Laura Frantz's Ballantyne Novel Interview and Book Giveaway
This Ballantyne Legacy, starting with “Love’s Reckoning” by Laura Frantz, is a spellbinding tale that will tether you to the pages. Eden and Elspeth Lee’s secrets and strivings will put you in a quandary of: “Will I have the strength to put this book down? If I do, will I be able to think about anything else?”
This is a beautifully written story, one that captured my heart and pulled me willingly along the whole way through. I had to know what would happen next. What choices would be made? The twists this story took kept me engrossed in the business of watching their secrets unfold and rooting for the hero and heroine. The first time I read this captivating tale I was in perfect angst when I had to put the book down to take care of the mundane duties awaiting my attention. Unimportant tasks such as going to work or making dinner!
The second time I flipped these pages was during my summer vacation. I found “Loves Reckoning” to be just as intriguing and satisfying. This novel is on my reread and reread again and again and again list. If you are looking for a well written novel that deals with imperfect people, harsh realities life can toss your way, and strength to overcome, then this will be the novel for you. The characters are well rounded, unique, and interesting. The historical information is carefully woven in to move the story along and yet put the reader there. My advice is that you purchase “Love’s Reckoning” this month so that you will be ready when book two, “Love’s Awakening,” is available in September 2013.
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR - Love’s Reckoning by Laura Frantz
1. I’m curious, are you a writer who plots your story beforehand or do you discover the adventure along the way? Generally, I’m one of those crazy people who just sits down with pen and paper and writes, no map. But this new series of mine, The Ballantyne Legacy, required a proposal or synopsis of each story which was new to me. Thankfully, my publisher lets me deviate for the good of the book if needed and stray from the synopsis for the good of the story.
2. How did you choose the location of your story? (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) My head editor wanted to set the story in Pittsburgh and so I also brought in Philadelphia, a city I love. I think there’s a danger of authors becoming pigeon-holed in a particular setting (in my case, Kentucky) which can be limiting. Branching out can be beneficial to both author and reader at times, or so I hope.
3. Do you have any funny or stand out experiences you would like to share about researching this novel? I am such an unfunny person (can you tell that by my emotionally intense books?!). I did learn SO MUCH about blacksmithing I felt I could work in the smithy right along with Silas. And yet the more I learned the more I felt I’d only touched the tip of the iceberg. The blacksmithing trade was quite complicated and required a great deal of skill and artisanship to be truly good.
4. I love the quotes in the beginning of your chapters. Do you find them before you write the chapter or afterwards? Both. I’m always on the lookout for great quotes and have fun looking them up or asking readers to share those they like best. It’s amazing how easy it is to match a quote with a chapter, sort of setting the scene for what is to come without spoiling things.
5. Your characterization of the two sisters, Eden and Elspeth, are so well done. Did you create them realizing how helpful their conflicts will be to young girls who experience dysfunction in their families interactions? I did not realize this until a professional library recommended the book to teen girls for the very reasons you mention. I’ve always wanted to reach young women/teens and pray this book makes that kind of an impact. I don’t have a sister though I wish I did. But if I did I wouldn’t want an Elspeth!
6. How long does it take you to accomplish the research for a book series such as this? I always seem to be researching, filling notebooks with historical info and keeping a filing system of the same. While I’m writing the story I continue researching. This series is especially a challenge because I’m dealing with stories leaping from 1780 to 1820 to 1850 or so. Times and customs and everything changed radically then so it’s crucial to stay relevant.
7. How do you glean ideas you need for your stories? Can you give an example? The idea for Love’s Reckoning came from a snippet of research I discovered in the fabulous FOXFIRE books. These are how-to books about Appalachian life with interviews of old-timers, etc. One of the tradesmen therein spoke about apprentices marrying into the master tradesman’s family in early America. I found this intriguing and full of possibilities. What if the apprentice had to choose between not one daughter but two? What if he didn’t get along with the father/master? What if both sisters fell in love with him? That’s all the fire imagination needs…
8. Do you have any book signings scheduled in the near future? My last signing was at the International Christian Retail Show in St. Louis. I don’t often do them but this was a great venue given the Christy Awards, etc.
9. How can your readers reach you? FB https://www.facebook.com/LauraFrantzAuthor WEB page laurafrantz.net Publisher Revell/Baker Publishing Group e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
10. Do you have any television or radio interviews scheduled that your readers or interested parties could tune into? Not at present though if that changes I’ll let you know. I did do a local radio show early on when my debut novel released which is probably still in the radio archives but I’m mortified even thinking of it now!
11. Have you written articles or historic pieces, which would expand on the information of this time period? I have not but that’s always an interesting possibility.
12. Would you like to see your books become movies? I think every author dreams of this. It’s really fun to think of who you’d cast as the principal actors and such.
13. Is this novel available on audio? I keep hoping but not yet! It will be available in Dutch and French, thankfully.
14. I absolutely love Love’s Reckoning. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your journey writing this work of fiction? Love’s Reckoning went in an entirely different direction than I had planned so feel it has a unique readership in some respects, perhaps not the typical CBA audience. Soon after the book released, I was contacted by a Pennsylvania native/New York Times romance author who told me how much she enjoyed the book. She even presented the novel at a Pittsburgh book event where she was the keynote. I’ve been contacted by readers who have told me that Eden’s tragedy is their own and that the story brought healing. Looking back, there were a couple of things I wish I’d done differently as far as plot line and character development but now believe the book is written as it was meant to be written, flaws and all.
15. What can we expect from the next Ballantyne Legacy book 2 available this fall? Love’s Awakening is a very different book! Some readers will be relieved but others might miss that almost dark, emotional intensity of the first. Ellie’s story does have its moments but it’s a lighter book in some respects, especially since we’re dealing with a happy family rather than a first class dysfunctional one.
16. Who are other authors you enjoy reading? I am a huge fan of Liz Curtis Higgs and her Scottish historicals. Serena Miller is a fellow Revell author and friend whose books I cannot put down. She won the RITA last year – and with good reason! Actually I have so many authors I admire/read in the CBA that I’m afraid to name them all lest I leave one out. So I’ll just say Liz and Serena for starters J…
17. You have several other books in print. (The Frontiersman’s Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Colonel’s Lady) Which one is your favorite book and why? Each of my books holds a special place for me. The Frontiersman’s Daughter is beloved because it has the most of my family heritage and history therein. Courting Morrow Little is a favorite because of the half-native hero, Red Shirt. I’ve always had a soft spot for Colonel McLinn and a man in Revolutionary War uniform so that takes care of The Colonel’s Lady. In Love’s Reckoning Silas swept me off my feet along with Eden. And in Love’s Awakening in which I explore the power of prayer in a small way, I love Ellie’s character.
Laura Frantz will use random.org to pick a winner from the comments left on this post. She will then e-mail the winner to receive the address needed to send an autographed copy of “Love’s Awakening.” I wait in anticipation, wondering who will be our winner come this August 29, 2013! I wish to extend an early congratulations to the winner…who knows maybe it will be you….