Genre: Inspirational Romance
Format: ebook, paperback
It wasn’t until lunchtime that Jessi remembered to call home. No answer. She tried calling several times while she ate her lunch. Still no answer. She closed her eyes and rested her arms and head on her desk. She breathed deeply, wishing she had remembered to call earlier.
Until Forever is a story of a young family that is torn apart by the devastating effects of alcoholism. Can healing take place in a relationship when an unforgivable act is committed? Will Jessi’s pain and Mark’s guilt keep them apart forever, or will unforeseen circumstances bind them together?
1. Welcome Darlene. Can you tell us when and why did you begin writing?
When I was in college I absolutely loved my writing classes. I had this epiphany. Why was I majoring in voice performance when I hated my voice classes? I ended up leaving college and I started writing, although my first novel, Until Forever, didn’t come until much later.
2. What inspired you to write your first book?
I had the story of Mark and Jessi running through my head and it wouldn’t leave me alone. Once I realized that this story wasn’t going anywhere, I started writing. Once I started writing, I understood just how much the words coming from my heart could impact a world that has lost hope. I joke with my husband that for so long I had so much to say, I was the typical know it all but had no following for my voice. Now that I have a platform and seek God’s will for my life, I only want to say what He directs me in saying. I love how He changes our hearts before we come into our life callings.
3. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No matter what you’ve done, no matter how bad you have failed, there is forgiveness in the arms of Christ. I cannot tell you how my heart breaks when someone does not come to Christ because they feel they have committed the unforgivable sin. I want everyone to know that is what He went to the cross for. That is how much He loves us.
4. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am so excited because book two In the Women of Prayer Series, Forever Blessed, is almost finished.
Forever Blessed tells the heartbreaking story of Paul and Laney Sanders. Laney is on the run from her abusive husband, Paul. With her three children in tow, she leaves everything she knows to obtain safety for her and her family. While living in a women’s shelter, Laney meets women from every walk of life that are facing similar circumstances in their lives. Does Laney find safety from a controlling manipulative husband? Does Paul track her down and make her pay for her disobedience? Where does God fit into all this?
Forever Blessed tackles the tough subject of domestic abuse, both inside and outside the church.
Forever Blessed is now available at Amazon.
5. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
While the stories of Until Forever and Forever Blessed are fictional, the issues behind the stories have had a great impact on our family as a whole. My grandmother was married to an alcoholic. I have family members that still drink themselves to oblivion. I wanted to expose just how much alcohol can negatively impact a family. In Forever Blessed, domestic abuse is the theme of the book. My grandfather physically abused my grandmother. I named a character in Forever Blessed after her, Ella. I love that character! While Forever Blessed is not their story, it does expose domestic violence for what it is; a tragedy that knows no racial, economic, age, educational or geographical barriers.
6. What is the most challenging part of being an Indie author? The most rewarding?
I believe the most challenging and the most rewarding parts of being an Indie author are the same, making sure my work is as good as the traditionally published work out there. By this I mean, I work very hard to make sure that happens. I don’t have a team of professional editors to make sure word usage is correct or my grammar is right on. And since I am a perfectionist, by the time I have had twenty people read the book and make corrections and I have read it out loud to myself eight times, I am pretty sick of my own book. Even after all that, I hire an editor to make sure it is in tiptop shape. The most rewarding is when I get the reviews telling me how my voice may be a little different, or the dialogue is a little long, but the reader still couldn’t put it down. Somehow I made something a little different work well. That is very rewarding to me.
7. As an indie author, what would you say to a potential reader who has never read anything from an indie author?
Give us a try! Yes, you are going to run across some badly written stuff now and again. But, there are so many good Indie authors out there. You will be missing out on some really great stuff if you don’t.
8. What are your current projects?
Book two in the series, Forever Blessed, is available. I have already begun to outline book three, yet untitled. And I have begun to outline a series of short stories that will tell the stories of some of the secondary and background characters from Until Forever and Forever Blessed. I sometimes get comments from readers telling me they want to know about such and such a character. If I told everyone’s story within the pages of a single book, the book would never end. There is only so much room between the covers of the book.
Darlene resides in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with her husband and son. She is passionate about family life, her church, and worship. Her interests include cooking, entertaining, scrapbooking and traveling. Darlene attended Alderson Broaddus College as a voice major. She found she was more passionate about her writing classes than her vocal classes. She left college early and since that time has written various projects such as Bible School Curriculum and poetry. She has also written and recorded a CD of original music. Until Forever is her first novel.
Besides her writing endeavors, Darlene enjoys speaking to groups of all different sizes and varieties. She is also an accomplished vocalist.