Hi everyone! Today we have debut author Charles Franklin with us. Charles was born and raised in Texas. From there, he joined the United States Army and has traveled the world. Along the way, he saw the most beautiful set of eyes he had ever seen. They belonged to a girl … and he married her right away. Twenty years later, they have three children and are finally headed back home to Texas for good.
Upon retiring from the Army after 23 years, Charles will continue to serve others as a teacher in the town he grew up in. When he’s not in the classroom, or spending time with his family, Charles writes stories about faith, love, hope, and adventure.
Please join me in welcoming Charles Franklin!
1) Everyone seems to have a “how I got published” story. What is yours?
First off, I had never dreamed of being a published author until a few years ago. I would sometimes journal, or start a story that I never finished, but there finally came a day when I had this burning passion to tell stories. So…I wrote a horrible first draft and, thankfully, I realized it was horrible and sought an editor to help me fix the mess I’d made. During that time, a friend advised me to go to a writer’s conference and they recommended one called Realm Makers! I went and met some of the most amazing people! Among them were Phyllis Wheeler and Suzanne Hartmann of Castle Gate Press, my publisher. I didn’t submit to them right away, but eventually I did and they have been such a joy to work with and an incredible blessing!
2) Tell us a little about your books.
My recently published novel, Children of the Forgotten, is the first book of the Anistemi Series, a trilogy of post-apocalyptic books. They tell the story of a group of characters from a small city that has been shut off from the rest of the world a century after disease and war almost wiped out all of mankind. I’m a big fan of stories about surviving in post-apocalyptic world and I wanted to explore what life would be like if Christianity was almost just a memory. Writing the first book—knowing that a lot of the characters didn’t know God—really helped me see where to look for Him.
3) What do you want readers to take away from your book?
I’d like for readers to see that, even when everything seems lost, there is always hope. We serve an awesome, powerful, loving God, and though we go through trials, He has good plans for us. Each of the characters in Children of the Forgotten has their own unique struggle, like every one of us, and they have to find the light in their darkness. I wanted my book to be a reminder that the darkness cannot overcome the light.
4) Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars. It’s not even close. I don’t know where to begin, but the whole history of the Skywalkers combined with such a dynamic cast of supporting characters has had me hooked from the first time I watched A New Hope when I was a little boy. I’ve tried to watch Start Trek but I was never able to stick with it. Please forgive me, trekkies!
5) Favorite place to vacation?
My family and I haven’t gone on many vacations, but we were blessed to be able to go to Disney World a couple of times and I’m not sure we’ll ever vacation any place else. Even though I’m in my forties, I felt like a kid when I walked into the park each day. It’s true what they say, you know. It really is a magical place!
6) Do you have a particular drink or food you consume when you write?
I know there are a lot of tea drinkers out there, but I have a bit of a coffee problem. The good thing about that is I can really hammer out some words if I’m behind on my word count. If I’ve had too much caffeine, those words may not make a lot of sense, but that’s what editing is for, right?
7) Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
I think we all tend to focus too much on our shortcomings and forget that God’s grace and mercy are what makes His love so perfect! Yes, we should strive for righteousness, but we’ll never get there on our own. So, let’s stop beating ourselves up when we stumble and just thank God for forgiveness.
8) Do you listen to music while you write? If so what are some examples?
I must have music when I write. I can’t have words, though. They distract me! So, I listen to movie scores. Some of my favorites are the themes from Pirates of the Caribbean and Last of the Mohicans. Good music really helps me visualize a scene and it gets the creativity flowing. There have been several times when I’ve written what I felt like was a powerful scene while listening to a great movie score and had to sit back for a moment and just appreciate how awesome it is to be a storyteller.
9) How would you like to be remembered?
I hope to be remembered as someone who is generous. Whether it be with material things, my time, or my words, I want to always give more than I take. I’ve been so blessed in my life and, even though I still want things, I don’t need much. I have a beautiful family that loves me. I have a job, a home, food on the table, and we’re all healthy. Not all are this fortunate, so I pray that I always remember this and love others just as Jesus loves me.
10) What have you learned about yourself through your writing?
I’ve learned that I’m a lot more sensitive than I thought I was. I’m retired military, so I sometimes convince myself that I need to fit that image. But when I sit down to write I get to explore the beauty in a scene or in a character and it can be quite emotional.
There was a point in Children of the Forgotten when one of my characters is haunted by something from her past. The scene was so intense that I was shaking by the time I finished the scene. I’ve never been through something like she had, but I felt some of her pain as I told her story. Moments like that, when I connect with a character on that level and bring them to life, are what push me through those days of doubt.
Thank you so much, Charles, for joining us! Here is where you can find him online: