Encouragement for Every Writer from Elva Cobb Martin
Elva Cobb Martin is a fellow LPC Books author with two May releases this year, Summer of Deception was published on May 2nd and In a Pirate’s Debt comes out this week! Not only is Elva a busy fiction author, but she is president of the South Carolina chapter of ACFW and has been since 2014. She blogs on topics pertinent to writers at Elva Martin’s Carolina Romance She also shares articles on many faith-based topics on her website. Elva has also written and published several Bible studies.
Her faith in Christ and perseverance are evident in her writing. Join me as we get to know this diligent author together this week and what inspired her to keep pursuing her writing and eventually publication.
Welcome to my blog, Elva. I’m so glad to have you here. Please tell us about your writing journey. How did it start?
I started writing stories in seventh grade and loved to compete with my good friend for best stories. My horse hero won the race, even with a broken leg! LOL! My writing grew naturally out of my great love of reading. As a child I read constantly, first, fairy tales, then other fiction, like Black Beauty, Flicka, and Nancy Drew Mysteries. Later, I delved into Charles Dickens, Nathanial Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, and Poe. In high school I worked on the school newspaper and began writing poetry (to my first love). In college I joined a writers’ group some of the English professors formed and learned more craft. I had a number of poems published in college anthologies and later, began writing and selling magazine articles, while polishing up my novel-writing skills. Inspirational novels are now my main goal.
I loved reading Nancy Drew as well and enjoyed some of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, though I don’t think I read much of it until college.
What made you decide to write inspirational fiction?
My most beloved book today is the Bible. I love studying it, teaching it, and confessing its great promises. It also includes tremendous stories that inspire and astound us and touch on almost every aspect of living including the right way and the wrong way, with real heroes and authentic villains. My desire to write inspirational fiction grew out of my love for these stories and the great truths they depict. The desire grew stronger fed by authors of Christian fiction that inspired me—Jerry B. Jenkins, Frank Peretti, Yvonne Lehman, Linda Chaiken, MaryLu Tyndall, Louise Gouge, to name a few. I tell folks I am not writing novels just to give readers an exciting read, although that is a goal. I am not writing novels just to gain good sales, although that is a goal, too. I am writing Christian fiction hoping to share some nugget of God’s truth that will impact readers’ lives in some way. And my goal is to do it through story.
I can certainly relate to having the same goals, Elva. How has God guided you through this process?
I believe the Lord brought into my path some great mentors who taught me and encouraged me to keep writing, learning craft, and helping other writers along their journey. He provided the way to attend some good writing conferences and gave me divine connections. Prayer over my writing has been and still is vital.
Do you have any scriptures you’d like to share that have inspired you?
The first draft of my debut novel which was published this spring, Summer of Deception, (and which this week hit Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction) was actually written 30 years ago. After writing that first draft, the Lord called my husband and me into the ministry, and I put that draft and box of research up in my attic where it stayed for the next 20 years. When we retired from full-time ministry, a writer friend encouraged me to get back to work on it, and I did. But even then, it was still rejected 26 times. I have a 9-part series on my blog titled “My Journey to a Book Contract – Five Vital Steps” which describes certain things I had to learn to finally get a book contract. One scripture that kept me believing my novel would one day be published is in the book of Philippians, and I hope it encourages every writer reading this to NEVER GIVE UP writing, studying craft, and submitting manuscripts. Being confident of this very thing that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6, NKJV).
That’s beautiful, Elva! So many authors, myself included, have had long journeys to publication. Often unpublished authors often don’t realize this, but this should inspire them not to give up.
Would you like to tell us about your latest release, In a Pirate’s Debt?
In a Pirate’s Debt releases May 30, 2017, and Lighthouse Publishers (LPC) has it available for presale at a great price on Amazon. It is the first historical I’ve attempted. I love the colonial period of Charleston, South Carolina, sailing ships and, of course, pirates! (I am currently planning a new historical series in this 1700’s time period). Here’s the back-cover copy (BCC) of In a Pirate’s Debt for your readers:
When confronted with a forced marriage, Travay Allston flees her stepfather’s Jamaica plantation and dives into the sea. Death would be preferable to life with Sir Roger Poole, a drinking, gambling, scoundrel whose advances make her skin crawl.
Lucas Barrett sails the high seas as the dreaded Captain Bloodstone. He is on a quest to find his mother, a woman last seen clapped in irons by the Spanish. As his ship slips past Jamaica, he spies a young woman plunge into the sea. A prize of such beauty must be saved and Lucas dives in to rescue her. The last thing Lucas needs is to get involved with Travay, a childhood friend who caused him nothing but trouble. Especially now that she’s become a stubborn, alluring, young woman.
Lucas delivers Travay to her aunt in Charles Town and washes his hands of the affair. Or so he thinks. But when Sir Roger shows up demanding that Travay marry him or face the wrath of Charles Town’s newest council member, Lucas feels that familiar boyhood tug on his heart. Will this wanted pirate of the crown, risk his life to save Travay a second time? Betrothed to a man she hates, will Travay repay her debt to a pirate by marrying Sir Roger in exchange for his promise to pardon Lucas? And if she does, will the rascal keep his word? Falling in love with the pirate was never part of her plan.
Elva, thank you for sharing your inspiring journey with us.
More about Elva Cobb Martin: She is president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers (2014-2017). She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried her articles. She has two inspirational novels contracted with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a romantic suspense, is now a best seller in Women’s Religious Fiction on Amazon. An historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt, is slated for release May 30, 2017. Elva is represented by Jim Hart of Hartline Literary. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives with her husband Dwayne and a mini-dachshund writing helper, Lucy, in Anderson, South Carolina.
Elva’s new release, In a Pirate’s Debt, sounds exciting! She is giving an ebook copy away to one commenter, whose name shall be randomly chosen. Please leave a comment below for a chance to win.
Update: In a Pirate’s Debt will be on sale for 99 cents, tomorrow and Wednesday, May 30 and 31. Here’s the LINK!