Saturday, October 2, 2010

Special Guest Saturday: Laura Frantz

Laura, thank you so much for being here today, what a treat! I have loved both of your books, The Frontiersman’s Daughter and Courting Morrow Little, where did you come up with those story ideas?

Thanks so much for hosting me here! Your blog is one I visit and find so full of energy and sound writing advice/technique. As for your question, Kentucky history gives me so much inspiration. Since my family came into Kentucky in the late 18th-century and have been there ever since, we have quite a rich history of our own. I try to keep those first settlers and their experiences alive in my books.

When you sit down to write, do you have an objective for how you want that time to go? A goal to meet or obstacle to conquer?

I’m afraid writing has never been work to me so I’ve never approached it as I do a task. My problem or obstacle is to stop writing and attend to other things. I’m one of those writers who could write and not eat or do anything else, just write, as it brings me such JOY. Now the editing and marketing are another story! I have to set goals for that as it’s pretty painful at times.

Prior to publication, I was definitely a panster but now that my publisher requires proposals with a synopsis of each book, my writing is a bit more structured. Never mind that I stick the synopsis in the drawer and pretend I’m a punster again! I don’t count words as it’s too much like counting calories to me. I just write till I’m too tired to write any more on a given day or family needs take precedent. I often write on holidays which probably sounds taboo but it’s my favorite thing to do.

Your novels are filled with a wonderful sense of that time and place. I feel like I am there. How do you do your research?

Research to me is almost as enjoyable as writing. I read far more research and biographies than fiction. Setting is so vital to immersing a reader into the story. If I don’t have a firm grasp of my setting, I can’t go very deep. Setting sets the tone of the entire novel and is like another character to me. I’ve read novels that barely touched on the surroundings and always feel a bit lost. I want to fall in love with a place as well as its characters.

You were a debut novelist just a short time ago, but already so many readers love your work. What do you credit with your success?

God’s grace. It’s really His gift and His glory in the end. I really believe that if I do the work he calls me to do I can leave the results (readership) to Him.

Have you always wanted to write?

Yes, since age 7 or so. I remember standing in the library amidst all those little historical biographies for children and feeling like I was falling in love. I still get that feeling when I read or write.

I must admit that it is a dream of mine to be published by Bethany House or Revell, how did you get picked up by them and how is that experience been working with them?

I came in by the back door, so to speak. Revell found me through the Writer’s Edge. I was unagented and had never been to a writing conference, had no writing contacts, no blog/website, etc. It was definitely God’s doing. At that time, my editor was the editor-in-chief of Crossings Book Club and kept my book info via the Writer’s Edge for 6 months while she transitioned to Revell and became their senior acquisitions editor.

Some have called your fiction, “edgy” I have called it “evocative and moving”, but how would you classify your fiction?

Thank you! Love the words “evocative and moving.” I do strive for that in my work. I never think of my work as edgy, simply realistic. I try not to sugarcoat the 18th-century. The time period was so very earthy and edgy, full of romance and rebellion and all the elements of great fiction. I would do historical damage if I portrayed it any differently than it was.

You have a very lyrical and distinct prose that is completely your own voice, did you have to cultivate that or has it always been there in your writing?

My voice has stayed true over the years, I think, but has been refined by time and experience. I have a novella I wrote at age 12 about Old Sturbridge Village set in the early 19th-century, and that lyrical quality is there. I can’t take credit for it as it is just a trait, like having green eyes and blonde hair. But I’ve always thought the best writing is beautiful writing. I love writing that reads like a song. Like music. My favorite writers have that same symphonic quality and it really strikes a chord with me, no pun intended.

Laura, we have loved having you here on the Alley, thanks so much for visiting, do you have anything you want to add for our readers today?

It’s such a privilege to give away two of my books here today. I pray it blesses the readers into whose hands they fall. Bless you all! And may we meet again!

