Let’s Chat! Author Darlene Oakley

Welcome, Readers! Welcome, Darlene Oakley!

This week we’re welcoming Canadian author Darlene Oakley, who has written a dystopian story along the lines of The Hunger Games, as well as romantic suspense and companion publications. Darlene’s life story is fascinating. What a treat!

*Darlene’s offering an e-book give-away—winner’s choice of Inner Sanctum or Voices of Angelsso be sure to comment below!

**Congratulations to Becky Smith, winner of the drawing for one of Darlene Oakley‘s e-books! Join in the chat this coming week to be entered into the drawing for another author’s book.**

Darlene Oakley: The Growing-Up Years

I grew up in various cities across Canada. My parents were Salvation Army officers and we moved around quite a bit. (Click to Tweet!) At Catherine Booth Bible College, now Booth University, I studied Pastoral Care.

Actually, I didn’t pursue a career in that, but ended up taking advantage of my secretarial skills, particularly typing, and found work as a transcriptionist and eventually administrative assistant, which eventually saw me land a position in the Government Whip’s office in the Senate of Canada.

With experience in the publishing industry as a freelance writer and editor, I have over 400 articles published online, mostly on a site called EmpowHer.com, which deals mainly with women’s health issues. I also have a strong background in dentistry, as one of my longest transcription jobs was in an oral surgery practice.

I’m a single mother of two boys – one, 21 years old with Aspergers, and one, 9 years old with Sensory Processing Disorder. The younger one has presented extreme challenges with behaviour we now seem to have under control. I moved to the Niagara area of Canada 3 years ago to start fresh after a divorce and so my older son could take on a job at a local museum.

Darlene Oakley, the Writer

I write in a variety of genres. My first book, Inner Sanctum, is a dystopian story (along the lines of The Hunger Games). My second book is romantic suspense. So I wouldn’t say I write in one particular genre. I do like romance elements in my books, depending on the storyline.

A bit of a sci-fi geek, I like to read forensic science stories, so you might find some of those elements in my books. I also write from a Christian world view perspective, but I try not to have those elements be preachy, but as part of the characters’ development.

Darlene Oakley’s Debut

Inner Sanctum ended up being a loose retelling of the Exodus. I did not plan that. I actually had a totally different idea for the book than what actually came out of my fingers. Originally, it was supposed to be a murder mystery in what was supposed to be a utopic, underground civilization. I kept the underground city part of it, the rest kind of morphed out of my other research, writing and transcription work.

The story was originally inspired by City of Ember. I saw the movie (then got the books, which I haven’t read yet), but that’s where I got the idea for writing something in that vein for adults. As I mulled over challenges in my underground civilization, I would watch City of Ember again, not to borrow ideas, but to show me how this author dealt with it, and then come up with an alternative that would work in my story’s case.

I published with Lanico Media House run by Lacresha Raino (formerly Hayes). I’d known her for a long time through online groups. I pitched it to her before I even had a word written and she said, “When it’s ready, send it to me.” And I did, and she loved it.

What’s Up With Darlene Oakley Now

Currently working on Book 2 of the Inner Sanctum series, I’m planning for 5 books in total.

My most recent publication was Voices of Angels, which is a romantic suspense story, along with a devotional companion (Finding your Voice), and a journal (The Connected Voice Journal).

Voices of Angels

This story is completely different from Inner Sanctum. While both heroines have a certain amount of me reflected in them, Julia in Voices of Angels lives out more of a recent spiritual battle. I found myself not involved in music ministry for the first time in about 30 years, and having to completely redefine who I was as a Christ follower, and an “angel without a voice”. This one was definitely therapeutic, and also delves into issues such as bullying and racism/prejudice and forgiveness I hope in a very uplifting light, while also delivering a satisfying, suspenseful read.

The devotional companion is a Scriptural walk through my journey that got worked into the book. And, as a writer, of course it made sense to have a journal as part of the series.

