Kathleen A. Franks spent her childhood in Hudson, Ohio, a small town near Cleveland. She moved to the West Coast in 1969 to begin her studies at The California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Ms. Franks’ life story has taken many directions – from raising five children, which was by far her most challenging task, to working in finance as a portfolio analyst to creating and operating an employment agency, The Nanny Network, which quickly established a reputation for excellence. She was interviewed on the KRON morning news show in San Francisco as a successful entrepreneur and childcare consultant. Along the way, Ms. Franks kept alive her love of all things having to do with the arts through her continual pursuit of painting, drawing and writing. Ms. Franks is the author of several short stories. She currently is the owner and director of “Skywave Writers”, a writing consortium that produces neighborhood histories and storytelling tours.
She returned to Hudson in 2005 and became involved in various community organizations. Ms. Franks served as President and Vice President of the Board for Actors’ Summit Theater, a board member of The Hudson Community Foundation, the Hudson Heritage Association and Chair of the advisory committee for Hudson Cable TV. She was a member of the Rotary Club of Hudson for five years, served as Chair of the annual auction for four years and was awarded “Rotarian of the Year” in 2008.
In 2006, she originated “Porch Stories™”, a storytelling tour. Participants pay to tour 3-4 grand old porches, where an actor tells an engaging story about an inspiring person or interesting event from the town’s history. The idea for Porch Stories came to Ms. Franks from years of ruminating on the fact that no one sits on their front porch anymore visiting with their neighbors. People feel disconnected. Our fast-paced life styles have run over our need to have a sense of community. Sharing our stories revitalizes our roots and allows us to hear our common voice. During these stressful times, it has become more important than ever to think of ways to connect with our neighbors and strengthen our communities. Porch Stories can do that. The event not only brings a steady stream of visitors to town, but also serves as a fundraiser for the local community theater.
In 2009, she added a Ghost Story Tour to events that Skywave Writers produce. The tour was successful and received many good reports. Several tour-goers noted that this was the best ghost tour they’d ever been on – it actually had real stories attached with every stop.
Ms. Franks moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in February of 2012. She is currently working on a short story collection destined for publication soon!