Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Author Behind the Story Series -

Well, school's about the start down here in the south. From August 10th on, you will hear collective cheers as parents drop off their children and head for the closest Starbucks. It's amazing how school has become a surrogate babysitter, helping the sanity of many a parent stay intact.

"You're Welcome."

So, for you southern parents, I've got something you may want to read while you're sipping on your caramel macchiato with no whip. (For you northern parents, you have about a month left. So, go lock yourself in the bathroom with your iPad, and you too can read this.)

Everyone, please welcome to my Florida front porch, author Darlene Franklin!

Hi, Darlene! Can you give us a quick bio. In fifty words or less, who is Darlene Franklin?

My bio proudly brags that I write full-time from a nursing home! I have found my situation to be the best catalyst for growth that I’ve experienced for a long time. I’m also a reader, a mother and grandmother, a church musician, who loves to color pictures and do word search puzzles. I guess that’s more than 50 words.

Before you ever got a notion of becoming a writer/author, how old were you, and what were you doing in that time of your life?

Do you mean before I included “writer” as a potential occupation when I was only 10 years old? That doesn’t quite count, because I sincerely believed I would be a missionary to Mexico as an adult.

I began writing daily when I was in my thirties, in the wake of a nasty divorce.

What educational background do you have?

I graduated from Cony High School in Augusta, Maine. After that I went to Northeastern Bible College and Southwestern Baptist Seminary.  I had been told that the most important qualification for a missionary was to know God’s Word. I had a double major in college—Bible/theology and music. I loved both subjects, but it left my other coursework very limited. At seminary I started out in music and switched to religious education.

The training definitely prepared for the ministries God has called me to. (I have been involved with missions to a limited extent, just not the way I hoped or envisioned.)  Nor have I been a preschool teacher or a Minister to Children. But I have always been involved with church music (became church pianist when I was twelve.) I started teaching children’s Sunday school when I was only fifteen.

So when I began writing, I wrote curriculum for children’s church and Sunday school. I’ve also written more than three hundred devotionals. Bible study is one of my passions!


I’m going to give you a shotgun list of favorites. List your favorite in each category and then tell us in one sentence why it is your favorite.

Favorite Food: rare steaks and hot caramel sundaes—but not together. Probably because I can’t get them by myself in a nursing home!
Favorite Drink: Most often drink: diet coke. Favorite drink: apple cider. I have rarely had good cider since Maine after high school.
Favorite Song: Any number of hymns! Of contemporary praise songs, songs like Blessed Be the Name and He Reins. I studied church music in college and played piano in church since I was twelve.
Favorite Non-Fiction Book (other than your own & besides the Bible): Almost anything by Philip Yancey. I really relate to his approach.
Favorite Bible Verse: Romans 8:37-39 hands down. God loves me. Period. No matter what.
Favorite Movie: Beyond Lord of the Rings? Different movies for different times. Top favs: Fiddler on the Roof, Field of Dreams, Princess Bride, Casablanca.
Favorite Actor or Actress: I have never disappointed by Leonardo DiCaprio or Meryl Streep. About the time I watched (???), I realized DiCaprio kept surprising me.
Favorite Novel (other than your own): Whip Hand by Dick Francis. The most suspense-
filled novel (without being horror) and character driven story I have ever read
Favorite Novelist (other than you): Dick Francis, Charles Dickens. I waited with baited breath for Francis’s annual books. Unfortunately, they’re both dead.
Favorite Sport: baseball. I fell in love with baseball during the Colorado Rockies first season.
Favorite Team (Can be any sport, any level): Denver Broncos and the OKC Thunder. Regional affiliations—and the satisfaction of finally winning the Super Bowl!
Favorite Subject in School Growing Up: Music, Spanish, English. I did well in everything, but science and math was head learning and not heart learning.
Favorite Subject Now: Bible study and history. The passions drive my writing, not the other way around.
Favorite Teacher in School: Perhaps my Spanish teacher, who wanted me to become a translator. I grew up in Maine, where Spanish isn’t the second language. (French is.)
Favorite Time of the Year: Spring. New beginnings and the end of winter before summer’s heat
Favorite Place to Vacation:  The mountains. Oh, my beloved Colorado!


