J. B. Frank is the third child of 14 siblings. They all lived in a small bungalow in Chicago’s Northwest Side. During summers when she was young, her father would hold contests. An entire wall in their kitchen was a blackboard where her dad would post the contests, which ranged from reciting poetry to writing stories. J. B. won one of the contests with her story about an alien. Her prize was a pen. She remembers fondly that the pen had a gold band and the ink smelled sweet. She dreamed of being a writer, but fate’s path headed in a different direction.
J. B. became an accomplished television producer with a number of award-winning productions. She won an Emmy Award for her documentary, Ruth Page: Once upon a Dancer, and a CINE Award for Love Hurts, an ABC Afterschool Special. She was also nominated for a national Emmy for a children’s music show, and that experience—working to connect with kids—rekindled her dream to write specifically for children.
Aunt to 32 nieces and nephews, great-aunt, and godmother, J. B. shares stories with her family and told of growing up in a large family in Chicago. She earned her MFA in writing for children and young adults from Hamline University. She has written articles for a number of children’s magazines and journals. With two books coming out in Spring 2021, J. B. is more intent than ever on living the writing life she always dreamed of. She moved out of the city and now lives in the country with her sweetheart and their dogs, Marco and Mia, along with chickens, ducks, and honeybees. J.B. is already hard at work on her next story.