This week it is my pleasure to welcome an online friend, author Elaine Cantrell.
Elaine is a prolific writer of what I consider ‘old-school romance’, PG rated and sweet. Let’s learn more about her and her works.
Thanks so much for letting me come to the blog. I always appreciate an invitation to talk about my work.
Tell us, Elaine, when did you first start writing? Did you start out writing romance?
I started writing in 2001 when my son asked me to proofread a book he’d written. Since I’d always wanted to be a writer, I thought I’d give it a try too. I did start out writing romance. It seems to me that romance has everything a person could want in a book: lots of emotion, some suspense, a feeling of justice, and the idea that there really are happy endings. I think they encourage us to believe that we matter and that our lives can be just as good as that of the characters in a book.
Have you ever written in any other form or genre?
I have some books that are properly labeled women’s fiction, but they still have romance in them. One of my latest The Captain and the Cheerleader is women’s fiction.
How did you first get published?
I won a contest. I had a manuscript completed when I heard of a small press that sponsored a writing contest each year. At the last minute I entered the contest and then promptly forgot about it. Imagine my surprise several months later when I saw my name on the short list. Not long after that I was eating some ice cream when the phone rang. It was the publisher telling me I had won the contest, and that my book would be published by Oak Tree. That book was A New Leaf, and it’s still available at most retail outlets. I’ve learned a lot about writing since then, but I still think the story is one of my best.
You are published by “Clean Reads” and your books certainly are, indeed, ‘clean reads’, but you aren’t afraid to touch on deep subjects like racism and life after death. Several of your books involve veterans who are wounded in body and/or soul. What has inspired you to write these characters?
I think I do it because I see people who need encouragement. Yes, a wounded warrior can find peace and happiness. Yes, racism can be overcome, and of course faith can bring a comfort all of its own.
Are there any particular places or people who inspire your other stories?
No one particular person. Most of my characters are a combination of many different people. And I certainly don’t write perfect people. Sometimes I read a story, and the heroine is so good it makes me crazy. I’d rather write people with wrinkles who aren’t perfect. Sometimes I get into trouble for it, LOL. Wait until you meet my next heroine. She’s a firecracker with a temper that won’t quit.
Has there been a time when a whole story simply popped into your mind or do you write methodically?
I always know where I want to begin, and I know the ending, but everything in between is a mystery. One scene flows into another, and eventually we get to the end. Yeah, I’m a big pantser.
Do you look for input while you are writing, or do you wait until you are finished to show it to others?
My husband wishes I’d wait, LOL. He’s the one who usually has to be my sounding board
The last book of yours that I read involved a ghost. Have you had any other-worldly experiences you’d care to share? (Halloween is coming!)
At one time my house had ghosts. One night they were running up and down the stairs, which have no carpet, and they were making such a racket I finally got mad and yelled at them to be quiet. “I have to go to work tomorrow even if you don’t,” I said. There was one more horrible screech, and then it was quiet for the rest of the night.
Do you have any other creative pursuits?
Does quilting count? [Definitely! Huh, Patty?]I haven’t done it in a while, but I do love it. I also enjoy making Christmas wreaths and ornaments. I’d like to be a cake decorator, but I’m not coordinated enough to do it.
Is there anything else you’d care to tell our readers?
I love feedback so if you should read one of my books, please leave a review or shoot me an email. I’d love to hear from you.
How Can our readers learn more about you and your works?
Here you go.
Tonette, thanks again for letting me come. The blog is fantastic.
Thank YOU, Elaine!