Last week we had the opportunity to meet Lisa Flickinger and her Cinderella retelling, Ella. For those of you who enjoy these fairy tales, you’re in for another treat today as we visit with Darlene Franklin! Her newest novella, Mermaid’s Song, will remind you of another familiar tale… Before we visit, here’s a quick peek at the story.
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Noble Prescott is drawn to the scene of a shipwreck by a sweet song sung in a language he didn’t understand. The songstress is barely alive, holding onto a piece of the ship’s railing. Her dress wraps around her legs like a mermaid’s tail.
Thus begins this imaginative retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale.
Justine Battineaux, an Acadian forced from her homeland on Cape Breton Island by British decree, finds herself adrift in the Maine colony. She doesn’t know the language and is distrusted as a foreigner.
Noble lives up to his name, providing shelter for Justine—and protection, as distrust turns into danger. For himself, his family—and the woman he comes to love.
How will Justine and Noble overcome the evil woman’s schemes to find their own love everlasting?
Welcome back, Darlene! What inspired you to write this series or this novel in particular?
My editor asked for historical retold fairy tales. 😊 The basics of the story sprang into my mind immediately: The Little Mermaid. A foreigner who spoke a foreign language who was shipwrecked (she’s silent because no one else speaks her language). That led to thoughts of my home state, Maine, with a French Canadian castaway, and why not the Acadians (Longfellow’s Evangeline, Louisiana’s Cajuns)?
That sounds like a fun twist! Do you have personal experience with any of the events in your story, and if so, could you share about that?
I have experienced a couple of elements of Mermaid’s Song. One is the setting. I grew up in Maine. After I went to college, my mother remarried and moved to the coast of Maine where I got to enjoy the majestic rocky coastline on a regular basis. I was blessed not to have bare feet or walk over oyster beds, like poor Justine did.
I also have lived in a country where not everyone spoke my language. I spent 8 weeks in Mexico City one college summer. I became reasonably fluent in Spanish during that time, and can still carry on simple conversations. In fact, I became so comfortable with Spanish that when I heard a three year old speaking English with a thick Texas accent (remember I’m from Maine originally), I wanted to go back to Mexico City where I could understand the language!
Ha! When I first moved to Texas, I could certainly understand your struggle with the accent, as I am also from the north (but west). However, after living here for so many years, I don’t even hear it. Now my kids (who were all born here) even tease me about my “Texan” accent! Tell us a little about yourself. What is your favorite:
Color? Sunshine yellow
Beverage? Diet coke
Movie? Field of Dreams
Ice cream flavor? Pecan praline
Wouldn’t some ice cream be good about now, with the heat of summer full on us?! You’ve accomplished a lot over the years. Which accomplishment means the most to you?
I wouldn’t call it my accomplishment, but I am so very thankful that my son loves the Lord and is eager in serving and loving the Lord. That his children also love the Lord.
That’s very awesome!
Also, this month, I’m celebrating the release of my fiftieth book. My career has fallen into halves of two years each: 12 years that I wrote with minimal success, before I had that first contract. A two year half-time from contract to publication. Then 50 books over the next 12 years. Hmm, I wonder if God has another 12 year segment planned for my life? Whether it’s years—or months or even days—I look forward to what God has in store for me.
How interesting that it divided that way. Congratulations on your 50th release! Can you give any hints about what you’re working on now?
I’m working on this year’s Christmas story. The theme is masquerade, and my title is Christmas Child.
I just turned in prayers to accompany the 12 Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women and I’ll be writing devotionals for the 2019 edition of Daily Wisdom.
With 50 books in 12 years, I’m not surprised you have several things going at once. If you could offer a word of encouragement to an aspiring author, what would you say?
The race is not to the swift, or to the naturally gifted writer. Publication comes to the writer who is willing to work hard, to learn the craft, which includes an understanding of the market. The one who perseveres.
I have a long-time friend who is a very gifted writer, and she recently had her first two books published in the same time I’ve published fifty. I’m not a better writer. God has called her to be first a mother, then a teacher, and writing has been a desire and a hobby more than a calling. Whereas for me, writing has been my passion. I’m a mother first. I’m also a Bible teacher and musician, but my primary ministry and teaching comes through writing.
Each journey is different. That’s a great reminder for all aspects of our lives. We really shouldn’t be comparing our path to someone else’s. Thanks for taking the time to share with us today, Darlene!
Your turn! Let’s talk fairy tales today. Which is your favorite fairy tale?
More about Darlene:
Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. Mermaid Song is her fiftieth unique title! She’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears in five monthly venues. Other recent titles are Small Town Romances and Maine: If there’s romance…it must be Maine.
Also by Darlene:
Maine: If there’s a romance…it must be Maine (includes my story Acadian Hearts)
Small Town Romances (includes my story Small Town Bachelor)
Open My Heart this Christmas (includes my story First Christmas)
Mermaid’s Song Giveaway
Darlene is graciously offering to give away an ecopy of Mermaid’s Song. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.