Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Finding Passion in Prose (or in any area of life)


First the fun part of writing: I love getting to know my characters and continue to be amazed at how the mind and heart works in creation. An idea blossoms. It takes on a life of its own, and characters are born. Their natures and personalities develop and mature with each revision as well as the crises they face and attempt to overcome.

Soon, in the mind's eye, the characters become flesh and blood. Through the writer's pen (or pecking at the computer keyboard), the hero or heroine find his or her way through a maze of difficulties. This is exciting part of writing.

The ‘not so much fun’ of writing: The height of frustration for me as a historical fiction writer is not being able to find accurate research when I need it for a story I’m working on. Everything characters say and do must be accurate to the story’s time period and culture, if the story is to be believable. How they prepare a meal, travel, occupy their time, as well as all social, political, and religious interactions must adhere to the setting and time period. These details can mean pain-staking research for a writer and, I admit, headaches and pain in the seating area of the body as well!

Writers want readers to be transported into their fictional worlds and remain there throughout the characters’ trials and tribulations. One anachronism glaring out at readers can pull them right out of the story. For example, I remember using the word garage in one of my nineteenth century novels. My editor immediately questioned it. After checking its etymology in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, I found the word didn’t come into common use until 1902. Oops, garage became a carriage house.

Over the past week, working on my newest manuscript, I’ve spent exhausting hours researching mid nineteenth century schooling, pre-Civil War activism, and an 1850 cookbook for a gingerbread recipe. Yes, time consuming! I really wish information I need would be at my fingertips, instead of lost in a myriad of books and online sources, but accurate detail is necessary.

Why spend so many frustrating hours? Because it’s called passion! Passion, a very difficult word to define, that truly gets to the core of what it feels like within us. The Free Dictionary calls it “bountiful enthusiasm”. Cambridge Dictionary, “extreme interest, powerful feelings.” None of these definitions truly nail it, as far as I’m concerned.

A good story will hold a reader's attention until the end and that’s what I work towards. I constantly try to improve my craft with each book, no different than anyone who has a career or hobby in their area of passion.  I want my readers to feel my characters' emotions and be transported into their worlds, turning page after page, unable to put the book down. Yes, that’s what all writers hope for as they persevere with each book.

 I admit, even if I didn’t publish a single work, I would still be writing because when you have a passion, you need to honor it. God gives each of us a gift for us to find and develop. When we do, I believe we connect with the mysteries of the mind, heart, and soul that makes our inner voice, exclaim, WOW! WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?

And at those moments, I think, God winks!

Blessings, Elaine

Learn more about my books at   
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008H5NKQQ


Comments Welcomed!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Update


I am happy to announce that all my books are now available in both print and eBook.  Meanwhile, I’m busy working on a sequel to my recent release, The Diary of Narcissa Dunn. Two other manuscripts sit on my computer, waiting...
I can feel the anxiety of the main characters in those two books.

“When are you going to solve my problems?” says one.

“I’m waiting for my Prince Charming.  He’ll never notice me, if you don’t write my story,” says another.

“Please, get me out of the mess you have left me in!” cries another.

As I work on the second book in the Redemption Series, these other characters seldom give me rest. Oh, the life of a writer. So many stories in my head, too little time to write, and once the stories are written, hours and hours of editing. 
Yet, creating stories has been my passion since I was old enough to understand that imagination is a wonderful thing. It has taken me on fantastic and passionate journeys. I just can’t keep them to myself! And so, I write, even if no one ever read my books. I would still write. My guess is there are other writers who understand my passion and would agree!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday Gift Basket Ideas


No idea what to buy a special friend ot relative for holiday gift giving? A gift basket that encourages relaxation, especially during this busy time of year, is the perfect gift! Michaels, Homegoods, or Marshalls have nice selections of decorative boxes.

Add a cozy pair of slipper sox or a pair of Snoozie slippers are wonderful! An attractive mug with a box of herbal tea or a favorite bottle of wine speaks comfort. Don't forget chocolates for chocolate lovers. How about a yummy bar of Godiva Chocolate?

Or, think "spa delights" and find a pretty bar of scented soap, hand/foot moisturizing creams, a lavendar candle, a journal, or bath beads. Most important, for readers, add a good book, or maybe two or three!

My newest Christmas novella, Blessings and the Thief, has sweet romance, humor, and an inspiring message. Reviewers call it, delightful! It's a story that reminds us of the importance of family and friends. What could be more special than a gift basket filled with thoughtful and restful gifts?

Order Blessings and the Thief on Amazon in print or ebook for hours of relaxing reading.