If you had one person you could meet (think outside the Bible here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be?

Maybe Mother Theresa—who was she before she became “Mother Theresa,” world-renowned spiritual leader? What led her to India? How did she keep going during the early years, when it must have so difficult?

If you had one person you could meet (think ONLY Bible characters here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be besides Jesus?

I might say Deborah—her take on the role of women in the history of faith! Or Abraham and Sarah, for the belief-defying faith. But actually I’d like to chat with Leah. She astounds  me. Jacob didn’t care about her at all, but she gave her sons names that resonate with hope. By the time it came to boy # four, she called him Judah, or praise. “This time I will praise God.” Unspoken: Even if Jacob still doesn’t love me. How did she do it?

Besides the usual things authors face, has there been an unusual event that changed your perspective about being an author?

My daughter’s suicide in 2008 was the first in a series of collapses that radically changed the direction of my career. I lost my daughter, my beloved Colorado, a job I loved, my mother, my health—my independence. I ended up in a nursing home.

As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, the publisher I had written for stopped publishing. I wondered if God intended for me to stop writing. He didn’t. Instead, my career has exploded beyond anything I could have imagined!

I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. But God is good, and He always proves faithful, doesn't He? What’s the craziest thing you have ever done?
       
One of my craziest things was traveling by bus from Mexico City, where I had been a summer missionary, to my parent’s home in Maine by bus. I traveled everywhere by bus in those days.

We know “Readers are leaders, and leaders are readers.” Is there a book you’ve read in the past five years or so that has helped you become a better you? If so, which one was it, and how did it affect your life?

This is and isn’t my work. I was hired to write prayers to accompany the text to the upcoming 12 Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women. The texts, by prayer giants such as Andrew Murray and EM Bounds, challenged me and taught me so much. As I studied, I found my prayer life profoundly changed.

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most, and why?

Romans 8:37-39.  God loves me. Period. I am free to live and not be afraid of my failures.


Darlene, it's been a pleasure to have you on Florida front porch! Where can folks find you out there in cyberland?

Here's my Website and blogHere's my Facebook page as well as my Amazon author page
Also, my Twitter handle is @darlenefranklin.

Again, thanks so much for allowing our readers a chance to get to know you better.

Reader, Until next month, May God Bless You, and may you Bless God!

Kevin








 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Author Interview with Jodie Wolfe




I was the featured author Jodie's blog. Come check it out!




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Sins of Tolerance - A Biblical Worldview (An MTL Magazine Column)



This article appeared in the More to Life Magazine's World Column for August 2017:



"One job. That’s all we’ve ever had.

One rule. How simple is that? Imagine how life would be today if we had just one law to follow…
“Don’t touch that tree,” God said. “That’s it. You can eat anything else from this garden. Just stay away from that tree” (Gen. 2:16-17).
Then, the serpent showed up. He questioned the rule. He challenged the interpretation of the one law. He even painted God as an individual trying to withhold information, even deceive, if that were possible. “He’s trying to keep you from reaching your full potential,” the serpent said. “He knows that if you eat of that tree, you’ll be just like him, and he doesn’t want any competition. Trust me on that one” (Gen. 3:1-5).
And ever since, the pockmark of human existence has stemmed from that one decision man made in the Garden: to disobey the one, simple rule.
In the parlance of Scripture, it’s called sin. More definitively: disobedience. Out of this fountainhead found in Genesis 3 comes multiple tributaries of sinful behavior throughout the Old and New Testaments. Each act questioning God’s real intent. Each deed determining an alternative outcome contrary to God’s Word. “You will not surely die…”

Come check it the remainder of the article!




Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Author Interview with Robin Mason




Come check out the interview done on July 20, 2017.


Read on...





Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Author Behind the Story Series - Susan G. Mathis

Greetings from the surface of the sun! Well, actually, we're a little north of there, but close. "What's he talking about?" Jim Gaffigan, famous comedian, has a three-minute stand up routine on Disney wherein he likens standing in line at the theme park in Orlando in July to standing in line at the DMV on the surface of the sun. How true it is. Not just the Disney analogy, but the sun one. This summer has been brutal. I'll bet Colorado is cooler. And that's where our next guest in The Author Behind the Story series lives.

Please welcome to the sweltering, humid, "Why do I still live here?" (Oh, yeah...the ocean) Florida front porch, author Susan G. Mathis!



Susan, pretend you just met us in the Barnes & Noble checkout line. We are holding one of your books. We see you, and say, "Hey, aren't you her?" as we point to the back cover. Who is Susan G. Mathis?

I’m a versatile writer and author of five books including a novel, two non-fiction books, and two picture books. Crazy, I know. I love doing life with my husband, Dale, traveling, water aerobics, serving others, and enjoying time on Skype and in person with my four adorable granddaughters who live in South Africa.

So, you have already told us you're married and that you have children. Can you tell us a little about them?

I’m happily married to the man of my dreams, my co-author for my first two premarital books, my travel partner, and my best friend. He’s God’s beautiful gift to me.

I have two wonderful adult children, a son who lives in Sayulitas, Mexico, and a daughter (with four daughters) who lives in Cape Town, South Africa. How I ended up with two international kids boggles my mind!

Before you ever got a notion of becoming a writer/author, how old were you, and what were you doing in that time of your life?

My mother quips that I started my writing career when I signed my crayon drawings—on the foyer wall—with a great big “S”! Though I’m not sure that was the start I wanted, I can’t remember not writing.

My journey has been multi-faceted. I’ve taught Language Arts for nine years to 4-8 graders, had my own newspaper column, wrote missions curriculum, and have written just about anything God put in my path. As the Former Editorial Director at Focus on the Family of 12 unique publications and Founding Editor of Thriving Family magazine, I’ve done a lot of writing and editing. Then, in 2008, Tyndale published the first of my two premarital books—Countdown for Couples, and then The ReMarriage Adventure. Last year my two children’s picture books were released—Lexie’s Adventure in Kenya: Love is Patient and Princess Madison’s Rainbow Adventure. And now I’m a debut novelist with The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy. It’s been a really fun journey!

I think you are the second former Language Arts teacher I've had on as a guest. Being one myself, I'm thinking the odds are high that many novelists had a previous life as an ELA teacher. But you had the added bonus of working in the newspaper industry as well as for Focus on the Family! Or as one of our daughters used to call it, Poke Us in the Family.

What educational background do you have?

I grew up in Watertown, NY, got my first degree in NY and my second degree here in Colorado. I’ve taught school, been a staff writer, been an editor, and now write from home. Yippee!

Watertown, isn't that where they get all the snow off the great lakes? We lived in western NY for almost eight years. We've seen out share of blizzards.

Where and why do you live where you do now?

I live on 5 acres overlooking the Rocky Mountains and Pike’s Peak. With such a beautiful view, writing is inspirational. The only thing missing is the ocean.

We've always wanted to vacation out there. Never been west of I-35, though. Why do you live where you live?

I live on 5 acres overlooking the Rocky Mountains and Pike’s Peak. With such a beautiful view, writing is inspirational. The only thing missing is the ocean.

When you look for a new home, what are the things that are important to you? 

I love our current home, but since my husband has Parkinsons' disease, one day we’ll have to transition to a one-level place. Must haves would be a view, room for our kids to visit, and near our loved ones.

When you look for a new car, what are the things that are important to you?

Hah! I just texted our salesman about this. We’re looking for a Nissan Rogue or Murano.

Besides the usual things authors face, has there been an unusual event that changed your perspective about being an author?


When I was writing my first two premarital books for Tyndale, I was working full-time as an editorial director at Focus on the Family, managing five magazines and four parenting newsletters. I worked about 60 hours a week and wrote at night and on weekends. The “unusual event” is that somehow, God multiplied my time and energy, and I don’t remember that time as at all stressful or hard. I still look back on it with amazement.

