Friday, November 25, 2016

A Prelude to Christmas: Darlene's story about a matchmaker adventure


Welcome Darlene Franklin to the blog today! She's been here before to share other stories. The most interesting fact about Darlene as an author is that she writes her stories from her residence in a nursing home. 

Today, Darlene would like to tell you about her new novella about a matchmaking gone wrong. Here's the cover photo of her book:



Book blurb for Matchmaker MixupPippin Cortland has decided to accept Clint Keller’s invitation to the Homecoming Dance their senior year. She’s said no for the last three years but wants to go at least once—with Clint.

Only Clint invites Pippin’s twin Margil instead. She agrees to go with Clint—and then accepts a second invitation as well. She insists Pippin pretend to be her sister and take her place with Clint.

When Clint falls for “Margil” at the dance, what is Pippin supposed to do?


WIN a copy of Darlene's holiday novella by filling out the Rafflecopter form:
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Enjoy the interview with Darlene! :)
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Interview questions for Darlene Franklin, author of Matchmaker Mixup:

Alexis: “Matchmaker Mixup” is such a creative and adventurous title for a Christmas novel! How did you first create it?

Darlene: Matchmaker came from my editor. Our Christmas collection this year is Merry Matchmaker. So, I needed a matchmaker, and I knew I wanted to use the Cortland twins who appeared in an earlier book (An Apple for Christmas). From there, the idea of twins trading place jumped full-grown into my mind.

Since I love alliteration (Romanian Rhapsody, Prodigal Patriot), and my story involves the mixup that results when identical twins switch dates at the annual homecoming dance—"Matchmaking Mixup" was the happy result.

Alexis: What is your novel about?

Darlene: Pippin Cortland has decided to accept Clint Keller’s invitation to the Homecoming Dance their senior year. She’s said no for the last three years but wants to go at least once—with Clint.

Only Clint invites Pippin’s twin Margil instead. She agrees to go with Clint—and then accepts a second invitation as well. She insists Pippin pretend to be her sister and take her place with Clint.

When Clint falls for “Margil” at the dance, what is Pippin supposed to do?

Alexis: Reading your story was fun but as the author, did you ever get confused in trying to write back and forth from each identical twins’ perspective? Why or why not?

Darlene: It was definitely difficult. In the same scene, Clint was calling Pippin “Margil” and calling Margil “Pippin.” Pippin in her thoughts thought of her sister as Margil but had to call her Pippin when she was talking to Clint. Eye-crossing craziness.

I asked my editor to pay special attention, as I did, that I kept their names straight.

Alexis: Tell us about your heroine Pippin Cortland. What makes her tick? What warms her heart? Who does she love and why?

Darlene: Pippin loves poetry. She loves her family, her twin, the Lord—and slowly, to her surprise—Clint Keller.

As a child, she always loved telling stories, and she became more withdrawn and shy as she matured.

In three years of college, she hasn’t dated anyone, until Margil forces her to date Clint. The more he gets to know “Margil” (Pippin), the more he likes her—such as her surprising athletic skills.

Alexis: Tell us about Pippin’s identical twin sister Margil. What is she like? How is she different from Pippin? Describe Margil’s role in this story.

Darlene: Margil is Pippin’s opposite. She’s a math major, outgoing. She hasn’t missed homecoming once in their years at the college.

Margil accepts Clint’s invitation to the homecoming dance—and later accepts Ned’s invitation as well. She’d rather go with Ned, and she decides to coax Pippin into taking her place as Clint’s date for the night.

That’s not as mean as it sounds. She’s tried to get Pippin and Clint together for three years. This is the perfect solution! As Margil expected, Pippin and Clint enjoy each other’s company once they get together.

Alexis: Tell us about the hero Clint Keller. Who is he? What does he like and dislike? Why was he in love with Pippin at first but then what made him fall for Margil?

Clint Keller loves baseball but he’s not good enough to be a professional. Instead he’s happy working as a carpenter while he’s a professional student and happy new husband (by the end of the book.)

At the beginning for the, Clint doesn’t so much fall for Margil as settle for her as the best substitute for Pippin. When he starts to fall in love with “Margil” he thinks he made a mistake pursuing Pippin all those years—until he learns he’s been dating Pippin all along and his initial instincts were right.

Alexis: Describe the setting of this story for those who have not yet read your book. What makes it special?

Darlene: The book is set at a fictional college in the fictional town of Maple Notch. Using the actual University of Vermont would require more in depth research and resources than I had readily available. This way, I could create courses of study and buildings to my heart’s content.

Maple Notch is dear to my heart as the town I created for my 8-book Heartsong series set in Vermont, from the Revolutionary War (Prodigal Patriot) through the present day (Small Town Bachelor). All but one book has been republished recently with Winged Publications and we hope to assemble them into an omnibus collection as soon as I have that last book.

Alexis: What was your greatest challenge in writing this novel?

Darlene: How long could I string out Pippin’s deception? I didn’t want to create a story where the reader asked, why didn’t they just admit what they’d done earlier?

I solved the problem by writing a shorter-than-usual novella (by about 2,000 words). which allowed me to bring it to a conclusion when it seemed right.

As I mentioned above, I also struggled with keeping the girls’ names straight. 


Alexis: Complete this sentence: If I could spend an afternoon with one of my characters in this book, I would spent it with _________________because _____________________.

Darlene: If I could spend an afternoon with one of my characters in this book, I would spend it with Margil because she’s a poet and we would talk about New England and read her poems.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Darlene! Take care and God bless you.

Darlene: Thanks for the challenging and insightful question! The longer I write, the more of a “pantser” I become, and I had to figure out what I had written.

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Author bio: 


Best-selling author 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. 

She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over forty books and more than 250 devotionals.


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Buy Darlene's book on Amazon
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Connect with Darlene: 
Website and blog
Facebook
Amazon author page
Follow her on Twitter @darlenefranklin
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2 comments:

  1. This sounds like a fun read, Darlene! You are so prolific, you amaze me.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Delores! Thanks for visiting my blog today. Yes, Darlene's book "Matchmaker Mixup" is a very fun read! Did you enter the book giveaway contest on the Rafflecopter widget above for your chance to WIN a copy of Darlene's book?

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