Scribbling through Life with Darlene Franklin
with a Special Giveaway
(details after the interview)
RB: Welcome back to the Diamond Mine, Darlene. Long time no see. When you visited our blog a couple of months ago, I was fascinated by your story. For those who may not remember, could you tell the readers a little about yourself?
DF: I live in a nursing home and still manage to write! I almost think it helps me keep my priorities in order. Writing used to knock me off balance.
I’ve been writing for 23 years, although my first book didn’t come out until 2005. Since then, I have 36 books published or contracted (several are repackaged) and contributed nonfiction pieces to 23 more. It’s been a long, uphill climb.
Let’s see. I lost my daughter and my mother a couple of years apart, which turned my life upside down and moved me from Denver to Oklahoma. Here I get to enjoy life with my son, my delightful daughter-in-law, and my precious grandbabies.
RB: You’ve had your share of bumps along the road. I’m so glad you have some family close to you now. And you get to write! Valentine’s Day’s around the corner. If there was one pearl of wisdom you could bestow on all the lovebirds out there, what would it be?
DF: Love is a verb, not a feeling. It means taking the initiative to show love even when the other person is being unlovable. That’s true for all relationships.
RB: Well said, Darlene. What about you? What’s on the horizon for Darlene Franklin, the author? The Christian?
DF: I love the way you phrased the question! Darlene, the author is scrambling to figure out “what next?” now that the Heartsong book club has closed down. So far, God is leading me into more indie publishing, of e-books. So far I am part of a Christmas novella series with a dozen authors; several holiday-themed books; and at least one devotional book. More on that later in this article.
As far as Darlene, the Christian, I am seeking to live each day intentionally. I am called to write, but also to love, to encourage, to seek thee Lord’s face. To keep my priorities straighter than I have before.
RB: God’s unconditional love is a gift to be treasured. How did the Lord reveal Himself to you? How does He continue to do so?
DF: God reveals Himself to me through His people. I live with many people whose minds are gone. But one lady sings “Jesus is here and it’s all right” when she thinks the building is on fire. Another lady cries when she sings “The Old Rugged Cross.” Another manages to say grace in between tears because of pain. Oh, to have that kind of unshakeable faith!
God also reveals Himself to me through His word. What can I say? I am sharing some of those insights in my upcoming devotional, A Writer’s Journey through Matthew: A Reader’s Perspective.
In reading this question again, I realize that you’re probably asking me about my salvation experience. I was a child, interested in belonging, and church was the one place I felt at home. During Vacation Bible School when I was nine, I invited Jesus into my life. A simple story, but one that shaped my life and opened me to God’s love.
RB: Where does your writing fit in God’s scheme for your life?
DF: It’s central, at least for now. I keep asking God, do You still want me to write? When your publisher closes down, you have to ask yourself that question. Before I could breath, God inundated me with opportunities for self-publishing. For instance, I put out a feeler for a 12-author Christmas series for 2015 and have authors super excited about our project!
My first two indie books, both Christmas stories, made more money than I expected.
Not only that, but I have been offered a contract for another novella. I can’t give you details yet, but a great blessing with everything that’s gone on.
RB: 2015 is here! (Believe it or not…) What do you have planned? Any books released soon or on the horizon?
DF: Readers not overrun by Christmas might be interested in my stories, An Apple for Christmas (http://www.amazon.com/APPLE-CHRISTMAS-Christmas-Traditions-Book-ebook/dp/B00O2BJ6BM/) and Christmas Visitors (http://www.amazon.com/CHRISTMAS-VISITORS-Holidays-Heart-Book-ebook/dp/B00QJRHZQA/)
To be released soon (February 4 or earlier) for Valentine’s Day: my second Holidays of the Heart story, My Candy Valentine. Candy maker Catrina Jensen is immediately drawn to Gilbert Williams arrives in town (1916 Loveland, Oklahoma). But when she learns he has less than honorable reasons for his visit, they both have choices to make.
To be released soon (around February 4) for the beginning of Lent: my second devotional book, A Reader’s Journey through Matthew. It consists of seven week, forty-two devotional readings from Matthew, written from the perspective of an enthusiastic reader/writer.
Excerpt: This is Day One from A Reader’s Journey Through Matthew
Daily Bible Portion: Matthew 1:1-17
AFTER THE EXILE
Josiah had Jehoiachin and his brothers, and then the people were taken into the Babylonian exile. When the Babylonian exile ended, Jeconiah had Shealtiel.
Today’s portion reads like a prologue titled “Then,” followed by the “Now,” the birth of Jesus Christ. Matthew lists Jesus’ human lineage from the first Hebrew, Abraham, through King David all the way to Jesus’ grandfather Jacob.
But if you’re like me, you’d skip this prologue if it wasn’t in the Bible. I find genealogies boring. Since God includes them in His Word, I avoid skimming over the names and instead look for the unexpected, details I have overlooked before. Today’s surprise offers me hope in dark times.
The list reads father and son, father and son, through forty-two generations. Each man’s name is repeated, first as son, then as father—except for verses 11 and 12. Josiah had Jehoiachin, but we’re not told about Jehoiachin’s sons. Instead, the genealogy picks up again with Jeconiah, “when the Babylonian exile ended.” What happened between Jehoiachin and Jeconiah? How were they related?
Since The Message is a paraphrase, I checked more exact translations. They all agreed that the counting began again “after the exile.” At least seventy years passed when fathers and sons weren’t recorded. Perhaps more, if Jeconiah didn’t return with the first wave of returnees.
Did the princes in exile do something to prevent their mention? I doubt it. After all, the kings before the exile excelled at doing evil. If anything, the exiles played an important role in keeping the Jewish faith and identity intact. Not all the Jews chose to return, but Jesus’ ancestors did, more committed to keeping the law than their ancestors.
Josiah and his sons were the last of Israel’s kings. When Jeconiah returned to Judah, he didn’t claim his right to kingship. Neither did any of his descendants. At the time of Jesus’ birth, Joseph wasn’t honored as a direct descendant of Judah’s last kings.
While he may not have been a prince, Joseph did live the faith of his fathers. With Jeconiah’s return, the pause button was turned off, and the story started again.
Do you ever feel like your life is on pause? Living in a nursing home as I do, I struggle with that sense of treading water. The time will come when God will hit the “play” button. Our lives will take a new direction.
There will always be an “after the exile.” You can count on it.
RB: I love your devotional! I may have to pick that one up. Thanks for joining us at the Mine, Darlene. It’s been a pleasure seeing you again.
Comment now for your chance to win My Candy Valentine or The Homestead Brides Collection
Release Date: (Homestead Brides Collection) February 1, 2015
(awarded upon release)
ONE E-COPY of My Candy Valentine awarded for every 10 comments
ONE PRINT COPY of The Homestead Brides Collection awarded to one lucky winner.
...a minimum of five comments validates the giveaway...
About the Book:
My Candy Valentine:
Gilbert Williams sweeps Catrina Jensen off her feet when he arrives in Loveland, Oklahoma, shortly after New Year’s Day 1916. When the reason for his interest in her delicious candies is revealed, her affection turns to fear. Is her hero a traitor in disguise?
The Homestead Brides Collection:
Promises of free land lured thousands to venture into the vast American plains. They built make-do homes and put all they had into improving the land. Very often romantic thoughts took a back burner to priorities having to do with the land. Travel along through the Great Plains on romantic adventures as God helps each land prospector find someone with whom to share the dream—the work—and the love.
About the Author(s):
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
The Homestead Brides Collection features these authors: Mary Connealy, DiAnn Mills, Erica Vetsch, Carla Olson Gade, Kathleen Y'Barbo, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, Darlene Franklin, and Becca Whitman.