Hey everyone, Casey here again, Laura has generously offered BOTH of her books in a giveaway for two fortunate readers! So be sure and leave a comment for her to be entered, I can promise you, that you don't want to miss this one!


Amber Holcomb said...

First of all, wonderful interview! Laura is such a sweet, sweet person, and I have been blessed by having a friendship with her! She has been so generous to me with her time and encouragement, and it means more to me than I can express to her. :)

Second, I loved The Frontiersman's Daughter, and I cannot wait to read Courting Morrow Little! I have copies of both, so no need to enter me in the drawing. :) I just wanted to say that I love Laura's writing, including her blog!

Third, do I see some new additions on the "Contributors" list...? :D

Thank you for writing such great posts, Casey and all of "The Writers Alley" gang!


adge said...

I came here from Laura's blog. I like the lyrical quality of things as well. Great interview and these were definitely new questions! gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

Renee said...

I loved both of Laura's books but, sadly, loaned them out and have never seen them again! (Sisters and students passing them around!) I'd love the chance to win them and share them with a few more folks. reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

MaureenT said...

Great interview! I loved the the Lord worked on that back door for you! I've read the Frontiersman’s Daughter, and would love to read Courting Morrow Little. Please enter me...Thank You!


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Excellent interview and great questions! I must say that I'm always amazed at writers who can just sit down and write by the seat of their pants. I have to have some kind of map, maybe not a detailed one, but some kind of guideline so that I don't get stuck. ;)

Amber, YES!!! We have new contributors and are gearing up introduce them to the world. We are thrilled about these ladies joining us here and can't wait to share their talents with you.

Laura, I just got a Kindle and yours are my list to download! Squeeeee!!!!

Sandee61 said...

Please add my name to the hat for a chance to win either of these books. I haven't read them and sure would like too. The covers are so pretty! Enjoyed the interview so much, its nice to learn different interests and how they became writers. Thank you!



Pepper said...

Your writing is beautiful - very lyrical, as Casey described it. You truly 'paint pictures with your prose'.
And I love your descrip of writing. I soooo enjoy it - research too.
I knew I liked you from the start you sweet, sweet lady.
What a blessing to get to meet you in person.
And might i just say that though I loved both of your books, Morrow is my FAVORITE!! It truly is 'evocative' and 'inspirational'. The story stirs me and calls me to reread it again, and again.

karenk said...

what a great interview/posting...i would love to read either books penned by laura...i have read many, many wonderful reviews for both of them...thanks for the chance :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Casey said...

I love having you here Laura, thank you for your sweet generosity and doing an interview with us!!! So much excitement already, thrills me to pieces. :)

Wendy said...

Loved the interview.
Please enter me in the drawing. I would love to win and read these books.
Thank you for the chance.

Kathy Habel said...

Great interview. I'd love to read these books.
bkhabel at gmail dot com

Laura Frantz said...

Oh Wow! What an honor to be here! Even if I am a bit late thanks to west coast time. Plus we did the rare thing of sleeping in till 8:00 and then had to make pancakes and sausage for all my men and then had to pray over my laptop as it's behaving badly...

But it's so good to be here and see friends new and old:) I've been anticipating it as Pepper and Casey are so dear to me - and I'm finally getting to know Sherrinda, Mary, and others from their great posts, etc. AND I see, as someone already mentioned, that you have some more contributors that are friends of mine!! Yipppee! I am blog buddies with Julia and met/lunched with Wendy in Indy:) I so appreciate your kind words about my writing and wanting to read my books. You're God's gift to me.

And now, without further adieu, I'll go post my post about your post:) Bless you all!

Lori Benton said...

Great to see Laura interviewed here. I've also passed along my copies of both her books, which I loved, but I plan to buy copies again so don't enter me in the giveaway. I'd rather a new reader be blessed with these wonderful books!

Katie Marie said...

