Best-selling author 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 fifty books and more than 250 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont.
Welcome to the blog, Darlene. I’m so happy to have you here today. Congratulations on your recent release, Small-Town Brides Romance Collection.
Small-Town Brides Romance Collection has nine novellas total. My story, A Blessing for Beau, first appeared in Calico Brides. Ruth Fairfield has watched three of her closest friends find a mission close to home—along with love—throughout the year. She begins to think teaching and ministering to others as the pastor’s daughter is the mission God has for her—until Beau Blanton returns to Calico to take care of his orphaned niece and nephews. The only problem is that Beau doesn’t want any help and he doesn’t understand the children left in his care. I honestly don’t remember how long it took me to write it. In general, it takes me 2-3 weeks to write a novella and then just as long for edits. So a novella takes me 6-8 weeks. I don’t write fast.
Which character from your story are you most excited for readers to meet and why?
Hmm. The hero and heroine, of course, but the three children took my heart. Now I’ve chosen everybody! Perhaps the heroine, Ruth. She feels so ordinary, and that what she offers is so simple, that she doesn’t see herself as God sees her. I feel that way quite often.
Do you have a favorite setting, a particular place, from one of your books that you enjoyed spending time at with your characters?
I’ve written the most books set in Vermont and Texas. But what is my favorite? When I wrote Dressed in Scarlet, my mother and I spent a weekend at the Brown Palace in Denver when I was writing the novella—how I “suffered” for the sake of my art. I especially enjoyed my only foreign setting—Romania, the setting of my first book, Romanian Rhapsody.
What’s one of the strangest things you’ve had to research for a novel?
Perhaps the strangest thing I researched was how to “burn out” stumps. My book, Bridge to Love, was inspired by the story of Egypt, Vermont, which survived New England’s “Year of No Summer” (1816) by burning out stumps to keep the corn crop from freezing every month by burning out the roots of the stumps. That year, every month saw either freezing temperatures and/or snow—very few crops survived. My hero, like the farmer in Egypt, managed to grow his corn crop and sold seed corn to his neighbors at a reasonable price instead of making a fortune.
Wow, I’ve never heard of that before. Fascinating! You’ve written historical romances, mysteries, devotionals, and contemporary romance books. Is one genre easier to write than the others? If so, why?
Historical romances are probably the easiest for me to write now, because I written the most of them. Editors like my historical romances more than my contemporaries. Which makes me afraid for my mysteries, although I love writing them (I have a new series in the works.)
I bet it’s fun to mix it up. 🙂 Thank you so much for joining us today, Darlene! Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
I spent April in a writing marathon. I wrote Matchmaking Mix-up, a Christmas novella which will be published in August this year. I also wrote The Gambler’s Daughter, which will be published in the Pony Express Romance Collection with Barbour next year. For the finish, I worked on my new mystery series: Nut Case from Mystery by the Case.
Wow! You’ve been busy! 😉 That’s great, Darlene. Looking forward to following your writing from here.
Darlene has graciously offered to give away a copy of Small-Town Brides to one lucky reader! Enter below and it could be YOU!
Thanks for entering! Contest is open to US residents only and ends May 17, 2016. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!