I’m planning at least one more book with these characters. I don’t have a plan for any more, but you never know. My publisher suggested that I create a spin-off with the characters. I don’t have any ideas yet for that, though I know which characters I would want to use.

To Contact Darlene:

Facebook

Next Level Editing and Transcription 

Twitter 

To purchase Darlene’s books:

Inner Sanctum 

Voices of Angels 

Devotional Companion 

Voices of Angels Journal 

Lord, You are the Great Servant, the Savior of the World. We glorify Your name alone! You led Darlene even as a child along paths of servanthood, and now You’re guiding her into a different sort of service through writing. Bless every word Darlene writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

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10 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Darlene Oakley

  1. Becky Smith

    Thank you so much! I didn’t see an email, so do I comment here? It’s hard to choose, but I think I would like to read Voices of Angels. I really look forward to reading both books. THANK you!!!

     
     
    1. Great, Becky! You’ll enjoy it, I’m sure! Thanks again for joining our chat. You enriched and encouraged us.

       
       
  2. Marilyn

    Darlene Oakley is a new author to me. She’s had quit a journey but glad God is always faithful.

     
     
    1. Amen, Marilyn!

       
       
  3. Becky Smith

    I’m not familiar with Darlene. One of our grandsons was thought to have Aspergers before they finally diagnosed him with apraxia. Thanks for posting!

     
     
    1. Great to see you, Becky. I was an educator (in various roles, starting with speech pathology) for 40 years. So you and Darlene and I share a “special” bond. Very glad you joined the conversation. Love seeing you here.

       
       
    2. Hi, Becky.

      Nice to meet you. That’s interesting about the misdiagnosis. I’m pretty sure about my older son. My younger son I disagree with the doctor’s diagnosis.

      We could probably swap stories. 🙂

       
       
  4. Very interesting.

     
     
    1. I agree, Melissa. Darlene’s life story is definitely interesting. Thanks for stopping by. Love seeing you here.

       
       
    2. Thank you, Melissa.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the chat.

       
       

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Let’s Chat! Author Kathleen Friesen

Welcome, Readers

This week we head north to Canada to visit with Kathleen Friesen.

Grab a cup. Gather ’round. And comment below. Kathleen’s offering two ebooks (Melody’s Song and Nila’s Hope).

**Winners of Kathleen’s books, Melody’s Song, Nila’s Hope, and Redemption’s Whisper are Bunny Bassett and Marilyn Ridgway. Congratulations, readers!


Welcome, Kathleen

We’re so glad you joined us this week, Kathleen. A writer who hails from Canada has our undivided attention. 🙂

Tell us about your pre-author life, a bit about your journey thus far, and any advice and encouragement you may have.

Pre-Author Life of Kathleen Friesen

My childhood was spent in the lush green that is Washington and Oregon, but God nudged me to follow high school graduation with Bible school at a tiny place in Saskatchewan, Canada. “Where’s that?” I asked. “Are You sure?”

But I headed to Canada, and when I arrived in Saskatchewan, the flat, bare landscape and strong winds made the Canadian prairie seem like an alien planet. But God was there, waiting. In His love, He brought an intriguing, handsome young man to Millar Memorial Bible Institute that year. In spite of a no-dating rule, we quickly fell in love and were married the following winter.

More than forty-four years later, I am proud to be fully Canadian just like my husband, children, and grandchildren. I am so thankful for that initial God-nudge.

Another Kathleen Friesen God Nudge


God nudged me again when our three children were grown, this time to do something about the desire to write. Fear had kept me from daring to share what lay in my heart, but my husband encouraged me, and I signed up for an online writing course. This changed my life–a cliché, I know–but it’s true. Through lessons, critiques and constant encouragement from my mentor, that long-held dream came true. God is good!


A Debut for Kathleen Friesen

vanity press published my first novel, Melody’s Song. If I could turn back time … 

As a newbie, I believed prominent authors who said no traditional publisher would look at a book by an unagented author. I submitted my work to two or three agents (yes, I gave up too quickly) who rejected my work. The costs incurred by publishing with this vanity press will likely never be recovered, so I hope readers will learn from my mistake.

