Interview with Author Laura Frantz

Please join me in welcoming debut author Laura Frantz.  Her historical novel, The Frontiersman’s Daughter, was released in August by Revell and has received a multitude of five-star reviews. Today, she’s offered to share a little about herself and give us a peek into her writing life.

About Laura

Please tell us a little about yourself.

 I was born and raised in Kentucky and my love of history goes deep – way back to the 18th-century when my family first came into the Bluegrass State. It will always be home to me, even though I now live with my husband, Randy, and my sons, Wyatt and Paul, in the misty woods of northwest Washington. I go back as often as I can to visit family and all the old haunts that I love. 

I grew up playing on the original site of Fort Boonesborough and swimming in the Kentucky River and climbing the Pinnacle near Berea and watching the great outdoor dramas of the early settlers. Often my cousins and brother and I would play in my Granny’s attic and dress up in the pioneer costumes she made us and pretend to be Daniel Boone, Rebecca, Jemima, or the Shawnee.

As I grew up I began to write stories and they were always historical, filled with the lore I had heard or read about. It’s no accident that my first book (which is actually my fifth book – the others were practice!) is about those first Kentucky pioneers.

I feel blessed beyond measure to write books. My prayer is that you are doubly blessed reading them.

 

What do you think is the greatest invention of all time?

The public library! Where else can you take something home for free, if only for 3 weeks!? I’ve had a love affair with libraries since I was a little girl and still do. When I go I still get excited and hate to leave.

Frontiersman

  Would you rather meet your great-grandchildren or your great-grandparents?

Without a doubt, my great-grandparents! They died shortly before I was born and I was named after my great-granny. They lived so much history and since history is my passion, I have so many unanswered questions. For example, why did my great-granny, the belle of her tiny Kentucky town, wait till she was 35 to marry and then marry my grandpappy, a one-legged man? Why did they only have one child, my grandfather? Why was her father never the same after fighting in the Civil War and being held at Andersonville Prison? Why did she collect rocks from every county in Kentucky? Silly questions, perhaps, but I’m left wondering.

 

 Do you have a specific Scripture that you hold onto?

Prior to being published I came across this verse: The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; do not forsake the works of Your hands. Psalms 138:8

When I wonder what the future holds, especially in regards to my writing, I ponder this verse and trust that He has me in hand and my future is secure. 

 

bananasplitWhat jobs have you had in your life? What did you like most? Least?

I’ve scooped ice cream at Baskin Robbins, babysat, taught school, waitressed, and been a social worker. All of them provided great fodder for my writing:) But I’d not want to return to doing them as writing has always been my first love. I pray I can keep writing for as long as I can hold a pen or use a laptop:)

 

About Laura’s Writing

 What’s the most exciting part of the writing journey for you? Most difficult?

I love being able to say I’m an author after 40 years of hiding it! It’s a real joy to have a dream fulfilled. I’d have to say that the most exciting part of the journey would be getting the news about the official title for my book (usually different but better than the one I’ve dreamed up) and also seeing my book cover for the first time. And, of course, holding the actual book in hand. Too many joys to count! The downside would be negative reviews though the postive ones sure make you smile. And I love reader mail. It’s a privilege to answer every one.

 

 What do you hope readers will gain from your novel?

I hope they will see Christ manifested in the novel in some way – His truth through fiction. If my words inspire someone to draw closer to Him or seek Him out or realize His love and forgiveness, then that’s a big blessing to both the reader and myself. I also love books that offer an escape. If you finish my book and feel like you’ve said goodbye to a friend, have come to care about my characters, and hate to see it end, then I’ll feel I’ve been a good steward of the writing gift God has given me.

 

 What do the post-its around your computer/desk say? 

No post-its but I do have a little rock with flowers painted on it which says “GROW.” It’s a reminder to me that writing is a learning process and God is stretching me, often beyond my comfort zone, but it’s for my good and His glory.

 

cabin What works do we have to look forward to from you in future?

I feel so blessed to write 18th-century fiction which is a mostly unexplored time period in the inspirational market. My next novel, Courting Morrow Little, due out next summer, involves a young woman and her preacher father on the Red River in Kentucky during the Revolutionary War. This book details an unusual courtship which I hope readers will enjoy so much they’ll find it hard to put the book down:)

 

 You can learn more about Laura Frantz and her books at her website www.LauraFrantz.net and on her blog, Laura’s Journal, at www.laurafrantz.blogspot.com.

Published by

Lorna Seilstad

Lorna Seilstad brings history back to life using a generous dash of humor. She is the author of the Lake Manawa Summers Series and the Gregory Sisters Series. She and her husband have three children and call Iowa home. Find out more at www.lornaseilstad.com or connect with her on Facebook and on Twitter.

24 thoughts on “Interview with Author Laura Frantz”

  1. Thanks, Laura, for sharing with us about the story of your writing life! Even though I’m the rebel of our group (cuz I’m mostly a nonfiction writer) I do enjoy reading and writing historical fiction. Kentucky is such a beautiful state. I live in Arkansas and my daughter lives in Tennessee, so we love the mid-south region.

  2. I can’t wait to read your book, Laura! I, too, am from Kentucky (the Western part), and grew up mesmerized by the TV show, “Daniel Boone.” The character I most wanted to play when I got together with my cousins? Rebecca Boone.

    Thank you for sharing with us – as an unpublished fiction writer, it’s so inspirational to hear about your journey into authorhood! God bless!

  3. Congratulations on your book!

    Those questions about your grandparents are not silly. You got me curious about them. If you ever find out the answers, they’d make a interesting book.

    Hugs!
    Marlene

  4. Laura, I just love the verse you hold on to, and I’m with Marlene, I think your questions about your great-grandparents could certainly develop into a wonderful story!

