Hello, and welcome to the newly improved blog at KarinBeery.com! We’re kicking off the month with an interview with Darlene Franklin, author of several inspirational novels. To help us celebrate this new website, Darlene is giving away a free digital copy of one of her books! See the end of the interview for more details, and leave a comment for your chance to win!
Hi, and thanks for your willingness to appear on my blog! I’m looking forward to sharing your knowledge and advice with the rest of the world (at least with the small portion of it that follows my blog). Tell us a little about yourself.
My greatest claim to fame is that I write full time from a nursing home! I live in Oklahoma, near my son, his wife, and their children—my beloved family.
Why did you start writing?
Well, I wrote stories about my favorite TV shows as a child, and I dreamed of writing off and on, but I began writing seriously after my divorce. God taught me so much during those months that it poured out on paper. When that book was finished, I was hooked and couldn’t stop.
How did you start writing?
It was the early 90s. I wrote my original copy by hand while riding the bus and typed it out on an electric typewriter at home. The day I got my first computer was a huge accomplishment!
How did you select your genre?
I’d say it chose me. I tried a little bit of everything. For years I tried to break into magazine writing. I considered myself successful when I got one article published per year. But aside from assigned devotional writing, and three mysteries, all of my published books have been romance, both contemporary and historical. I call it God’s sense of humor—calling on a divorced single mother to write romance—but I credit that to my experience of the greatest love of all, God’s love.
What is your writing day like?
My writing day varies because life in a nursing home is unpredictable. My mornings are filled with breakfast, devotions, shower, exercise, an early lunch, so I have the most time to write in the afternoons, and my most productive time is late afternoons. If only I wasn’t so sleepy right after lunch. . .
How do you organize your writing (outlines/note cards/post-its)?
I keep computer files. The longer I write, the less I organize. I continue to decide how many chapters I need, and an idea about what each chapter will contain. I’ve tried note cards and post-its, but they never worked for me.
I also keep a file I call “details.” I list the names of minor characters, sources for information, physical descriptions of the major characters.
What’s the most surprising thing a character has “told you?”
One of the more surprising things happened in my current work in progress, a Christmas book called Jacob’s Christmas Dream. I had assigned her the name “Leah” but she insisted her name was “Becky.” My Becky could never be a Leah!
Occasionally I get an idea for a character with an occupation – like a Florida cowboy (still unwritten), an Olympic figure skater (Golden Dreams), someone who made cupcakes (Saving Felicity), a female steamboat pilot (A Bride’s Rogue in Roma, Texas).
More often, I get ideas from a little known historical incident, or a place. Or often I am seeking a twist on a familiar genre (I wrote a cowboy story, to come out next year, about a woman who wanted to reform cowboys). In that case, I have to find characters to people to story. What kind of person? What tensions? What occupations?
What does your work space/office look like?
I have a roll-around table with a laptop computer, with my e-book library available, and two boxes with all the books I have written. I also keep colored pens and a lot of notebooks that I intend to use but which I end up throwing away.
What is your go-to snack when writing?
Cookies and crackers and Diet Coke.
If you could only recommend one NOVEL, what would it be? Why?
Oh, my, that’s a hard one. Books like Vienna Prelude by the Thoenes and The Shunning by Beverly Lewis stirred my heart and interest in new subjects. My favorite genre is mysteries/thrillers. Steven James’ series is a good example of a gripping thriller that explores Christian themes without sounding religious. The Jenny Cain series by Nancy Pickard presents compelling themes, characters, settings.
If you could only recommend one CRAFT book (writing, no crocheting), what would it be? Why?
Different books have benefited me at different times. I especially like books about the writing life, and among those, I’d recommend Terry Brooks’ Sometimes the Magic Works. Because the title says it all.
Thank you so much for appearing on my blog! Have a blessed day!
To help celebrate my new website, Darlene is giving away a digital copy of Gunfire at Grace Gulch. Leave a comment with your email address and you’re entered to win! (If enough people enter, she’s offered to give away two copies of her book!) I’ll announce the winner next week – good luck!
Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over thirty books and has written more than 250 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont. You can find Darlene online elsewhere athttps://www.facebook.com/Poet.Darlene.Franklin and http://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Franklin/e/B001K8993A/.