Thursday, June 6, 2013

Win a Book!

When you leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, June 9, 2013 you'll be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see in the left column “Join This Site” and “Follow by Email”), I’ll add your name a second time in the drawing. You must be eighteen, have a U.S. mailing address, void where prohibited. You can read details about my book giveaways and Disclaimers.   


Calico Brides by Darlene Franklin

I'm pleased to have Darlene Franklin with us today. Darlene Franklin 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, has been published in twenty more, and has written more that 200 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont.

JO: Welcome, Darlene. What three fun or unique things can you tell us about yourself that we don’t know?

DARLENE: I think I’m unique in that I write full-time from my home at a nursing home. I sleep with a teddy bear named Michael. “Michael” was my daughter’s favorite boy’s name, and the bear is one of her last gifts to me before she died. My nickname is “Pancho Villa” because I wear a blue poncho to keep warm.

JO: Please describe yourself with three words.

DARLENE: creative, driven (with writing), compassionate

JO: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

DARLENE: I love to read and watch TV (especially reality shows). I also like a good bingo game every now and then.

JO: How did you become involved in writing?

DARLENE: I’ve always written—TV take offs as a child, newspaper as a young adult—but I began writing seriously, every day, in the wake of my divorce 22 years ago.

JO: Where do you write: Do you have a dedicated office or a corner or nook in a room?

DARLENE: I usually write at a table in our lobby, which has the only electrical outlets. Lately, though, I’ve been restricted to my room for health reasons, so I write at my bedside table.

JO: Do you always know the title of your books before you write them?

DARLENE:  Unfortunately, yes. I say “unfortunately” only because I have to come up with a title as part of the proposal process. The right title can capture an editor’s interest, but it’s hard. I often don’t know the best title for the story at that point. Of course, I’ve had editors change titles before. Since the title is a marketing tool, I appreciate the input from the professionals.

JO: Please tell us about Calico Brides.

DARLENE: While sowing good deeds, four Kansas women reap romance. Gladys Polson helps a crotchety widower. Annie Bliss knits for soldiers. Birdie Landry sews dresses for saloon girls looking for a career change. Schoolteacher Ruth Fairfield takes on three orphan children and their new guardian. How will God stitch love into their lives?

JO: What takeaway value do you hope your readers receive after reading this book?

DARLENE: Missions begin at home! Whom do you know in need (physical, emotional, spiritual) that you can serve?

JO: Where did you get the idea for your book?

DARLENE: I wanted to write a prairie romance collection, and what says “prairie” more than Kansas and calico? A sewing circle with a common goal was a logical fit for the novella format, and so my mind went to one of my favorite themes: missions.
Gladys seeks to serve a crotchety old hermit who happens to be the richest man in town.
Annie wants to knit mittens and scarves for men serving at the nearby fort.
Birdie wants to give other saloon girls a chance to “leave the life” by making them dresses suitable for respectable women.
Ruth wants to make clothes for children who lost everything in a fire.

JO: Did you have to do any research for this book?

DARLENE: Not a lot, only to confirm things like the presence of forts, newspapers, and colleges in Kansas in the 1870s.

JO: How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

DARLENE: I’ve been writing seriously for 22 years. I sold my first article (a devotion) in 1993, but I didn’t contract my first book until 2003. That is now a decade ago. 30 books and 200 devotionals later . . . praise the Lord!

JO: What advice would you give to writers who have been writing a few years but still haven’t interested an agent or publisher in their novel?

DARLENE: That’s going to depend on the person. Write every day, if you can, but on a regular basis. Feel free to experiment with different genres. Attend and join writer’s groups where you will grow and make invaluable contacts.  Get involved with a critique group.
And the basic advice never changes: A good writer reads, reads, reads, and writes, writes, writes.
The writing muse can be a harsh mistress. I’ve spent years chasing the dream and letting too many other things go. But if you can’t stop writing—keep writing.
Oh, and a final thought: if you’ve spent several years on one book, move on to another book. Your first book is unlikely to sell in any case. You continue growing as a writer and learning more about marketing.

JO: What are you working on now?

DARLENE: I just turned in the manuscript for Homefront Dreams to my editor. So I get to spend a month or so working on proposals before beginning my next contracted book. I need to complete a synopsis for a proposal requested by the editor at Love Inspired Historical. Then I need to write two chapters each for that proposal and also for a book ready to contract with Heartsong.

JO: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

DARLENE: See above. Don’t worry so much about publishing your book. Learn the trade. And the best ways to  improve, besides handing with other writers, are to read and write.

JO: Please tell our readers where they can get your book.


JO: Please tell our readers where they can find you online.

DARLENE:
http://darlene franklinwrites.blogspot.com
Also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

JO: Any parting comment?

DARLENE: Thanks for having me as your guest today! In addition to fiction, I write a daily devotion at http://mydailynibble.blogspot.com. I’d love to have you join me in feasting on the Word of God.

JO: Thank you, Darlene, for spending time with my readers. Darlene has graciously given me a copy of Calico Brides, which one of the commenters on this blog post will win in a random drawing.


Remember: leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, June 9, 2013 and you'll be entered in the drawing for a copy of Calico Brides by Darlene Franklin. You must be eighteen, have a U.S. mailing address, void where prohibited. Please, please remember to leave your email address so that should you be the winner I can get in touch with you for your mailing address. I’ll announce the winner in Monday’s blog.

Till next time … keep on smiling.




43 comments:

  1. Calico Brides looks great. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

    Katie J.
    johnsonk133[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katie, you're welcome. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. Good luck in the book drawing.

