

I was 35 and happily single with no prospects of ever finding love; I’d simply given up on it. But then I met my husband Calum. I never knew you could fall in love with someone so fast.

My husband still believes it was fate. Why else would an Afrikaans girl from Pretoria meet a Scot from Falkirk in a pub in Cape Town? Rough seas had delayed his plans to join an oil tanker in Saldanha Bay as a navigator, and a friend and I had to look for an alternative place when we couldn’t eat at our favourite coffee shop. Instead we went to a pub a block away and found space in the last two seats next to Calum and his friends. Over the course of the afternoon I ended up sitting next to my husband. He asked me to dinner and I immediately accepted, ditching my date with a French doctor. I only saw him twice more before I found myself on a flight to Scotland four months later. In hindsight, my own story inspired me to write romances. It made me believe in love and romance and happily-ever-afters again. I just never expected to write about them years later.

We returned to South Africa


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