“Sometimes admitting you know nothing is the only way to discover what you do know.”
C. L. Francisco
A retired college professor, C. L. Francisco’s faith reemerged several years ago after a time of radical doubt. Her conservative Christian upbringing, undergraduate years at Mount Holyoke College, year’s stay at L’Abri, early career years in art therapy, and PhD in world religions had all contributed to her confusion.
But as a woman whose life had always been grounded in faith, she struggled to find her way again. Oddly enough, the voice of non-human nature spoke more clearly than any other—except for C. S. Lewis’ fiction, which she never abandoned.
The whispers were faint at first, and often resulted in dead ends, but when they finally spoke clear, she found herself in the presence of the Christ who lives beyond all walls.
C. L. Francisco has always chosen fiction for her downtime reading: “Fiction sneaks up on me, gets under my guard, and touches my heart in a way that non-fiction can’t,” she says. “It opens up new possibilities and sets me dreaming. For me, life-changing books have always been fiction. That’s probably why I chose to write a book like Yeshua’s Cat.”
The Gospel According to Yeshua’s Cat emerged from Francisco’s desire to offer fellow strugglers a fresh perspective on Jesus of Nazareth. The book’s feline narrator speaks with the wise voice of a young cat whose death after a devastating wildfire provided Francisco with the impetus to begin the book.
Francisco has gone on to write A Cat Out of Egypt (2014), a stand-alone prequel to Yeshua’s Cat, which introduces her original feline character’s many-times great-grandmother Miw, beloved of the child Yeshua. Third in the series is the sequel The Cats of Rekem (2015), following Miw’s descendants as they join Yeshua in his mature ministry and help the apostle Paul toward his calling. Just published this fall is Cat Born to the Purple, a further sequel that picks up the story of the young woman Yeshua healed in Yeshua’s Cat after finding her battered and dying near Nazareth. In Purple, Yeshua intervenes to prevent Eliana’s enemies from finding her, and sets her on an unexpected path to wholeness among the Phoenicians of Akko.
Indie Reader has chosen both The Cats of Rekem and Cat Born to the Purple for their “Best Of” new book list for 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Francisco is currently working on a fifth novel in the Yeshua’s Cats series, due to be published in late 2017, as well as preparing the first volume in her new mystery series, This Madness of the Heart: A Miranda Lamden Mystery. Madness was initially published in the spring of 2016 under the pen name Blair Yeatts, but has been withdrawn and will be republished soon under C. L. Francisco’s name. A second volume in the mystery series is already completed and being readied for publication as well. For more details, check out Blair Yeatts’ website.