A Ranger's Trail, Texas Trails Series #4A Ranger's Trail, Texas Trails Series #4
Darlene Franklin
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Mason County, Texas, is a violent place in 1875! While ranger Buck Morgan wants to stop the bloody war among rustlers, ranchers, and outlaws, Leta Derrick seeks vengeance on the men who killed her husband, a suspected cattle thief. Can Buck and Leta strike an accord that leads to more than just peace? 272 pages, softcover from Moody.
     

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Darlene FranklinDarlene Franklin

Favorite Bible Verse: Romans 8:38-39, NIV For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


 

 Christianbook.com Interview with Darlene Franklin


 

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a Christian, mother, grandmother, and oh, yes, I make my living by writing books. I recently moved to Oklahoma City to be near my grandbabies! My lynx point Siamese proudly claims me as her human.

What is your favorite Bible verse (translation too, please)? Why?

Romans 8:38-39, NIV For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The fact that God loves me no matter what is the foundational truth that gets me through difficult days. I don’t have to be perfect and earn God’s love.

What was your inspiration to write A Ranger’s Trail?

I read about the Mason County range war and thought it would be a terrific setting for a book. And what character is more iconic to Texas than a Ranger?

How did you collaborate with the other authors for this series?

Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough and I invested a lot of time when we brainstormed the series. All we knew for certain was we wanted to write historical romances set in Texas. We played with several ideas but came back to a family saga. From there, we identified historical events (and decades) for each book. The series starts in the 1840s, when Texas joined the Union, and ends in 1896 with events such as movie stunts and the discovery of oil.
 
I created a family tree (which can be viewed at http://texastrailsfiction.com/) to help us keep our characters straight, and we asked questions as needed as we wrote, but each book stands alone.

 

How much of the story comes from personal experience?

The heart of A Ranger’s Trail—Leta’s struggle to come to terms with her husband’s murder—stems from a very difficult period in my life. It touches on the theme of “what do you do when you don’t receive justice?”I relived my own painful past as Leta struggled through the whirlwind that followed her husband’s murder.

How much research did A Ranger’s Trail take?

More than usual! I created a calendar to give me a time frame for the Mason County War, to tie events in my story around actual events. I also researched the Texas Rangers. They didn’t have that big shiny star until several decades after my story takes place!I also got to take a trip through the Texas hill country.
 
What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing A Ranger’s Trail?

Much of my historical fiction stems from specific incidents or folk tales. In choosing the Mason County War for the 1870s, I dismissed a hurricane that destroyed the port city of Indianola. When I read about it again as I researched the background for A Ranger’s Trail, I remembered that Ranger Buck’s family lived in Victoria, close to Indianola. His family was devastated by the hurricane, and I had to include it. The same thing happened when I wrote Lone Star Trail; I learned a cholera epidemic swept along the trail of German immigration. When I discover those big events from the same time and place, I have to address it to remain accurate to the setting.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

Time management! I face quite a few physical challenges, and it’s hard to write to a schedule when I’m in pain or exhausted. I also battle self-doubt. I suspect I always will.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

I love spinning a story! I love brainstorming ideas. As with most writers I know, finding ideas isn’t the problem. Work comes in when I have to decide which ones to develop.

 

What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?

I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, both locally and nationally. I also belong to a couple of genre-specific loops for historical writers as well as CAN (Christian Authors Network), which relates specifically to marketing.

What new projects are on the horizon?

This fall I’m fortunate to have two books coming out: A Bride’s Rogue in Roma, Texas (about a lady steamboat pilot) and Postmark: Christmas, a contemporary Christmas romance. Both books are from Barbour Publishing.

What message would you like your readers to take from reading A Ranger’s Trail?

Ultimately, justice is up to God. And that’s okay!  

What were your favorite books as a child?

I can remember whole lines from Dr. Seuss.(“It is fun to have fun but you have to know how.”) The chorus of Millions of Cats.The marvelous pictures of Make Way for Ducklings.

The earliest chapter books I remember are Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and a fun book about medical pioneers.

What is your greatest achievement?

I would say my children, but the credit for the solid adults they became is because of God’s grace, not my parenting skills. Getting published . . . at last. . .meant a lot. Being called a woman of faith with a sweet spirit always floors me (I feel like a quivering bundle of complaints.)

What do you do to get away from it all?

The simplest: I read.

 


 

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