Please introduce yourself, then tell us how you got started writing.
My name is Theresa Franklin. My husband and I live in Beaumont, TX where we raised our three children. I taught school for 12 years and then went into administration for 12 years. I retired last year. I have always loved writing and reading. I taught both in my classes. Even my first graders were taught to write stories. Every Wednesday was Creative Writing Day and the students looked forward to it. I had always dreamed of writing books, but didn’t have the time while the children were growing up and I was teaching school. The last year I worked in the school, I decided that it was time to write. I began writing children’s books. Most of which I consulted the school psychologist about the subject matter. Children with disabilities have my heart, so a lot of my stories are about living with a disability. I also write about such things as death, divorce, and remarriage for children. The reality is that our children must deal with these adult issues and few books give them the necessary tools. I try to do that in my stories. I also write stories just for fun. Some stories were taken from my children’s adventures when they were growing up.
What have you published and what is your current project?
I have published the children’s books A Sunny Tomorrow, an e-format book which is a collection of 19 Christian-based stories. Don’t Forget Daddy is a children’s book about a little girl who must learn to accept a step-father. Journey to Fulfillment is the testimony of my emotional struggle to come to grips with some painful events in my life. In the book, I also help the adult reader to understand or turn the stumbling blocks into stepping stones.
As a writer of faith, what is your philosophy on marketing? I have mixed feelings about marketing. I do understand that the story is mine and no one can sell it like me, but I do believe that publishers should help market it. It is frustrating for an author, especially a new one, to receive an email from the publisher with a list of ‘contacts you might want to connect with’. If I were the publisher, I would make the contacts and then have the author follow up. A contact from a publisher gives the author much more status than a personal contact. Imagine yourself as the owner of a bookstore. You receive two calls in one day. First call, “Hi, I wrote a book and I wanted to know if you will let me come to your bookstore and sell it.” Second call, “Hi, I am from ABC Publisher and I have an author that I think you would be interested in hosting for a book signing.” Which author would you want in your store?
Tell us about a "God incident" related to your writing. My adult book Journey to Fulfillment was precipitated by an emotional crisis that I experienced. After the initial shock, God impressed upon me that these painful events in my life had helped to shape my principles and convictions. In essence, they helped make me who I am today. Then He gave me the title Journey to Fulfillment.
What are your hopes/dreams for the future? I hope to continue writing and helping children and adults navigate this rough terrain we call life. My husband hopes for grandchildren, but we will see.
What advice would you give to someone just beginning to write and wanting to publish? I write what I know and from my heart. So that is what I would say to anyone beginning to write. On getting published? After I had written Journey to Fulfillment, let others read and edit it, edited it myself, and rewrote it for what seemed like the 14th time, I was ready to submit it. I opened the website of my preferred publisher, but fear gripped me and I could not click ‘submit’. I called my husband into the room and asked him to pray with me. He got down on his knees, held my hand and prayed for God to bless this book and use it for His honor and glory. So I would say: pray, pray, pray.
Any last words? Thanks for hosting me. I enjoyed spending the time with you. I would love to have you and your readers join me on my blog and website. I write on a variety of subjects. I have started writing and posting short stories occasionally. I am anxious to see how my readers like them. Readers can find me at:http://www.storiesforchrist.com