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Interview with Laura Frantz

Laura Frantz is a born-and-bred Kentucky gal who loves being exactly that, even though she currently lives in Washington state with her “real-life hero,” Randy, and their two sons. She says it’s a beautiful, rainy place—“perfect for penning stories.” (What more could a writer ask for?) She spent her childhood roaming through the woods and swimming in the rivers she now writes into her books; has vivid memories of the public library, where she learned to love stories about historical figures; and holds a degree in English, although she took only one creative writing class to achieve that honor! In Laura’s own words, “It was never a desire of mine to be published. I simply love to write for the sheer joy of writing – and that was enough. But as Proverbs 16:9 says, ‘The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.’”

Laura, I enjoyed poking around your website and “getting to know you” just a little. The first thing that grabbed my attention was a quote from The Historical Novels Review: "Frantz's prose shimmers with poetry and power." What a beautiful accolade to your writing! I am duly impressed. ☺ What do you think it is about your particular style that prompted such a glowing tribute? I know that’s a difficult question, but every writer has some idea of their greatest strength. What is unique to your storytelling style?

I’ve always been aware of the beauty of words, ever since I was small. Since publication, the refrain I hear most from reviewers and readers is “beautifully written” or “poetic.” Personally, that means a great deal to me. But I can’t take any credit for it—writing is a gift from above and should shine beautifully when dedicated to the Lord.

Writing is definitely a gift—but some writers hone that gift and use their “talent” to full benefit. You appear to be one of them. Your bio states that you never possessed a burning desire to be published...that’s unusual. What prompted you to begin submitting for publication?
My brother, Chris, is a pastor/missionary in Spain who is all about serving and sharing your gifts. He’d witnessed my closet writing habit for many years and told me it was time to do something about it. So I blame my brother now when things get overwhelming☺. I do believe God worked through him to help me see that my writing wasn’t given solely to me as a private pleasure but was meant to share with others.

It’s nice to be able to blame someone, isn’t it? ☺ But I’m sure while you’re doing that, your readers are blessing Chris for his excellent advice! Is that event what you see as most significant to your publication journey? If not, what is?
Yes, that was it! Heeding my brother’s advice changed my whole perspective about writing. God equipped us to serve Him and bless others, even via fiction.

Amen and amen! You have a husband and two boys. That’s a pretty full life—even living in beautiful, rainy, laid-back Washington state. ☺ How do you balance your “real” life with writing?
It’s a constant struggle for balance and I do better some days than others. Right now my life seems to be mostly writer-chef-taxi service! My parents recently moved near us, too, and they’re facing health challenges. I’m thankful I wasn’t published any earlier. Timing is everything and in my case I needed the maturity that lends itself to handling any demands with grace.

God’s timing is always perfect. How important is it to you to make faith and spirituality a part of your stories?
It’s paramount. I wouldn’t be writing if not for God’s gifting. My stories are said to be spiritually subtle but it’s amazing how deep readers go with them. I love hearing how people have been touched and brought closer to the Lord through something I’ve written. I never dreamed that would happen.

Oh, but what a beautiful bonus! ☺ What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career?
When Andrea Doering/Revell dug me out of the slush pile at the Writer’s Edge. That was one miraculous story! I had no agent, no writing contacts, no web presence. Zip! The Lord really opened the door with little help from me ☺. It was very humbling and ever since I’ve felt the Lord’s plan and purpose for me in fresh ways.

And here’s the question that can never be avoided—because, seriously…inquiring minds want to know! Where do your story and character ideas come from?
Almost always from history itself – historical texts, old newspapers, letters, diaries, historic sites, and biographies of people no longer living. Inspiration is endless!

That it is. Please fill in the blanks. If I could choose any super power, I would definitely choose time travel because I could experience the places in my novels first hand and do exceptional research!

I can’t say I’m surprised by your choice. ☺ Any parting words?
I’m so thankful to have met you this way, Delia, and also to ACFW for teaching me so much about writing, the CBA, and the ministry we have as authors.

I’ve enjoyed chatting with you too. Thanks for sharing with us, Laura!

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