Photo by Jessica Veazey ‘13
Mary Frances Cavallaro, senior English major at Chestnut Hill College, seems to have fallen into “More Than Love” with writing a novel for which she has acquired a publishing deal.
Mary Frances began writing her novel, “More Than Love,” about a year ago during a creative writing class she took over the spring semester of 2012. She came to realize that what she wanted to achieve with the piece would require something much longer than a standard assignment for class, and decided to present the opening chapter to a publisher.
The novel “is a bildungsroman,” Cavallaro said. “It is the story of a woman named Frances “Fanny” Dickens who gets involved in a scandal. She arrives at Chesterfield College to student-teach a class with a most peculiar professor named Charles Christle, an elderly man who is not “all there” and has quite the affinity for William Shakespeare. Throughout the story, Christle takes on the role as her mentor and, using Shakespeare, he guides her through the year.”
Life events inspired the story, and some important friends helped to inspire some of the characters, including the professor and the sister of the main character Fanny. Mary Frances has also been influenced by Edgar Allan Poe and William Shakespeare. The title of her book “actually comes from Poe’s ‘Annabel Lee,’ and Shakespeare’s plays echo throughout the novel,” Cavallaro said. The main character times life lessons and advice from the professor— through the use of Shakespeare—which coincides with her actual life events.
“I have always been writing, as long as I could formulate written word,” Cavallaro said. “I have been captivated by writing, and by other authors.” Her favorite written works include mostly short stories and plays such as “Pygmalion,” “The Crucible,” “Oedipus Rex,” and “Luella Miller.” She says that she enjoys classics “that can usually be found on a syllabus.” While loving standard masterpieces, a childhood favorite “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” was the first to come to mind when asked about her personal favorite.
Getting a novel published is an amazing feat for anyone, but especially so for a college student. How did she pull it off? According to Cavallaro, she found a post on elance.com, a freelance writing website, that was in search of a writer for a collaborative work. When she applied for the job, she noticed that the company, Kellan publishing, took applications for books. She applied, and they wanted to publish her story.
Her first draft is due quite soon, on March 1. If you are interested in finding out more, please ‘Like’ her Facebook page for updates on the writing and publishing process, as well as personal quips on writing athttps://www.facebook.com/pages/M-F-Cavallaro-Madam/297076433725296?fref=ts.
Amanda Finlaw ‘14