Tragedy to Triumph: Frankie Williams

by Shandi Pace

 

Frankie Williams lost her daughter Shauntae from undiagnosed heart disease at the age of 36-years-old. Her death took the family by complete surprise and changed everything. Shauntae was a loving girl who always needed mom by her side.

“She needed me, and I needed her.”

To help her cope with the grief of losing a child, Frankie created a Facebook Group called P.W.A (Parents/People With Angels). This group gave her and others an outlet to discuss their grief together. “When you’re grieving, you’re looking for any outlet that you can have. And you just want to talk about it. Talking about it helps a lot,” Frankie said.

Frankie reached out to the country singer and host of The Voice, Blake Shelton. She had heard about his friend Craig Morgan, who had also lost his child at a young age. She wanted Blake to know about the group she was starting and help her get the word out. Blake responded with some very encouraging words and wished her the best of luck in the future.

Sometime later, Frankie decided to write a children’s book. This was her first time writing a book, but it was something she needed to do. It ended up being a creative way that she could honour her daughter’s legacy. Writing The Merdragon became a family affair, with Frankie’s youngest creating the artwork and her middle doing the editing. Shautae’s twin brother was responsible for creating the villain and is a namesake to a character in the book.

After completing her book, Frankie reached back out to Blake on Twitter to see if he’d buy a book. Blake tweeted her, saying he’d love to order a copy and that everyone else should do the same. Kelly Clarkson was another star to post about the book on Twitter, saying she ordered two copies, one for each of her children. These interactions boosted sales and helped Frankie reach the top of multiple top five children’s categories on Amazon.

The Merdragon eventually changed from an individual book to a book series. Frankie is currently working on the third book and has enjoyed where this series has taken her. “You just have to have faith in what you’re doing and just go in the direction it takes you. I don’t know where it’s going to take me, but hey, if that’s where it takes me, I’m fine with that.”

For more information on Frankie Williams, follow her on Twitter.

For more information on “The Merdragon,” check out its Twitter page.

“The Merdragon” and “The Merdragon Secrets” are both available on Amazon.

 

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