Tuesday, March 29, 2011

with Darlene Franklin

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Darlene!
What started you on your writing journey?

I had a childhood friend who was as crazy about the original Star Trek as I was. We would make up stories when we played together, and then we would continue the stories by mail. (We lived in different towns). That was my first attempt at story telling. And even back then, we had romance. We paired Spock with an emotionally explosive character named Mirabella. Conflict!

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Mostly myself! I know I’m in a serious distraction mode when I clean instead of writing. With my last book (Knight Music, due out from Heartsong Presents later this year), I was so easily distracted that I took a notebook and pen and headed to the restaurant. I wrote most of the last 10,000 words long-handed. One goal this year is to buy a laptop and not get an internet connection with it, so I can do the same thing without getting carpal tunnel syndrome.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I confess, I read mysteries to relax. I’m in mourning since I only recently discovered that my favorite author, Dick Francis, died a year ago. (How did I miss the news!) I love Steven James and Tim Downs in the CBA, as well as Linda Hall and fellow Spyglass Mystery alumna, Nancy Mehl.

I also enjoy a good historical romance. I have to give a shout out to my crit partner, Susan Page Davis, who is one of the busiest and best writers in the genre. Her next release (April), Love Finds you in Prince Edward Island, is the first international setting for the popular series from Summerside. It’s a treat, about the visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada in 1860. At a recent writers’ retreat I was surrounded by the cream of the crop of historical writers: Tracie Peterson, Kathy Hake, Janice Thompson, Lena Nelson Dooley, Karen Witemeyer, Marylu Tyndall, Elizabeth Ludwig, and others.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
I have a soft spot for my heroine, Clara Farley. She’s intelligent and doesn’t care to hide it. She’s using her inheritance to open a school for girls and dreams of the day when women can vote (and even run for office).

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
You’re asking a music major. I'm going to say Baroque, because my mind wanders all over the place, with recurring themes.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
One way I am not your typical American: I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 23 years old—and then it was in Florida, a place I only lived for one summer. A dear Christian lady helped me get past the hurdle. In fact, I have lived much of my life without a car.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Remember housework above? And now I have an excuse. I am somewhat disabled. Whenever I make a serious effort to climb up and down the steps to the laundry or to clean up the mess, my body complains. I have to get a maid.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
Share a recipe? How about a list of restaurants? Whenever I am celebrating a new book contract, I bring my son and his family with me to a tiny little Greek-Italian restaurant called Bella Vista. The Greek spin on classical Italian dishes, such as fettucini alfredo, is SO good.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
The same theme keeps creeping up and relates to my tag line—writing at the crossroads of love and grace. God has given me, a divorced single mom, the privilege of writing Christian romance. The only reason I can write about it is because I know love, intimately—God’s love—purified in my heart through the trials of my life. In the troubles my characters face, they discover love—of parent, of child, of friends, of wife, of husband, but most importantly, of God!

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
Psalm 62:11-12a: One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God, 12 and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”; and, “You reward everyone according to what they have done.” This verse hit me like a ton of bricks a few years ago. I wrote in my journal, “Power without love is cruel; love without power is impotent.” God’s love makes His power kind (not necessarily easy) and His power gives wings to His love.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Love’s Raid is coming out this month. It is the final book in my Maple Notch Brides series from Heartsong. I’ve already introduced you to Clara. She wants to buy the Bailey mansion from Daniel Tuttle for her girls’ school. Daniel returned from the Civil War missing half an arm and accepted the job as town constable. The job he views as a secure turns serious when the local bank is robbed. Clara jumps in to help him solve the crime. The story line was inspired by St. Albans Raid, the northernmost battle of the Civil War. Confederate soldiers robbed the bank in St. Albans, Vermont, and claimed the town for the confederacy! Hoping to divert some of the Union army’s attention away from their march through the South.

And I also have to share exciting news: I have just signed my first contract for two trade length books with Moody: Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough (another great historical writer) and I are writing the six-book Texas Trails series. I’m writing the first book, Lone Star Trail, set in Victoria, Texas, at the time of statehood (1846) and following one German family who joined the Verein in settling the Texas Hill Country.

Darlene is giving away a copy of Love's Raid. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Anonymous said...

I would really like to win this book!

karenk said...

i'm interested in reading darlene's novel...thanks for the chance :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

lgm52 said...

Looks like a great book..would love to win it!

Marianne said...

I would love to win Darlene's book. Thanks for the interview and chance, Esther and Darlene.
marianne from Arizona

noseinanovel said...

I love romances with an imperfect hero/heroine...I'd love to read this!


apple blossom said...

please add me to the list thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Amy said...

Please enter me. Sounds good.


windycindy said...

I enjoy reading mysteries, also...
Many thanks, Cindi

Leanne said...

I'd love to read this!

leanniegehrke at hotmail dot com

PriviesAndPrims said...

Please enter me in the contest!

priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

Mary / Touch of Heaven said...

sounds like a great book!
atouchofheaven2010 at gmail dot com

Pam K. said...

Darlene's book sounds like one I would very much enjoy.
I'd love the opportunity to win.


lgm52 said...

Really would love to win this book..

Rita Garcia said...

Love Darlene's interview! WOuld love to win her book!

Darlene Franklin said...

Helo everyone! Cindy, glad you picked up on the mystery element. Every now and then I get to indulge my inner detective in a historical romance.

Thanks to all for stopping by.

Charlotte Kay said...

Thanks for the chance to win this book!
I appreciate this opportunity!
Many Blessings and Smiles:)
Charlotte Kay
charlovesmark at gmail dot com

Charity said...

This one sounds like a sweet historical. Please enter me. Thanks!


Mona said...

I put off filing household paperwork. There's so much of it and it seems so overwhelming that I just avoid it. Ugh! I'm becoming like hubby -- procrastinator extraordinaire.


Rebecca Herman said...

sounds like a good book please enter me

rebecca191 AT aol.com

apple blossom said...

thanks for a chance to win

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Katy said...

The cover is beautiful! Please count me in!

~ Katy

Katy said...

I am a follower!

~ Katy

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