What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I put my characters through the ringer—and in those terrible times, they discover the rock bottom truth that God loves me, no matter what. Lately I have written a number of books looking at the question of prejudice—racial, cultural, class—from different directions. That’s an issue in Bridge to Love, in Maple Notch Bride, when a poor farmer is courting the banker’s daughter.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
Ranger’s Trail, my second book (fourth overall) in the Texas Trails series, will be released in February. Sometime this spring Pride’s Fall, my last book with the Heartsong bookclub, will be released.
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I could name some dear friends I haven’t seen for decades. Or I could go with celebrities. I’d love to talk with Philip Yancey. His book Disappointment with God revolutionized how I thought about God’s sovereign love in difficult times, and all his books since speak to me.
What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
Historical. Hmm. I think of the hosts of ordinary women (and men too) who grew to greatness: Mother Teresa. Rosa Parks. Joan of Arc. Oscar Schindler. Corrie Ten Boom. Martin Luther. Martin Luther King. What transformed them from everyday people to makers and shakers?
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
I use my own example. I say I continued writing long past the point it made any sense, when any sensible person would have stopped this single-minded pursuit. For a ten year period, I might perhaps have made one sale a year. One sale of an article, several of them for free. My first book was published after I had been writing for fourteen years. Since then, things begin to snowball.
I wrote one nonfiction book and four novels before my first book was published (which was the second novel I had written).
Also, the last time I seriously questioned whether I should continue writing, God gave me a clear answer. I didn’t need to know whether He wanted me to write for the rest of my life; I knew He wanted me to write the book I was working on. And by the time I finished that, I had a contract for my first book. (The book I was writing at that time has never sold, by the way.)
Rejections are part of a writer’s life. Rather than trying to continuously improve on that one manuscript, move on to the next one after a reasonable length of time (“reasonable” for me was 1-2 years per manuscript).
I'm so glad you never gave up. I love your stories. Tell us about the featured book.
I’m originally from
England, so I had a lot of fun writing about my back yard. I
wanted my stories to have a real
feel. Pamela Griffin used the maple sugar industry as a backdrop for her
contemporary set, Vermont
Weddings. So I used a covered bridge that plays a role in each story. In
the first book, it’s still a tree. . .the first covered bridge wasn’t built for
another thirty years. Vermont
Climb into adventure in the
where party politics, parental pressure, and personal misperceptions challenge
three couples. Sally Reid and her family of Patriots are in hiding. Can she
trust Josiah Tuttle, a man whose father is loyal to King George? (Prodigal
Patriot, a Revolutionary War story) Beatrice Bailey’s wealthy father wants
his daughter to marry up—not down. Does farmer Calvin Tuttle have any chance of
winning Beatrice’s heart and her father’s blessing? (Bridge to Love, a
Year of No Summer story) Clara Farley has accepted the role of spinster. Can
Daniel Tuttle get her to change her mind? (Love’s Raid, a Civil War
story) Will God show these couples a way above the fray? Green
Please give us the first page of the book.
Today was a glorious day to be outside, Sally Reid decided as she went about her morning chores. Cool air flowed down from the mountains, scented with pine, the evergreen trees that gave the “Verts Monts,” or the
Green Mountains, their name. The sun overhead promised
sunshine and warmth, and green shoots pushed up through the ground. She loved
the rhythms of farm life, the cycles of sowing, growing, reaping, and resting.
A song of praise burst from her lips.
“Good morning, Miss Reid! You sound cheerful this fine morning,” a deep voice called out.
Sally stopped in mid-verse. Her singing called for no audience beyond the chickens who clucked along with her. Pa teased that she had the voice of a crow. Of all people, who should catch her in her morning serenade but Josiah Tuttle.
“Morning to you, Mr. Tuttle.”
He smiled at her, the same grin that had infuriated her since childhood. It always put her in mind of the day he pulled the mobcap off her head after she’d had the measles. Clumps of her straight, oak-colored hair came off with the mobcap, and she had run home and refused to come out again. Remembering, she put a hand to the top of her head, making sure its covering was in place.
Josiah’s hair was as black now as it had been then, the same red highlights created by the sun. But the years had transformed him from a skinny lad to a stalwart man, tall and well built. Not that she would ever make mention of the fact.
“Is Nathaniel about yet?” His voice had changed as well, into a marvelous baritone. He could sing far better than she could.
“I haven’t seen him.” Sally wondered if they required a chaperone for this conversation. Anyone could see them in the open dooryard. In fact, she saw a flicker in the opening in the cabin wall—probably her little sister, Nellie. Next thing Sally knew, Nellie would start announcing that Josiah was calling on her to everyone who stopped by.
How can readers find you on the Internet?I am on Facebook. They can also find me at http://darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com .
Thank you, Darlene, for another interesting interview.
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Maple Notch Brides (Romancing America)
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