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Friday, June 25, 2010
A Word or Two from the Oklahoma Cowgirl
To leave the June trail and kick us off into July, we are fortunate to have award-winning author and speaker Darlene Franklin with us here this week. Darlene recently returned to cowgirl country—Oklahoma—to be near family. She also recently signed the contract for her twelth book. Right now she is celebrating the release of the first volume of her Vermont trilogy, Prodigal Patriot, as well as the repacking of her Rhode Island romance in Seaside Romance. Visit Darlene’s blogs at http://www.darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com/ and http://thebookdoctorbd.blogspot.com/.
SDC: Thank you for being a part of A Pen for Your Thoughts, Darlene. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally besides your bio? Something that is particular about you alone.
Darlene: I just bought my first house at the age of 55! I’m still pinching myself. Who expects a single full-time writer to be able to buy a house, especially in these economic times?!
SDC: Then this obviously isn’t your first book. What other books have you written, and where can the readers of the blog find them and eventually any other books in the works right now?
Darlene: My first book, Romanian Rhapsody, came out in 2005; I am thrilled that my last contract is for a sequel, a contemporary romance set in Colorado called Plainsong.
In between I’ve had two mysteries published (Gunfight at Grace Gulch and A String of Murders), two novellas (in Snowbound Colorado Christmas and Wild West Christmas), and a historical romance, Beacon of Love. Prodigal Patriot is my second historical romance with Heartsong Presents. At the moment, I have four more books contracted for publication into 2011.
Readers can find information about new and upcoming releases on my blog, darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com. I give away copies of my books each month, both fiction and nonfiction devotionals I have contributed to.
SDC: That's enough to really keep you busy! What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy otherwise?
Darlene: I’ve done scrap booking and cross stitch in the past; sometimes puzzles (of all kinds). But my favorite relaxation activity is reading! (a pleasure as well as a must for all writers). My newest hobby is going to a Spanish conversational group that meets at a restaurant once a week.
SDC: What special plans do you have for our wonderful IndependenceDay coming soon?
Darlene: I have a very special plan this year. Since I wrote the proposal for Plainsong years ago, many things have changed in my beloved Colorado. So I am taking off with my granddaughters (to help me get around) and going to Denver for a week to take in a Rockies’ game, fireworks, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, a Renaissance Fair, and more!
SDC: I love the title of this book you are featuring. Why did you write it and what do you want the reader to take away from the book?
Darlene: Vermont was one of the few states “unsold” in Heartsong’s recent effort to feature all 50 states. Since I’m from New England originally, I looked into its history and found several interesting folk tales that inspired stories about three generations of the same family in northern Vermont. Prodigal Patriot is loosely based on the history of Ann Storey and her family who lived in a came and worked their farm in secret to protect it from Indian and Tory predators.
The hindsight of history shows us that the American Revolution was just and right. But I wanted to show it was a real question for the people of the time. I want my readers to take away something that is a common theme in many of my books—that God will meet them at the crossroads of love and grace when they go through tough times. He is enough, always.
SDC: Does where you come from or where you live now work into any of your writings?
Darlene: Absolutely! I keep laughing that I finally get to write my “Colorado” book now that I live in Oklahoma (and I wrote my Oklahoma books, the mystery series, when I was still living in Colorado!) So far, all my historical novels are set in New England. I grew up in New Hampshire and Maine.
SDC: Who is your favorite character in the book that is out now and why?
Darlene: Ooh, that’s a tough one. Hmm, Sally or Josiah? I think Josiah, because he finds a way to do what is right—at great personal cost.
SDC: What irks you the most about your writing experience?
Darlene: I write because I must, not because it’s easy (or even pleasant, much of the time!). The hardest thing is to keep from comparing myself to others. I suspect that even if I sold as many books as Jerry Jenkins or John Grisham, I would still find someone to compare myself to. Say, Shakespeare! When I take my eyes off the “author” of my writing and turn them onto my fellow racers, I get into trouble.
SDC: It will be a joy to offer Prodigal Patriot to one of our guests, especially right now. What question would you like to ask one of our guests so we can toss their name in a hat to win your book?
Darlene: If youlived duringthe AmericanRevolution, doyouthink youwouldhave beenaPatriotor a Tory?
Shirley: Thanks, Darlene. It's been great having you here.Wow! Now, that's a great question! Looking forward to your answers, people. Be sure to include your email address as you write in.
Hope you win!
Congratulations to Tanya Hanson of Oxnard, California. We're so happy to tell you that you have won The Prodigal Patriot. Be watching for your book in the mail soon!