About Writers On Reading

Welcome to Writers on Reading! You can expect a great author interview every Friday. Plus some fun drawing giveaways you won't want to miss during the month of June! So make sure you enter! Click here for scheduled interviews. Our goal is to present the books writers love, so through their interviews, you can get to know writers as readers too. (And hopefully find new favorites!) I remember a special thrill whenever I heard my favorite writers loved the writers I loved. Here, I hope you'll share my delight of discovery. I am arranging interviews and will soon be listing upcoming guests. If you have a question you'd like asked, or if you'd like to be guest, please use the contact form below. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, 12 June 2015

Writer Darlene Franklin On Reading

Darlene, welcome to Writers on Reading! I am very excited about this interview—After all, with numerous historical romances and mysteries to your name, I cannot begin to guess what you’ll read! And, psst, folks, she's giving away a Kindle copy of her historical Love's Glory, and her mystery Gunfight at Grace Gulch. So be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for both books (we'll need at least ten for the giveaway). So back to the interview…is your bookshelf full of titles as varying as your publishing credits, or do you find one genre draws your attention more than others? Is there something special you seek when selecting your next reading adventure?

My answer to your first two questions is contradictory. Yes, my bookshelf (more precisely, my Nook since my room in the nursing home doesn’t have space for books) is full of a variety of books. And yes, one genre draws my attention more than others—mysteries and thrillers. Since I have over a hundred books on my Nook, I am careful about selecting new books to add. Although I do pay for a few books, I get most books for free or on sale. (That’s okay, I’m sure you do too) Things I look for: authors I enjoy or Christian authors I want to support, even if they’re new to me. A variety of genres, emphasizing mysteries and the genre I write, historical romance, anything with story lines that interest me. I also look for subjects that interest me, such as mysteries at a vintage clothing store (like my Dressed for Death series) or settings of special interest.

What do I avoid? In spite of the many interesting fantasy/Sci-Fi story lines, I avoid stories with teen characters (don’t adults get to be heroes anymore?), and I also avoid series. I have too many books to read 5-6 books before I reach the end of the story. I also put off reading books longer than 250 pages. Maybe once I catch up with the shorter books. . .

In terms of what do I read next, I am quite methodical. I have a list of all my books, separated into 3 categories: nonfiction, favorites/Christian, and general. I’ve divided
them into 12 months of the year. So each month I try to read at least one book from each category, and make sure I read a mixture of mysteries and something else. I also allow myself to stop reading if at any point the story fails to interest me.

Wow, that's a very logical way to go about it. I also admire the gumption to stop if it fails to interest you. So, that said, what is on your to-read list?

This is my list from this month. If I’m lucky, I’ll read 5-6 of them.
1.    Jacobs, Cindy. The Power of Persistent Prayer 
2.    Jones, Sherry. Four Sisters, All Queens
1.    Gist, Diann. Courting Trouble
2.    Grafton, Sue V is for Vengeance
3.    Grafton, Sue. W is for Wasted
1.    Gill, David MacInnis, Tin City Thunder
2.    Gillenwater, Sharon. Jenna's Cowboy
3.    Girard, Danielle. Dead Center
4.    Glaser, Donita White. The Enemy We Know
5.    Goodsen, Simon. Wanderer's Escape
6.    Gordon, Rose. The Officer and the Bostoner
7.    Goth, Mitch. Parabellum
8.    Grant, Vanessa.  Lifelines
9.    Griffith, B.B. Blue Fall
10. Halliday, Spying in High Heels
11. Hankins, James. Brothers and Bones
12. Hanna, H.Y. Playing Santa.
13. Hanson, Neal. Castle Cay
14. Hartoin, A.W. A Good Man Gone
15. Heal, Deborah. Time and Again.
16. Henderson, Peggy. Yellowstone Heart Song
17. Hewitt, Kate. Far Horizons
18. Hileman, John Michael. Messages
19. Hill, Melissa. The Heartbreak Café
20. Hill, Rayven. Blood and Justice
21. Hill, Travis. Search Terms: Alpha
22. Hilton, Traci Tyne. Good, Clean Murder

That's a great list! What was the most out-of-character book you’ve recently read, and what led to your choice?

I read a Zombie book—something I ordinarily would have avoided with a 10-foot pole. The teaser for the book doesn’t relate that fact, however. I’m not sure what attracted me, and I picked it up before I had such a pile of books. Now I probably wouldn’t buy it, for reasons I mentioned before.

The thing is, I really enjoyed the first two books. When the complete 6-book set was on sale for 99 cents, I bought it. Six quirky characters compelled me to care and put into an impossible situation. A believable future. It made me want to find fellow fans to talk about it with (I haven’t found any yet).

