Author Interview: Laura Frantz
We welcome Laura Frantz to the Inspy’s Blog. Laura is the author of Love’s Reckoning, one of the top 5 Romance shortlisted for an Inspy.
On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in York. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege’s daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other’s jealousy destroy their love?
In this sweeping family saga set in western Pennsylvania, one man’s choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come.
What led you to writing?
I wrote my first story (a historical – surprise!) at age 7 and never stopped. Back then I wanted to be an author – it’s written in old journals of mine so I believe you’re hardwired to do it at an early age, in my case at least. It’s definitely a gifting I couldn’t possibly work up if I tried. When people asked me how to write a book I tell them I honestly don’t know! I just sit down and write with pen and paper the old-fashioned way and then transfer it to a Word doc. To me, writing is such a joy I can’t imagine not doing it. It’s a little like falling in love – with characters, a setting, a situation – and not being able to stay away from their world.
I don’t care for preachy stories and feel any faith element or spiritual thread should flow organically within the story, woven into the characters’ lives in such a way that it appears natural and not forced. Personally I’ve always been drawn to people who live out their faith and don’t just do lip-service to it. I’m most impacted by books that do this same thing. The challenge would be that fine line between being preachy and losing the spiritual thread altogether. My novels have been called “spiritually subtle” and I think that is a true summation.
Tell us about a book that epitomizes quality [Christian] faith-driven lit.
Oh, wonderful question but such a hard one! The first book that impacted me mightily was Christy by Catherine Marshall. More recently I look to Liz Curtis Higgs and her Scottish historicals, Here Burns My Candle and Mine is the Night. Both are stellar examples of rich, deep prose, spirituality that is realistic and not forced, and fascinating history. I am a huge fan of anything Scottish and Liz always delivers. Her novels are always of the highest caliber and I think about them for days afterwards.
Favourite book – favourite movie – favourite TV show?
Favorite book is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables) as it is her ‘adult story’ and a very memorable, romantic one! And one of the few books I’ve read more than once. Definitely a lesser known classic. The hero is to die for. Favorite movie hands down is the BBC’s North and South with Richard Armitage, another incredibly memorable hero! As for favorite TV show, I became hooked on Doc Martin in May while in Scotland, and watched an episode a night for about 3 weeks straight. Hilarious and moving and quirky and fun.
What do you hope readers take away from Love’s Reckoning?
I took some risks with this novel, making Eden the heroine very true to her time period/history and a victim of her circumstances. Not a modern-day woman clad in historical costume. Through her journey/struggle as well as the hero’s, Silas Ballantyne, I wanted to show that no matter what circumstances life hands you, God is always faithful and will bring good out of the ugliness, every bit of it. He is the Father who never fails and will be with you through the end, redeeming impossible situations in unexpected ways.
Laura grew up in Kentucky but went to college in Ohio and England. An interesting tidbit is that Laura took only ONE creative writing course! To see pictures of her recent trip to Scotland please visit her Journal and to learn more about Laura and her books please visit her website.