Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with Author Laura Frantz: Home


Hello everyone, and happy "Day After Labor Day!" I trust you enjoyed the long weekend, even if it does signify the end of summer and those fun-filled beach days.

Today and tomorrow, we're kicking off the fall season here at Making Home Work with an interview from the spectacular author Laura Frantz. If you like novels and you've never read anything by this wonderful author, get your hands on one of her books TODAY. Her stories will carry you away to the unforgettable world of the Kentucky frontier.

Thanks for being with us today, Laura. Let's jump right into the interview:
Tell me a bit about your family. How many children do you have, and how old are they?
I’ve been married to Randy for 17 years, and we have 2 boys, Paul and Wyatt, ages 12 and 14.
I've seen pics of your two boys on your blog. They're such handsome little men!
Why did you choose to work from home rather than find a job elsewhere?
Before I married I worked outside the home – teaching, social work, waitressing, and more. When my children were born I found myself wishing I could stay home with them and contribute to our income in even a small way but, the publishing dream was so unrealistic I almost gave up on it. Since I homeschooled for 8 years, I wanted to teach my kids and also work from home but couldn’t find a way to do that other than writing.
What is the most challenging aspect of working from home while raising children?
Staying organized and achieving a harmonious balance between being a mom and a writer. It’s not easy! I did take 5 years off when they were little, and it was the best move I ever made. Now that they’re older and independent, I don’t feel guilty “going to work” even if it’s simply closing the door to my office, which I rarely do. I want them to feel they can come in at any time and that they’re more important than books.
(Naomi adds:) I appreciate you point about your children being more important than books. I'm terrified that one day my boys will come to me and say "Mama, do you have to write? Can't you play with me instead?" I want my kids to know they're more important than writing, but I want them to support my writing and not view it as something that takes away from their time with me.
Did you ever get your children involved with your home business? What advice would you give mothers thinking about having their children help with their business?
My boys are really intrigued that their mom writes books now, but they weren’t so thrilled when they were little. I try to keep them in the loop about publishing as they seem interested and often ask questions. They love handing out promotional materials like bookmarks and are getting to the age where they can assist in mailing books and other office tasks. Helping out teaches them organization, and they see that writing really is a ministry.
(Naomi adds:) Laura, I completely sympathize with your boys not being thrilled about your writing at the beginning! Since I got my publishing contract, I've tried explaining to my four year old that Mama is writing a book when she "works at her computer." But he doesn't make the connection. I'm hoping I can see that light of understanding in his eyes when he holds my first novel. :-)
If you're married, what challenges did working from home present to your marriage, and how did you compensate?
Honestly, I feel married to my computer sometimes – and my husband does, too! I try to be really sensitive to not work in the evenings. I also try staying open to his schedule as much as possible, and we make time to get out and have fun together. We talk about the workload of writing A LOT which keeps us communicating. Writing has never been work to me, though publishing is. I have to discipline myself away from writing as I could pretty much do it 24/7. I’ve never been one of those writers who feel it’s just a job.

If you could start all over again, what would you do differently? What would you do the same?
I would have tapped into the online writing community earlier and began blogging and making contacts. On the other hand, not having online distractions helped me log many hours of writing which made me a stronger writer.
(Naomi adds:) I feel the same way. I burrowed myself in my own little writing world for the first couple years I wrote. I could have been making connections during that time, but then I wonder if my writing would have grown as quickly as it did. Both developing your writing and connecting with readers and writers takes time. I'm not sure there's a right or wrong way to do it, just a lot of different choices.
Is it worth it? What keeps you home instead of having an outside career?
If I view writing/publishing as a ministry, it is truly worth it. If I look at it from the monetary, 8-5 angle, it is not. The publishing world is very consuming and will try to woo you away from what is truly important, mainly your faith and your family. Yes, even the CBA. At times it’s a challenge to stay grounded and remember that it’s all about God’s glory and not ours.

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Thanks so much for the interview, Laura. You have some really insightful points, which I hope and pray will encourage our readers. Laura's third book, The Colonel's Lady, released in August, and it's a great story! Here's more about the book:
Can love survive the secrets kept buried within a tormented heart?

Roxanna Rowan may be a genteel Virginia woman, but she is determined to brave the wilds of the untamed frontier to reach a remote Kentucky fort. Eager to reunite with her father, who serves under Colonel Cassius McLinn, Roxanna is devastated to find that her father has been killed on a campaign.

