Diggin' It with Darlene on Inspirational Moments (Ebook Giveaway!)

Darlene Franklin
Stops by Inspirational Moments

I'm so excited! Great writer and friend, Darlene Franklin is here. She surprised me by stopping by Inspirational Moments! She's also giving away one of her books so make sure you check out the details after our chat.


Renee: Wow, Darlene, I'm so glad you're here! I don't have an interview ready, but we can wing it. I'll get my handy dandy hat here and toss some questions in it. Are you ready?

Darlene: I'm excited to be here, and that sounds like fun. I sure am. Go for it!

Renee: First question is: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Darlene: It’s a toss-up. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia. For that matter, I’d love to make it to California! 
     But my traveling days are over. If I could make one trip only, I would return to East Boothbay, Maine, with my family. For my grandchildren to see my family’s home and to scatter my mother’s ashes in the ocean.

Renee: I've never been to Maine, but I would love to visit there someday. Australia does sound like an amazing place to go too though. Next question: How do your pick your titles?

Darlene: Titles! The bane of my existence.
    Cinderella’s Boot was extremely easy. My June novella: Acadian Hearts, equals theme (Acadia National Park) plus romance.
     I like alliteration so the title of my novella about Colorado’s state flower became Colorado Columbine. I’m also fond of Prodigal Patriot and Gunfight at Grace Gulch.
     Other titles are a lot harder to come by. I wrote more than half of my orphan train story without a title. One day I described it as my “riches to rags to riches again” story. The phrase stuck with me, and I chose To Riches Again as the title.
     The best titles will feature something unique about the book while suggesting the tone or genre.

Renee: Titles haven't been too tough for me. Well, all but Beast of Stratton. I think I went through about four different titles before finally picking that one! LOL Okay, ready for the next question? I am! This is fun. Which writing style do you prefer?

Darlene: I assume you’re talking about Plotter or Pantser? At the moment I’m a hybrid.
     Up front, I spend a lot of time getting to know my characters. What motivates them? What puts them in the situation that creates the opportunity for romance? What stands in their way? When I know the characters that well, I can put them into a scene and they take over. 
     The plotting occurs between chapters. I evaluate what happened in the previous chapter, and how I can move the story ahead in the next chapter.

Renee: Writers have many names for their methods and styles of writing. I'd like to think our styles are similar. I can't plot from beginning to end but I need structure and find it within my characters. They are the driving force of my stories as well, in a less degree, the setting. On to the next question! Oh, this is a doozy...how do you decide what to write about and when do you do your research?

Darlene: Most commonly, my publisher suggests the broad subject.
     Occasionally I suggest a story line to my publisher and they like it! This year I’m helping together a group of novellas based on John Denver’s songs to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his death this October.
     Sometimes a specific location, time period, or historical phenomenon (such as the Pony Express, orphan train, or the national parks) is connected with the theme. In that case, I do my research up front to brainstorm my story. 
     Other times, the collection is based on a plot device: pets, mail order brides, or masquerade balls. I research as I play around with time and place and story conflict.
     After the initial research, I research as I write and edit the story.
     Cinderella’s Boot was a story I had wanted to write for a long time. I had fun with the story, starting with naming my heroine Cynthia Ellen “Cinderella” Cooper. She runs away to work on a sheep station in Australia and comes back to work as a vet assistant and pet groomer alongside her ex-fiancé.

Renee: Let's see what's next...oh, fun! Do you have any hobbies or things you like to do when you aren’t working?

Darlene: I have discovered adult coloring books!
     I read—of course. Word search books. Watching classic TV. I’ve confirmed a few old favorites (Star Trek and Perry Mason), discarded some others (Columbo) and discovered new shows (The Incredible Hulk, Big Valley, Have Gun, Will Travel).

Renee: There is nothing wrong with the classics. As for adult coloring books, I haven't joined the craze...yet...but it looks like fun. Okay, two more questions. Which part of your Cinderella’s Boot, your latest release, did you struggle with the most?

Darlene: The reconciliation between Keith and Cynthia. I wanted Keith to have forgiven Cynthia for leaving him behind, but he refused. He held on to the pain. 
     In seeking their path to reconciliation, I studied the trouble relationship between the apostle Paul and the gospel writer John Mark. Paul didn’t want to have anything to do with Mark after he ran away from their first missionary journey—much like Keith feels about Cynthia.
     Something happened, though, because later Mark worked alongside of Paul. At the very end of Paul’s life, he asks Timothy to bring Mark to see Paul. 
     If Mark and Paul could reconcile, so could Keith and Cynthia.

Renee: And the final question... Is there a special quote or saying which comes to your mind in times of need or adversity?

Darlene: “I will not let pain or fear defeat me.” – I just wrote an article on the subject which will be coming out in May’s issue of Book Fun Magazine.

Renee: Now that's an inspiring quote. Thank you for surprising us today, Darlene. You're an amazing woman and author.

Darlene: Thank you for having me. Oh, I almost forgot! I want to offer one of your readers a free digital copy of the book, Runaway Brides which includes my story, Cinderella's Boot. The collection is about weddings that didn't work. Seven brides flee their grooms and find true love where they least expect it.

     To enter, all you have to do is comment or ask a question about this fun-filled interview. Oh, don't forget to leave your email address!



featuring Cinderella's Boot

Enter by commenting on interview post.

One winner will be selected by random draw on 5/17/17 from eligible entrants. Eligible entrants are blogpost commenters who include their email addresses. Winner will be notified via email by Darlene Franklin or Renee Blare following selection.


Cynthia Ellen Cooper—known affectionately as “Cinderella”—left her wedding boot in the dust when she ran away from her wedding to work on a sheep station in Australia. 

Four years later, she’s back home—and so is her ex-fiancé, now a DVM from Oklahoma State University. They reach a truce and work side by side in his father’s animal clinic. 

Cyn soon discovers she wants more—but she has to battle bad history and a demanding pet owner for Keith’s attention.

About Darlene Franklin:

Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin's greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. This year she expects to reach fifty unique titles in print and she’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears in four monthly magazines. Her most recent titles are Capturing the Rancher's Heart, Romancing the Ranger, and Cinderella's Boot.

Website and blog

Amazon author page


  1. Surprises are so much fun!
    Thank you for this interview, I can tell there were lots of laughs involved here.
    Adult coloring.... It is fun and relaxing.... at least I think so.
    I will have to search out a few of these new to me titles.
    May His SONShnine reign / rain down upon you both


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