Please give a big welcome to ELAINE COOPER.
rem: Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
ELAINE: Thanks for having me as your guest, Robin! I was raised in Massachusetts but, when I was sixteen, my Dad’s job transferred him to California. It was so difficult a move and quite the culture shock, but the Lord used that time to eventually draw me to Him. I currently live in Iowa, which is the state where my husband’s job took us to many years ago.
rem: Tell us three things about yourself.
- I love both tea AND coffee
- I LOVE the color purple!
- For me, learning obscure details about American History is akin to discovering buried treasure!
rem: We’re practically twins!! LOL What is your most treasured possession?
ELAINE: My family is my greatest treasure, but if I had to choose a “thing,” it would be my mother’s tea set that she received from her future stepfather when he returned from WWI. I even crafted a story around it for the romance anthology entitled, “I Choose You.”
rem: You are so right about family! What is your greatest regret?
ELAINE: Not becoming a Christian sooner. I was 21 when I got saved.
rem: I fear I took my faith for granted until much later in my life than twenty-one. What is your favorite quotation and why?
ELAINE: “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” — Edmund Burke
rem: That is so true! What do you most value in a friend?
ELAINE: Loyalty. Someone who is there in the bad times and who can be trusted.
rem: I’m with you on that, if a friend is not loyal, they’re not so much a friend. What quality do you most admire in a woman?
ELAINE: Godliness, seasoned with a sense of humor.
rem: Gotta have a sense of humor! Dogs or Cats? Which do you prefer?
ELAINE: I have both. J
rem: I have cats, but I want a huskey-pom mix! Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
ELAINE: Atticus Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
rem: Classic! Good choice! What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
ELAINE: The importance of forgiving others—it is truly life changing.
rem: First Scripture that ever ministered to me was Matthew 5:43-48 – the essence of forgiving. Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
ELAINE: No favorites. They’re all my “babies.”
rem: I’ve only one published thus far, but I hear ya! What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
ELAINE: (See Below)
rem: Did you start out as an Indie author? What made you decide to go Indie?
ELAINE: I started out self-publishing, at a time when it was “not cool.” Now, it seems, everyone is self-publishing! I discovered that I prefer going to writer’s conferences and connecting with acquisitions editors, pitching a book idea and getting contracts with small publishers. All of my books are now with small independent publishers.
rem: Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?
ELAINE: Almost anywhere, but usually actual historical events are the inspiration for my fiction.
rem: I do love historical fiction! What is your Writing Routine?
ELAINE: I try to write early in the day when my head is the clearest.
rem: YEEPS! Definitely not twins there! My mind is NOT clear at all in the early morning! LOL What are your Top Writing Tips?
ELAINE: 1. Pray; 2 Read about the craft; 3. Connect with other writers; 4. Decide that editors are your friend who try to help your words, not hurt them; 5. Join a local writers group; 6. Attend writers conferences; 7. Write from your heart; 8. Read writer’s blogs like Edie Melson’s “The Write Conversation”; 9. Have a separate area just for writing; 10. Write, don’t just talk about it. J
rem: That’s a great list! I like you have pray first, I think we overlook the value in that and/or take it for granted… Tell us a little about your writing journey.
ELAINE: It started when I was a child and I’m still at it. I think if God has put writing on your heart, you simply HAVE to write.
rem: I agree! I’ve stories all over in my brain! LOL What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
ELAINE: Allowing all those creative thoughts to pour out. Whether fiction or non-fiction, the way words are crafted can either draw a reader in or make them do something else. I love writing words that will hold a reader’s attention.
rem: Well said! What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
ELAINE: Although I love doing research for my books, it can get very difficult. My latest manuscript (“Saratoga Letters”) brought me to 1977 and, since the internet was not in existence, I had to contact so many sources, including a newspaper journalist and a PR person at an airport. It was a challenge that was rewarded with time, patience and finding just the right source!
rem: We’re back at the twin thing again, I love doing research! Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?
ELAINE: My latest book is “Bethany’s Calendar,” which is my only non-fiction. I call it “the book I never wanted to write,” yet truly felt compelled to do so. It is the journey of discovering my only daughter had a terminal brain tumor, the impact her illness had on her and our family, and the many things we learned and wanted to share with others. Numerous suggestions to help other families going through a serious illness of a loved one are made, along with tips for caregivers to help them survive.
My current manuscript entitled “Saratoga Letters,” has been contracted and is due to release in 2016. It is a fictitious tale that takes place in two separate centuries—1777 and 1977—and connects the characters through the generations. It is historical romantic suspense. J It was a real challenge to research two entirely different eras but it was satisfying to get it accomplished. I am looking forward to its release!
rem: Elaine, I am so sorry for your loss. But to turn that into something that can benefit others on the same horrific journey is truly inspiring. In Bethany’s Calendar, you tell of your story and your daughter’s journey, and your “unwavering faith in God.” Share a little more with us about this unthinkable time in your life.
ELAINE: Thinking back to that time, I realize how, at just a moment’s notice, our life changed completely. Everything was going along as planned, when that terrible detour occurred. It reminds me of those verses in James 14: 13-15 that says: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” (NIV)
The point is not to look at our life in fear and trepidation, but to be prepared for that day that we all know is coming. Knowing where our eternal destination is as believers and followers of Jesus Christ is a comfort and encouragement, no matter what occurs in our lives. He is our ultimate hope.
rem: Elaine, you are so right. None of us knows what tomorrow holds and yet so many of us carry on so blithely, giving little or no thought to eternity. I am blessed by your witness through your loss. Thank you for joining me on my blog today.
ELAINE: Thanks so much for having me, Robin.
Author/Speaker Elaine Marie Cooper is a self-described history geek. Her bookshelves are filled with volumes about the American Revolution, an era she became fascinated with when growing up in Massachusetts.
Her passions are her family, her faith in Christ and writing—usually about the American Revolution, a frequent subject of her novels.
Ms. Cooper is the author of the award winning, “Bethany’s Calendar” and the multi-award winning, “Fields of the Fatherless.” (YA historical fiction). Her three-book Deer Run Saga (adult historical fiction) is being re-released with new edits and new covers this coming Christmas. “Saratoga Letters” is due for release in early 2016. Her work has also appeared in Splickety Prime magazine and Prayer Connect magazine. Ms. Cooper is also a contributing writer to Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home by Edie Melson, and I Choose You, a romance Anthology. Her freelance work has appeared in both newspapers and magazines, and she blogs regularly at http://ColonialQuills.blogspot.com.
You can visit her website/blog at: www.elainemariecooper.com
Fields of the Fatherless is historical fiction based on a true event. Set in Menotomy Village, Massachusetts at the opening of the American Revolution, readers will learn of a little known yet critical battle that took place on April 19, 1775. As seen through the eyes of 18-year-old Betsy Russell, the opening of the war is felt through the women and children trying to survive while the Minutemen fight for independence.
Elaine Marie Cooper’s first non-fiction has now released— “Bethany’s Calendar”
In January of 2002, Elaine’s world flipped upside down. What started out as a beautiful new year for the mom of three, turned into a living nightmare when her 23-year-old daughter, Bethany was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor.
In the months to come, Elaine not only used her nurse’s training, but she learned to recognize the hand of God on her daughter’s life. Bethany’s Calendar tells the story of Elaine and Bethany’s journey and the many ways God helped their family to survive.
It is a story of fear and faith, commitment and compassion, told with gut-wrenching honesty while sharing unwavering faith in God.
Click here to purchase at Amazon. Available in both ebook and paperback.
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