Although currently living in the Midwest, Elaine Marie Cooper spent much of her childhood in Massachusetts. She has long been interested in family history as well as Early American history. She is a registered nurse and an award-winning freelance writer.
Elaine is a regular contributor to a blog on the Midwest called The Barn Door. She continues with magazine freelance writing and is currently working on the sequel to “The Road to Deer Run.”
She lives with her husband of 35 years (Steve) and three dogs and one cat. Both her sons are married and Elaine is “Grammie” to triplets. Her only daughter Bethany died in 2003 from a brain tumor. “The Road to Deer Run” is lovingly dedicated to her memory. For more info, visit her website.
Let the conversation begin!
What initially drew you to writing?
I have always loved the written word, ever since I was young. I remember checking out eight books at a time from the library—before I could read! But I really enjoyed writing assignments in school. My dad must have noticed because he began encouraging me to write. I feel very blessed to have had a parent that would say to me, “You can do this.”
What was your favorite book to write?
I think my favorite book to write was my first novel, “The Road to Deer Run.” It was not only an intensely emotional journey of writing a historical romance, but it has opened up a whole new world of writing opportunities that I never could have imagined before. I LOVE to write!
Who is your favorite author?
Wow, I really have to think about that one. I have several. For Christian fiction however, I’d have to say that Karen Kingsbury is one of my favorites because she delves into real life issues in a realistic way. But there is always a spiritual lesson involved in her well-written stories. Just love her work.
Where do you get your ideas?
For my first novel, I got the idea from my own ancestors. As a little girl, I had heard the story about my fourth great grandfather who had been a British Redcoat during the American Revolution. However the story did not progress into a fictional tale until many years later. I get other ideas for writing from anywhere and everywhere: a billboard on a freeway, a spiritual lesson to learn from a movie, a person I happen to come in contact with. There is inspiration everywhere if we stop to notice the world around us.
Tell us about the book you’re working on.
I am currently working on the sequel to “The Road to Deer Run.” It takes place in 1790, several years after the Revolutionary war has ended. Although the war is over, the emotional scars from battle are still being felt. I am so excited about this story! I think after my first novel, I was afraid the second would not be as heartfelt a project nor as satisfying. But my fears were not realized, much to my relief! And I feel that the issues of war-related stress is something that modern readers can relate to. I pray that this novel ministers to many.
What advice would you give young writers?
Write. Every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect, but learn to put your thoughts down on paper or laptop on a regular basis. Find a mentor: an established editor or writer that would take you under their wing and give you helpful feedback. If you don’t know one, maybe one of your teachers could connect you with someone. But learn to trust the urging that you feel to put your thoughts down into words. And enjoy it! I wish you well as the Lord helps you develop your gift!