Be Inspired by Author, Elaine Stock!
This week I’m so excited to have my dear friend and award-winning author, Elaine Stock, as my guest. I met Elaine a few years ago through our wonderful mutual agent, Linda S. Glaz. Since then, Elaine has come to visit me and we’ve roomed together at the Maranatha Christian Writer’s Conference.
Elaine has impressed me with her desire to trust God in all circumstances, her ability to look at the bright side of things, her perseverance, her openness, and the way she is eager to encourage other authors. Her debut novel, Always With You, is a very touching contemporary romance with an important message about the power of God’s love over hate.
Her weekly blog Everyone’s Story is a great place for authors to go and be inspired for their journey.
Welcome, Elaine! Please tell us about your writing journey. How did it start?
Thanks so much, Kathy, for hosting me on your lovely, inspiring blog. We all need to share hope and boost each other’s spirits and I appreciate all you’re doing to help encourage others.
My writing journey began as a child surrounded by a mother who loved books. She always read and brought me to libraries and book sales. She was so proud of me when, at the age of five, I was able to sign my name to receive my first library card, her version of a passport to happiness. And indeed, what joy it was. My aunt, who told the most marvelous stories, making them up as she spoke, also blessed me with the love of story.
It wasn’t until my mentally ill mother passed away when I was in my mid twenties, and I saw a woman once full of talent and dreams perish without the ability to do something with her creative mind, did I wake up and smell the proverbial coffee. I didn’t want to do the same. I started to take my writing fun more seriously with the goal to publish.
But success—whatever that word really means—did not happen immediately. Newly married and having a few bumps in my life, I put aside writing. Yet, the desire never left, nor the daydreams of stories playing out in my mind like a movie. While a 10-year community battle occurred against a proposed 100-year mining project within a few feet of my doorstep kept me busy, I attended writing groups and conferences, notably RWA.
Still, it wasn’t until more years passed did my fiction writing take off. Although it would, of course, have been nice to be published since my twenties, I have no doubts God has His reasons. I can’t go back and change things. Only forward, and with a lot of prayer and trust.
I can relate to having a mother who imparted the love of books to me as well.What made you decide to write inspirational fiction?
As far back at the age of 6, I remember believing in God. Actually, it was more a belief that He was my companion, always there for me. However, I wasn’t raised in a home where faith was practiced nor acknowledgment of God expressed. Perhaps this made my longing for God intensify.
As a teen I read a lot of romance novels. So, as a young adult wanting to become a published author I figured, why not? Romance is a huge genre with many readers. Surely I too can write and become the next bestseller in romance. Nope. Not the case. Then, when my husband and I experienced the typical rocky years that come in some, if not every marriage, I strayed away from reading romances. I turned to reading inspirational fiction. Turned my heart to God; became baptized for the second time. I’m now happy to say I consider my husband my best friend.
But, 9-11 struck. It shook me up, as well as many. In trying to understand the horrors and craziness of this world, and in a narrower field—of family or relationships—I had a tough time separating faith from my writing. I re-edited the story I was working on, titled Don’t Tell Isabelle, into a story of faith encroached and manipulated by the evil of hatred. It eventually sold to Elk Lake Publishing and became Always With You.
How had God guided you through this process?
I have to admit the frail human I am wondered just what He wanted for me. Having been told by many that I’m both an impatient person and the “most patient person I’ve ever met” didn’t help. I stumbled over wondering if I’m lacking in writing skills, let alone “talent” to fearing His plans for me had nothing to do with writing to wondering if I’m wasting my time.
Then, my husband reminded me about faith. Specifically, how while we were fighting the mining company I’d mentioned previously and waiting for state and court decisions, how necessary it was to cling 100 percent to faith that God wants only the best for us, and not to harm us and ruin us. “Just believe” became a new mantra. Note: we (God) did win over the mine!
Well, I adhered to this belief that God didn’t plant stories in my mind to only amuse my brain cells and waste any spare pocket cash in writing (computer purchases, joining RWA then ACFW, attending conferences, and many etc.) Then a pro at knee-jerk reactions, I stumbled across a little writing competition an agent was hosting on her blog about pitches. Nah. I wasn’t going to try. Why bother? Maybe I’d finaled in a few RWA contests years ago, but now? Nothing. But. I did try. I believe God did nudge me. I believe He filled me with so much desire to write and share my stories that it hurt, and still does, like a searing pain that only lessens in intensity when I put words to paper. This agent offering the contest asked to see my writing. And liked it. And took me on as her client. Thanks be to God.
So, I’m now a best-selling author and everyone knows my name, right? No. But, no sighs either. I’m blessed that my novel made its debut appearance in January 2016 and won the Christian Small Publishers Association Book of the Year Award for fiction.
I don’t know what will happen with my dream of a publishing career, but with God I do know good is possible. Whatever He wants, I want.
Congratulations on your achievement of winning the CSPA Award! That is wonderful. It’s nice to have the affirmation which publication and awards bring, even when you write in obedience to God.
Do you have any scriptures you’d like to share that have inspired you?
Different scripture meets me at different times when He knows I need it J Lately it’s (still) Jeremiah 29.11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” This gives me the confidence that my life isn’t a waste or a mistake. And along this line of wisdom I was reading last night more comfort: God knew me before I was born, at birth, and knows the future me (even before I get there!). It’s a scary world we’re living in; I’m grateful our Father is watching out for us. Praise God.
What are you working on now?
Two manuscripts are in the hands of my wonderful agent. Meanwhile, I’ve accepted an invitation to write a novella as part of a Christmas box set that will be independently published. My story is And You Came Along. Look for it this November!
That’s exciting, Elaine! I’ll look forward to reading it.
More about Elaine:
Elaine Stock is the author of Always With You, which released in January 2016 and has won the 2017 Christian Small Publishers Association Book of the Year Award in fiction. She also has 2 short stories published. Her novels fuse clean romance, family drama and suspense. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and contributes to the international “Happy Sis Magazine.” In addition to Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, she hangs out on her active six-year-old blog, Everyone’s Story, dedicated to uplifting and encouraging all readers through the power of story and hope.
Find Elaine on the web at:
Amazon Buy-link for Always With You
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