Franny Billingsley Quotes
“This is what I want. I want people to take care of me. I want them to force comfort upon me. I want the soft-pillow feeling that I associate with memories of being ill when I was younger, soft pillows and fresh linens and satin-edged blankets and hot chocolate. It's not so much the comfort itself as knowing there's someone who wants to take care of you.”
“Guess what it is that turns plants to coal.
Guess what it is that turns limestone to marble.
Guess what it is that turns Briony's heart to stone.
Pressure is uncomfortable, but so are the gallows. Keep your secrets, wolfgirl. Dance your fists with Eldric's, snatch lightning from the gods. Howl at the moon, at the blood-red moon. Let your mouth be a cavern of stars.”
“When Rose takes to screaming, she starts loud, continues loud, and ends loud. Rose has a very good ear and always screams on the same note. I'd tested her before I burnt the library, and our piano along with it.
Rose screams on the note B flat.
We don't need a piano anymore now that we have a human tuning fork.”
“I felt as though I were a music box in want of winding. Yes, as though I were a music box and the tune were my life, playing more and more slowly with every passing day. Finally, not even I could recognize it. The notes were stretched too far apart. They were no longer notes, they were plinks. I wound down to a plink.”
“Eldric turned away from the mirror, holding out his hand. In the cup of his hand lay his fidget of paper clips. But the fidget had blossomed into a crown. An allover-filigree crown, with a twisty spire marking the front.
I stared at it for some moments. "It's for you," said Eldric. "If you want it."
"I'm seventeen," I said. "I haven't played at princess for years."
"Does that matter ?" Eldric set it on my head. It was almost weightless, a true crown for the steam age.
In a proper story, antagonistic sparks would fly between Eldric and me, sparks that would sweeten the inevitable kiss on page 324. But life doesn't work that way. I didn't hate Eldric, which, for me, is about as good as things get.”
“When we were small, Rose and I used to play a game called connect the dots. I loved it. I loved drawing a line from dot number 1 to dot number 2 and so on. Most of all, I loved the moment when the chaotic sprinkle of dots resolved itself into a picture.
That's what stories do. They connect the random dots of life into a picture. But it's all an illusion. Just try to connect the dots of life. You'll end up with a lunatic scribble.”
- Description: While Billingsley's first novel, Well Wished (1997), was warmly received by critics, a year ago she was a virtual unknown within a publishing climate that regarded fantasy as a specialty genre. Today, her name is on the lips of booksellers and reviewers throughout the country.
Franny Billingsley was not always a writer. She graduated from Boston University law-school in 1979, and worked for 5 years as a lawyer — a profession which she “despised.” In 1983, Billingsley visited her sister in Barcelona, Spain where she was “entranced by a lifestyle in which people did not make a lot of money yet lived richly and artfully.” Realizing that she needed to change her life, Billingsley quit her job and moved to Spain with all of her favorite children's books. “Books like A Wrinkle in Time, Harriet the Spy, and The Narnia Chronicles seemed like the perfect antidote to hideously wearisome legal documents,” remembers Billingsley, who began writing children's books while living in Spain.
When Billingsley returned to the United States, she took a job as the children's book-buyer at 57th Street Books, a major independent bookseller on the South Side of Chicago. “I worked at the bookstore for twelve years and I loved it because it helped me get back to the things that matter to me: people, ideas, and imagination. I wrote throughout this period. My early books were simply awful, but I did not let rejections and criticism stop me from writing. I worked hard at learning how to write and finding my strengths. It was not until I began writing fantasy that I found my voice. I believe that, ultimately, talent is less important to writing a good book than is determination.”
Franny Billingsley lives in Chicago with her family and currently writes children's books full-time.