Saturday, October 30, 2010
This Gal Knows How to Find that Spark Others are Looking for! Come See How.
Darlene: I’m blushing, Shirley. I could get superspiritual and say “the Lord did.” I was just saying to my son that I’m a creative person. I lack plenty of other qualities, but I am very creative and God made me that way. I’m grateful for that, and for the doors He’s opened for ministry.
Darlene: My tag line is “writing at the crossroads of love and grace.” Most of the time, my characters face some traumatic event, and they discover God’s love never fails and His grace is enough—whatever happens. In A Face of Mary, my heroine’s father is suffering from memory loss, with tragic consequences for the family.
SDC: I appreciate reading about realistic characters. The others just don't ring true for me. I also love, love, love to ask this question. The answers are so varied. How do you make faith, love, and hope work together in your stories, Darlene?
Darlene: Sometimes there is an overt “faith” element—such as in Face of Mary, Joey is looking for a woman with a character like Mary. Other times it simply comes as the characters’ response to their circumstances. That is more the case in my next Heartsong, Bridge to Love, where my farmer hero is battling New England’s Year of No Summer (snow at some point every month), 1816.
I once attended a workshop that talked about the love triangle in Christian romance, between God, the hero and the heroine. If those are the three points of the triangle, perhaps faith, hope and love are the lines connecting them. The human couple cannot truly love each other unless they are rightly related to God.
SDC: How long did you have to wait before getting published the first time?
Darlene: My first published piece—a devotional—came out when I had been writing for two years. After that, publications were few and far between. My first book came out in 2005 (after fourteen years), and since then, things have snowballed until now I am writing full time.
SDC: What’s your favorite Bible verse or verses that sustain you while you write and why?
Darlene: My life verse. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) God has proved that in the crucible of my life, which in recent years has included my daughter’s suicide and my mother’s death. That is the truth I aim to bring to life in my stories. It’s only because of God’s love that I can write of love and hope!
SDC: Where is your favorite place to go and why? Does it often play any part in your story writing?
Darlene: I suppose it’s to go over to my son’s house and spend time with my grandkids! He lives about 15 minutes away, and I love those babies. So far, they haven’t appeared in too many books (a few devotionals, though.)
As far as book settings, I lived in Colorado for almost two decades. I find it hilarious that I now I live in Oklahoma, I am selling stories set in Colorado. (My three mysteries were set in Oklahoma.)
SDC: How does your family respond to your time away from them to write and do research for writing?
Darlene: Since I now live alone, it’s not a big problem. I occasionally have to tell my son “no” and that always makes me sad. But more often I say “yes.” He’s also extremely proud of me. Whenever we go some place together, he introduces me as “my mom. She writes books” and points to a book if it’s for sale at that store.
SDC: He sounds like a great promoter! Home grown. What question would you like one of our viewers to answer to help me select the winner?
Darlene: What facet of Mary’s (the mother of our Lord) character would you like to develop in your own life?
SDC: That will be an interesting question for the readers to answer. Thanks. It’s been a real pleasure having you here at A Pen for Your Thoughts, Darlene.
READERS: Be sure to answer Darlene’s reflection question above to try to win a copy of her book!
Congratulations to Debbie Lee of Centralia WA. I know you're going to love this book.