Wednesday, October 23, 2013
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.” http://www.elainemariecooper.com/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!