Happy Friday! Summer may have come to it’s “official” end with the passage of Labor Day, but that means cool fall days are right around the corner and I’ve got a guest with some fantastic reading material for you curl up with. After chatting with Elaine Cantrell, I have to say I’ve added her to my TBR list, and I bet she’ll find her way onto yours as well. Stay tuned to the end of this interview, because there’s a PDF copy of A NEW DREAM to be won!
Elaine, welcome! Your bio is a great read. I love how your mother made your early trips to the library something special for you and your sister. I’m thinking of what it’s like taking my kids anywhere, and I’ve got to ask: Did you and your sister ever argue over books? Did you ever try to check something out your mother didn’t approve of?
Strangely enough, no. My sister and I are very different, and in many cases we like different types of literature. I was three years older than her anyway, so that made a difference too. I remember our first library well. It was called The Village Library, and boy did that fit. It was a tiny room, about the size of a big family room today, and the librarian was called Mrs. Boggs. She was an elderly lady with blue hair, glasses, a neat figure, lots of makeup, and a tart, tart personality. We went there one day just in time to hear her explaining to a teenage customer that she couldn’t check out Peyton Place which was quite scandalous in its day. The girl got huffy, but she should have known better. She left the library without the book.
Oh my gosh, that’s so funny! She’d make a great character in a book someday, I bet! As for your family, it seems the love of words continued, as your son wrote a book and inspired you to write your own. Was his published? What did he say when you followed in his footsteps?
If he wasn’t so big I’d put him in the corner! His book is truly wonderful, (not just a mother talking) but he won’t do anything with it. His wife and I beg him to submit it, but he won’t do it. I think my being a writer shocked him. I’ll never forget his tone of voice when I called and told him I had my first contract. That alone was worth a lot to me. Guess he didn’t know everything about good old Mom.
A moment to treasure, for sure, but I’m still laughing about putting him in the corner! That was *great.* If a reader is unfamiliar with your work, which of your books would you suggest he or she read first? Why?
I’d pick one of the two last ones. They are Return Engagement (Whiskey Creek Press) and A New Dream. (Astraea Press) I’d pick those two because the more an author writes the better he/she gets. By the time I got to those two, I’d learned a lot. That being said, I’ve gotten very good response from Purple Heart. (The Wild Rose Press) I took a stab at something a little spicier, so if that’s your cup of tea try The Welcome Inn. (Wings Press)
Which genre are you drawn to as a reader? Do you prefer to read in the same genre as your WIP or do you mix it up?
As a reader, I’m all over the place. I do read romance, but I love soft sci fi , action adventure, ghost stories, inspirational reads-a little bit of everything.
I’m with you. What I read has a lot more to do with my mood when I’m looking for a new book to crack open than it does with what I’m writing at the moment, LOL.
Looking back over all of the intimate moments you’ve created between characters, which scene would you most like to experience for yourself? What makes it so alluring?
Oh my! I’d do a scene with my hunky Richard from Return Engagement. When I created Richard, I gave him all the traits I admire in a man. He’s passionate, knows what he wants and goes after it, is so, so gorgeous, and would give his life for the woman he loves. I’d like to do the scene on the beach with him. He and his Elizabeth meet by chance after a ten year separation brought about by Richard’s father who manipulated Elizabeth into walking away from Richard. The cover of the book shows two people walking hand in hand on the beach with a carnival ride in the background. Sigh. There were fireworks on that beach.
Oh, my. Fireworks indeed! And the cover is beautiful. Have you ever battled with any of your characters over their personality traits? If so, who won – you or the character?
The only character who ever gave me any trouble was Travis Abercrombie from The Welcome Inn. Travis wanted to be the star of the show, not the support player, and by golly he almost got away with it! If I had it to do over, I’d save Travis for a book all of his own. Trust me; he’s worth it. If his brother Buck who was the hero hadn’t been so much an Alpha male, Travis would have stolen the hero’s thunder.
Hmm…do I smell the chance of a sequel? ;c) Have you ever made big changes in your story because someone – your crit partner, a friend, or beta reader – really didn’t like it? Are you glad you did (or didn’t)?
Yes, I’ve done that twice. Everything turned out okay each time, but the essence of the story did slightly change, and I didn’t like that. I think the publishers asked for these changes because they wanted me to stick to a winning formula, but if you’ve read my books, you know that I like to write slightly out of the box.
I love an author with a fresh perspective, Elaine. How do you keep track of plot elements or twists?
When I’m writing, my whole mind is consumed with my story. Sometimes I’ve thought of things in the night and had to get up to write them down so I wouldn’t forget them. With that level of involvement, keeping track is child’s play.
I love that idea, especially since we tend to be brilliant on the edge of our dreams. Which of your novels most reflects who you are as a writer? Why?
Again, I’d have to say either Return Engagement or A New Dream. Even though they have all the traditional romantic elements, they both have something unusual about them. In the case of A New Dream for example, the hero is an NFL player who has a car wreck and loses his career. My husband didn’t like that and told me nobody would want to read about a ex-football player who limped. (Turns out his was wrong.)
I’m a NFL junkie – I’m in! (*adds book to TBR list* LOL). What are you currently working on?
I just finished edits for an upcoming release as yet untitled which will be released by Lachesis publishing around Christmas. This book deals with a family secret that was brought to light and almost destroys the heroine, sibling rivalry, and the issue of… No, I can’t say anymore. That final issue has to remain a secret until the proper time to reveal it.
Way to leave us on a cliffhanger, Elaine! LOL. Okay, readers, as promised, you’ve got a chance to win an utterly fabulous PDF copy of A NEW DREAM from our guest. To enter, answer this question:
What was the last thing Matt heard?
And pssst: here’s a hint. The answer can be found on Elaine’s home page, which brings us to her links. Schooch on over and get to know her!
Elaine Cantrell Author Links
*Due to the death of the publisher, GRANDFATHER’S LEGACY is only available from Elaine Cantrell. Email her at elainecsc at aol dot com