This Wednesday I'd like to welcome multi-author, Darlene Franklin. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I live and write from a nursing home—so my writing space consists of my bedside table and a library of ebooks. I recently changed nursing homes to be closer to my son’s family. He lives less than two miles away, with his wonderful wife and my four cherished grandchildren. Aside from writing, I read, do word search puzzles, exercise and play bingo for socializing.
That's great that you live so close to family. How much time do you spend researching before you write?
I didn’t think I spent that much time, until my latest project. The book I’m working on now (about tobogganing) took 2-3 days of intensive research. Because it will connect with a series of holiday romances set in Bethlehem, Texas, Loveland, Oklahoma, and Old Glory, Texas, I wanted a town with a Thanksgiving name. It had to be in a state far enough north to have snow in November (for the tobogganing); it had to have some rolling ground, not the flat prairies; and I wanted it in the west, like the other three stories. After a day or two of searching, I found Plymouth, Nebraska. Then I had to study the history of Plymouth to determine a good date for the story: 1871. And on from there.
I love the research part of writing almost as much as I love writing. :) Can you give us a teaser for your new story?
Becky Patterson escapes the stifling life at her father’s parsonage for an exciting life as a mail-order bride. . .only to learn her potential is a part-time preacher, Jake Underwood. Her dreams of working alongside Jake in his store stall when an itinerant preacher wants to ordain him as pastor of the growing church. Will Becky accept God’s calling on her life—or will she reject Jake’s love and the future God has planned for them?
LOL. That's sounds like a lot of potential for fun and conflict and I love mail-order bride stories. Where did you get the inspiration for your latest book?
Jacob’s Christmas Dream is the first book in the Christmas Mail Order Angels series. Mail order brides are a staple theme in historical romance; in this series, a pair of miners want to bring brides to a female-deprived town. With a biblical twist, my hero, Jake, said his father insisted he seek a wife from their hometown in Maine. Becky, my heroine, can’t wait to leave her father’s parsonage to marry a storekeeper.
Chuckle. Sounds like your heroine is in for a big surprise. :) . Do you have a favorite scene in your newest release?
I must say one of the first scenes is my favorite. Jake sends a letter to the Ladies’ Aide Society in Merville. The pastor, Becky’s father, opens it instead, hates the idea and tosses it into the fire. She, however, is very interested, and grabs it out of the flames.
I know you got me hooked to purchase it. What do you plan to work on next?
I am currently working on a sporting-themed novella, Tobogganing for Two, part of the Love’s Sporting Chance series. My heroine is afraid of the sport after her sister was paralyzed after an accident; when they move to Kansas, they meet a doctor who treated a lot of Civil War veterans with amputations. A tobogganing date makes each of them face their fears.
That one sounds good too. :) How did you develop a 'love of story'?
I come by it naturally. My mother loved stories—books and movies. She read to me until I announced I could read myself. I remember the classic Dr. Seuss books and later Nancy Drew but I was in the adult section of the library by the time I was ten or so.
:) Apart from writing, what is your favorite creative outlet?
Oh, music. Just this morning, I played piano for the church service at the nursing home where I live. What joy!
What is the farthest place from home that you've traveled?
I went to Spain during my senior year of high school. What a week!
It must have been an incredible trip. If you have a day off, what's your favorite thing to do?
Since I live in a nursing home, I love to get out! My son and grandkids pick me up for a trip to the park, a local restaurant, shopping—my favorite! Or I stay in, leave my room to visit with others more, watch more television, get in touch with old friends. . .
Before we close, how can readers get in touch with you?
Thank you so much for stopping by today, Darlene. If we have five commenters, Darlene said she'll give one lucky person an ebook copy of her newest release. So comment away. :)
Next week, Elaine Manders will be here to tell us about her writing life. Don't forget, any comments for the month of August will also be entered in a drawing for the following: