3 Questions Wednesday with Darlene Franklin

Welcome to Wednesday! Today our guest is Darlene Franklin, a novelist, magazine article writer, and poet. Let’s get to know her. Our first question, what do you love most about the writing process? The least?

Darlene: I love brainstorming! I love the fun of starting with a premise and finding the right setting, conflicts, and characters to match. It’s just plain fun for me and relatively easy. I also love having a manuscript finally written. There’s nothing more satisfying than having a finished copy of my books, the joy of seeing my story come to life. To read it and think, “You know, this is pretty good! I didn’t realize I had done such a good job.” (That’s not always the case, but when it is…)

The rest-writing, editing, marketing, is all time-consuming work. I have the hardest time with marketing.

Marketing seems to be tricky for all of us. Next question: If you could give a novice writer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Darlene: Beyond the basics of all basics, a writer must read, read, read and write, write, write. I would tell them not to compare themselves to other writers. Learn from them. Study writing you admire. Incorporate good writing techniques in your writing. But know this: no one else can write your stories. You can give two different authors the exact same premise. I promise you, their stories will be radically different.

The other side to that is that the writers you work with have a huge impact on your writing. When I look at lists of comparable writers, I’m often paired with writers that I worked with extensively toward the beginning of my career.: Susan Page Davis, Lynette Sowell, Lena Nelson Dooley, Mary Conneally.

Great advice! Final question, were you a young writer, late-bloomer, or somewhere in-between?

Darlene: All of them. I wrote as a child and young adult, then began writing seriously in my thirties but didn’t have my first book published until I was 50. Now I’m 65 and expect to see 75 books in print this year.

Wow, you have had an inspiring journey! Thanks for stopping by. Connect with Darlene online, www.darlenefranklin.com, or on her Amazon author page.

Click to Tweet: Beyond the basics of all basics, a writer must read, read, read and write, write, write. I would tell them not to compare themselves to other writers. Learn from them. Study writing you admire. Incorporate good writing techniques in your writing. But know this: no one else can write your stories.

Darlene Franklin Bio:

Darlene Franklin is a warrior woman who happens to live in a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma City near her son’s family. Ms. Franklin is a prolific novelist, magazine writer, and poet. She expects to publish book #75 this year. Her most recent books include Coffee Club Mysteries, Drummer’s Angel, and the newly released, In God’s Hands

In God’s Hands

God wants a relationship with us. He describes himself as having eyes, ears—hands. His hands flung the universe in place and crafted our bodies. They protect us and shelter us—they also discipline us. The thirty-nine poems in In God’s Hands celebrate those hands from many different angles, in poems such as:

  • God as Judge
  • Healing Hands
  • Written on the Palms of God’s Hands
  • How Big is God?
  • Hands of Promise

The Inspired Prompt Crew

What a month we’ve had! Someone put on Facebook that this has been the longest April in modern history. I suppose for some that may be true. It certainly has been a unique one.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our month of sharing what’s new in the lives of the crew.

For those who are working on manuscripts or marketing their latest releases, the present situation either provided more time for those pursuits or interrupted them completely. Many of us have discovered more important things like children and family.

When all is said and done, those are the pursuits in our life that mean the most. Thank you, dear readers, for following our blog.

And now, as we stand on the threshold waiting, our prayers are with you as you work through the present environment, whatever that means in your individual situation.

May God bless and keep you!

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. — Psalm 23:1-3


3 Questions Wednesday with Laurie Boulden

Welcome to Wednesday! Today our guest is Laurie Boulden, who is an educator with a love of storytelling. Let’s get to know her. Our first question, what was the best money you ever spent as a writer concerning craft? How about marketing?

No photo description available.Laurie: When I became serious about wanting to publish nearly 10 years ago, I searched online for Florida conferences. I discovered the Florida Christian Writers Conference. Up until this year, it’s been held at the end of February. Writers, authors, publishers, and editors meet and work on their craft. It is an amazing experience. I’ve learned so much over the years. Won a few awards, including Author of the Year in 2016. I strongly recommend any writer, from novice to experienced, find a conference in their area to work on and grow their craft.

Continuing to educate ourselves and build our craft is so important, and conferences are a great way to do so. Next question: If you could give a novice writer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Laurie: Lose the rose-colored glasses. Writing is an amazing experience. It is awe-inspiring to see your story hanging out on a shelf in a bookstore or library. If you get hung up on the fame and fortune, you will be in for a horrible disappointment. Writing takes work, and even when you’ve poured your sweat, blood, and tears into a project, there is no guarantee your project will move beyond your circle of connections. If that’s the only reason you write, you will soon be dejected and quit. Don’t be like that. Write because you love stories. Share as many of them as you possibly can. If, by the grace of God in whatever form it takes, you become a household name, be thankful. Be humble. Don’t expect success, but be blessed if it happens.

You are so right. We write to tell our stories and share our talent. Final question, Who is your favorite fictional hero or heroine? Villain?

Laurie: Bilbo Baggins is my favorite fictional hero. Frodo, too, but Frodo gets so worn down by his experiences, I place Bilbo first. Bilbo doesn’t think much of himself, but he does things anyway. He writes poetry. He converses with dragons. He enjoys a simple life. Is generous when he can be. Is prepared for an unexpected party. If you’re heading on any sort of holiday or adventure, he’s the one to have at your side. Even when something (or everything) goes wrong, he’ll devise a plan. He’s also a writer. How great is that?

Bilbo would make a good traveling companion. Thanks for stopping by. Connect with Laurie on any or all of her social platforms below:

Click to Tweet: Lose the rose-colored glasses. Writing is an amazing experience. It is awe-inspiring to see your story hanging out on a shelf in a bookstore or library.

Laurie Boulden Bio:

Dr. Laurie Boulden is an expert teacher. Teaching has been a passion of hers since she was little. She lined up dolls and stuffed animals to “teach” and do her homework. She also discovered she liked words, specifically putting words together to form stories.

She admits to not being a brilliant linguist, but does know how to express a scene and make it come alive. She has always had an incredible imagination. And probably spent more hours staring out the window in fourth grade than focusing on lessons and learning. The teacher finally moved her to where she couldn’t see trees swaying and leaves chattering with squirrels. As she has grown, she learned to harness her imagination and create books.

Instead of nicely focusing within one genre, her panache for creating stories reaches into the Bible, into dark alleys and darker deeds, and light-hearted laughs with a Christmas flare. Then, there’s her other self, bursting with fantasies and fairy tales. Something for almost everyone.

Imagination aside, feeding her creativity tends to come through traveling. Exploring new places, meeting a variety of people, spending time in a cool wood or walking across rolling hills—there’s something about a new place and experience that revs gets her imaginative wheels turning. Her most beloved place to travel is New Zealand. She went for Lord of the Rings and discovered beauty in both the place and people. It feels like home. She was welcomed into churches, into schools, and the scenery from top to bottom is breathtaking. She looks forward to returning.

Jewel of Jericho

The story of Rahab comes to us through Joshua. Forty years of wandering have brought the children of Israel to their Promised Land, now controlled by the peoples of Canaan. This remarkable story tells of Jewish spies and their unexpected saving. There is a call and a reason to answer. Through it all, the hand of God moves not only nations to war, but individuals to great risks and greater rewards.

My name is Rahab. I am a woman of Canaan. I do not belong in the lineage of the greatest love story, and yet, I am here. Kings have come through me. My people would look in wonder or scorn. It matters not for they are no more. Rahabek is a strong name. I took it to myself and carried my head high. Now it has come down through the ages, the story of a whore who betrayed her people. But I do not think they were my people. The One who called from across the Jordan said I am His. He is mine. As such, His people have become my people. My haughty head I now bow low, for I am redeemed in love and joy.

Listen to my story. Decide for yourself. It is no easy thing to fall into the hands of a fearful God without a willing heart.

What’s New With Carlton Hughes

Professor, Writer, Speaker, Children’s Pastor, Carlton Hughes has been busy, in through the present pandemic. In my opinion, you could add “comedian” to the above list.

What else is new with Carlton? He recently released a new devotional, co-authored by Holland Webb.

Adventures in Fatherhood

Adventure along with two dads in a devotional journey full of wisdom and warning.

Being a great father is not for the weak of heart! It’s an adventure every step of the way. Whether you’re fixing boo-boos and changing diapers, or coaching soccer and carpooling teenagers, you’ll find spiritual insight and practical advice in this devotional by Carlton Hughes and Holland Webb. The authors blend personal experiences with humor and spiritual application to encourage you, dad, to do your best for God and for your family.

Ellie Claire’s devotionals offer short inspirational readings, paired with inspiring quotes and Scripture verses to encourage your heart.
  • Devotions written specifically for dads
  • Rugged, durable package
  • Perfect size for coat pocket or briefcase
  • Presentation page for personalization
  • Ribbon marker
  • A great gift for Father’s Day, dad’s birthday, or Christmas

Carlton Hughes

Carlton Hughes, represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary, wears many hats. By day, he is a professor of communication. On Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings, he serves as a children’s pastor. In his “spare time,” he is a freelance writer. Carlton is an empty-nesting dad and devoted husband who likes long walks on the beach, old sitcoms, and chocolate–all the chocolate. His work has been featured in Chicken Soup

What’s New With You?

By Fay Lamb

That’s the question we’re answering for our readers. I’m not sure if it is my sense of humor—or lack thereof—but it struck me as a funny question for me to answer at this time. After all, I think that nearly eighty percent of us would provide the same answer: “At home. Trying to keep from boredom in the least and madness at the most.”

As an author, I’d usually say that I have plenty to keep me busy, but at this time, I’m in a holding pattern after feeling the Lord telling me to back away. Then Windows murdered my computer with their updates. The poor thing was healthy and happy one moment and dead the next. In light of the coronavirus, I am thankful that it was the computer and not me.

I do have two books in the works, each at different stages of completion. The first is the second novel in my Mullet Harbor Christmas series. It is yet to be titled, but it shares the romance of my tiptoeing heroine, Abigail Brewster, and the Cajun sheriff she loves, Eli Arneaux. The other book is also the second in a series. This one is my Serenity Key series, and it is entitled, Luke’s Journey. Luke has sailed off to an exotic Caribbean location thinking his ex-wife, Blanchie is pursuing a romance with his best friend. While Luke writes home—he’s a writer and he loves paper correspondence—he creates great changes in his church, in his family, in his own life. God is working while Luke—and I—are placed in that holding pattern I mentioned.

Despite my attempt at humor, about the coronavirus, I am taking it seriously. During this time, the most important “chore” God has given me is to be in His word and to pray, to draw closer to Him, trusting Him for the outcome and asking Him for the faith to meet whatever happens. I’m praying. I know others are praying. God is not turning a deaf ear to us. He is at work even while we are forced to slow down. I believe our Father is calling His beloved to kneel before His throne and sit at His feet, seeking His comfort and His mercy.

May God comfort and bless each of you during this time.

Fay Lamb is an author, an editor, and a teacher. She also loves to teach workshops for fiction writers.
Fay has contracted four series with her publisher, Write Integrity Press. Amazing Grace is a four-novel series, which includes Stalking Willow, Better than Revenge, Everybody’s Broken, and Frozen Notes all set in Western North Carolina.
Her The Ties that Bind romantic series, set in Fay’s own backyard of Central Florida, includes Charisse, Libby, and Hope, and comes to a surprising and satisfying conclusion with Delilah.
This author keeps busy. She also has two other series in the works. Her first novel in the Serenity Key series is the epic, Storms in Serenity. The other series is Mullet Harbor, a series of Christmas romances set in the Florida Everglades. Christmas Under Wraps is now available.
Fay has an adventurous spirit, which has also taken her into the arena of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.
Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editoron Facebook and onGoodreads. She’s also active on Twitter. Fay also invites you to visit her website and sign up for her newsletter.

Storms in Serenity

A hurricane is heading straight for Serenity Key, Florida, but the town is already dealing with another storm brewing on the island, and it has nothing to do with the atmospheric pressure.

David New has a secret he’s guarded for thirty years, and it has caused a spiritual storm fiercer than a cyclone, pulling the lid off of David’s tightly contained indiscretions. When the daughter he has never met is reported missing, apparently the victim of a hideous crime, and the lives of others he loves begin to unravel, David learns that the sins he thought so personal aren’t so private after all. The consequences are wreaking havoc in ways he never dreamed possible.

As the physical and spiritual tempests collide over Serenity, God is the only one who can calm the storm, but David it isn’t sure he can survive until God decides to intervene.