Local Author Spotlight: Frank Manuel White | Entertainment

Connection to Fredericksburg region: I was born in Stafford County. In December 1947, my family moved to King George. My parents operated a “mom and pop” grocery store on Route 301 in Dahlgren, about two miles south of the Potomac River Bridge. In July 1953, they moved back to Stafford and in June 1957, I joined the US Air Force. A little over 26 years later, I retired from the Air Force and moved back to Stafford.

Inspiration for my book: I have always had a love for phrases that rhymed. Even before I started school, my parents used to have teachers come in and spend a weekend with us. They would teach us nursery rhymes. There was always various types of music in the house of my parents and all those rhymed songs, whether they were spirituals, country-western or blues. The commercials on the radio and, later, TV rhymed, and I discovered that I would make words rhyme, too. When I got into high school, we had to learn poems and recite them. We also had to write poems. By that time, my classmates knew that I wrote poetry, so I would write a couple of verses for several of the girls, give the verses to them and have them rewrite them in their own handwriting to turn in. My mother would always put on Sunday school programs for holidays. She would ask me to write a welcome address, and she had it to rhyme. I guess my senior class home teacher recognized my poetic ability, because she selected me to read the class poem during our Commencement exercise. My siblings and other friends always bugged me about writing a book of poetry. My answer to them was “I wrote poetry as a hobby, not to be published in a book.” Well, all that persistence finally wore me down. After my former co-worker, Andrea, who is a published poet, volunteered to come over and do all the typing and everything else that was required to get the book published, I had no other reason to note publish a book.

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Favorite time and place to write: I like to write in the quiet of the evening. I have been writing for over 70 years. When I was in the military I would write at the end of the day and on weekends.

Future plans as an author: I always say that this book was “one and done.” I have not only written poetry but I have written several prose stories. I have included one of those stories, “Solomon’s Child,” in this book. Now some folks are saying I should write a book to publish my other prose stories.

What I learned for the writing/publishing process: It is not an easy task, and there are so many publishing companies out there. You have to shop around, talk to other published authors to learn from their experience with regards to getting a book published.

My advice to those trying to write a book: Keep at it. Listen to folks who have reviewed your work and have encouraged you to publish a book. Most of the time they see something in your work that you do not see.

ABOUT MY WORK

Book title: “Frank’s Homespun Poems from the Heart (A Country Boy’s Poetry)”

Description: This book includes several varieties of poetry. Some poems are historical, others are spiritual or inspirational, some are poems of gratitude, some are humorous, some are love poems and other’s I don’t know what category they could be placed in.

Who should read my book: Anyone who likes to read poetry.

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