Author Interview: Darlene Franklin
Today’s guest is Darlene Franklin, author of Hometown Dreams. Darlene’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-seven 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 TexasF to Vermont. You can find Darlene online elsewhere at http://darlenehfranklinwrites.blogspot.com/, http://mydailynibble.blogspot.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/darlene.franklin.
Readers are always interested in knowing how an author develops his or her characters or the conflict an author designs for those characters. Would you mind sharing a little bit about your writing process that brings character and conflict to life?
Good question! Brainstorming is my favorite part of the writing process. I could say a lot on the subject, but I’ll give you a peek into the thinking behind Homefront Dreams. It is the last of six historical romances set in the small town of Maple Notch, Vermont. I checked the history of the state for interesting idea starters. That’s where I read about a widow becoming mayor after her husband’s death, a great story to set during World War II.
From there I searched for more threads. The heroine appeared in the two previous books, and I knew her well. But who should the hero be? Why, the man who ran against her in the mayoral election. What came between them? The future of the Maple Notch Female Seminary, which her grandmother founded.
I had read a book on quilts from the war that I wanted to include, and a friend pointed me to the air spotter program.
Any woman, then or now, would feel overwhelmed with so much responsibility. Add her guilt about neglecting her younger children to her other commitments, and Clarinda jumps off the page.
Your heroine, I believe, is unique. She’s a widow with six children, an elected official, an educator, businesswoman, and at one time she was a farmer’s wife. I’d love to know if Clarinda is modeled after anyone you know personally?
Clarinda isn’t modeled after anyone I know personally. She is, perhaps, inspired by her grandmother, Clara Farley Tuttle, the heroine of Love’s Raid. Also, the courage of the women who fought the war and those who took over at home inspired to create such a character as my heroine.
In Hometown Dreams, the hero and heroine have differing opinions on some very important issues. The hero’s actions even takes away some of the heroine’s cherished traditions. Yet, they remain friends and never enemies. In your life, have you ever had a friend or family member oppose your way of thinking? If so, were you able to keep your friendship intact?
Absolutely! One of my best writer friends differs from me on many political issues. We also disagree on theology which places us in different denominations. Neither of us would make several of the life choices that the other made. In other words, someone who seems like an unlikely close friend.
And yet. . . .we are. We are both Mainers and proud of it. We both love the Lord. We attended Christian colleges maybe fifty miles apart. We love history and we love to write. And we recognize when we need to move away from topics that could tear us apart.
People today face the loss of long held traditions, job loss, family members going off to war, and uncertainty about the future. What Biblical advice would you share with them to help the cope with these fearsome things?
The simplest advice is the best: God goes with us into the future.
Also, a word about faith: I have come to believe that faith doesn’t mean being unafraid. Faith means we move forward even though we are afraid. We may shiver, frightened, while we walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death—but the Shepherd leads us step by step.
We’d love to know if you have any future projects in the works.
Thank the Lord, yes. Homefront Dreams was the last historical romance set in Maple Notch. Next come three contemporary novels set in Maple Notch, to complete the saga. I am currently writing the middle book, Runaway Love.
About Hometown Dreams:
Clarinda Finch hates change.
As the newly elected mayor of Maple Notch, the war widow must lead her town through the dark days of World War II. But where she finds comfort in tradition, the town council insists on trying new ways of handling the homefront challenges. Her most untraditional opponent? Councilman Ralph Quincy.
High school principal Ralph never expected to become a friend to Clarinda and her family. But as she spars with him over the war effort, the smart, spirited mayor is the most compelling woman he’s ever known. Can they put aside their differences and fight for both their town and a future together?
On Monday, Inner Source visited with Clarinda Tuttle Finch, the heroine of Hometown Dreams.