Nevertheless, when that first box of freshly printed books arrived, I was ecstatic. These characters had become cherished friends, so I had to continue writing. It helped, of course, when a reader friend told me I simply had to tell Nila’s story. So I did.

A Debut of a Different Sort

The second, Nila’s Hope, and third, Redemption’s Whisper, are published by Pelican Book Group. Working with a Christian publishing company renewed my faith in the business of writing. Redemption’s Whisper released March 24 in e-book form and will be available June 2 in print. I can’t wait!

These three books are sequential, with old friends returning and new ones introduced, but each story stands alone. By the way, I appreciate hearing from readers, especially when they have questions.

None of my stories was easy to write, as they deal with hard subjects. But I hope and pray they touch each reader’s heart with the truth that God is a God of hope and grace.

A Final Word from Kathleen Friesen

If you are seeking publication, please don’t succumb to discouragement. Rather, join a group or groups who will, with honesty and care, critique your writing.

joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), one of the best moves I made. ACFW provides an opportunity to join the greatest critique group in the writing world. Fortunately for me, they don’t even mind that I’m not American. We critique one another’s work chapter by chapter and brainstorm online. I count these ladies as dear friends. Close, understanding friends support us and, now and then, Gibbs-slap us up the side of the head. (Tweet That!) 

I joined another group of writing friends who meet once a month.

Rather than critique, we encourage and pray for one another. I need a lot of both, and I adore these dear friends. 

Good friends, whether local or online, are an absolute necessity, especially for writers. When I stay in my writing cocoon too long, I lose my connection to what matters. So find a group, meet with friends, and above all, pray!


~ ~ ~

Readers can find Kathleen and her books at the following locations:

Website

Pelican Book Group

Amazon:
Melody’s Song 

Nila’s Hope

Redemption’s Whisper

~ ~ ~

Lord, we declare You the Author of Everything. We bow before You in awe and adoration, and we thank You for stooping to love usnudge us, and use us. We write because of You, and we read to find You. Keep us in the center of Your Will as readers and writers.
~ For Jesus’ sake 

~

Every word of God is flawless …
Proverbs 30:5a NIV

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17 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Kathleen Friesen

  1. Marilyn R

    I haven’t read Kathleen Friesen’s books, but I’m going to have to mark them as to read on my never ending list. Fictional stories that deals with realistic true to life issues pointing readers to God and His amazing grace are the best ones (my opinion) to read. Continue writing great stories to bring individuals closer to God.

     
     
    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Marilyn. Please come again. Linda

       
       
    2. Thank you, Marilyn. I hope you get to read my books soon! Thank you for this encouragement.

       
       
  2. Kathleen, what a wonderful interview. I am SO glad you are part of our critique group. You are a wonderful author. I love your work. I shared this throughout social media and don’t need to be entered in the giveaway. I loved the books!

     
     
    1. Thanks for joining the chat, Julie. You’ve encourage us! Please come again. Linda

       
       
    2. Thank you, Julie! You are a blessing.

       
       
  3. Love Kathleen’s books, and how she deals with real life situations with a Christian perspective. Her characters are believable and likeable.

     
     
    1. Thanks for stopping by and joining in the conversation.

       
       
    2. Thank you, BJ. Your encouragement means a lot to me.

       
       
  4. Laura HIlon

    Great blog post. Don’t enter me in the contest. I’ve read all of Kathy’s book

     
     
    1. Thanks for joining the conversation, Laura.

       
       
    2. Thank you, Laura. You have helped me become a better writer, and I appreciate you.

       
       
  5. Wonderful interview! You’re a great writer, Kathleen. I’ve enjoyed reading your books. They’re very inspiring. I look forward to your future ones.

     
     
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Laura, and joining the chat.

       
       
    2. Thanks so much, Laura. You are an inspiration to me.

       
       
  6. Thanks so much for hosting me, Linda, and making the interview a pleasure!

     
     
    1. My pleasure, too, Kathleen.

       
       

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