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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
HomeHistoryArt Beat: Local author wins award

Art Beat: Local author wins award

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Spring Hill resident Roslyn Franken is an internationally acclaimed author and speaker that’s dedicated to educating and inspiring people with her books and author presentations. Now she is the winner of a national literary award. Franken’s book “Meant to Be” is the story of her parents’ life journey. Her mother is a Holocaust surviror and her father survived an atomic bomb, they both overcame the odds to make a beautiful life together. The book has earned a Gold award from the Nonfiction Book Awards, an honors program hosted by the Nonfiction Authors Association.

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“Meant to Be” tells the story of a young girl named Sonja who was 15 years old when she and her family were taken from their residence in the Netherlands and imprisoned into nazi-run concentration camps. She survived 11 camps and eventually got her freedom, later she found careers as a nursing home worker and singer. Sonja married a native of the Dutch East Indies named John, with a promising future as an engineer. He himself had spent more than three years as a prisoner of war in Japan.

John and Sonja Franken had a daughter who grew up to become an author, motivational speaker, and now a national award winner. “People who have read my book often tell me that it is a page turner. I hear repeatedly how once they started reading it, they couldn’t put it down. That is a huge compliment for me as an author. Then I had people tell me repeatedly that my book deserves to win awards and be made into a movie,” Roslyn explained. “The book has already been adapted to a screenplay and is slated for a feature film production currently in development, but I had never really thought about submitting it for book awards. So, inspired by readers’ comments, I set out to find a book award that was suitable for my book genre. That is when I discovered the prestigious Nonfiction Book Awards through the Nonfiction Authors Association and submitted my book in hopes that I may win an award.”

Franken is thrilled by the news of this esteemed literary honor. “To my absolute surprise and delight, not only did my book Meant to Be win an award, it won the GOLD book award which is the highest award possible. This award means the world to me and I know that my parents are looking down from above filled with pride and joy.”

Franken’s story is one of love and survival. “My book, ‘Meant to Be’, is the amazing true story of my parents’ remarkable survival, love, and triumph over tragedy as Holocaust and atomic bomb survivors who suffered unimaginable cruelty continents apart during WWII at the hands of their evil captors and then met, married and made a beautiful life, against all odds.”

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Franken hopes that readers see her book as a prime teaching tool. “By boosting people’s awareness, compassion and empathy for what victims and survivors like my parents suffered during WWII, my hope is that readers will understand the dangers of what today’s levels of discrimination, hate and evil can lead to if we don’t stop it and embrace a greater spirit of interfaith tolerance, respect, community and peace so needed in our world today,” said Franken.

Coming up as part of United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week, Franken will be giving a presentation about her book, Meant to Be, via Zoom for the Interfaith Council of Halton located in Ontario, Canada. The event takes place via Zoom on February 1, 2022 at 7:00 pm EST. It is free to attend and since it is via Zoom, all are welcome regardless of geographic location. Advance registration is required and is online at www.InterfaithCouncilHalton.com. After registering, you will receive a confirmation with details. You can also register by calling 905-849-6000.

“With all the hate and prejudice in the world today, this event could not come at a better time,” she said. “I am very proud to have been invited as Guest Speaker for this important event and hope that we will have a great turnout. I encourage people to share this event with their family and friends.”

Roslyn Franken

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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