Dear Readers, today I’m introducing you to another of the authors of A Texas Christmas, and you’ll have another chance to win a copy.
Welcome back, Darlene. Since you’re being published regularly, what new avenues will your future books take?
I dived into Indie, e-book publishing when the Heartsong book club closed down last year. I hope to continue writing with traditional publishers, especially novellas and devotionals.
Since I now have more freedom in choosing “what next,” I’m not certain what my focus will be. I’ve mainly written historical romance (which I love to read and write). I’d love to write more mysteries—but it’s a very different skill, and do I want to spend the time to develop it? I also hope to complete several devotional books.
Who knows? God may set me on an unexpected path. Now that I’m in a nursing home, with uncertain health, I’ve asked Him several times, “Am I still supposed to write?” Every time I ask, I get another assignment, keeping me busy. I’ve stopped asking!
What conferences will you be attending this year? Will you be a speaker at any of them?
I can’t physically attend any conferences. However, I taught a course at the At-Home Conference hosted by Karin Beery, for those members of ACFW who can’t attend. I have taught several times in the past. This year’s subject is on developing spiritual threads in our stories.
Even readers who complain that I use too much scripture in my stories admit that they do shed light on the story. In other words, I believe I have a gift for weaving spiritual truths into stories without getting too preachy. I loved having the opportunity.
If you were in charge of planning the panel discussion at a writing conference, what topic would the panel cover, and who would you ask to be on the panel, and why?
Oh, you’re putting me on the spot. The hot topic these days is self-publishing: do you aim for a traditional publisher or do you publish it on your own. How do you decide? What are the pitfuls of self-publishing? How can you make a success of it? I know at least two very successful Indie authors, Cindy Hickey and Lacy Williams, and would research a few others.
Yes, and some of the well-known, big name Christian authors have moved entirely to Indie publishing. It’s a whole new publishing world out there. How important is it to you to be active in writing organizations?
It’s very important to me. I belong to the local chapter (OCFW) and national (ACFW) of American Christian Fiction Writers. I also belong to Christian Authors Network (CAN).
ACFW keeps me in contact with the Christian writing community, new authors, new venues to publicize my work, opportunities to pass on what I have learned, a great research resource—not to mention the best support system in the world. My mother couldn’t believe the love and care we received from ACFW when my daughter died several years ago.
CAN is more focused. All the members are professional authors. The group is dedicated primarily to marketing and has a close relationship with the Munce group, an association of independent Christian retailers.
Where in the community or your church do you volunteer?
That’s hard in a nursing home. Last year I wrote devotions from the book of Matthew which my local church used during Lenten Sunday services. I donated a large number of books to the ladies’ group for their reading pleasure and to use as door prizes and pass along where needs arise.
At my new nursing home, one of the churches that visits has no pianist to accompany them. So I offered. My playing suffers from my arthritic fingers but God still uses me, all praise to Him.
I also try to get to know the people around me, patients and workers alike. I asked a housekeeper yesterday what he did outside of work. He treated me to a 15 minute lecture on his many and varied interests, pleased that someone wanted to listen. It was a reminder that I should ask more often.
There are places where you can minister to people in a nursing home, and I’m glad you’re finding them. Even in the two and half weeks I spent in rehab in August and September, God used me to touch some of the workers, nurses, and other residents. He is so awesome. Who are the five people who have made the most impact on your life, and how?
I’ll start with my family: my mother, whom I respect more and more the older I get. My children, Jaran and Jolene, both for the problems they caused me and for the joy they brought me.
My friend Karen from my 6 years in
Tulsa, when my marriage was falling apart,
and I had absolutely no self-confidence. She helped me see that my decisions,
which felt rushed, were actually the result of a long-time consideration of the
problems. I needed that confidence when I was left single, with two children
traumatized by abuse.
The members (I’m cheating, using groups of people as one) of my first face-to-face writers’ group. In the days prior to ACFW, we
And if I was going to mention one more person, I would say Pastor Bill, who agreed to adopt me as a member of his church when he visited my roommate, and who continues to stay in touch and serve as an advocate for me even though he retired and I moved.
The obvious, before anything else, so obvious I didn’t say it—GOD! Amen, forever and ever!
If you could write the inscription on your tombstone, what would it be?
Good question. How about, “God’s servant because He loved me first and always.”
I love it. Tell us about the featured book.
A Texas Christmas puts together six novellas previously published elsewhere. My contribution is Face of Mary. In one of my most obvious of biblical parallels, I reimagine the story of Joseph and Mary’s courtship. “Joey” and “Polly” (Mary) has worshiped her best friend’s older brother Joey since childhood. She held on to a chance remark made by Joey to believe they were engaged. When he finishes law school, he returns home—engaged. The story goes on from there, with her father’s failing mental health and Joey’s disillusionment with his fiancé.
Please share the first page with us for my readers.
Polly Jessup dallied longer than usual in the bedroom she shared with her two younger sisters. She wanted to look her best today. Not only was Jean Carpenter celeb rating her engagement to Abraham Mott, but Jean’s brother Joey had returned home after four years away.
Polly pulled her dark hair away from her face, but it continued to fall into a center part. Should she wear it up? No, at seventeen she was too young to dress her locks in the style of an old married matron, even if she did feel that way some days. Taking care of four younger brothers and sisters did that to a girl. She teased her fringe across her forehead, hoping they might curl.
Joey Carpenter. “I think I’ll marry you myself.” Her heart beat faster at the memory. How many times had she repeated his words when she learned a new verse from the Bible or studied something new? Even though she had retired from competition she continued to hide God’s Word in her heart. She hungered for it almost as much as she hungered for food, and prayed she would walk according to God’s law.
Did Joey even remember what he had said to her all those years ago? Would he mention it when he saw her today? She blushed. He had probably forgotten long ago.
Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @darlene franklin
Thank you, Darlene, for sharing with us today. You're an inspiration to me, and I love your writing.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.A Texas Christmas - Christianbook.com
A Texas Christmas: Six Romances from the Historic Lone Star State Herald the Season of Love - Amazon
A Texas Christmas: Six Romances from the Historic Lone Star State Herald the Season of Love - Kindle
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