Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America and EPIC authors. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love contest. A New Dream is her seventh novel.
You can visit Elaine at her web site or at the following places:
After an auto accident destroys his pro-football career, Matt McCallum struggles to find a new dream for his life, but nothing engages him the way football did. After a stint in rehab, he takes a job managing a grocery store where he meets Violet Emerson.
Violet works in the bakery department, but her dreams carry her far beyond the doors of Chef’s Pantry. As soon as she can save the money, she plans to open a catering business. And she thinks the new manager’s broad shoulders and blue eyes are simply divine.
Thrown together at work, Matt and Violet find a common dream for their lives, but a loose end from Matt’s past returns to jeopardize their future. Will love be enough to save their new dream before it turns into a nightmare?
Sounds like a very good book and I LOVE the cover. Can't wait to read it. Where can we find your book online?
Buy Link: http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662249&mode=product&product=2676585
I always wanted to write, but I doubted I had the talent to do it. It was my younger son who showed me the way. He called me one day a couple of years ago and told me that he had written a book. I wasn’t surprised. I knew he had a lot of talent because he had won a prize for a short story he had written when he was in college. I liked his story a lot, and it made me think. If he could do it, why couldn’t I?
While I was thinking about it, I had dinner with several of the teachers from the school where I teach. One of them suggested that each of us should write a book and critique each other’s work. Well, that did it. I sat down to write my masterpiece. The problem was, I couldn’t think of how to begin. There were umpteen dozen ways to do it. Finally, I realized that it didn’t matter. Pick one way and get started. I typed my first sentence, and from that point the words seemed to fly from my fingers to the computer screen. It was absolutely exhilarating!
I finished my first story in record time. Nobody liked it much, but I was not discouraged. I liked my story so I decided to write another one. It was almost finished when I found out about a small publisher who sponsored a yearly writing contest. The first prize was publication of your novel. I decided to try it, and several months later I received a call from the publisher telling me that I was one of two grand prize winners. The name of my first novel is A New Leaf, and it is published by Oak Tree Press. From that time on, I never looked back.
Awesome writing journey! Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
I always think they’re totally from my imagination, but I can usually spot traits from people that I know. I once scared my brother-in-law by suggesting that he’d make an interesting subject for a book.
Some people in my family have said now don't put that in one of your books. Definitely know the feeling. We glean so much from watching people. Where do you go to do your research?
I mostly use the internet, but when I wrote Return Engagement I had to get some advice from some law enforcement personnel.
How do you go from an idea for a book to the birth of the story? Is the process the same for every book you write? How long does it take you to write a book?
Yes, the process is more or less the same. I’ll get an idea, and I’ll be on fire to start the book. I’ll write until my fingers are sore, and the next day I’ll do it again. Gradually, I’ll slow down and go back over what I’ve written to make sure I’m on the right track. I can usually finish a book in three or four months, but the editing takes FOREVER!
Yes, isn't editing wonderful!?!? Though, it is a necessary evil. Are you currently working on any new book projects?
Right now I’m dabbling in a fantasy, but most of my time is spent getting the sequel to Return Engagement ready to submit.
I've never tried writing a fantasy. Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a book? Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published?
My best advice is to read a lot. You absorb so much when you read good fiction. Then, either hire a publicist or read everything you can about publicity. And this should happen before your book is out.
Reading helps so much...couldn't agree more. Who is your favorite contemporary author? Are you currently reading any contemporary novels?
That’s almost impossible to say. If you look at my Goodreads page you’ll see that I read a variety of genres. I just finished Dracula by Bram Stoker and To Die For by Linda Howard. Right now I’m reading The Bronze Horseman.
Do you have any writing idiosyncrasies?
I sure do! I have to have a glass of ice water with lots of ice, and a bendy straw that I can tap the desk with if I get stuck. Yeah, I know the straw thing is weird, but everybody in my family has started tapping with straws when they’re working.
When I'm stuck, I tap my foot. How have your friends and family received your career as an author? Are they supportive?
Some of them are, but frankly, I’m a little disappointed in some of them.
Know the feeling. I've had support from a faithful few, but others; it's been somewhat disappointing, too. That's why all of us writers need to stick together. What’s the most challenging aspect of writing for you? ~ POV issues; using too much passive voice and not enough active voice; trouble creating active and engaging dialogue; using too many similar words in starting sentences; or something else?
I like to use multiple POV’s, and that isn’t in fashion right now. It kills me when an editor tells me I have to change a scene to reflect only the hero or heroine’s POV.
Joanne, thank you so much for having me today. Readers, she’s at my blog too, so drop by and see her. She does a great interview
Thanks, Elaine! This was fun. Glad you stopped by. Hope everyone stays to chat for a while.