I have heard so much about Laura's new book, Courting Morrow Little! The book cover is gorgeous and I can't get enough of it! ;-) I'd love a chance at winning these books and reading them - I hear such WONDERFUL reviews about them!! :-D

Katie M


Casey said...

YES, Laura we are expanding! The change is exciting and we will see what God has in store! :)

Merry said...

A beautiful song, what a lovely description of Laura's writing.Please include me in the drawing. Thanks!

Julia M. Reffner said...

Laura, I always get excited wherever I "see" you on the web. No need to enter me, this winter I hope to get The Frontiersman's Daughter read though.

I love what you said about loving researching almost as much as writing. As a former assistant librarian, I can so relate. My parents used to joke that I would be a professional student if I could. I love that I learn something new about you in every interview. :)

lollipops said...

I would love to win the first book. I read - and Loved Courting Morrow Little.


Laura Frantz said...

Oh, so many great comments! I have some blog visiting to do:) It's a JOY to take a break from editing and come back here. I smile when your names pop up, some of them dear and familiar:) Thank you!

Jan Marie said...

Great interview! I have not yet had the privilege of reading anything by Laura Frantz - would love to be the winner so I can change that.

Jan Marie said...

Oops - forgot to leave my email address.


Michelle said...

Wonderful interview, Laura! I always enjoy reading them! I must say I love that you write on holidays, because I read on holidays. I'm not entirely certain my family understands it though.

Please don't enter me, I have both books.

Sylvia said...

I really enjoyed this interview. Laura has such a talent for writing historical fiction. One feels like one is really living in that time period. I hate parting with the characters at the end of her novels.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the interview! Please enter me for "The Frontiersman's Daughter" as I already have "Courting Morrow Little". :)
Thanks and God bless!

Anonymous said...

Super interview! I loved both the questions and the answers. And I love finding The Writer's Alley. I know I'll be back to visit often. Please don't enter me in the contest, as I already own both of Laura's wonderful books.

Kav said...

Rats, one more really nifty looking blog to tune into. I need to become a professional blog reader -- is there such a thing?

Loved the interview with Laura (I hopped over here from her blog) and if Laura does check back again I have a question. Here it is:

Back in the before published days, as a panster writer, did you know what was going to happen in your book? Was it plotted in your head? Or were you making it up as you wrote?

Please don't enter me in the draw because I have two copies of both of Laura's books -- one to keep pristine on the shelf and the second to hand out to friends who are looking for a good read.


Wendy said...

I can't wait to read these books. I have heard really good things about them.

Pepper said...

What a great turnout!!
KAV - so glad to see you over this way from Seekerville.

Pepper said...

Of course, Laura is SOOOO popular. She draws a crowd :-) It's all that sweetness rolled into one person

Ann Lee Miller said...

I'd love to read either book. :)

Laura Frantz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Frantz said...

Please forgive my typos! Hubby's computer is quite strange! I don't even think the keys are in the right place!

Casey said...

My goodness look at all the fun everyone is having. :)

Anonymous said...

I checked out both of your books from the library, Laura, and loved them immensely. I am a tough critic when it comes to fiction and I found your characters rich and deep and your stories moving and beautiful. I find myself thinking about Lael or Morrow and pondering their stories...wishing they'd been real =). I anxiously await your next tale!

Laura Frantz said...

Kav, I tended to have a few key plot points in my head but really do make it up as I go. That said, my editor told me I might not have to do so much rewriting if I plotted more and used a synopsis. Since I don't have the luxury of taking 5 years to write a book I am now trying the plotter approach. I recently heard an agent say that we pansters and intuitive writers should write that synopsis and then tuck it away:) I have a feeling you're a panster but may be wrong?

Bless everyone for such wonderful comments. It sure encourages my heart to meet new readers and it also means a great deal to see those who've already read my books just stop by because they're being so thoughtful. So blessed by that!

Patsy said...

This is a great giveaway. Count me in. Looking forward to reading the books. Thanks for giving them away.

