Today is a special day for me. I have often mentioned “e-meeting” guests on my blog, but this author I’ve not only met IN-PERSON, we’ve roomed together at conferences—twice! Why is that a big deal? Cause I snore!!!
Needless to say, my current author guest is a wonderful person with a forgiving, tolerant and generous heart, and is here to tell us about her debut novel which I can’t wait to read, Always with You.
Please welcome, Elaine Stock.
Let’s get right to the heart of the questions …
Elaine, were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
I was an early and avid reader as a child. I remember sitting in the back seat of the family car while my father drove through the streets of NYC and I read billboards aloud—this before reading storybooks! As a young child I had the typical children’s books, but as I neared the age of ten or so I began to enjoy adult suspense novels. In my teens I also started to devour mainstream contemporary fiction, though I read more historical fiction then compared to now.
As a child or teenager, did you ever dream of being an author?
This will show my age, but… I was a great admirer of theatrical movies that fell into two categories: musical shows and comedy. Though back then and even now I like to joke and say that I’m a closet-choreographer and had once taking some dancing lessons, a shy streak will forever keep me off the stage. But, ah, writing! So, back when I was a tween (we were never called that back in the ancient days) and teen I fancied myself a playwright such as Neil Simon or Mel Brooks. But a funny thing happened on the road to writing comedy: I veered back toward suspense but combined with family drama. It’s a place a see myself staying.
Hmmmm, I suspect a breadth of writing ability lay within you.
So tell us, what is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Well, does this count: I made a cameo appearance in my debut novel, Always With You. I’m not telling where, but will leave it up to the reader to “discover me.” Have to admit, it was fun!
That’s cool. I love that! Can’t wait to find you.
Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as though they know you a little better.
I’m a very average person who works hard and has no time to show off. I’ve never been spoiled and pampered and that’s fine with me. The results are if you were to see me walking through your neighborhood you’d see me dressed in baggy jeans or khakis and depending on whether its summer or winter I’ll have on a T-shirt or sweatshirt. Presently I work out of the home 34 hours a week 4 days a week, though add on commuting time and you’d see those 4 days basically sacrificed to the non-glamorous day-job, with a little blogging and promo taking up the last of working brain cells before bed time. The rest of my week is devoted to writing, and now promotion of my novel, hosting guests on my blog and promoting them, church, and spending a little down time with my husband, usually on walks and Sunday night DVD watching—we’re homebodies.
Well, when there are great worlds one can bring into the house (ie. books and movies) why leave home?
Always With You is the story of a lonely, intelligent but a wee naïve young adult who falls in love with a young man who offers her everything she desires: love, faith in God (she’s from an atheistic family), and family. Against her dad’s wishes, Isabelle and Tyler fall in love. In blaming the group that Tyler is associated with, The Faithful, her dad ostracizes her. Now, Isabelle wants love, faith, and family even more and marries Tyler. Only when she’s pregnant does she open her eyes to the truth that her husband’s secrets may very well put her unborn baby in jeopardy if she stays or endanger her own life if she leaves.
Faith element: A mighty big God can lead people to overcome evil in this world, and that this same powerful faith can help one to overcome past or current trials.
Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
One word: long! It’s a roller coaster ride that tests one’s determination and perseverance, as well as checks one’s ego. I had to learn a lot about writing, storytelling, craft, and whether or not I truly wanted to see my work published. I heard more no-thanks before I started to hear maybe-but-only-if until I heard yes-I-want-it by both my agent and then followed by my publisher.
Bottom-line: it’s a matter of trusting God in His timing… even if it feels like the “best years” of your life slowly and torturously pass you by. He has His reasons, for sure!
Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in between, and can you elaborate on your answer?
I am such a major pantser, equipped with the ferocious spread of notes on sticky notes/old receipts/back of envelopes throughout the house and (if at the day job) stuffed into pockets that I don’t suggest anyone copy me. However, my disorganized mess works for me.
And when it works … it works.
Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
I’m presently re-learning how to balance the juggle act as a newly published novelist. Although I’ve been warned, I really didn’t expect promotion to be as time consuming as it is, and this on top of the day job, fresh writing, and spending time with my husband and managing to be civil and not cranky. Since the book is—at the time of this writing—only out for 2 weeks, I admit I’m still learning as I go along. The biggest thing for me is accepting that I can’t do it all on the timetable I’d projected and that if things take a bit longer perhaps that doesn’t mean the end of the world after all.
If you could interview any character in one of your books what might that character say? Why?
Although interviewing Thomas, my villain, may be interesting and insightful to a mind-boggling lifestyle and belief system, I could get into interviewing my hero, Tyler. I’d be proud of him if he were to share his testimony of how he went from believing in a wrong, cultish faith to accepting with his heart the Christian faith.
Ah, I love a good testimony!
What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
Believing that I could make it as a writer. No, I’m not saying that I’ve made it, as in Nora Robert’s fame or fortune, but rather that instead of seeking perhaps more lucrative employment (which meant giving up valuable writing time—at least the way I operate) which would have helped to make life possibly easier for my husband and I and nix my whine about not having an updated kitchen, I succeeded in having my dream come true, after all, of my story becoming a published novel.
I totally get that!
Thanks so much for stopping by, Elaine. Hope to see you, in-person, again soon.
Can she move forward without knowing her past?
Will he enjoy his present if he can’t free himself from what he left behind?
In the heart of the Adirondacks, Isabelle lives in the shadow of a dark family secret whose silent burden strips her family of emotional warmth and faith in God. Tyler belongs to the religious sect called The Faithful, which Isabelle’s father dislikes immensely. Yet, because Tyler belongs to this group, Isabelle sees only a man devoted to his family and faith.
She wants it; she gets it; they marry.
And when the truth comes out, Isabelle faces two choices:
Staying could endanger her child.
Leaving could cost her life.
A former Brooklyn gal, Elaine Stock lives in the Northeast with her husband where she enjoys spring, summer, autumn, and puts up with the winter. A member of ACFW and WFWA, she also is a contributing author to the international “Happy Sis Magazine.” In addition to Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, she hangs out on her active blog, Everyone’s Story, dedicated to uplifting and encouraging all readers through the power of story and hope. You can check out more about her novel Always With You on her website.