Today I have the pleasure of doing an interview with Darlene L. Turner, an award-winning author who lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband Jeff. She loves flavored coffee and plaid shirts. And, I happen to know she decorated her Christmas tree this year in black and white buffalo plaid ribbons. So her love of plaid extends beyond shirts!
Please join me in learning more about why Darlene began writing and what drew her to romantic suspense. At the end, there is a more extensive bio and a list of ways you too can connect with Darlene Turner.
- Hi Darlene. As a young girl, who were some of your favorite authors? What influence did they have on your writing career?
DLT: I fell in love with Nancy Drew books at a young age. That’s where my love of mystery/suspense started! It also gave me the writing spark and I started my own Mindy Dobson series. I wish I would have kept them. It would have been fun to go back and read them. I also loved to read Anne of Green Gables.
- When did you first feel seriously called to write? And what did you do to prepare yourself—to learn the craft?
DLT: My love of writing began with that first Nancy Drew book, but even though I continued to read, the writing spark faded and life happened. I started working, got married, and eventually moved to a different city. I didn’t have time to write…or at least, I didn’t think I had the gift, so I put it out of my mind.
Years flew by and then the unspeakable happened. I went through some rough times and a betrayal by someone close to me (you can see my full story on my blog under My Story https://darlenelturner.com/category/my-story/). On my journey working through the hurt, I decided to take a creative writing course. This triggered the idea for the very first book I wrote. That’s when my love of writing re-surfaced and grew. So, God does use ALL circumstances in life to grow us, right? J
I took some amazing courses through the Jerry B. Jenkins group and had some wonderful mentors. I started attending writing conferences in an attempt to get an agent and was contracted with Tamela Hancock Murray in 2018.
- Darlene, you’ve written devotionals, articles, short stories, and several blog series. What have you learned through working in all these different types of writing? Would you recommend that writers try their hand at the various forms of exposition?
DLT: I definitely recommend writing different types of pieces. Blogging helped me with my writing, organization, and developing a deadline since I was posting once a week. It also gives a writer experience in various genres.
- You now have a debut novel called Border Breach. What drew you to romantic suspense?
DLT: I’ve been a mystery fan ever since I picked up my first Nancy Drew book, so it was a natural decision for me to write romantic suspense. Of course, I also loved law enforcement shows like Charlie’s Angels growing up (I now realize that cops do NOT wear high heels! Haha).
- Tell us a little about how you came up with the idea for your book. Did you draw any of your story or characters from real life?
DLT: I’ve crossed different borders into the States many times and I’ve often thought it would be fun to put a female border patrol agent together with a police officer to solve a smuggling ring. When I started googling some ideas, the doda drug came up and that’s when the storyline came to me. I do insert a few of my life experiences into some of my stories from time-to-time. And some of my quirks! Haha.
- What’s in store for your readers? Will there be more Kaylin Poirier and Hudson Steeves books?
DLT: Yes, Kaylin and Hudson do appear in Abducted in Alaska which is releasing in March 2021.
- Thank you so much, Darlene. Any additional thoughts or advice you would like to share with my readers and other writers?
DLT: For writers, I would say keep on and don’t give up. I know that’s easy to say as there were times when I felt like giving up, but I had many supporters cheer me on. Also, read writing books, go to conferences, and find a writing mentor. These will all help you.
For readers, thank you for reading our books. We appreciate YOU! If you feel led, please post reviews on Amazon/Goodreads. Authors are so grateful when you do!
Darlene L. Turner’s love of suspense began when she read her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into her writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and moved by her inspirational message.
Darlene won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense twice and an ACFW Genesis award. She’s represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. Her debut book, Border Breach, released in April, 2020 with Love Inspired Suspense. Abducted in Alaska releases March 2021.
Darlene met her husband Jeff at the turtle races in Ontario, Canada. She loves flavored coffee and plaid shirts. You can connect with Darlene at www.darlenelturner.com where there’s suspense beyond borders.
Facebook (author page): https://bit.ly/2Woy8dK
Facebook (personal): https://bit.ly/3kLG5ST
Thanks so much for interviewing me, Debbie! It was fun!
It was my pleasure. I happen to love plaid shirts as well. 😊