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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Interview with Theresa Franklin

What books/short stories/articles/poems have you written, whether published or not?

I have written one adult nonfiction called Journey to Fulfillment which examines how God used the difficult events in my life to help me grow. I have written two children’s books. The first one is Don’t Forget Daddy which is about accepted a new step-parent. The second is called A Sunny Tomorrow which is a collection of Christian based short stories.

Do you have an all time favorite book? My favorite book would have to be Journey to Fulfillment because the Lord very clearly directed me to write it and held my hand while I wrote it. Which genre do you prefer to read and why? I prefer writing fiction because I can let my imagination run wild while writing.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of? I am most proud and humbled that God allowed me to write Journey to Fulfillment.

What was your greatest roadblock in writing this book and others, and how did you overcome it? My greatest road block was reliving painful events in my life. I overcame this by writing when I was alone and allowing my emotions to flow freely. I laughed and cried while writing. It turned out to be a very healing time for me.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out? I would say write what you know. Don’t over think your manuscript. There will be plenty of time for that later.

How can readers find the book and where can they find you on the Internet? All of my books are available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. My blog is at www.theresa-lifesjourney.blogspot.com

Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book? My newest book is a collection of Christian based short stories for children called A Sunny Tomorrow, available e-format.

When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with? I want the reader to be able to look at his or her own life and see how God has worked to create a strong Christian for His glory.

Do you have a nugget of writing advice that has completely changed how you view writing? I am afraid I haven’t been writing long enough to change my view of writing. I simply write from my heart.

What do you enjoy most about being a published author? Being a published author has been a dream since childhood. Mostly I enjoy being used by God to speak to others.

Tell us about the journey to getting this book published. I must say it was a very short journey, which is one of the ways I saw God work. I was getting ready to retire and beginning to write children’s story. I went through an emotional crisis and God spoke to me through that time to write the adult nonfiction about the lessons learned during difficult times. Being unfamiliar with the procedure, I submitted 8 children’s stories and an adult nonfiction to a Christian publisher. The first children’s story was accepted. Then the contract for the second children’s story landed on my door step. The following morning, I quickly called the publisher and said we needed to prioritize the books. He asked which one I wanted published next. I told him Journey to Fulfillment because it was the testimony that God had given me. He said that he would review it the follow week. That same night I received an email from him informing me that a contract was in the mail for the book. The next morning I called him and said, “You couldn’t have read that book. You didn’t have time.” He said, “I read most of it. That’s how I spent the rest of my day.” Several months later my life’s story was available for the world to read.

What are you working on now and what's next for you? I am currently working on an adult fiction about a Christian family whose home-life is not the same as portrayed in public. There are some well kept secrets that are eating away at the foundation of the family.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey? I have always been a people watcher. What I have seen and heard, and continue to see and hear are the fundamental part of my writing. So I would have to say life and people in general are the most significant aspect of my publication journey.

And how do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling? My faith and spiritual life are the key to my storytelling. I spend a lot of time in prayer when writing a story.

Where do your story and character ideas come from? Most of my story and character ideas come from counseling with children. Sometimes I notice that several children have come to me with the same problem. Then I write a story about the problem. Sometimes a psychologist friend will say, “I have a client with this problem. I think you should write a story about it.”

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique? My stories are from my real life experiences. I use the event and try to put a humorous twist on it.

Tell me about yourself… I am a Christian, wife, mother, teacher and educational evaluator. I entered the field of education 25 years ago in an effort to help other students like one teacher helped me. I began writing the last year that I worked in the public school system. Now that I am retired, I hope to have more time to write.

What genera do you write and why? I write both adult and children’s books. I draw from my life experiences for the adult books and from my observation of children for the children’s books.

Tell us about your latest book…. My latest book is a collection of Christian based short stories for children called A Sunny Tomorrow.
What was your inspiration for this book? The many children who came to my office to talk about a problem in their lives were the inspiration for this book. Some of the stories deal with family problems; others deal with disabilities.

