Shannon here: You may know Darlene Franklin as historical romance author. This week, Darlene is here to talk about life and her new devotional book–It Is Well With My Soul. She’s giving away a copy as a bonus along with the two romance giveaways I’ll have later in the week. Comment on any post dated July 8 – 12 to get your name in the drawing. Deadline: July 20th, 11:59 pm central time.
* What is the biggest writing challenge you’ve encountered this past year – craft, career, writing life, etc? How did you solve it?
My health has been my biggest challenge this past year. I’ve been in the hospital twice, and ended up going into a nursing home.
Somehow in spite of all of I managed to finish the most projects I’ve ever had—six books coming out in 2013. But I can’t keep doing that. I’ve had to make the difficult decision to cut back, to plan on fewer words per day and longer times to write. As an author, my income is equal to my output, so slowing down is so very discouraging! But I have to remember that God will enable me to write those books He has for me to write, for the publishers and readers He wants me to reach.
* What is the one thing you’d like to share with other writers?
I’ve been writing a daily devotional blog this year (http://mydailynibble.blogspot.com/). One thing that God showed me recently was the need for celebration!
Celebrate the journey. Celebrate beginning writing, joining writing groups, attending a conference, finishing a book, polishing it, sending it out—receiving rejections.
* If you could pick a theme song to play every time you entered a room, what would it be?
This isn’t quite the question you asked, but close: two hymns that express my heart’s prayer. “Be Thou My Vision” is fairly well known. “May the mind of Christ my Savior” and “Himself” may not be known as well. But they all speak of the attitude of heart and mind that I aspire to.
Or of course I could choose the hymn this book is based on, “It Is Well with My Soul.” For all the reasons mentioned in the lyrics.
* What woman in your life has had the greatest impact on you?
I could list the obvious—my mother. And my daughter, whom I told God gave her to me for what I would learn from her as much as what she would learn from me. (She had severe mental illness.)
But then there are the friends—one who helped me get my driver’s license when I was 23. A lady who helped me trust my decisions. A friend I’ve known for 40 years, my college roommate and matron of honor. People like that have stood by my side through the years. Thank the Lord for friends!
* Would you rather live a week in the past or a week in the future?
This side of heaven, probably a week in the past. When my mother and daughter were both still alive.
* Would you rather meet your great grandchildren or great grandparents?
I would love to get to meet my great grandchildren. There is something affirming about having grandchildren—that in spite of all the ways I screwed up with my own children, God is allowing a little bit of me in the future. Great grandchildren would be even more special, I would think.
* What role have your friends played in your success as a writer?
Oh, my, I never would have made it at all without my friends. Especially other writers, but other people I’ve met along the way. Writers and readers don’t exist apart from each other!
My writer friends have of course helped me grow as a writer. But they also have been my number one support system in trying times. And only other writers truly understand the challenges of the job. So they build me up when I’m discouraged, or give me a sound advice when I need it.
* What is the best book you’ve read recently, and why did you like it?
I’ve just finished two great historical romances: Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer (don’t you love the title?) and Blowing on Dandelions by Miralee Ferrell. And I’m indulging my other passion, a good thriller, reading Opening Moves by Steven James.
* What was your biggest challenge in writing this book?
Since this is my first nonfiction book, trusting myself in writing it. Did it make sense? Did my writing reflect the truth of the wonderful hymn?
* When you were a child, what did you dream of growing up to be?
I wanted to be a music missionary to Mexico. A worker here recently told me that she was proud that a writer would be so interested in Mexico and willing to speak Spanish. A lot of my books touch on missions, evangelism, different ethnic groups—all outgrowths of that calling to missions.
I also listed “writer” as my dream job #5 in my diary when I was ten.
About Darlene: 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 twenty-six books, been published in twenty more, and has written more than 200 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont. You can find Darlene online elsewhere at http://darlenehfranklinwrites.blogspot.com/, http://mydailynibble.blogspot.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/darlene.franklin.3 .
About the book – It Is Well With My Soul: The lyrics from Horatio G. Spaffords beloved hymn It Is Well with My Soul inspire this encouraging title. Simple, heartfelt devotions speak to women of all ages. Add to that page after page of lovely prayers, memorable quotations, and Bible promises.
Purchase link: http://amzn.to/1cWQBgq
Come back July 10th for Cynthia Hickey!