Today I’d like to introduce you to multi-published, Elaine Cantrell.
Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She holds a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writer’s of America and EPIC authors. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Books. At present she teaches high school social studies.
Elaine was gracious enough to sit for an interview about her writing and her book The Welcome Inn.
Hi, Elaine and thanks for agreeing to be with us today!
One of the things that always fascinates me is where authors get their ideas. Where did you get the idea for The Welcome Inn?
My father gave me the idea for The Welcome Inn. After he retired he worked part time as a desk clerk at a local motel. The stories he came home and told! I decided a motel would be a good setting for a story.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. When I was five I dictated my first story to my dad who put it in a cedar chest where it stayed for over forty years. When he died my stepmother found it and gave it to me. More recently, I started writing after my son wrote a book. He told me that he always made up stories in his head to amuse himself, and since I did the same thing I flirted with the idea of writing myself. While I was thinking it over I had dinner with some friends, one of whom is an English teacher. She suggested we should each write a book and critique each other’s work. I jumped on the idea, and I’ve been writing ever since.
How long did you write before you got published?
Luckily, not too long. I entered a contest about a year after I wrote my first novel and when I won first place they published the book for me. The name of the book is A New Leaf, and it’s still available at Amazon.
What is your favorite scene from The Welcome Inn?
My favorite scene happens when Buck and Julianna are hiding from some bad guys at Buck’s cabin. Julianna is afraid to sleep in the room by herself, and Buck agrees to share a bed with her. Interesting things start to happen after a humorous beginning. My husband actually laughed when he read it.
How do your high school students handle your being a published author?
LOL. They aren’t nearly as impressed as I think they should be! Most of them are curious about the type of stuff I write. I’ve shown them a couple of covers, but I don’t think too many of them have read my work. I did have one student who bought A New Leaf for his mother’s Christmas present.
Given that you’re with teenagers all day, do you ever think about writing a young adult novel?
Probably not. After working with young people all day I’m ready for something else.
What are you working on now?
The name of my new novel is Rest Thy Head. It’s the story of two sisters who find love at a haunted inn, and there really is a ghost who plays a significant part in the story
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t take no for an answer. I think the difference between those who get published and those who don’t is persistence. It also helps to belong to a critique group, and when you submit to publishers be sure to follow their guidelines.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?
Yes, I blog at My Space where I share lots of excerpts, contests, recipes, and glimpses into my own life. I’d love for everyone to take a look at it.
Thanks for taking the time to be with us today!
Thanks for asking me. I’ve enjoyed talking with you.
Julianna can’t stand Buck Abercrombie! He’s rude, chauvinistic, and exasperating, and he’s her new boss. Why couldn’t the bank see that she’s done a good job cleaning up The Welcome Inn? Why wouldn’t they loan her the money to buy the Inn? Now Buck comes along and reaps the benefits of all her hard work. Oh, and don’t forget his nasty, criminal brother Travis. He works for Buck, and her friend Melanie has a crush on him!
The Welcome Inn is available from Wings Press.