Posted on Monday, May 1st, 2017 at 2:34 pm by Kate
One of Calvert County's biggest talents is coming to a jewelry store near you! Author Lynn Franklin is at it again with her latest installment in the Gemstone Mysteries series: The Carolina Emerald. We are thrilled to celebrate the launch of this exciting new book with two author receptions in our stores. Come meet the author herself at our Prince Frederick store on Wednesday, May 17 at 7 p.m. or at our Dunkirk store on Thursday, May 18 at 7 p.m. You'll be able to ask Lynn questions, pick up signed copies of her books, and enjoy great food and drink. We'll also be doing a Facebook Live to show off this great talent!
But just who is Lynn Franklin, and why is she so interested in gemstones? Dickinson Jewelers caught up with her recently to learn more about the woman behind the book.
What got you interested in gemstones?
Like my main character, Kimberley West, I could never afford to buy jewelry even at my jeweler grandfather’s discount. But I quickly learned that the gemstones themselves, their history, legend and lore, were absolutely fascinating.
Take amethyst, for example. During the height of the Roman Empire – a period known for its decadence – people believed that wearing amethyst would protect them from getting drunk. After all, wine is purple and so is amethyst…
As I looked around, I realized that gemstone lore often revealed more about human psychology than the gemstones themselves.
Tell me about the first moment you knew you were an author.
I’ve been a writer my entire life. But “author” carries a loftier meaning.
I never felt like an author until one summer day when I was sitting in my car in front of the Dunkirk, MD, post office waiting for a friend to mail a package. A woman came out of the post office, glanced in my direction and suddenly stopped to stare at the two dogs in my backseat.
Now this wasn’t unusual behavior. Dash, my standard poodle, and Bogie, my friend's longhaired dachshund, are both uncommon breeds. People often stop us to ask about them. Seeing the two best buddies trotting side by side – one tall and elegant, the other short enough to drag his fur along the boardwalk – usually produces comments.
So I wasn’t particularly surprised when the woman approached the car.
“Excuse me.” She offered a shy smile. “Can I ask you a silly question?”
I smiled back and prepared to offer a brief history of the two dog breeds.
Instead, she said, “Are you Lynn Franklin, the author?”
My mouth fell open and I stuttered an answer.
“I recognized the two dogs from your books.” She gestured to Dash and Bogie, then smiled. “I love your books!”
We chatted for a few minutes. After she left, I noticed the two dogs staring at me.
“No,” I told them. “This does not mean you get a commission.”
What part of writing is the most fun for you? The most stressful or the hardest?
The most fun and the hardest are actually two sides of the same coin. I love that moment in a story where the characters start helping the plot by behaving true to their natures. They’ll often move the story in unexpected but delightful directions.
But that’s also stressful because they’ll sometimes paint themselves into a no-win situation or cause other plotting headaches.
In The Carolina Emerald, for example, the character I’d originally slated as the victim grew so charming that I didn’t have the heart to kill him off. So I had to introduce a new character to play that role.
How did you get the idea for the Jeweler's Gemstone Mystery series?
I’m a big fan of books that not only tell a good story, but pull you into new worlds. Everything I know about horse racing, for example, comes from mystery author Dick Francis. Beverly Connor (archeology), Robin Burcell (forensic art), Julie Moffett (computer hacking) and Elizabeth Peters (Egyptology) also incorporated their specialized knowledge into their books.
The jeweler’s gemstone mysteries give me the chance to combine my love of mysteries with my interest in gemstones.
What part of The Carolina Emerald is your favorite?
This book was particularly fun to write because it takes place in a North Carolina emerald mine. To research the book, I finagled a tour of a real, honest-to-goodness American emerald mine. It was a fascinating experience, one that I share with readers of the book.
What two things would you put on your Dickinson Jewelers wish list?
Oh, I would adore earrings made with Kathryn diamonds! It’s hard to imagine anything more sparkly than a brilliant-cut diamond. But the Kathryn diamonds have more facets than standard diamonds, so they sparkle like nothing I’ve ever seen.
As for my second wish, I’d love anything designed by Claude Dickinson. Most people know him for his adorable crab pendants, earrings and rings. But he can take any gemstone, any size, and create a graceful, unique piece of jewelry.
What's your favorite part about living in Southern Maryland?
That would be a toss-up between the friendly people and the lovely boardwalk. The ambiance of the Chesapeake Bay and its beaches is different from other beachy areas. When we moved here, I felt instantly at home.
What three things would you take with you on a desert island?
1. My standard poodle, Dash (the model for Rory)
2. A notebook and pen (Surely a desert island will provide plenty of inspiration for a new mystery, right?)
3. Dash’s favorite toy (do you see who takes priority in this family?)
We can't wait for you to meet Lynn and ask her even more questions! We just know you'll love her and her books. Come say hello at our Prince Frederick store on Wednesday, May 17 at 7 p.m. or at our Dunkirk store on Thursday, May 18 at 7 p.m. See you then!