Clare Francis, British novelist and yachtswoman to give a talk at the Royal Malta Yacht Club
Clare Francis, who in the 1970s twice sailed the Atlantic on her own, and has also written fourteen novels, is in Malta. She was honored by the Queen for her contribution in various fields despite also suffering personal tragedy when she was diagnosed with ME. She is here in Malta to address a talk about her life and her career.
Her petite physical appearance might not immediately do justice to the magnitude of her life experiences. The author of fourteen books, that include eleven novels, among these “Night Sky” which was classified as most popular by the UK Sunday Times and the New York Times. Her career as an author was inspired by the time spent at sea. In 1973, she sailed the Atlantic alone and in 1974 participated in the race Round Britain with Eve Bonham where they ranked in third place. In 1976 she set a new record when she became the first woman to sail alone on a yacht in a world race.
”Sailing was very different then… there was no communication, you went off on your own, across the Atlantic… you didn’t have a radio, navigation was very primitive… it seems extraordinary now but that’s all there was then…”
Her experiences triggered her passion for writing and she began to write about her adventures at sea and later switched to the genre of ghost stories. Her books have been printed in thirty countries and include thrillers and novels which have been translated into twenty languages. She fell on rough times and was informed that she had ME, known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with.
”It needs rapid diagnosis and then a lot of support… but they can recover… young people can recover and that is the positive message…”
At the time she didn’t have the energy to get out of bed. Fortunately her condition improved and today she is a vociferous supporter in Action for ME, in the UK – which works for patients with this condition. She also revealed that she is in a position to start writing again after taking a few years off.
”And you need confidence to write because, obviously, a book is a huge undertaking…”
Clare is in Malta to address a talk with the theme: “A Life in Parallels” at the Royal Malta Yacht Club. The discussion will address the ups and downs of her life and all profits from the activity will go toward the restoration of the Anglican Cathedral of St. Paul in Valletta.