Julie Lessman said...

WONDERFUL INTERVIEW, CASEY AND LAURA ... but no surprise there, not only because Laura is one of my favorite authors and friends, but because The Writers Alley is chock-full of some of my favorite blogger buds as well!!

Don't enter me in the contest because I am blessed to own both of Laura's amazing books, but I just wanted to say what an incredible talent she is and one of those rare authors who immediately claimed a top spot on my TBR list along with the likes of Francine Rivers and Liz Curtis Higgs. Anybody who has not read her yet, needs to -- SOON!! I absolutely LOVE her -- both as an author and as a friend.


Jo said...

I love hearing about new authors and books to read. Please enter me in the giveaway. I look forward to reading your books.


Laura Frantz said...

Patsy and Jo,
So happy to meet you here! I'd love to have my books fall into your hands:) Thanks for coming here and encouraging me and TWA bloggers.

And Julie,
You are such a GEM to stop by given your incredibly busy schedule sans release!! And same to you about the favorite author status:) I'm SO blessed by you and your work. I have a special Julie shelf and am wanting to loan my copy of AHU to my neighbor but am afraid I'll never see it again. In the past, loaners of Julie's books don't ever come back:) But that's a good sign, I should think! You are so dear to me as an author and friend. Bless you so much for stopping by as I've missed you since Indy!

And thanks to Pepper and Casey and bloggers for hosting me here. What a blessing! Can't wait to see who our winner is and I'll mail those books right out when the time comes:)

Unknown said...

What a wonderful interview! I really enjoyed getting to know you better, Laura. I've read Courting Marrow Little, but haven't had the opportunity to read The Frontiersman's Daughter. I appreciated your realistic depiction of the time period. Thank you! Carmen sent me.


Carmen said...

Great giveaway. Please enter me.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

mariag said...

I would love to read either one of these books. They sound delightful!

Katie said...

Please enter me!!! Looks like great books!

God bless!

~Katie G.

katiegalyean (at) yahoo (dot) com

apple blossom said...

I'd love to win The Frontiersman's Daughter.


ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Kate Scott said...

I'd love to enter! Carmen sent me.


Casey said...

So glad Carmen sent me! Please enter me in to win. Thanks!

Emily said...

Carmen sent me!
Please enter me!

Debbie said...

Carmen sent me as well!
Sign me up!

Jennifer said...

These sound like great books. Please enter me into the drawing.


jmschwindt (at) cox (dot) net

Laura Frantz said...

Bless you all for keeping those comments coming:) Wish I had a book for each one of you!

Trinity Rose said...

I read and reviewed Laura's book "Courting Morrow Little." Loved it. So I would love to have "The Frontiersman's Daughter."
Thanks for the wonderful interview and giveaway.
Many blessings,
Trinity Rose
wandaelaine at gmail dot com

Sheree said...

i'd love to read these books!

neednspace at aol dot com

Anne Payne said...

Would love to read either book! I understand about trying to get other things done, instead of your writing. I'm that way about my scrapbooking!


Melissa M. said...

Her style of writing sounds just like the type I enjoy! Please enter me--thanks!


Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

i really want to read these, they sound amazing! I love the sound of edgy fiction too! Thanks!!

inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

Jennifer said...

I enjoyed the interview and would love to read one of her books. I've not read either one and will definitely put this on my list to read.


Dev said...

What a great giveaway! Please enter me. Thank you!


Anonymous said...

I would love the chance to read either book... please enter me in this giveaway! :)
April D.

Charlotte Kay said...

I am grateful to be considered for the book giveaway! Thanks for the opportunity!
Keep on keeping on for Christ, Laura!

charsaltz (at) yahoo (dot) com

K said...

Would love to be entered! Thanks for the opportunity

kristy.nicole3712 at gmail dot com

rbooth43 said...

Great Interview! Both books sound like great reads.
God Bless everyone!