Meet Frank Watson...
Frank Watson was acting out stories with his friends before he could read. These were primarily variations of old black and white television westerns such as Roy Rogers and The Lone Ranger. As he got older, these stories morphed into more original, lengthy, and complex stories with better developed characters. Once the story lasted all summer! He and his friends start each morning where they left off the night before.
He wrote his first story in second grade, but didn’t really think about being a writer until he read a story he had written as an assignment to his fifth grade class.
“I called it Night of Terror,” Frank recalls. “It was about a fifth grade boy who finds a friend dead during an overnight stay and is then tormented by ghosts and demons. After a long night of terror, the boys woke to find it was only a dream. When I finished reading, I looked up to find the class sitting spellbound. They clapped when I was done. That’s when I knew I was hooked.”
Frank has spent most of his adult life involved in some type of writing – journalism, technical writing, and business writing – but he never lost his love for fiction. While working as a newspaper reporter, editor, and corporate writer, he also wrote fiction – short stories published in “little” literary magazines, followed by short stories in commercial magazines and, ultimately, novels.
Frank tried his hand at science fiction and started a western novel – more for enjoyment than as a serious direction in his writing. As part of his work toward a Writing Certificate at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Frank had the opportunity to work with a published novelist on the university staff.
“We tossed around several potential projects, including my unfinished western,” Frank says. “We decided to work on the western because it sounded like fun. As I wrote, I realized that many of the experiences in my life, such as the summers I spent in rural Southeast Missouri with my grandparents, had prepared me for this kind of story. With westerns, I was able to explore my interest in history, character, story and myth – and myself.”
Frank subsequently published A Cold, Dark Trail and The Homecoming of Billy Buchanan with Fawcett/Random House under his own name and other historical novels for Zebra, which he wrote under a pseudonym.
He has not limited himself to westerns. A children’s book recently won First Place in a regional writing competition and a literary short story, Where the Yellow Flowers Grow, won the Graduate Fiction Prize from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and was subsequently published in Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume 1 from Skyward Publications.
He has taught writing with Writer’s Digest Schools and at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. In addition to his writing, Frank is now teaches high school American History and Government.
Frank currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife, Deborah Aldrich-Watson, and their two sons, Jonathan and Matthew. He has one daughter, Jennifer Watson, who is an early childhood specialist in Chicago, Illinois.