Penniless and out of options, Roxanna is forced to remain at the fort. As she spends more and more time with the fiery Colonel McLinn, the fort is abuzz with intrigue and innuendo. Can Roxanna truly know who the colonel is--and what he's done?


Immerse yourself in this powerful story of love, faith, and forgiveness set in the tumultuous world of the frontier in 1779.

To enter our book giveaway, leave a comment below with your email address. A winner will be announced at the end of the week. If you're interested in learning more about Laura, stop by her blog at www.laurafrantz.blogspot.com. And don't forget to return tomorrow for the second part of our interview with Laura.

34 comments:

  1. Naomi, Thanks so much for having me here - this is such a savvy, needed blog! Praying His best for you and your contributors as you do the work He calls you to do, including being a wife and mom, etc. Bless you all!

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  2. Welcome, Laura. This book is already sitting in my TBR pile staring at me. :)

    Thanks for your candid responses. I think Hubby and kids believe I'm married to my computer too sometimes esp. on those days where a handful of people all of a sudden need something and I'm itching to take care of it all lest I let it go by too long and the requests/needs get buried and forgotten in email.

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  3. Naomi/Laura, I've read some great reviews of this book and have it on my wishlist! I can relate to those early years of writing when my children were preschool age. Now, 2 of the 3 are in college and I have the house to myself in the mornings, at least, to write to my heart's content. Now, I just have to stay off the internet!

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  4. Oh Ruth, sometimes I wish for the day when my kids will be gone and I'll have the morning to write, but when I get there, I'll probably look back on my days with children and wish to have them back again.

    So in the end, I just try to be thankful for my little guys, despite the myriad writing interruptions of a day. Then when my kids are grown, I won't have any regrets--I hope!

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  5. Really enjoyed hearing about Laura's home and family life. Thanks ladies. I relate with both of you, stay at home mom and homeschooled for 5 years. And since I haven't had the pleasure of reading this one yet, please enter me.

    dina sleiman at gmail dot com

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  6. What a wonderful blog, Laura. I <3 your books!

    I didn't start writing seriously until my littlest went to preschool. I wrote for 2 1/2 hours in the afternoon, m-th, Sept through May! I'm always amazed at God's timing. I sold 2 weeks before he went to kindergarten ;)

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  7. Wonderful interview Naomi and Laura! It's always a blessing to get to know Laura a little more. : )

    Thank you for entering me!
    Michelle
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

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  8. Ruth, You've mentioned something so important - staying off the internet! I've really been convicted about my time there lately. Sometimes checking my email and blog comments seem almost an obsession:( I find if I check them in the morning, then at lunch, and again late afternoon, I'm much more productive. Of course, when a book releases all that flies out the window... Bless u for your gracious comments!

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  9. Melissa, Oh, so glad Roxie is staring at your from Mount TBR;) I always tell readers to just tuck it away for a rainy day when schedules lighten. It means a lot to have you for a reader!

    Dina, So good to see you here:) I know you're singing over you latest release -or maybe the right word is dancing!

    Sherri, Your name is familiar to me - thanks for your kind comments. God's timing is great - we just need to learn to rest in that. You're living proof!

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  10. Michelle, Great to see you here, as usual:) You're always a bright spot! Thanks for taking time out of your busy teaching schedule to come by and comment.

    Naomi, I often found myself wishing my boys would morph into men and I could have lots of free time. But now, when they're doing just that, I see how our time with them is fading fast and I want to hold onto them a little longer. Boys win out over books any day:)

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  11. Great interview! I am reading Courting Morrow Little now, and love it! It is good to hear another mother's perspective on writing at home with small children. My biggest struggle is being behind the computer more than in front of the boys! The ARE more important than writing, and I need to show them not just tell them. :)

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  12. Sherri, I really got writing done last year, when my oldest was in preschool and my youngest napped. It's a amazing what consistent writing time can do for your writing!

    And Angie, I have no idea how you manage writing and moving and blogging and four little ones. I get tired just thinking about all you do.

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  13. I love reading interviews about Laura. I look forward to tomorrow! No need to enter me in the drawing. I already have all her books. They are wonderful!

    I do agree about being the computer a lot. I try to only write when the kids are napping or at night, but sometimes those creative ideas can't be contained into those hours. I am always worried about keeping a balance.