Where can we find you? (Facebook, twitter, blog, website, etc)


And of course we have to know, where can we find your book? (your website, publisher, Amazon, etc) There is a link on each of my social pages. All of my books can be found at :
Barnes & Noble

Don’t Forget Daddy and Journey to Fulfillment can also be found at:
Tate Publishing

What one issue makes you struggle the most as an author? My greatest struggle is trying to put into words what I see in my head.

How do you handle it? I write, then rewrite, then rewrite, then walk away, and then rewrite.
What is the best writing (or life) advice you have ever heard or wished you had followed? You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. Why? As I reported in Journey to Fulfillment, I came very close to ruining my health because I took better care of everyone else than I did myself.

What one issue ignites your passion? The issue that would most ignite my writing would be the abuse of people with disabilities. Does your passion fuel your writing? I try not to write if I am fired up because the anger will be evident in the book long after I have calmed down. What would you do with your life if you didn't write? I have had a wonderful life serving students with disabilities in the public school system. And if I had my life to do over, I would do the same thing.

Tell us a bit about your current project. My current project is an adult fiction based on my life experiences. It is about a family whose private life is different than their ‘church’ life. The book shows how the family is being torn apart by the secret life.

We are all about journeys...unique ones at that. How convoluted was your path to your first published book? The book is all about my journey. I have faced many obstacles in my life. In the fall of 2009, I came face to face with a painful event that happened as a young adult. I found that I had not dealt with it emotionally. After I rethought the experience to see how it allowed me to grow, I began to analyze other painful events in my life. The Lord instructed me to start writing. I wasn’t sure if I was writing for publication or emotional healing. In the end, it was both.

Reviews on Books

A Must Read Book, June 26, 2011
CBM Book Reviews (USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Journey to Fulfillment (Kindle Edition)
Join Author, Theresa Franklin, in her tender and delightful memoir, Journey to Fulfillment, as she shares her life experiences that have molded her character into the woman God intended her to be. Theresa, honestly and brazenly discusses heartaches, tragedies and triumphs from childhood through adulthood. With an open and compassionate heart, the Author lays bare the adversity she has faced through life to include the loss of her first love to marrying and the challenges one can face in being a wife and a mother, and notably her struggles in teaching special needs children. Throughout all, there has been one constant in her life, the unconditional love of her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Gain the proper perspective in regards to your life and glean from Theresa Franklin's many years of experience as a Director of Special Education to discover your destiny in life and find fulfillment by transforming the adversities and hardships of your life into stepping stones that will lead you to a life well lived through Christ. This book will help you find the fulfillment you are searching for as your reflect on your upbringing and causes one to re-evaluate what is really most important in life, regardless of circumstances. Her desire is to see others find their fulfillment in life through Christ and she writes, "May God show you the stepping stones in your life."

Find encouragement, guidance and strength for your soul within the pages of Journey to Fulfillment, and turn life's stumbling blocks into stepping-stones to transform your own journey into a life well lived and a completely fulfilled life in Christ.

A Highly Recommended Read!!!

Every woman should read this - and man too :), May 20, 2011
Eddie "Eddie" (Georgia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Journey to Fulfillment (Perfect Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Theresa has a very smooth writing style and keeps the reader interested. Journey to Fulfillment is a memoir, but not just a story about Theresa's life. She addresses issues in her life that affect so many people today. She deals with insecurity in the midst of success. Bitterness in her marriage. Communication problems. Many of the problems she faced are common in most relationships. I appreciate how Theresa learned how to deal with her husband's anger problem without sweeping the issues under the rug, and not becoming part of the problem through argumentation. I would explain more, but the story of her life does a better job than I can do here.