                                                 Click here to purchase on Amazon

Monday, November 21, 2016


A Holiday Novella to Warm your Spirit!

Expect romance, mystery, mischief, and a bit of ghostly humor too. Curl up in your favorite chair and enjoy!

What Reviewers are Saying:

“Relax by the fire with this wonderfully crafted Regency Christmas story spiked with romance and a bit of mystery. The book instantly brings you into the moment when a sleigh load of good friends arrive in a snowstorm, excited about sharing the holiday in an inn said to be haunted by mischievous ghosts. When the host is taken ill, his nephew Damien, who can’t seem to move on with his life after his mother’s death, reluctantly fills in. But being host doesn’t seem such an unpleasant task when the lovely Tess, who has been dumped by her fiancĂ© and has sworn off men, arrives with her aunt and uncle. Throughout tradition holiday festivities, conversations center about missing items. Who is the real thief? The ghosts? A party attendee? The developing romance between Damien and Tess warmed my heart, while the mystery piqued my curiosity. Don’t miss this fun read!"

"This is a delightful, delicate tale, full of seasonal joy and happiness. Through Tess and Damien’s eyes we experience the Regency Christmas customs of gathering greenery, making decorations, lighting the yule log, and going on sleigh rides. The spirits of the inn also play their part, teasing and healing in equal measure.
The mysteries of the ghosts and the missing trinkets are finally resolved in satisfying style, with Tess and Damien looking forward to the New Year together.
A lovely Christmas story!"

Buy Now on Amazon

Buy now at Barnes and Noble

I hope my new novella, Blessings and the Thief, gives you pleasant moments to rest and enjoy during a busy holiday season!

Elaine






                                                                                                               

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Today’s News

Three favorite Historical Romances eBooks on Kindle Countdown until October 23rd. Check them out today on Author’s Central. Just click on the link for the book you like and it will direct you to the sale price!

For Historical Romance Readers who prefer books in Print

 Regal Reward, A Kiss of Promise, and A Convenient Pretense are now available in both print and eBook.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Romance Books Giveaway!! It’s a Great Day to run a Contest! Readers, simply subscribe to my newsletter to enter. You can win a collection of 5 Historical Romances from Best Selling authors mailed to your door. Hear more about my upcoming releases too! Sign up on my mailing list to enter today. Contest closes August 23rd at 8 a.m. Drawing on August 25th.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Characters Speak Louder than Words

            When I create a story, it begins with a dramatic circumstance that impels me to write. Almost immediately, my characters’ features come to mind. I imagine their appearances, their personalities, and their motivations, even their initial paths and their final goals come pretty easily. The hard part comes in designing their circuitous journey through the mazes of uncertainty, secondary characters’ interferences, and unexpected hazards and crises along the way.  What I see as the most important and what I feel I know well, is my characters’ hearts.
            My characters, however, sometimes prove me wrong. They develop characteristics I didn’t plan on at original creation. They might speak to me in the most unusual places—in a dream, in the shower, on a walk, or in the midst of baking cookies. They tell me where they want to go, or argue with me if I’ve placed them in a situation that isn’t of their choosing.
            Recently, I changed the cover of my newest historical fiction release, The Diary of Narcissa Dunn. Throughout the time it was promoted and published, I had a niggling feeling something wasn’t right, but it appeared to be well received. My discomfort remained despite my attempts to shrug off the feeling. It took me some time, but I finally realized my main character, Olivia, was not happy.
            She is the one suffering in the story; she is the one having strange recurring dreams that make little sense to her; she is the one who is being deceived by the one person she should trust with her life, and she is the one being forced into a marriage not of her choosing.
             Yet, she wasn’t on the cover.
            I finally got it. It didn’t matter about high sales, it didn’t matter if I heard varying opinions, what mattered is feeling comfortable that I had done the best for my character; that I could ease my character’s strife and, perhaps, cause readers to go along on her journey and  root her on to find the love she deserves. 
            She is now on the cover, appealing to the world to solve the mystery of her recurring dreams and to help her overcome her worst nightmare, the loss of all she holds dear. Olivia must discover the secrets hidden in Narcissa’s diary, secrets that will bring her unimaginable sorrow before joy can emerge from its depths.  
            Olivia must choose her own path, not only in her story, The Diary of Narcissa Dunn, but as she continues her journey in the upcoming sequel, Seeds of Hope.
            Yes, an author’s words attempt to manipulate a character’s actions, but the characters can speak louder and the author must, humbly, follow their lead. 
            Happy Reading!