I am so excited to have a new to me author joining us today for coffee! Please grab a cup of your favorite beverage and help me welcome Jan Elder to Fiction Full of Faith!
PM: Good morning, Jan! I see you have quite an interesting line of books set in Maine, and you live in Maryland. I am originally from NJ, but visited Maine several times and absolutely loved it! Is Maine a favored vacation spot for your family?
JE: Maine is indeed “Vacationland” and I have visited many times. My mother’s family is from Maine and I still have many relatives up north, especially around Lake Sebago—where my parents honeymooned. Growing up, I remember my grandmother still clung tightly to her slight Maine accent despite have moved to Maryland in 1923! My mother also has a lot of Maine in her—the stoic attitude, the reserved manner, the pragmatic way of looking at life. Want to know what our family motto is? I’m so glad you asked. “Strength through adversity.” That right there should tell you a great deal about the philosophy I grew up modeling. Gracious! We’re ready for anything. Throw in the proud, majestic moose and we’re good to go!
PM: Do you have any family pets that currently own you?
JE: I am so glad you phrased your question as you did. I am definitely “owned” by two cats, a svelte sixteen-year-old tortoiseshell named Shu-Shu, and a ten-year-old tuxedo beauty named Jamie Lynn. All of my books feature an animal or two (usually cats/and or dogs). Adding fabulous felines, or curious canines to a story livens up the action and makes the non-animal characters more human. I don’t how I would get along without my girls, and my husband is finally on board in that department (he thinks Jamie Lynn is his, but she’s really my girl, and sweet Shu-Shu is my lap cat and follows me around like a puppy).
PM: Do you write stories more from your own experiences, or do you spend a lot time doing research on the type of characters your creating?
JE: A bit of both, I think. All of my female lead characters seem to have a bit of me in them, but I definitely research the situations I put them in. In my latest, Moosed The Boat, a Christian contemporary romance, sixty-something Clare Evans was raised in Maine and has that stoic, sensible attitude. It’s hard to keep her down for long. She resembles my own mother in many ways so she was a lot of fun to dream up.
Clare is a recurring character in the four book Moose Creek series. Moosed The Boat will be released at the end of September and is part of a five-book boxed set called Somewhere Beyond The Blue along with Marion Ueckermann, Clare Revell, Mary Manners, and Cecelia Dowdy.
Here’s that all-important blurb:
Moosed The Boat
Clare Evans, church secretary, Malamute breeder, and single lady of a certain age, resides in Moose Creek, Maine, where men are men and moose are enormoose. Her life is full to the brim, or almost. There’s only one thing missing—one of those manly men with a desire to love, honor, and protect her.
Travis Gibbs, forest ranger and recent widower, is grieving a broken heart. With his son off to college, he’s tired of being alone and ready to rejoin the living. When Clare invites him to a dinner dance and follows up by sending him home with a puppy, his interest is piqued.
Next, the two senior citizens win a cruise in a bowling tournament. But will they make it to the ship on time? Or, moose the boat and their chance at true love?
PM: What was your most beloved book to read as a child?
JE: One of first books I remember reading was Island of the Blue Dolphins—an early sci-fi about dolphins that learned to talk. My husband found a copy online and gave it to me as a Christmas present a couple of years back. How cool is that? I also remember one of my best gifts ever. My parents bought me the entire set of Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. I reread them every few years. Makes my heart happy.
PM: What’s your favorite color? Any reason why?
JE: Great question. I’m going to have to go with one of characters favorite colors, Didi O’Brien, in Love, Lies, and Fireflies. It’s called twilight blue—that moment when the sky vibrates with the last ray of sunshine shooting out a golden glow behind the azure sky. Glorious!
PM: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite gender?
JE: Since I’m not a male, sometimes it’s really hard to think like a guy. If I have an iffy passage, I run it by my husband. He is definitely from Mars and makes my men sound like men!
PM: Tell us what you enjoy doing the most when you are not writing or reading?
JE: Right now, I’m spending the vast majority of my time with my mother in a nursing home. She is a writer too and I read to her (she’s written several books—one about how her parents met in Maine with actual letters!) and we watch a lot of cat videos and sermons by her favorite preachers. Just imagine. There is internet in her room at the care facility! While she is sleeping, I am able to write and that’s where I have conjured up my last two books.
PM: Who was your greatest influence when you decided to become an author?
JE: Probably Jan Karon. I love that she created the village of Mitford and it helped me think up my own little town of Moose Creek, Maine.
PM: How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
JE: My website is https://janelderauthor.com/ and my author page on Amazon is https://amzn.to/2xHG9fZ
PM: Finally, coffee or tea? Cream, sugar?
JE: Depends on the day and the time of day. I like both, but I tend to drink flavored coffee with cream in the morning, and tea with sugar anytime! Current favorite coffee is salted caramel, favorite tea of the week, Plantation Mint.
Thank you for having me on your blog today. I truly enjoyed it!
About Jan Elder:
JAN ELDER is an inspirational romance writer with a passion for telling stories other women can relate to on a deep level. She strives to write the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, introducing the reader to a loving and forgiving Lord who walks beside us in our daily lives, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story.
Happily married for fifteen years to loving (and supportive) husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland along with Jamie (a chubby black and white tuxedo cat), and Shu-Shu (a willowy tortoiseshell cat). On the weekends, Jan and Steve comb the nearby countryside in search of the perfect ice cream flavor.