    You mentioned you’ve been a social worker. How do you think that has effected your writing?

  5. It’s wonderful meeting new readers and writers here – bless you all!
    Linda, I’ve never been to Arkansas but I love Tennessee and am headed to a family reunion there in the Smokies next year:)
    Regina, I guess I’m still playing Daniel Boone, just on paper! It makes me smile that you did the same thing as a kid. Love those memories.
    And thank you, Marlene, for not thinking my questions silly. I really wish I could find the answers – if not here, hopefully heaven:) Thank you for your kind comments.

  6. Oh good question, Lorna! I think it has deepened my compassion for people and shown me see how flawed each of us really are, just as Scripture says. I hope it has helped me with characterization. One reviewer said she thought it interesting that my “bad guys” have good qualities and vice versa. Maybe that’s the social work aspect coming in. I even love my characters that act out:)

  7. Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us, Laura! I think it’s only normal that you want answers about your great-grandparents, because it’s part of your story which defines you somehow…
    I may be from Québec, but I too grew up to Daniel Boone stories, dreaming of joining them sometimes. The tomboy I was just loved adventure!

    I’ll surely look out for your book!

  8. Laura, I just checked my local Christian bookstore and they have two copies of The Frontiersman’s Daughter in stock…soon to be only one since I intend to swing by there on my way home from work and pick up a copy. I’m definitely in need of escape. And I do get very attached to characters and hate to say good bye so if you write with that intent I’m sure I’m going to love your book.

  9. The Frontiersman’s Daughter is a deeply layered, satisfying historical read that will keep you guessing as to how it will unfold. You’ll learn a lot about Kentucky frontier life along the way, but so well worked into the plot that you might not realize it until you put the book down.

    I agree about the library, Laura. What a great answer. Thank you, Benjamin Franklin!

  10. Laura, it’s so fun learning about the authors who send our imaginations around the world & through time. I’ve already got your book reserved at the local library & look forward to reading it.

  11. Kav,
    Hearing that a bookstore near you has my book – two of them! – makes my day. I pray you enjoy Lael’s journey. Please stay in touch! And thank you so much for your kind words here.

  12. Yeah, Brenda! I love hearing your library has a copy and you’ll soon be reading! I made sure I donated 3 to the 3 branches here in Port Angeles as well as my home library in Kentucky. But my pub seems to be doing a good job of getting their books into libraries nationwide. Bless you as you read!

  13. I’m so glad so many of you plan to pick up a copy of The Frontierman’s Daughter. I bought mine and loved it. Here’s a little bit about what I wrote to Laura when I’d finished.

    “Laura, your writing is SO lyrical and beautiful. I tried to slow down and savor it, but I still found myself devouring every page. I loved Lael. I think people could miss how much she grew if they didn’t consider the book starts with her as a young teenager. So much happens to during those next few years to young woman as far as emotional and spiritual growth. You captured that “coming of age” feeling so well. In fact, every character, from minor to major, was well developed. I felt as torn as her between Captain Jack and Ian!

    The rich descriptions made the setting come alive. I loved the flowers you added and the little things like Ian’s “blueberry eyes.” I know not everyone notices things like that, but I did and I was tickled each time I did. In fact, I think a person could do a whole study on how you used color in the novel.

    I was bittersweet about reaching the end. While I couldn’t stop reading, I didn’t want to let it go.”

  14. Hi Laura,

    Congratulations on your books! Isn’t writing for him such an awesome calling. I liked the questions about your great grandparents too as I am a very curious person. Not knowing things bugs me. I worked with a lady once who collected old tin types. In case anyone doesn’t know, it’s pictures on tin, the way they used to do it. I’d never heard of them and she brought some to work. She’d found a whole album of family pictures at a flea market. There was one picture of a woman with a blanket over her head and upper body, sitting in a chair, holding a child on her lap. All you could see was her hands. Why? Still drives me buggy. We came up with all kinds of reasons: she was difigured, had alopecia (where your hair falls out, did I mention we were hairdressers?), great grandma died and they realized they didnt’ have a picture of her with little John John, so they propped her up. Creepy. I still wonder about it.
    Anyway, you’re not the only one who wants answers and I enjoyed reading your story.

  15. I don’t have a web site but love to read The Frontiersman’s Daughter, by Laura, will be glad to get another by her. Really enjoyed her interview.

    mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

  16. Lorna,
    I loved your gracious words about TFD so much I printed them off so I could savor them again in future, esp. in those days of writer doubts:) You just don’t know how much they encouraged me. And talk about lyrical and beautiful – you just did it:)

  17. Shannon, Fascinating stories about the old tin types! Great novel fodder there. In fact, I just posted an old photo on my last blog post as it intrigued me so very much. But it’s a baby with a living woman, promise:) Thank you for such interesting comments:)

  18. Edna,
    You are such a faithful reader and friend. I should tell readers here that Edna read TFD before it was released and she posted my first reviews ever so she has a special place in my heart. Bless you – I’m so glad to see you here:)

  19. Laura,
    Such a great way to get to know you. I, also, would choose great grandparents. Amazing, isn’t it, how we can build upon such small details and make a grand tale? What a gift He has given us indeed. I can’t wait to read your book.

  20. Laura,

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us. Your book sounds fantastic!.

    Those questions you have for your great-grandparents are wonderful. I was lucky enough to have my great-grandfather until I was nineteen. He was born in 1899 – the exact middle of fifteen children – and had some great stories to share.

  21. Kim,
    You are so blessed to have had your great-grandfather for so many years. I hope you remember his stories – write them down, even – and pass them on. What a wonderful gift he gave you!

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