“Words are powerful instruments of truth, facts, fiction, and imagination.”

“I couldn’t get the building out of my mind…”

About Frances

Ms. Schmidt is the author of Fred: Humble Building of Dreams, 2017. This historical fiction novel is about a 115 year old apartment building and his tenants who lived in the West Side industrial neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, from 1900 – 2015.

Frances is also author of Getting Hired Handbook 2012 and Getting Hired in any Job Market.  Currently she is the Volunteer Coordinator of Back on Track Volunteers, offering free self-empowerment workshops to the Western New York community.

Frances holds an M.S. degree from The State University College of New York at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo State College) and  B.S. and A.A. degrees from Empire State College in Buffalo, New York. She served as Director of the D’Youville College Career Services Center in Buffalo, New York for 18 years.

The Novice Novelist’s Blog

Buffalo’s West Side Renaissance: The Mentholatum Company, Fred and Me

Buffalo’s West Side Renaissance was well underway when I discovered that the Mentholatum Company was in the process of being repurposed as a 54 market-rate apartment building with commercial or retail space.  Hearing this news made me think about how the Metholatum Company first came to my attention. It happened when two new tenants, Hungarian …

Puzzle Pieces Grow

Research puzzle pieces became the roots of this historical novel.  They were the seeds of decades of historical facts that had to be rechecked multiple times to ensure their accuracy.  My large manila envelopes became a constant reference regarding Fred’s building. Year by year, each envelope was filled with tiny and large bits of valuable …

The Research Puzzle

It wasn’t long before I realized I had to figure out how to organize all the research our team was generating about our sad looking apartment building, number 1469.  It was important to find a way to make it easier to categorize the research and I was worried about how long it would take before …


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