Today I am excited to have Elaine Stock with us for coffee and a chance to get to know her better!
PM: I see you are a New York native! I am from NJ and love NY, my father is from Greenwood Lake, and he never stopped loving the area! My favorite part is actually the Catskills, I spent many a summer day up there! What is your favorite part of the area you live in?
Paula, heartfelt thanks and much appreciation for hosting me on your lovely blog. May your mission of sharing Christian Fiction with readers continue to be blessed.
Yes, I was born in Brooklyn, NY and lived with my family there until I was fifteen when we moved to the then half rural-half suburb area a little north of the city (it’s now massively suburb, nearly city status in population). Small world!! I lived not far from Greenwood Lake and have visited that area often, having had friends who lived there. As I write this reply I look out my window and see snow everywhere, and ice on the cars. Yet, as much as I daydream and long for 70 degree weather and sunshine year-round, it would be difficult for me to shake loose of my NY origins. There’s something wonderful about the Hudson River that always calls to me. While I’m not too fond of big city living anymore, I do love the more rural areal where I live now. I enjoy the back dirt roads with canopied tree-shade and thick woods. I marvel at the hills and lakes, and of the grassy meadows where cows, horses, and sheep graze. But, permit me to burst a myth: Country life is not quiet. LOL—well, at least not where I live.
PM: That all sounds so beautiful to me, wish I could join you! Thank you for your kind words, I hope to be a blessing for many with this little blog! Have you always known you had the writing bug (and ability)?
As a child I was greatly influenced by my mother who glorified books and reading (and dabbled in poetry) and my aunt who loved to entertain my brother and I with oral stories. I remember creating my own story-worlds without thinking much more about it, however as far back as 3rd grade I did win a writing contest of some sort (the sweet honor remains in my mind, but not the details). Throughout high school and in my young 20s I wrote for the pleasure of it, but it wasn’t until I was 26, when my mother died from ovarian cancer, did I take my writing more seriously. She was a creative soul whose mental illness limited her abilities to express herself.
PM: I have read Her Good Girl, and found myself quite intrigued at the depth of where you were able to take the storyline. What surprises did you find while researching this?
There are three.
First is the scope of mental illness in a family (please note: since I associated above the term “mental illness” with my mother I’d like to emphasize that the problems she suffered from were not Munchausen by Proxy Disorder; Her Good Girl is not autobiographical). To fully understand MBP one must see that this disorder extends way beyond the giver and the recipient and peer into the blinded eyes of the other family members and perhaps friends. And, for that matter, anyone in the medical or social services area that don’t recognize what’s happening. Yet, to be fair, this disorder is extremely sneaky. It has an everything-is-fine persona on the outside to present to the public, but behind closed doors it’s a whole different story. There’s also the surprise of how strong the desire to cling to normalcy in the face of denial can be for a family member.
Second is the subject of underground caving. Wow! Understatement. I researched heavily caving techniques and watched hours of caving videos (and had a spelunker check the manuscript). How these people can go into the darkness of this below ground earth is still beyond my ability to comprehend fully. It is not for the meek and timid, for sure.
Last, I have to admit, I surprised myself with the degree I assimilated into each of the characters. While I wrote this story, I’d slipped out of myself, away from upstate NY, and was transported to West Virginia with Sadie and her family.
PM: Wow – that is a lot of information you gathered! I admit, I kind of got carried away with the characters journey as well! If we were to open your refrigerator right now, what would we find in it?
What a fun and unique question! With desserts now reserved for only weekends, one would find lots of fresh veggies like kale, carrots, and Brussels sprouts, salad fixings, fruit, and because as of 1.5 years ago I’ve become lactose intolerant, Lactaid milk. Also, because I often fix both breakfast and dinner in the morning due to my day job (I work until 8 p.m. and eat dinner there) and my husband’s uh…let’s say…limited cooking style, one would find his homemade meal in the fridge waiting for him.
PM: If you couldn’t be a writer, what career path do you think you’d choose to be on?
Interestingly, I’d majored in psychology and sociology in college but have no regrets that I didn’t make this into a profession. In all things connected to writing and marketing, what I’ve really come to love is graphic arts. If not disciplined I could easily spend too many hours playing with designs and fonts, so perhaps I would have gone into opening a business to design for other authors/businesses. Perhaps I would have taken up an old childhood pastime of designing house interiors on graph paper (call me weird, if you’d like!) and become an architect. Who knows! Quoting Popeye: I yam what I yam.
PM: Who was your greatest influence when you decided to become an author?
If you meant which authors greatly influenced me, I’d say Jodi Picoult, Joy Fielding, Harlan Coben, and yes, I admit, the earlier writings of Danielle Steele. As for sticking out the much-too-long process of writing, editing, and honing craft and patience, without hesitation I thank God for His love of me whether or not I would ever publish a book.
PM: What is one thing about you that your readers would be shocked to know?
Well, I don’t know whether it’s shocking or not, but I am daily challenged by my social awkwardness. I am a true introvert who lives on Planet Earth, a place where it’s not so much of survival of the fittest but survival of the brave to move one foot in front of the other and face the world despite daydreaming of running home and slamming the door shut to the outside. Again, I beseech my loving Father to help me because without Him, I’d never get out of bed and venture beyond my front door.
PM: How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
I enjoy interacting with readers; I love the book community! The best way to keep up with my new releases (Book 2 of the Kindred Lake Romance Series will be out this spring) is to subscribe to my Author Newsletter. Here’s the link, plus how one can receive my Free novella, And You Came Along: https://elainestock.com/free-gift-for-you
My website is: https://elainestock.com
My Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1JYAwNy
Also, here are the social media links I’m on (I’m slowly branching out to others this year):
PM: Finally, coffee or tea? Cream, sugar?
Definitely coffee, preferably with Lactaid Milk or black, and no sugar. I’ve been a proud coffee drinker since my grandmother introduced me to the heavenly beverage when I was eight…and no, it hadn’t stunted my growth—LOL.
Elaine Stock is dedicated to uplifting and encouraging all readers through the power of story to see hope during both the bright and dark times of life. She is the author of several award winning novels, notably Her Good Girl, which was graced with the Outstanding Christian/Religious Fiction in the 2018 IAN Book of the Year Awards, 2018 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal in Christian Fiction and the 2018 American Fiction Awards in the Christian Inspirational category.
Elaine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association. For fun and occasional eyebrow lifts of amazement, she hangs out on Twitter and Facebook, and of course, Goodreads.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Elaine has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a NYC gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book.
Elaine Stock is being so kind as to offer one of our wonderful USA BASED readers a free paperback of Her Good Girl! Simply comment on this post and tell us one item we could find in YOUR refridgerator! Contest will be open for one week from today and winner will be notified via email!