Author Interview & Giveaway: ‘An Uncommon Woman’ by Laura Frantz

I am absolutely thrilled to host a particular favorite author of mine on my blog today. Laura Frantz’s latest novel, An Uncommon Woman, is some of her very best work and she has graciously consented to be a guest on my blog and give away a signed copy of her book, along with a bookmark. (Find out the details at the end of the blog post.) Now, let’s meet Laura.

Laura, thanks so much for being with me today and for the gift of a book to one blessed reader. I’m sure whoever wins will love the book as much as I did.

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? And did you always want to write Christian fiction?
From age 7, I sensed words were special and I loved them. Math was a different story! I even wrote in an old childhood diary that I wanted to grow up and be an author one day. So, I think the seeds were or are planted very early—rather the Lord gives us all unique gifts and writing is just one of them. I honestly can’t imagine writing anything other than Christian fiction as my faith affects my entire world view.

2. Did you being a Kentuckian and a Daniel Boone fan influence your decision to write historical?
It did! I have a lifelong fascination with pioneers and first families in Kentucky. Fort Boonesborough was the site where I grew up spending a lot of time as it wasn’t far from our home. Of all the historical figures I’ve researched and learned about, Boone is my favorite and seems to have been beyond reproach. He had loads of integrity in addition to being a first class frontiersman.

3. Did you know you wanted to write this genre from the beginning?
Yes, mainly because historicals line my bookshelves and I rarely read contemporary novels though I do enjoy them. That was my clue that I’m so tied to the historical genre that I can’t or shouldn’t write anything else. I’m completely clueless about modern-day anything, from phones to kitchen appliances. Even my Cuisinart, a gift from my foodie son, is gathering dust in the pantry.

4. Does prayer play a big part in your writing?
I always begin a novel with prayer and pray my way through till the end. I recently discovered the book, ‘Every Moment Holy’ by Douglas McElvey, which has a truly amazing word for fiction writers. Here’s a sample, “Lord, let me love the reader, ever writing for their good, writing words that might, in the employ of your Spirit, bring life and hope and conviction.’

5. How do ideas come to you and how do you plan a book?
Ideas come to me in snatches. I’ll find a character name and land on a setting that’s appealing. Then scenes and bits of dialogue come to mind like I’m watching a movie. It’s quite odd and it works well for me, gathering all these odds and ends and piecing them together like a crazy quilt. God gets all the credit for anything that makes sense, any beauty. Sometimes I know the end of the book from the beginning.

6. What was your favorite story as a child?
My uncle gifted me with first edition copies of Winnie The Pooh books when I was born. I still have them though they’re very worn and faded. Maybe my old uncle knew I would grow up and be an author. I love them and grew up reading them.

7. Where do you write your books?
Sitting by the fire in winter and at my desk by an open door in summer. Sometimes on a porch. I’d rather write outside than in.

8. What thing, if any, has most impacted your writing?
My love of history and wanting to preserve it in even a small way through my books. So much is lost and is underappreciated today, as far as our country’s founding, how our ancestors got here, the struggle, etc. I lament we have so few letters and diaries and accounts from days past, but our forefathers were so busy trying to stay alive, that it explains the lack, I guess.

9. Do you want readers to take anything away from this story?
I kept thinking of the old hymn, Be Thou My Vision, as I was writing An Uncommon Woman, which I placed at the front of the novel. ‘Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall, still be my vision, O Ruler of all.’ This is or would come to be Tessa and Clay’s stance in their beautiful but dark and very dangerous surroundings. I think the wisdom of those words applies to us today. We can’t control our circumstances or what life hands us for the most part. But we always need to remember God rules and is our vision or should be our vision, no matter what. Nothing else matters eternally. He is our light and we are here to shine a light in the time given to us.

Thanks again, Laura, for being with us today. It was such a blessing to get to know you better.

Christy Award-winning author, Laura Frantz, is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Frantz lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky and also Washington State.

My Rating: 5 Stars!!!

‘Fear was never far away. She’d felt its cold clutch since childhood.’

Sometimes, you read the last word in a book and you just sit there, unable to think properly because your heart is so incredibly full. Such is the emotion that a book by Laura Frantz evokes in this reader.

”Everyone on the frontier had a chair that sat empty, a place unoccupied. Who would be next?’

Tessa Swan has lived on the Buckhannon River on the Virginia frontier all her life, plainspoken in her ways and a force to be reckoned with. Clay Tygart was raised by Lenape Indians and has returned home a hero in the French and Indian War to the fort named for him. He brings with him a white woman named Keturah by the Indians who kidnapped her nearly twelve years earlier; Tessa’s best friend, she was. Clay Tygart is a courageous man, but quiet and prefers not to be entangled in relationships. However, he is soon taken with the outspoken Tessa and when she is taken by the Lenape, he will do everything in his power to bring her back home.

I am a forever fan of Laura Frantz’s books and have been since I read her very first novel. When I sit down to begin one of her books, I sink way down deep into its words, settling in for a wonderful time. I find myself torn between not wanting to finish and thus prolonging the pleasure of the read and reading swiftly to get to the end! Frantz is especially gifted at drawing the reader into her stories with her intoxicating prose, her words flowing like water over a waterfall, refreshing the reader with their crispness. Her vivid descriptions bring the American frontier vibrantly to life. She manages to pull the characters’ lives right into this reader’s heart, which simply sighs with contentment.

Frantz brings history to life in the pages of her books, something this history buff thoroughly enjoys. In fact, she so captivates me with her accurate historical research that it puts in me a desire to do some research into her stories myself! And I have done that very thing with each book.

Her powerful and vivid descriptions of everything are so amazing that I find myself stopping and reading certain passages over and over again before being able to press on with the book. Truly, my heart sings reading a Laura Frantz book. These characters, Clay and Tessa, will take up space in my heart for a very long time to come. I cherished every moment of this book . I highly recommend this author and this book.

*My thanks to Revell for a preview copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Rules and Information for Giveaway:

Giveaway ends on January 14th. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Open to residents of the 48 contiguous states due to postage rates. To enter, I need the following from you:

Your full name
Your email in a non-spam formula, ex: susan (at) yahoo (dot) com.