I'm excited to learn more about my friend, Elaine Manders. We both write for http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com.
Welcome, Elaine. How did you develop a 'love of story'?
My love of story began while reading and being read to as a child, the first stories being fairy tales and the Little Golden books. I can remember making up episodes to these stories for me and my friends to “make believe.” Before I began writing, I knew story must do more than perk the interest. It must transport the reader into what’s happening and make him care about what happens next. Because I like a happy ending, I gravitated to romance over the years and learned that story isn’t plot. Everyone knows there’s no new plot under the sun. My debut novella has a Romeo and Juliet plot. The h/h are in love, and a parent stands in the way, but the unique twists and turns the characters take in solving the problem is the essence of story.
I know what you mean about liking happy endings. :)
Where did you get the inspiration for your latest book?Last November I was writing an inspirational suspense to fit Harlequin’s line. Right in the middle, I realized it was going in a direction that wouldn’t fit the publisher’s requirements, so I decided to indy publish my completed western historical romance series. The conventional wisdom told me I needed a prequel to introduce the series and my writing. I began writing a novella as the prequel—only it turned into three novellas. The premise of mail-order brides seemed to fit my western romance perfectly, and by the end of the year, the first drafts were completed. Each time I edited the first one, I felt compelled to edit the other two. As a result, all three were ready for publication at the same time. I’ve decided to promote the Annex Mail-Order Brides one at the time, hopefully, to get as much traction out of them as possible before the main series is published. Adela’s Prairie Suitor is the first novella, so it’s the one I’m concentrating on right now.
You've been busy. How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing?
I pray before writing that I won’t write anything displeasing to God. I don’t put in much actual scripture references in my stories, but I do search the scriptures to keep my characters straight, because they don’t know any more than the average Christian and are always struggling over what’s right and wrong, just as I do.
In other words your characters are 'real'. :) Do you have a favorite scene in your newest release?
I always love to write humorous scenes. My favorite from Adela’s Prairie Suitor is right before Adela and Byron meet. Wanting to make a good first impression, he comes to town dressed in his Sunday best. The antagonist, a spiteful woman named Hilda Jane, stops him on the way to the train station. She asks for help in getting her wagon unstuck. He’s worried about being delayed, but has to help her. Just as he gets the wagon wheel unstuck, Hilda Jane jerks the horse’s bridle, pushing Byron into a puddle full of horse manure. At that moment the train whistle blasts announcing its arrival, so he has to meet his future bride smelling like manure. What makes this funny to me is that Adela has been fretting about having to meet Byron all sooty and smelly from her long train ride.
Oh, that's funny. I love having humor in stories I read... and write. :) What is the genre you write?
Every manuscript I’ve written so far is historical romance with a strong thread of intrigue in the plot. The heroines are all strong, independent women. That’s why I say I write historical romance to inspire and intrigue.
LOL. I hadn't realized we had such similarities in our writing styles. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
Isaiah 40:31. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Every time I feel over-whelmed, I recall that verse. If I but wait for the Lord, He’ll strengthen me and make me victorious.
That's a great verse. What do you plan to work on next?
I’m editing a Christmas novella to release in late October. It’s set in 1963, a pivotal year in recent history. Right after Christmas, I’ll be releasing the first long historical novel, Pursued, about a cattle baron who’s pursued by political enemies and a spirit-led librarian.
You definitely are busy. Where can readers connect with you?
My blog is currently under construction, but when it’s up and running, I hope to have a news list available.
Thanks so much for taking time to be with us today, Elaine. I truly have enjoyed it. Right now through Sunday Adela's Prairie Suitor is available free for download. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/Adelas-Prairie-Suitor-Mail-Order-Brides-ebook/dp/B0115QOXL4. Elaine has graciously offered ebooks of 2 and 3 in this series to one lucky commenter. :)
Next week Lillian Duncan will be sharing about her love of story. Don't forget to leave a comment this month to be entered into the drawing for the following. The winner will be picked on August 31.