Today we’re featuring multi-published author Darlene Franklin as she answers some probing questions about herself as an author. Darlene is giving away a free copy of her e-book, Dressed for Death, so be sure to leave a comment. And remember to read to the bottom, as she is also including the first page of the book!
- What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
What a delightful question for us authors!
No book can become successful without excited readers. Word of mouth makes best sellers out of obscure books. Tell all your friends, mere acquaintances, and even strangers about the books. Suggest them to your local libraries and bookstores.
Online buzz is also important. All the social media outlets—whatever your favorite outlets are. Tons of good reviews attract advertisers, but only ten reviews can garner a mention with a smaller advertiser.
Get in touch with the author. If you leave a comment, I’ll probably write back. Read my blog, subscribe to my newsletter. If you have a blog, you can write about my book, or even invite me to be your guest.
- What are you reading right now?
I’m reading two books, both of them chosen in part because of an “alphabet soup” book reading challenge—reading a book with a title starting with every letter of the alphabet this year. But they both appeal to me for other reasons as well.
I force myself to read non-fiction books, so during my quiet time I’m reading Vanishing Grace by Philip Yancey. He is one of the few nonfiction authors I read again and again. It’s about how to share the gospel with those resistant to Christianity.
I’m also reading Live Free or Die by Jessie Crockett–mysteries are my favorite genre. How could I bypass a book set in the state where I was born, with the state’s motto for its title?
- What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Physical reasons. Lately I’m struggling with sleepiness (I take a lot of pain medications). I try to take short naps, or splash my face with cold water, or drink caffeine. Sometimes nothing works, so I have to adjust my schedule to write at a different time. Today I lost my pain patch and I’m hurting more than usual. On the days it’s just too hard, I give myself permission to take it easy.
BIO: Best-selling author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over fifty books and more than 250 devotionals.
The grandfather clock inside Cici’s Vintage Clothing chimed 2:00 p.m. I strained my ears for the cries that would announce the arrival of Grace Gulch’s two most famous participants in the 1891 Oklahoma Land Run. For once, I wished my store wasn’t full of customers.
“Cici, look! They’re coming!”
I hurried over to the customer who stood by the front window display of prairie bonnets. In minutes, the store emptied as effectively as if a fire alarm had sounded. I considered putting on my Edwardian hat but decided against it. People wanted to see the horsemen, not a bunch of feathers and ribbons. I joined my customers on the sidewalk to watch the race for Grace Gulch. I wouldn’t cheer for either rider—no successful businesswoman could afford to show partisanship for either a Grace or a Gaynor in our town—but inside I rooted for Cord Grace.
Hoofbeats drummed the hard-packecd earth. One horse, tall and black against the sky, crested the hill at the far end of the gulch. Cord! My heart raced at the sight of my childhood friend and persistent suitor. I might not want to marry him, but he looked every inch a hero on horseback. Seconds later, another horse, as white as the first one was black, appeared from a different direction.
So the cell phones worked. I bit back a smile. Unlike the original race, the outcome would not depend on the fastest horse and pure luck. This reenactment was the brainchild of Audie Howe, interim director of the Magda Grace Mallory Theater—the MGM for short—named after the town’s leading patron of the arts. In order to make sure that the right person won the race, Audie arranged to phone Penn Hardy, owner of the Grace Gulch Herald, when it was to time to move. Audie used every modern convenience to keep his plays running smoothly, even in telling a century-old story.
News of the reenactment had spread. Twice the normal crowd had come to town to celebrate Land Run Days. A sigh passed through the people gathered on the sidewalk. They cheered on their favorites.
“C’mon, Gaynor! Beat him to it this time!”
“You’re the man, Grace! Get here first!”
“Yee-haw!” I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer. My breaths came in short gasps as I wondered if, this time, history might be altered. Of course it wouldn’t. Cord Grace could ride circles around Penn Hardy any day of the week. A working cowboy had all the advantages over a newspaper editor in a horse race. If they were riding for real, Cord and his horse Smoky would still come in first. Hands down.
The figures became bigger on the horizon. I could distinguish Cord’s wide Stetson hat, his boots working spurs into Smokey’s side. Behind him, Penn rode a bit like a proper English gentleman, upright in the saddle. He wouldn’t get the maximum out of Starlight that way.
True to history, Cord and Smoky dashed down the path that would have been a tangle of undergrowth and leafy trees during the original run. Main Street stretched out from one end of the gulch to the other. Cord reined in his horse in the center of town and planted a flag in a small patch of grass.
“This claim belongs to Bob Grace!” Cord’s voice rang with exhilaration. He sounded as pleased as his great-grandfather must have back in 1891. I released my breath, gasping in relief that the history of Grace Gulch would remain unchanged.