Oh, the series is Gameland by Saul Tanpepper.

A zombie book---never would have guessed it. I'm laughing. This is why I love these interviews! And I love finding out the why. Quirky compelling characters in an impossible situation; yep, you've got me wanting to read it! I have to ask, you’ve produced so many books, do you find time to read during the months you spend writing a book or with deadlines ahead is it either/or for you? If so, what did you read while working on your last book?

Oh, my, yes, I’m always reading. I don’t read as much as I used to. But my current practice is to read a Christian nonfiction book as part of my quiet time—I am now reading Becoming a Vessel God Can Use by Donna Partow. I read from my TBR list at night. My last three fiction books (read in April) have been mysteries—I tried others, truly, but they didn’t keep my attention. My current “read,” Green Lake, S.K. Epperson, is a good mystery but has those pages of explicit sex that I flip over. Sigh.

What was the last book you absolutely couldn't put down? Why?

Best book of the year, best in a long time (and a mystery, of course): The Gray and Guilty Sea by Scott WilliamCarter. Great use of setting and complex, compelling characters. One author I can’t wait to read again.

Sounds very good. Did a book recently make you laugh?

Confessionsof a Prayer Slacker by Diane Moody. The title itself gives a hint of the author’s laughter-laced, humorous, approachable style.

Indeed it does! Were you the kind of kid/teen who loved reading? Which novel do you first remember reading?

I’ve always been a reader. In high school, I bought a scholastic book of the books you should read before college, and I tried to read them all. Along about my Junior year I decided I didn’t have to read a book I didn’t enjoy. The sad truth is that I read a lot of American classics that I was too young to appreciate.

But that aside, I fell in love with certain authors. First I read everything by Charles Dickens I could find. Then I got into Thomas Hardy.

And oh yes, of course, oh, my, I read The Lord of the Rings trilogy five times in my teen years.

Five times! Well, that brings us right to my next question: Is there a book you are looking forward to rereading?

That answer came right from the top of your head! Quite the recommendation. Now, one last question: If Beth, from Love’s Glory, were to pick a book from today’s shelves, what do you think it would be?

When Beth was younger, she might have read the mega blockbusters so popular with teens, like The Hunger Games. But now, as a single mother struggling to survive, she’d read baby magazines and how-to books and maybe join a Bible study group to encourage her to read the Bible more.

A perfect answer! Well thought out, as were all the things you shared. Thanks so much for visiting and letting us get to know you better as a reader, Darlene! Folks, you can continue to connect with Darlene at the links below. But it gets better, IF we get ten comments or more, Darlene has offered to give away a Kindle copy of her two very varied books featured on this interview: Gunfight at Grace Gulch AND Love's Glory---a perfect sampling of this multifaceted author's tastes! I'll be doing the draw June 28, so leave a comment left before 5:00 p.m. CDT June 28 for a chance to win these two books. Must be over 19 and a US resident to enter. Click here for more details.

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 over thirty books and has written more than 250 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont. You can find Darlene online elsewhere at https://www.facebook.com/Poet.Darlene.Franklin and http://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Franklin/e/B001K8993A/.
It’s 1919. Everything is changing—cars are common and airplanes helped win the War to End All Wars. Even the German-Americans of New Brandenburg, Texas, renamed their town Old Glory to prove their patriotism.
None of that matters to Beth Smith. In 1917, her boyfriend Garan Schmidt enlisted in the Army—and left her pregnant. She left home and built a new life for herself and their daughter.
When Garan finds Beth and their daughter in May 1919, he is eager to make amends and start over. Beth is unsure if she is ready to tell the truth that will set them free.

Purchase link for Gunfight at Grace Gulch, book 1 in my Dressed for Death mystery series: http://www.amazon.com/Gunfight-Grace-Christian-Mystery-Dressed-ebook/dp/B00U4XPROW
The feud between the Graces and the Gaynors is still going strong more than a century after its inception in the 1891 Oklahoma land run. Newspaper editor Penn Hardy is murdered during the reenactment of the most famous gunfight in the history of Grace Gulch, Oklahoma. Cici Wilde, owner of a vintage clothing store, feels compelled to investigate when police suspect people close to her. She soon discovers her talent for sleuthing equals her flare for wearing period clothing. Theater director Audie Howe never expected the reenactment to end in a real murder. He cares too much for the future of the Magda Grace Mallory Theater - and the charming Cici Wilde - to let her face danger alone. Cici and Audie take a dangerous gamble to nail the killer - and lay their lives on the line.