If you enjoy the the wind on your face and open sky before you, you have come to a good place to find the romance and flavor of the West.

Darlene Franklin ~ THE PRODIGAL PATRIOT - Book Giveaway

Help me welcome Darlene Franklin author of The Prodigal Patriot. She is also the author of Romanian Rhapsody and 
Gunfight at Grace Gulch (Dressed for Death Mystery Series #1) (Heartsong Presents Mysteries #10) among other titles. Her writing reflects her passions for children and missions.

How long did you work toward publication?
My first book was published 14 years after I began pursuing writing seriously.

Some authors report writing 5-10 thousand words a day. Do scenes flow freely from your veins, or do you have to tweeze each word out?
I love the phrase, “tweeze each word out”! Beginnings are like that for me, a new book and sometimes a new chapter. It tends to flow more freely once I’m the rhythm of the story and the characters more or less dictate what is happening.

What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I write about characters who are at the “crossroads of love and grace” (my tagline). I put them in an awful situation, where only God’s grace can rescue them and only His love can sustain them.

What is the hardest part after the book is published?
Besides marketing?! Wondering when/if the next book will be published! The solid feeling of holding my book in my hand is fleeting.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
The next two books in the Vermont series will be published over the next few months: Bridge to Love in November and Love’s Raid early next year.

In addition to that, I’m in the Rhode Island repack, Seaside Romance. Also this fall, my novella Face of Mary appears in  A Woodland Christmas: Four Couples Find Love in the Piney Woods of East Texas (Romancing America)

If you gave a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
You want me to choose between some of my best friends! But I would choose:
1. Susan Page Davis, critique partner extraordinaire and the historical writer I want to be when I grow up.
2. Rhonda Gibson, who would add fun to any party.
3. Tracie Peterson, as the editor who gave me my big break, and as a writer who has seen the CBA grow.
4. Kim Vogel Sawyer, who captured my heart with Dear John and has yet to disappoint.
5. The Thoenes, who wowed me and kept me spellbound with their Zion Chronicles.

What was the last movie you saw in a theatre? Did you like it? What snacks did you eat?
I went to see Inception for my birthday (and to celebrate turning in a mss). Wow! I’m dying to discuss with someone. Popcorn and soda pop, of course!

Other than the Bible, what is your all time favorite book?
Lord of the Rings, because of its early and lasting influence on me. I few of Dick Francis’s books would run a close second. (Whip Hand? Bone Crack? Any Dick Francis fans out there?)

What would you tell an aspiring writer?
The simplest advice is still the best: Read, read, read. Anything, everything, from classics to best sellers to Nobel prize winners to your genre.

And of course, write, write, write. Get in the habit of writing. Your writing improves just from practice.

Also, take advantage of the many educational opportunities available to today’s Christian author.

What can you tell authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
Keep writing, keep learning, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Be open to advice from published authors.

Who would you say are your readers?
I’ve heard from everyone from a high school freshman to dear elderly saints. Most of them are women; the men grab my mysteries and run from the romances.

And what kinds of things can readers expect from your books?
Readers can expect memorable characters, strong conflicts, and a brief spell in another place and time. They can also usually experience a conflict that makes them examine their faith in God.

How do you do the research for your historical books?
I recently told a non-writing friend that I do enough research to fake my way through. Hopefully, I know a little more than that, but there are many people who know about the specific details of the battle for Fort Ticonderoga, for instance, than I would ever pretend to.

I start, online, with an overview of the period and place. I look at maps and study town histories. I invest in books I think will help me capture specific details (A Kayaker’s guide to Lake Champlain, for instance, helped me gain a sense of what it’s like to approach Fort Ticonderoga from the water).

While I’m writing, I put footnotes for questions I need to research. Was that word used that way at that time? What kind of flowers would grow in northern Vermont? What crops did they grow? When I do my edits, I research the questions and update the manuscript.

Now tell us something about The Prodigal Patriot:

The Reids refuse to live in fear.

Sally Reid’s family decides on a dangerous course when the Tories of Maple Notch, Vermont, chase Patriot families off their land. They live in a cave and farm their land by moonlight.

When Josiah Tuttle discovers their secret and offers to help, Sally doesn’t know if she can trust him. After all, Josiah’s father is one of the Tories who forced her family into hiding.

The Tuttles have already lost one son to the hated Patriot cause. How can Josiah both honor his grieving father and protect the woman he loves? When called upon to take a stand, which side will he choose? How can Sally and Josiah battle through the barriers separating them to love and forgiveness?

What gave you the inspiration for this story?
I read about Ann Storey, a Vermont farmer who continued to work her land while living in a cave during the Revolutionary War. Tories and Indians tried to scare her away. The Reids followed Ann’s example.

If your hero/heroine were a pie, what kind would he/she be and why?
My hero, Josiah Tuttle, would be lemon meringue, caught between the tartness of the Tories and the sweet of the lovely Patriot lass.

Introduce your story with the first page.

Chapter One
Maple Notch, Vermont
May 1777

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.

Where can we find you on the web?
You can find me at http://darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com. Leave comments for a monthly book drawing, both my own books as well as other authors.