The Fabric of Hope
I’m going to give you a shotgun list of favorites. List your favorite in each category, and if you can, tell us in one sentence why it is your favorite.

Favorite Food: Decadent Lobster
Favorite Drink: Tea (in a lovely china teacup)
Favorite Song: At the moment it’s “Oh My Soul” by Casting Crowns
Favorite Non-Fiction Book (other than your own; besides the Bible): Depends on the season of life. I’m always trying to grow and learn. Right now, I’m reading writing craft books.
Favorite Bible Verse: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm youplans to give you hope and a future.” In fact, my novel is about this concept.
Favorite Movie: Anne of Green Gables
Favorite Actor or Actress:  Tom Hanks
Favorite Novel (other than your own): There are simply too many to list!
Favorite Novelist (other than you): Ditto!
Favorite Sport: I hated football until a friend patiently explained it to me. Now I love it.
Favorite Team (Can be any sport, any level): Go Broncos!
Favorite Subject in School Growing Up: English and History
Favorite Subject Now: English and History
Favorite Teacher in School: John Cecil, a Christian geology professor who was instrumental in leading me to Christ
Favorite Time of the Year: Christmas, of course.
Favorite Place to Vacation: Beach/Ocean, anywhere, anytime!


If you had one person you could meet (think outside the Bible here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be?

My daddy, who died three months before I was born.

I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm sure (isn't the Christian life wonderful this way?...we CAN know, be sure...) you will get all eternity to sit down and chat!

If you had one person you could meet (think ONLY Bible characters here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be besides Jesus?

Queen Esther. What a strong woman!

What’s the craziest thing you have ever done?        

In 2000 I went on a missions trip to China. The day after we got there, the team leader asked to me to take a team of five teenagers into Inner Mongolia for five days. I was the only adult besides the Chinese interpreter. We took a train for 15 hours, sleeping with goats and chickens nearby, to a Mongolian city that had never had an American there. We had a wonderful time, which was broadcast on Mongolian TV, and because I was the only adult American, they called me President Susan! Crazy times sharing God’s love with thousands.

We know “Readers are leaders, and leaders are readers.” Is there a book you’ve read in the past five years or so that has helped you become a better you? If so, which one was it, and how did it affect your life?

Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your work and In Your Life by Spencer Johnson really helped me transition from working in the marketplace to working from home.

When you are looking for a book to read, what are the things that are important to you? 

I check out the reviews first. I love historical and historical romance, especially mid-to-late 1800s. It can’t have a poorly designed cover, or I pass it by.

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most, and why?

My life verse is Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” I live by it!

Susan, it's been a pleasure! That's for taking the time to stop by and give our readers a glimpse into your life.

Readers, if you wish to get to know Susan even more, here are several ways you can do so:


Thanks, everybody, for stopping by. I'm going inside now where the A/C is cold, the lemonade is colder, and taunt the mosquitoes as they try to get inside through the window.

Oh, and one more thing. Feel free to follow my blog!

Until next month,

Kevin
Kevin's
soon-to-be-rereleased
2013 BRMCWC Selah
Award-winning
Debut Novel





Friday, June 23, 2017

The Story Behind Art (A Seriously Write Blog)





"We were listening to Sirius/XM radio on the way to the beach over Memorial Day weekend. They were doing a countdown of the Top 100 most influential rock-n-roll songs of all time. I’m not sure who put the list together, but like so many of these kinds of countdowns, I took issue with many of the selections as well as where some were ranked.

However, one particularly interesting part of this countdown was an interview they did with Robert Lamm, one of the members of the group Chicago. Leading into the next song in the Top 100 (I forget which number it was), they replayed an interview from some time back wherein Lamm explained how he came up with the name to the song, 25 or 6 to 4. Have you ever wondered how that song got its name? Me, too."


Want to read the rest? Click HERE!



Coming Soon!
The Serpent's Grasp!

Followers