Valentine Love Stories: An Interview with Darlene Franklin on Romance and Texas Trails
Your book, A Ranger’s Trail, comes out this month. Could you start by telling us a little about the book?
A Ranger’s Trail takes place during the Mason County War in the 1870s. My heroine’s husband was one of the first victims, killed by a German mob. The mob formed after they felt justice was denied during a cattle rustling case.
Enter the Texas Rangers in the person of Buck Morgan. The Rangers became involved after the American mob retaliated, killing several leaders of the German American community. Buck has ties to a German rancher, and his family is also affected by the violence erupting across Mason County.
Can these two families led go of their desire for vengeance to forge the life God wants for them?
With Valentine’s Day coming up, we’d love to talk about romance in your books. How do you think characters in A Ranger’s Trail would celebrate Valentine’s Day during that era of Texas history?
Good question! A Valentine’s Day scene actually occurs in my first book in the series, Lone Star Trail. Marion made a card for Tom and Tom took her to dinner.
By 1876, the first Valentine’s Day Buck and Leta spent together, the traditions of sending Valentines and giving chocolates were already established.
How do you get inspiration for your romance plotlines?
Usually I know the setting first; from there I identify people at odds because of something to do with the setting. Let’s see if I can illustrate what I mean:
In A Ranger’s Trail, the choice was obvious: two lovers from opposite sides in a war goes back as far as Romeo and Juliet.
In Lone Star Trail, my focus was on the German immigration. So I sought a reason why my hero would resent the newcomers, and I didn’t have to look any further than Texas’s War for Independence. His father had fought and died for Texas’s freedom. How dare these newcomers come to Texas with the intention of creating a New Germany?
I’ve had a lighthouse keeper’s daughter and a man afraid of the sea (in the middle of a hurricane); a young heiress and an Italian immigrant chauffeur; a Patriot and a Tory, among other odd pairings.
What is your favorite romance story? (Movie, book, TV or whatever)
I love the book, Time Traveler’s Wife. In some ways it’s not a romance (spoiler alert) but a terrific love story since the hero dies at the end of the book!
As far as movies go, oh, so many! From classics like Gone With the Wind to the more contemporary The Princess Bride.
What (if anything) would you like readers to experience or take away from A Ranger’s Trail?
A Ranger’s Trail took me on a painful journey as I relived an experience when justice was denied to me—as it was to Leta and all the other victims of the Mason County War. My sincere prayer is that it will minister to any readers struggling with a painful incident in their past.
Thanks to Darlene Franklin for the interview! To learn more about Darlene, check out her website at darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com. To buy A Ranger’s Trail, Darlene’s latest book, find it on Amazon, BN.com, or ChristianBook.com.
Do you have more questions for Darlene? Let us know in the comments below!