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  2. LOVE Romancing America Books, have enjoyed Darlene's writing before, MUST ENTER!!! LOL!

    Amada (a.m.a.th.a)
    amada_chavez{AT}yahoo{DOT}com

    I am a Follower :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amada, you're entered. Glad you left your comment. I appreciate you being a follower of my blog. Good luck in the book drawing.

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  3. This is a wonderful interview. Calico Brides sounds like a great book. Thank you for sharing with us. Please enter me in your giveaway.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

    I am a follower!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara, you're entered. Glad you enjoyed the interview. Thanks for coming by and leaving your comment and for being a follower. Good luck in the book drawing.

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    2. Barb, glad you enjoyed the interview. Good luck on the interview.

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  4. I love this...would love to read it - thanks for the fun post..I am a follower by gfc.
    truckredford(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry to hear about your health problems. I too have some. Will have to ck. out your blogs to find some inspiration to keep from getting depressed. I find reading Christian books also helps me. The fun of a story with the added good morals.
    josieringer(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martha, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. Good luck in the book drawing.

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    2. Martha, I occasionally talk about my health problems, and writing, etc., on my Nibble blog. I hope they can encourage you.

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  6. Katie, Amanda, Barbara, so happy that you found this interview! Amada, thanks for your encouragement.

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  7. I'm sorry to hear about your health issues.
    Reading can be a way to take our minds off of things and Christian fiction is my escape.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of Calico Brides.

    I'm a follower via email

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Cindi, I appreciate you following my blog. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Good luck in the book drawing.

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  8. Amen to that, Cindi! Reading (and writing) are both marvelous ways to help us get away and return refreshed without leaving our homes.

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  9. Oh wow! I have SO been wanting to read this book! (sigh) Thank you so much Miss Darlene for offering it in this giveaway!

    Wanda Barefoot
    flghtlss1(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wanda, thanks for reading and leaving your comment. Good luck in the book drawing.

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  10. This is a book that I'd really enjoy, thank you for the chance to win it.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Hi Wendy, I hope you have a chance to read Calico Brides!

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    2. Wendy, you're welcome. Thanks for leaving your comment. Good luck in the book drawing.

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  11. What put you in a Nursing Home? What type of health issues you dealing with? I deal with rhuemotoid arthritis and have for 16 years. I would love to win and read your book and review it.
    I am a follower and I get your emails.
    jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. I also suffer from crippling arthritis. Pain is my constant companion and sometimes simply wears me out. I have a number of other problems as well, but that one keeps me mostly mobile.

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    2. Jane, thanks so much for following my blog. Good luck in the book drawing.

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  12. Jo, I enjoyed this interview with Darlene. And,, I like stories about Brides, so should be good. Please enter me in the give-away. I am a follower of yours and I left a comment on your MON. blog. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  13. Dear Jo,
    I too am a follower of your blog and receive your emails. I would love to win this book for my church library.
    Thanks!
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, hope you get a copy of Calico Brides for your library!

      Delete
    2. Janet, thanks for coming by and leaving your comment. I so appreciate you following my blog. Good luck in the book drawing.

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  14. Great interview, Darlene! I'm already a follower...put me in the drawing :)

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  15. Enjoyed your interview, Darlene - to be able to write 30 books within 10 years just amazes me, especially when dealing with continuous pain! Would love to read Calico Brides - thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

    Jo, I am a follower!

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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  16. Hi Jo, I have been a follower of your blog for a long time and receive e-mails of your posts, and also have you bookmarked so I can open your blog with one click any time.

    I have a copy of The Texas Brides Collection with Angel in Disguise, and I also read Christian Fiction Historical Society and enjoy the blog posts. Historical Fiction is my favorite genre. I have the six books in the Texas Trails series.

    I would like to win a copy of Calico Brides. It is really something to have all of the collection written by one author! Maple Notch Brides, following three generations, would also be a great read. Thank you for the drawing offer.
    Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen, I so appreciate you being a follower of my blog and coming by to leave your comment. Thanks for bookmarking me. Good luck in the book drawing.

      Delete
  17. Loved the article! This book has such a catchy title, I don't usually want to read a book just because of title and/or cover, but that is what first caught my eye about this book.
    Would love to win, read, and review it!

    Blessings!
    Jasmine A.
    montanamade(at)gmail(dot)com

    P.S. I am a Follower, that is how I heard about the interview and giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jasmine, glad you liked the interview with Darlene. Thanks so much for being a follower of my blog. Good luck in the book drawing.

      Delete
  18. I love the theme of missions, reaching out for Calico Brides. Thanks for a chance to win it!
    I'm a follower.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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    1. Merry, thanks for coming by and leaving your comment. So glad you're a follower of my blog. Good luck in the book drawing.

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  19. Thanks for the chance to win Calico Brides! I am a follower.

    seventysevensusieq[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susieq, You're welcome. Thank you so much for being a follower of my blog. Good luck in the book drawing.

      Delete
  20. I would enjoy reading this book and thank you for entering me in the drawing. Good interview, too.

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    1. Diane, glad you liked the interview. Thanks for leaving your comment. I NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO ENTER YOU IN THE DRAWING SO THAT IF YOU WIN I CAN GET IN CONTACT WITH YOU.

      Delete
  21. As someone who sews and knits... I'd love to read these stories! Thanks for entering me. twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

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  22. This sounds really good! I like books where the characters do for others. I'm a follower. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for the chance to win Calico Brides. I enjoy Darlene's books very much and this looks like another good one! Great interview.

    I am a follower.

    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by and leaving your comment. I appreciate you being a follower of my blog. Good luck in the book drawing.

      Delete