Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 2 with Elaine Marie Cooper

Welcome back for our second day with author Elaine Marie Cooper, whose latest novel, Fields of the Fatherless, just released this week!

Elaine, if you could be any character from a favorite historical novel for a few days, who would it be and why?

I don’t know that I would want to BE Jane Eyre in the novel of the same name, but I have always admired her grace and strength despite the hardships she endured. But to actually be her, even for a few days, would be fraught with difficulties I cannot begin to imagine! Of course, if I were Jane at the happy ENDING of her story, I might not hesitate!

Sometimes it would be nice to fast-forward to the happy endings, wouldn’t it? :-) What drew you to writing historical fiction?

I’ve enjoyed historical fiction since I was a young reader. “Jane Eyre” was always a favorite and I devoured Irving Stones’ biographical fiction stories about such characters as John & Abigail Adams and Mary Todd & Abraham Lincoln. Stone always brought these characters to life for me in a way that helped me understand them better as well as the times they lived in. Since I loved history and always went on family outings to historical sites, reading just stoked the fires of wanting to understand more about our history. I don’t think I ever imagined that I would one day write historical fiction, but it seemed to be a natural outpouring of my passion.

For more information about the beginning of my life as a writer of historical fiction, you can read my blog post at my website entitled, “Unexpected Journey.”

When starting a new project, do you tend to begin with a time period or event and create the characters to live it, or do you start with characters and then find their story?

New projects, for me, tend to begin with a real character or event from history. I’m so intrigued by the unknown stories that never find their way into the history books that, when I find a hidden historical “treasure,” I want to unearth the details and bring it to life so I can share it with everyone.

And we’re glad you do! Reading fiction can be a way to escape reality for a while, but those stories can still teach some valuable lessons. What points do you hope readers take away from your books?

Although I write fiction, I always include as much historical fact as I can find in my research. Because I try to be as accurate as I can, I feel that my readers are not just being entertained, but they are learning something new about history. In Fields of the Fatherless, I’ve written so many of the actual details of the Battle of Menotomy and the events before and after, that I think readers will be astonished at how little they knew about the first day of the American Revolution. I know I was!

Fields of the Fatherless is also filled with the faith of a young woman being challenged in heart breaking circumstances. Will her faith be weakened or grow stronger? Will she be consumed with bitterness or will God show her a way to forgive? These are lessons we all face in life, whether in dramatic circumstances or in day-to-day difficulties.

Any final words?

I want to thank all the readers of this interview for taking the time out of their busy day to read my answers. And I want to say how grateful I am to Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas for believing in the value of the story told in Fields of the Fatherless. I am so blessed that I get to be the storyteller of the history in my hometown! And I pray that, if you read my latest novel, it will touch your heart and soul deeply.

Thanks again for visiting with us, Elaine! Visitors, you can learn more about Elaine and her books by connecting with her on social media:

Twitter handle: @elainemcooper

And, don’t forget to answer Elaine’s question for your chance to win a copy of Fields of the Fatherless:

Have you ever visited the historical sites in Massachusetts and, if so, what was your favorite?

Leave your answer and email address in the comments (spelling out ‘at’ and ‘dot’ to help cut down on spam). The winner will be announced Friday morning. Thanks for spending time with us!


Amy C said...

I have not had the pleasure of visiting Massachusetts. If I ever do, they will be no doubt that I will visit a historical place.
Campbellamyd at Gmail dot com

windycindy said...

I have been to Cape Cod, but that is all of Massachusetts, that I have been fortunate to see, as of yet!
Thanks, Cindi

Elaine Marie Cooper said...

Hi Amy! I'm not sure you can visit Massachusetts withOUT seeing historical places! They abound and the history is rich and so intriguing. I hope you can visit these sites in person someday. Thank you for stopping by!

Elaine Marie Cooper said...

Cape Cod is beautiful, Cindy!! And there are historical settings there as well. I hope you get back again someday and see more amazing locales that just bring the history of our country alive!! Best wishes in the book giveaway.

Penney Douglas said...

I have never been to Massachusetts, so I haven't been able to visit the historical landmarks there. I would love to, though. I would really love to visit Boston. I lived in PA for a while and got to see Gettysburg. We really enjoyed our visit there.

Elaine Marie Cooper said...

Penney, I have never been to Gettysburg but I have heard it is unreal and very sobering to visit where so many soldiers lost their lives. Wow, it must have been a moving experience. I hope you can someday visit Boston and tour the Freedom Trail. Just wear good walking shoes! LOL If you want to be entered in the drawing, please leave us your e-mail so we can contact you. Thanks for coming by!

Linda Finn said...

I traveled through MA for many years visiting my then inlaws who lived in Belchertown Mass. I am told there was a battle near there in Springfield perhaps, but never got to see anything historical there much. Family history was all we were told for the most part, they floooded a whole town not far from there , that is Greensomething and where my MIL grew up till 21 and then they had to move from there to make a water saving spot for the state.
Linda Finn
Faithful Acres Books

Anonymous said...

Hi Elaaine. A great sttory on History. I had never heard of thie place or battle before. Glad you put it in Print. I love to learn these parts of History that we weren't taught in History in school. I have never been to Mass. and not likely to be able to. But I would love to and visit this town. Thanks again and please put my name in the drawing. Will be hoping to be lucky and get the book to read. Thanks Lee for having Elaine here.
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

karenk said...

I visited to sites on the Historical Tour in Boston...a great city.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Elaine Marie Cooper said...

Boston IS a great city, Karen! So happy you were able to visit the historical sites there. Best wishes to all of you entering the drawing!