Sunday, January 9, 2011

Author Interview with Elaine Cantrell

Joining us today is Elaine Cantrell. Elaine, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?

[Elaine] I’m a Southern girl, born and raised in upstate South Carolina. I say ya’ll, which is always plural, and I like grits. I graduated from Clemson University with a BA in secondary education and went back for a Master’s degree in personnel services. I’m a member of Alpha Delta, Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educator’s, Romance Writer’s of America, and EPIC Authors. My first novel was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published by Oak Tree Books in 2004. I’m still teaching social studies at our local high school, and in my spare time, if there is any, I like to read, play with my grandchildren, and collect vintage Christmas ornaments. You can see my vintage collection in my Facebook photos at!/profile.php?id=10000015304148

[Anne] When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

[Elaine] Oh, I wrote my first book when I was around five. I couldn’t really write at the time so I dictated the story to my dad. It must have been a great story. He laughed the entire time he was writing. He kept that story until he died a few years ago. When my stepmother was cleaning out a cedar chest where he kept important paper she found it and gave it to me.

[Anne] Tell us about your latest book.

[Elaine] The book is called Return Engagement, and it’s the book I wanted to write for years but wouldn’t because I was afraid I couldn’t do it justice. I fell in love with all of my characters, and when the book was over I couldn’t let them go. I wrote a sequel which I’m in the process of revising, and I have a third book almost completed. Here’s a blurb about Return Engagement:

Elizabeth Lane has it all, but an actress isn’t the kind of woman Senator Henry Lovinggood wants for his son, Richard. Ten years ago he broke Richard and Elizabeth up, but this time Elizabeth’s fighting back, a decision that leads to kidnapping and attempted murder and alienates her from the man of her dreams.

[Anne] Sounds like my kind of read, Elaine. What inspired you to write this story?

[Elaine] We were studying Greek heroes at the high school where I teach, and it made me think of what the modern world sees as the ideal hero. I compiled a list of traits and found that several of them appeared over and over in my writing. Return Engagement is my attempt to portray the modern American hero as I see him. A word of caution, though. My heroes aren’t perfect. They have warts and quirks just like real people.

[Anne] Those are the best kind of characters! How did you go about researching your book?

[Elaine] I usually use the internet for my research, and in the case of Return Engagement I got some help from a friend of mine who works in law enforcement. Richard, my hero, is an FBI agent.

[Anne] Do you have anything new in the works?

[Elaine] I sure do. I have a book tentatively titled Jilted! coming in June from Lachesis Press. This story is about a girl whose sister steals her fiancé. Of course, that’s nothing at all compared to what happens next!

[Anne] What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

[Elaine] A little bit of both, but more of a pantser. I’m at point A and I know where I want to end up, but I decide how to get there as I go along.

[Anne] If you could be anyone of your characters, which one would you chose to be and why?

[Elaine] I’d be Elizabeth Lane, my heroine in Return Engagement. I like all of my heroines, but I’d choose to be Elizabeth because of my hero Richard. I promise you with Richard’s personality life would never be dull, boring, or mundane. Besides that he’s incredibly handsome, passionate, romantic, and tender.

[Anne] Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go? (Okay so maybe this isn’t very likely to happen but since I’m asking the questions…)

[Elaine] It doesn’t hurt to dream, right? I’d go to Brazil. My third book in the Lovinggood trilogy is set in Brazil. It begins with a plane crash that strands my hero and heroine in the Amazon rain forest.

[Anne] Great choice! I’d love to go to Brazil too. You’ve just been informed that your latest release was a NY Times bestseller and Hollywood wants to turn it into a movie. What actors would you choose to play your main characters?

[Elaine] I’ve been asked this before, but I just can’t answer it. In my mind I have a picture of such perfection that no one could ever meet it.

[Anne] No problem. That can be a tough one :-). What type of books do you like to read when you’re not writing?

[Elaine] I guess I’m what you’d call an eclectic reader. I like romance, suspense, action/adventure, mystery, westerns, and I love ghost stories. I also read some young adult stuff. As a teacher I want to keep up with what they’re reading.

[Anne] Name three things you can’t live without (excluding spouses and family because that’s a given).

[Elaine] Books, chocolate, and jewelry in that order. For Christmas I got all three! Have you ever eaten a chocolate orange? Yummy.

[Anne] Humm, a chocolate orange...No, but it sounds really good. What advice would you give to any aspiring writers out there?

[Elaine] Don’t quit. Keep revising your work and sending it out, and eventually you’ll find the right publisher for you.

[Anne] Where can we find you on the web, Elaine?

[Elaine] My web site is

My blog is

My Facebook page is!/profile.php?id=100000153041486

I’m also on Goodreads at

[Anne] Where can we purchase your books?

[Elaine] Most of them are on Amazon, but the publisher’s price is usually better. You can go to my web page and click on the book covers which will take you to the publisher’s web site.

[Anne] Is there anything else you’d like to add?

[Elaine] Yes, I’d like to thank you for letting me come today. It’s been fun to visit with you and your readers.

[Anne] I’m glad you could make it, Elaine. It’s been great learning more about you and your books. I wish you continued success!


Gabby Sciferes said...

Nice interview!
I'll be sure to check out Elaine's books.