Monday, February 15, 2016

Interview with Elaine Stock and giveaway!

Elaine is graciously giving away a kindle copy of Always With You to one commenter. Be sure to leave contact information because if we don't know who you are your entry will be disqualified.

Thanks for joining  us, Elaine!  Good to have you visit with us. 

Have you always liked to write?

Looking back, the concept of story clicked in my young mind. I always enjoyed creating story-worlds with my toys. As far as reading, I was a young reader and surrounded by a mother who devoured books and dabbled in poetry and an aunt who told the greatest tales I started to pen stories while my friends continued to do whatever “normal” children did. In junior high I wanted to become a playwright and see my work produced on Broadway, but later on in high school my interests turned to novel writing.

How did you decide upon the title of Always With You?

That’s an odd story. Back in my RWA days I’d attended a local chapter meeting up in Saratoga, NY, which is a Mecca for horse racing (though I don’t partake of racing of any kind). However, the “racing sheets” of the local paper was distributed to each attendee with the instruction to pick a horse’s name and develop a premise. The name I chose (and race horses have very long, unusual names) was Don’t-Tell-Isabelle. Wow. Secrets. Why were they kept from Isabelle? What would happen if she discovered the secrets? So, slowly, my story idea formed. My editor who truly has an excellent grasp on the story strongly suggested its present title, Always With You. She didn’t know it at the time, but at one time I’d also tried that title in previous submissions. I really like the Always title because it captures not only the love between Isabelle and Tyler, but between them and God, and for that matter, between God and all of us.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names of character in Always With You based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

As I’ve previously mentioned, I had my heroine named Isabelle from the get go, although her dad calls her Isa and Tyler Belle. I think I would have been crushed if I had to change her name! However, Tyler’s name morphed from Perry to Tyler. I thought Perry was a rather cool name until a more sensible writing friend persuaded me that Perry might have been a tad outdated.

In my WIP one of my characters was named Lucas … and how I loved, loved that name! My agent kinda rolled her eyes from a thousand miles away saying that it was too old-fashioned (considering I was also using an older style name for my girl character), and I acquiesced. I’m really happy I did because when using some body lotion (of all things!) I picked up the most fantastic name—you’ll have to see why!

The moral of this character-naming story: don’t become too attached to a character’s name and be very open-minded when someone gives you advice.

Are any experiences in Always With You based on personal experiences? Did you draw upon any stories or movies for inspiration for the novel?

The story’s premise is based upon secrets kept between family members, whether out of protection or shame, and secrets kept between a husband and wife, because of fear of loss. Truthfully, I’ve always had a sense of secrets kept within my own family since as a child when I’d inquired about certain family members I was always steered another direction. I believe in my family it was more of a case of severe heart loss between loved ones, and definitely not because of why the secrets were kept between my story’s characters. In short though, I’m sure my own experiences helped shape Always With You.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I’m combining these questions because they tie together nicely. The hardest part of writing Always With You was developing characters that hated others for all the wrong reasons and to the point of wanting to wipe them off the face of the earth. Yet, the former psychology major I am was fascinated by the why behind hatred. I researched a lot to grasp the motivation behind these emotional preferences. It was only when I learned that these people not only justify their feelings but also develop an entire lifestyle behind it that swallows them whole did I begin to understand (though not condone!) the whys behind their actions.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

For me, reading author Jodi Picoult’s writing was the equivalent of taking writing courses, not that I read her novels for that reason. While reading—and listening to several of her novels on audio—I felt characters’ stomachs clench, their hearts break, and their faces flush with joy. I also learned to expand phrases into emotions.

What book are you reading now?

I just finished Room by Emma Donoghue. It was a good read. It was pretty amazing that Ms. Donoghue successfully pulled off the whole story told through the POV of a five-year-old boy, and without the story becoming narrow or boring. The suspense element also kept me riveted.

If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?

A funny thing unexpectedly occurred on my path toward publication and running a blog: I’ve fallen in love with the challenge of promotion. I’ve joked lately that in my “next life” I’ll have to start a PR firm. 

Blurb for Always With You:

Can she move forward without knowing her past?
Will he enjoy his present if he can’t free himself from what he left behind?
In the heart of the Adirondacks, Isabelle lives in the shadow of a dark family secret whose silent burden strips her family of emotional warmth and faith in God. Tyler belongs to the religious sect called The Faithful, which Isabelle’s father dislikes immensely. Yet, because Tyler belongs to this group, Isabelle sees only a man devoted to his family and faith.
She wants it; she gets it; they marry.
And when the truth comes out, Isabelle faces two choices:
Staying could endanger her child.
Leaving could cost her life.

Link to buy Always With You 

Amazon:  Barnes & Noble:


A former Brooklyn gal, Elaine Stock lives in the Northeast with her husband where she enjoys spring, summer, autumn, and puts up with the winter. A member of several writing associations, she also is a contributing author to the international “Happy Sis Magazine.” In addition to Twitter  Facebook  and Goodreads  she hangs out on her active blog, Everyone’s Story, dedicated to uplifting and encouraging all readers through the power of story and hope. Check out her Reading Group Guide her website.


Elaine Stock said...

Laura, thanks for hosting me today on your lovely blog!

Marilyn R. said...

Thank you for sharing this great interview with Elaine Stock. I haven't read her book yet but I'm looking forward to reading it. God bless.

Melissa Henderson said...

Looks like an interesting story. Thank you for sharing with us. :-) Melissa in Mechanicsville VA ahenderson312(at)gmail(dot)com

diannekc said...

Great interview, adding to my TBR list. Sounds like a great read.

Elaine Stock said...

Hi Marilyn and Melissa. Thanks for visiting Laura's blog. Special thanks and appreciation for your interest in Always With You. I hope you'll have a chance to read Isabelle and Tyler's story. And if you do, I'd love to know what you think.

Elaine Stock said...

Dianne, thanks for your interest in Always With You. Thanks for visiting Laura's blog!

Anonymous said...

Intriguing blurb, Elaine.

Unknown said...

What an intriguing story line! Great interview, Laura and Elaine. I love stories that dare to dig deep into the human psyche, positive and negative, and this one certainly fits the bill. Blessings to you both.

angela said...

would love to win

Elaine Stock said...

So nice to see you, Kathleen and Angela. I appreciate your visits--Laura's done a great job with the interview, hasn't she? Thanks too for your interest in Always With You. I hope you'll have a chance to read the story. I'd love to know what you think.

Elaine Stock said...

Heidi--you sure know how to make this debut author smile with the words "intriguing blurb." Thanks for visiting!

lollipops said...

Congratulations to Angela!

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