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Thursday, 24 April 2008
Getting to Know Elaine Cantrell
Topic: Author Interview
Elaine Cantrell the person:

1.   What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

First, I'd have to say I'm a laid back sort of person.  Most things sort of roll off my back, but if I feel strongly about an issue I don't mind standing up for myself.  Second, I'm passionate about what I do.  I've been teaching social studies for 28 years, and you can't do that unless you're passionate about it.  Since I've been writing I'm equally passionate about that.  Third, I'm loyal, loyal to my friends, my family, causes I support, etc.

2.  How do you think others would describe you? 

Oh, pretty much as I've described myself.  I didn't really think those up on my own.  My friends have told me those things throughout the years.

3.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing. 

I suppose my family.  I have two sons and three fine grandchildren.  If you know a grandmother who thinks her grandchildren are just perfect then you know someone just like me.

4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them. 

I have two mean cats and one nice dog.  One mean cat, Perci, belongs to my husband.  She was a stray who followed him home, and he fell in love with her.  He made me take her to the vet, get her shots, the whole nine yards.  She repaid me by disliking me and falling for him.  He can't pet any of the other animals.  If he does she'll jump in his lap and get between the two of them.

5.  What is your most precious memory? 

Every time something wonderful happens I believe it will be the most precious memory, but truthfully, that's too hard a question to answer.  My life is sprinkled with amazing memories.  I can't pick just one.  The most recent, though, is what my grandson said to me on Sunday.  I was getting in my car to go home, and he said, "Grandma, don't leave me."  Then he ran over and hugged me.  It'll be a long time if ever before I forget the sweetness of that moment.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory? 

This one's easy.  A local woman gave a reception for me when my first book came out.  When I went into the dining room to get some refreshments I picked up a cracker that had some kind of spread on the top.  As I brought it to my plate, it broke in two, and one part fell into the punch bowl.  That was truly an awful moment.

7.   If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life? 

Thinking about retirement from the school system and wondering how I'd be able to fill the hours.  

8.   In two paragraphs or less write your obituary. 

New York Times best selling author Elaine Cantrell died today...  Okay, let me dream. 

Elaine Cantrell the writer:

9.  Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer? 

It's been four years since my first book came out, and I still don't feel like a real writer.  It still seems impossible to think that I've signed five contracts.  I'd dreamed about it for so long! 

10.  What is going on with your writing these days? 

I still want to write in the romance genre, but I'd like to try an inspirational romance and maybe a sci fi romance.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing? 

My goal is to write the best story I'm capable of writing.  I want my writing to improve with each book I write.   I want my readers to hate to turn the last page because there isn't anymore.

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you? 

When I'm not working I get up around eight, have breakfast, and write until lunch time.  After lunch I do errands, chores, etc.  After dinner I'll write a little more.

13.  Why do you write? 

Because I can't help myself.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why? 

Karen Kingsbury inspired me to try an inspirational romance.  Others whose writing inspired me are Danielle Steele, Elizabeth Peters, oh too many to name.

15.  How do you define your writing? 

I'd define my writing by saying that I write about things that could happen to ordinary, everyday people.  After people read my work I want them to think, "Wow, that could be me she's talking about."

16.  In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years? 

Too bad there aren't any more stories.

Elaine Cantrell the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog? 

My website is at http://www.elainecantrell.com/.  At the moment I'm blogging at My Space at http://www.myspace.com/elainecantrell.com

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you? 

Go to my web site and there's a link to send me an email.

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

I sure can.  On amazon.com you can buy A New Leaf and The Welcome Inn.  Purple Heart is available at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/  Grandfather's Legacy can only be purchased from me as the publisher of the book died, and the publishing house was shut down.

20.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)? 

They can expect a quick, fast paced read with sympathetic characters and a great supporting cast.  I don't usually write anything stronger than PG13.

In conclusion:

21.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing? 

For me, writing a book was a long standing dream come true.  I had wanted to write ever since my mother took my sister and me to the public library when we were in elementary school.  Still, I probably never would have tried it if not for my son.  He came home one day and told me he'd written a book.  I was totally amazed.  I was even more amazed when I read it.  He's good. 

He gave me the courage to write my own story.  I may never make it to the New York Times best seller list, but the sense of satisfaction and achievement I've felt since publication of my books is worth a fortune to me.  What I've learned from this experience is that if you have a dream, no matter how unlikely you think it is to come true, you should go for it.  It sure won't come true unless you do.


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 24 April 2008 12:39 AM EDT
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