Darlene, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us. To have the possibility to receive a copy of Prodigal Patriot (Heartsong Presents - Historical) leave a comment with your email (name at domain name dot com). Giveaway closes Sunday, August 22, 2010 at midnight (CST). Only US postal codes.
If you're reading this on Feedburner, Facebook, or Amazon please come to AJHawke.blogspot.com to leave your comments.


Darlene Franklin said...

Thanks for inviting me to be your guest! I look forward to meeting your readers.

Linda said...

Would love to learn more about the Revolutionary times. Unfortunately, I hated American history as a student. Now I love to read about it in novel formats. Please enter me. Thank you.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Darlene Franklin said...

Actually, I talk about that conundrum a little bit my third Vermont book, Love's Raid. History makes fascinating stories!

Susan Page Davis said...

Great interview, Darlene, and I love the research tips. I'm a Dick Francis fan, too. To the Hilt is my all-time favorite. Thanks for inviting me to your party. It sounds ab fab.

Darlene Franklin said...

Thanks for coming by, Susan! So you like my research tips? Something I do must work because editors comment on my strong settings.

Darlene Franklin said...

Oh, and Kim is joining the party. :)

A J Hawke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lotus82 said...

Wow...what a wonderful interview. I loved her choice of other authors wo would be invited to the party!!

Please enter me.

Darlene Franklin said...

A new Dick Francis? I'll have to get a copy.

I'm wondering if I should host a party for Susan & co. some year at ACFW ... if only the Thoenes would be there!

karenk said...

a great interview....thanks for the opportunity to read this fabulous novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

barbjan10 said...

I love learning, and I will certainly learn many things I never knew when I read Darlene's books. Her thoroughness to detail is awesome, and I see that most of the comments have already recognized that quality in her also. I've never heard of people living in caves and farming their land by night...whew..what strength of character...and what faith!! I already know I'm going to like Darlene's writings. I hope I win this book so I can get started. Thanks for providing me the chance to win.

God's Shared Love,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Ashley said...

Great interview! I love reading books set during this period.

hewella1 at gmail dot com

Ashley said...

Great interview! I love reading books set during this period.

hewella1 at gmail dot com

Rosslyn Elliott said...

I enjoyed this, Darlene. We met in May 2009 at the CCWC and I have been happy to see your contracts coming in! Thanks for the interview, A.J.!

Darlene Franklin said...

Rosslyn, I remember meeting you. Thanks for stopping by!

Carole said...

Best wishes on your continued writing, Darlene. I'm attracted to the New England area and would love to read the Vermont series, but I can't read mass market paperbacks anymore. I've written the publisher about making the Heartsong line available for Kindle, but they don't seem to have any plans at this time. I feel they're missing a great opportunity for sales, as the Love Inspired line seems to do well electronically - at least with me!

Anonymous said...

I have always loved history. My father told me that one of our ancestors was one of the "Indians" at the Boston Tea Party. That makes me want to read more about American history.

I really like the Dick Francis books that were written by his son. Have you tried them?


Anonymous said...

I follow Darlene's blog via e-mail. I also explored some, enjoyed seeing what what there.


Darlene Franklin said...

Carol, I've read all of the Dick Francis books, including the recent ones with his son. But I find these latter ones miss the sparkle that the earlier ones did.

Anonymous said...

I follow Darlene's blog via e-mail. I also explored some, enjoyed seeing what what there.


Merry said...

I admire all the hard work that Darlene puts into her historical work. I'd love a chance to win Prodigal Patriot. Thanks!

Disney Dreamer said...

Oh I love historicals and this one sounds great. Please enter me into your giveaway and thank you for the opportunity.

Disney D

disneydreamer4 AT yahoo DOT com

Cindy W. said...

I would love to read The Prodigal Patriot. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W


barbjan10 said...

Now..what does it say about me that I'm not familiar with Dick Francis? I too would like if Heartsong would make their books available for the Kindle Reader. I have one and it's so convenient to have many books without having a storage problem. You can be sure that I'll read Prodigal Patriot in the regular novel form if I win. Thanks.

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

A J Hawke said...

If you would like to see books on Kindle from certain publishers, go to the web site of the publisher and request that they post a specific book such as The Prodigal Patriot (Barbour) to Kindle. If they get enough people requesting, it will happen. I don't own a Kindle (yet) but I do have Kindle for PC on my computer and can download directly to my computer. I appreciate that I can enlarge the font to where it is more comfortable for me to read. Kindle for PC is a free download.

Darlene Franklin said...

Barb, Dick Francis is a secular writer of thrillers set in the horse racing industry. His characters and plots are deep and compelling but ... if you read mostly Christian romance, you're not likely to run into him!

Anonymous said...

sounds good!
please enter me!


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I love the wind in my face, the open sky before me, the romance and flavor of the West, but, most of all, our loving and living God, who created it all. I love how He works out His plans in the realm of human events, which is His Story. I have been blessed with a gift: a compulsion to write Historical and present-day novels set in the American West that demonstrate His power to transform ordinary people into true heroes and heroines. I am just a scribe really. I find the joy of participating in the creation of inspirational fiction indescribable. May our Lord Jesus Christ receive all of the credit and be glorified.

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