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  14. Sounds like a fascinating read!

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  15. Angie, Bless you for loving Morrow's story! I miss it so much. I think if we're intentional about putting our children first as much as we can, they will still get the time and attention they so deserve. But having those "work times" teaches them that moms can do several things well.

    Stacey, Oh, love seeing you here! I wrote so much during naptimes, too. What is hard for me is that hubs can't go to sleep w/o me so I can't play night owl:) When I feel really stressed and overly busy, I pray for writing time - and the Lord always delivers. Not in big chunks but small increments that can be very productive and an oasis. Bless you so much!

    Thanks, Renee, I so hope it is for you and others:)

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  16. Thanks for stopping by everyone! Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for the second part of the interview, where we focus on the business aspect of working at home.

    And Renee, The Colonel's Lady really is a fascinating read. You should get your hands on a copy. Pronto!

    Thanks for visiting today, Dina, and Ruth, and Michelle. It's encouraging to see some new people here! :-)

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  17. I can definitely see how the publishing world can be consuming. I notice writers on their blog or just in general having to deal with that, though it's really just reading between the lines. Maybe someone should start a prayer community specifically for authors and balancing their schedules and keeping steadfast to what is most important. Hope everyone has a great day! gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

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  18. What a great idea, Adge! It really is difficult to balance home and writing, and its so important not to neglect our children. A lot of authors struggle with it.

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  19. Thanks for your candid responses, Laura. I too feel I'm married to the computer some days! I would love the chance to read your work. I would love to read your work.

    Joy

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  20. Oops, I should edit, shouldn't I? :) BTW, great interview Naomi!

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  21. Appreciated this interview with Laura Frantz. I especially appreciated the discussion about keeping our personal priorities in a healthy balance. When my babies were very little I remember actually hollering at them to be quiet so I could listen to a lady on our Christian radio station intruct me on how to be a better mother. Mercy of mercies, did I ever create a huge "visual aid" all by myself...for my own admonition. One of those moments I have never forgotten. Books are a great enjoyment, but babies are eternal. I believe the Lord has given Laura Frantz a gift for writing; but I'm very happy to hear she is keeping her priorities in order. I will pray for her in that area as the Lord brings her to mind. Thank you for this excellent blog post/interview. Oh yes, I just finished TCL and that trilogy is now in my "favorites" bookcase.

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  22. Thanks for that memory, Mary. I'm glad God used that "visual aid" to grow you closer to Him.

    And yes, all of Laura's books are in my favorite pile. How could they be anywhere else? :-)

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  23. Laura, I loved your first book and have your second ready to read. I would love to have your third. :) You are a fabulous writer.

    blissful63(at)gmail(dot)com

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  24. Please enter me! This is a book I'd love to read. :)

    photographer4ever832[at]gmail[dot]com

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  25. LauraLee, I like your books, too!! Bless u for stopping here and wanting to read Roxanna's story. That means so much.

    Charity, Thanks for being here:)

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  26. Mary, I had to chuckle at your comment as I have caught myself doing that very thing on more than one occasion and been very humbled! I often say the only thing better than a book is a baby:) I ADORE babies! Probably why I loved writing Courting Morrow Little so much - couldn't stop with one so had to make two;) Bless you.

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  27. I have been anxious to read Laura's books; have not read any thus far....they all sound like just my type. Thanks for the chance to read this one! Enjoy the interview.
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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  28. Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This looks like a great book. I would love to win this. Thanks again.

    agent_beckster(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  29. Great interview and I love Laura's books! Can't wait to read this one too!

    jamie @ jamiecarie (.) com

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  30. Thanks for stopping by everyone. Yes, if you haven't yet read one of Laura's books, you're in for a treat. :-)

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  31. Laura, I'm so glad you are homeschooling your kids :) That is a wonderful choice. I've heard so many good things about your books.

    Naomi, Great interview and very cool blog :)

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

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  32. I've heard great things about Laura's books (one of my friends highly recommends them) but I haven't yet read one. I do think I need to add all her books to my "to be read" pile! Thanks for giving away a copy of "The Colonel's Lady."

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  33. Bless you all for your comments - I treasure them:) God is so good to bring us together through our commitment to home and work. I pray we can honor Him with the choices we make and continue to make His priorities our priorities. Thanks so much for being here with me the last 2 days!

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  34. I would love to win this book, thank you for the giveaway.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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