Interview with Darlene Franklin

» Posted on Jul 13, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Interview with Darlene Franklin

This week I’m hosting Darlene Franklin with Prodigal Patriot, Elizabeth Ludwig with Love Finds You in Calico, California and Carla Stewart with Chasing Lilacs. If you want to enter the drawings, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (July 18th) evening.

Interview with Darlene Franklin:

1. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I have been writing ever since I first held a pen in my hand—I have a story I wrote when I was in second grade! I began writing seriously after my divorce, way back in 1991. My first book, Romanian Rhapsody, came out in 2005. I’m delighted to announce that I just signed a contract for the sequel to that first volume, Plainsong, which will come out next year.

Since making the decision to write full time a year ago, I’ve been extremely blessed. The number of books contracted and/or promised has doubled, so that I am expecting to see (at least) sixteen books in print by 2012. I’m one of those “overnight successes after 20 years.”

2. How do you handle rejections?
Over the years I have come to understand my market niche. It has taken a lot of time! I recently told a friend I have a better chance of selling a novel than a magazine article. So I rarely bash myself in the head trying to write for magazines anymore (except for devotions, which I’ve sold by the hundreds). Rejection comes less often than it used to.

But it does come, especially as I seek to grow with my books. I doubt myself and my ability. (That happens other times, too, when I read an exceptional book and think “I could never do that.”) I wonder if I’m reaching too high. But I set aside the editor’s comments for a later date, when I can see them clearly. They are rarely as glowing or as bad as I thought they were upon first reading.
And I keep on working. . .on the next thing

3. Why do you write?
That’s a question I’m struggling with a bit right now. I’m finally living the dream: I’m working full time writing. But many days I struggle to get going. Some days I write nothing at all.

There are any number of answers to the question, but it boils down to I write because I must and I have a story (or stories) I feel compelled to share.
As I struggle with my current project (Love’s Raid, the third historical Vermont romance), I received the galleys for my Christmas novella, Face of Mary in A Woodland Christmas (coming out in September). Writing the novella was slow going, too. I doubted myself, I doubted the story. Now, six months later, I read it with fresh eyes and say to myself, “This is really good!” I’ve learned to trust the process.

4. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
There’s a bit of me in all my books and major characters. A book that was all head knowledge and no heart wouldn’t carry much emotional depth.

5. Tell us about the book you have out right now.
My first historical Vermont romance, Prodigal Patriot, was released with Heartsong Presents this month. Readers can buy it directly from

Local folk tales and history provided the inspiration for all three Vermont books. Ann Story lived in a cave with her family when Tories and Indians pillaged their farm, like the heroine in Prodigal Patriot. The hero is the Patriot son of one of Tory leaders.

The next two books in the series come out in November (Bridge to Love) and next March (Love’s Raid).

I’d also like to mention Seaside Romance, a collection of three historical romances set in Rhode Island. That’s due for release in August.

6. How important is faith in your books?
In some books, faith is a major theme. In my coming Christmas novella, Face of Mary, the hero looks for a woman who resembles the mother of our Lord in her character. In other books, their faith is the background of the story but not as much of a central issue.

7. What themes do you like to write about?
My tagline is “writing at the crossroads of love and grace.” Many of my characters have been deeply hurt by life and must discover that crossroads to get through their problems.

8. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
My first book will always be a favorite—my firstborn! When I wrote Romanian Rhapsody, I never guessed that I would face the nightmare of my own child’s death a few years later.

Readers seem especially drawn to my mysteries (Gunfight at Grace Gulch and A String of Murders), and I would love to write more. They have the added advantage of being set in my new home, Oklahoma! Gunfight was also that all-important second book; I knew I wasn’t a one book wonder.

And I have to mention my novella, Dressed in Scarlet. Writing a story set in 1913 Denver proved I could write historical romance, and I was delighted when it finalled in the Book of the Year contest sponsored by ACFW.