Theresa has an honest approach to facing the problems of life. She doesn't paint herself as perfect, nor does she vilify others. Learning how to step back and look at the problem and then to herself, and others was important for her in dealing with life's struggles. Rather than depending on others for fulfillment, she learned how to discover her identity in Christ, and then strengthen her relationships from a godly perspective. She failed and succeeded. As readers, we get to learn from her school of hard knocks.

Everyone should read this book, but especially those who feel inadequate in relationships or have to deal with hard family situations. This truly is a must read. You'll glean much from her life's story.

Eddie Snipes
President of the Christian Authors Guild
Author of 'I Called Him Dancer'

Don't Forget Daddy by Theresa Franklin, June 8, 2011
CBM Book Reviews (USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dont Forget Daddy (Perfect Paperback)
Don't Forget Daddy by Theresa Franklin is a delightful book to read to any young child experiencing change in the family dynamics whether it is through divorce, remarriage or the death of a parent, especially in respect to loss of a father.

Author Theresa Franklin, writes with heartfelt compassion by addressing these delicate subjects in a creative way that will help identify any feelings that a child may be holding on to in their emotions. By opening up the lines of communication, this book will allow a child going through similar circumstances to be able to share their feelings. This book offers wonderful solutions to any young child on how to cope with the change in the family.

The short story opens with Ashley, a young child, sitting and conversing with a man who has become mommy's friend. She likes him, but does not know how to feel about him because she doesn't want to forget her daddy. With colorful illustrations and an easy to read dialogue your child will be able to understand this book as Ashley accepts her new daddy, and her new life with wonderful excitement. We find out through the book that change is okay and can be a good thing for all the parties involved.

With the divorce rate being close to 50 percent these days, many young children have to adapt to the loss of a parent and/or a new stepparent. Change is not easy, especially when you don't understand why it is happening. To a child this can be devastating and as parents it is imperative that these issues are addressed along with any feelings a child might have towards the change in the family dynamics. This book will help you do just that in a loving and compassionate way.

Don't forget Daddy is also a recommended book for parents or physiologists that want to open the dialogue between parent and child. This book can be used as a tool for parents or professionals to address a child's feelings whatever they may be towards the change in the family dynamics. It would be a perfect book for the mother who is remarrying with young children. I read it to my 6 year old daughter and all she could say was, "Again, again!" She loved it and I look forward to more books from this talented author that address issues with children and their feelings!

Highly Recommended

A must read for little ones going through family transitions, May 7, 2011
Sherry Rossman (Arizona, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dont Forget Daddy (Perfect Paperback)
Ashley really loves her mom's friend Robert, but has difficulty adjusting to the idea that he will be married to her mom. She feels that by accepting him into the family, she is being disloyal to her biological father who has passed on. But she learns that Robert is not replacing her father, he is just becoming a special part of their family.

Don't forget Daddy is a must read for any child adjusting to a new step parent in the family. It is written with reverence and charm. Any child will enjoy and connect with Ashley's thoughts and feelings on her journey of acceptance.

4.0 out of 5 stars nice to see children's book with this subject matter, May 2, 2011
S. Weiler "dancergirl" (USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dont Forget Daddy (Perfect Paperback)
Theresa did a great job with this book. This subject matter is sometimes frowned upon, but I think it is important to have books like these for those children in families that have lost a loved one, especially a Father.
I found the short sentences to be great for kids, easy to understand. The artwork was great and fit the text perfectly. I did find it a little choppy, but then again it is kids who are going to read and enjoy this book and so I am sure it will not affect them at all!!

3.0 out of 5 stars A Sunny Tomorrow, May 2, 2011
S. Weiler "dancergirl" (USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Sunny Tomorrow (Kindle Edition)
A Sunny Tomorrow is a collection of short christian based stories. I liked the variety of stories within this book, but found sometimes the stories didn't capture me through their words, some simple illustrations may have helped to set the tone. However, Theresa has done a wonderful job of writing stories very different from one another so I didn't feel like I was reading the same words over and over again.
These stories are nice for families to read together, and learn from.