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21 February 2011

Romantic Moments 2--Meet Elaine Marie Cooper!

Today's COTT hostess is Michelle Massaro

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Elaine Marie Cooper, and her enthusiasm has blessed my socks off!  A wonderful lady, and dear new friend, I am thrilled to share with you all a bit of our conversation:

Michelle: Elaine, you're the first self-pub'd author to grace our general arena.  How do you feel about that?

Elaine: I feel very honored to break this ground. Many in the field of writing feel that Indie-published means "poor quality." But what makes a good novel is an engaging story that is told well and edited carefully. I am very proud of my thrice-edited (by professional editors) debut novel with a cover that compares well with those from traditional publishers. My book has received excellent reviews, including from Kirkus Discoveries. My novel is not perfect—but I do not know of a book that is, other than the Bible.

Michelle: Your excerpt is competing for Most Romantic Moment. But real life love stories are my favorite.  Tell me, what's the most romantic experience you’ve had?

Elaine: It would probably have to be my wedding day. I remember praying that I would not be nervous because so many of my friends said that they didn’t even remember the details of their own wedding day because of stress. All I could think was, “Not remember my wedding day? No!” Well, God answered my prayer and not only did I remember it but Steve and I were able to just focus on each other, despite all the commotion around us. And unbeknownst to Steve, I had written a song just for him that I sang during our wedding ceremony. I thought he was going to cry! We spent our wedding night on the Queen Mary. It was truly the perfect romantic ending to a perfect day!

Michelle: Recreating that perfect moment on the page is an art. How do you know when you’ve really nailed a passage?

Elaine: When I read it, does it thrill my heart and make me cry? Do I really feel the emotion between the couple? That’s when I know it is just right for my story.

Michelle: Sounds like you better keep a box of tissues near the keyboard then! =) Describe how God fits into the romantic aspect of your story.

Elaine: When Mary first senses a presence in the woods, there is almost a supernatural leading to discover Daniel as he is hidden in the woods. Realizing that he is an enemy soldier, Mary is at first terrified; yet her Christian faith beckons her heart to be a Good Samaritan. Daniel is overwhelmed by her kindness and is immediately attracted to this young woman who cares for him so selflessly. Then one day when her sister is ill, Mary sings a hymn about the shepherd of our souls to comfort her. Daniel is smitten by the words of the song, as well as by the voice of the singer. But it is when Mary herself becomes deathly ill and Daniel is forced to face his fear of losing her that he finally reaches out to God in desperation. It is the beginning of his faith journey—and their romance.

Michelle: God often does use difficult circumstances to accomplish His purpose for us, doesn't he? Tell us about your hero and heroine. What makes them the perfect couple?

Elaine: Daniel Lowe and Mary Thomsen are an unlikely couple for a romance as they are on opposing sides during a bitter war. He is a British soldier, wounded and being marched to a POW camp. She is a young farmwoman, grieving bitterly over the loss of her beloved brother who was killed in the war. But circumstances draw them together as her compassion takes precedence over her hatred for the enemy. She knows he will die without her intervention and she bravely undertakes nursing him back to health, which puts her at odds with her mother and places her whole family in danger.

As his physical healing occurs, Mary begins to heal emotionally as well. And they soon come to understand that they have more in common than they thought. Their mutual friendship becomes shared affection as their differences in background and personality become complementary strengths that begin to forge a bond that cannot be broken by the bitterness of war. And through all the trials and dangers, their faith in God becomes as strong as their bond of love.

Michelle: So do they ever get their happily ever after?

Elaine: You’ll have to read the book to see! J

Michelle: I had a feeling you'd say that! What do you want readers to take away from your book?

Elaine: I want them to feel like they have read a really good story, filled with historical facts that make the era of the American Revolution come alive for them. But I especially want the spiritual messages of faith, forgiveness, and dependence on God during trials to refresh the hearts and souls of the reader and give them hope.

Michelle: Mmm, beautiful and timeless messages. Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers before we say goodbye?

Elaine: I would just like to thank everyone that has taken the time to read this interview and thanks, especially, to those that have read The Road to Deer Run. I so appreciate you and pray that my novel is a blessing. The Road to Deer Run is actually the first in a trilogy. The second book is nearly complete and I am very excited about this sequel!

More about Elaine:
A retired registered nurse, Elaine has been a magazine freelance writer for many years, and is currently a regular contributor to a blog on the Midwest called The Barn Door (http://www.thebarndoor.net/) . She can be reached on Facebook  or visit her website at: http://www.deerrunbooks.com/

Feel free to ask a question or leave an encouraging word for Elaine.
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Item Reviewed: Romantic Moments 2--Meet Elaine Marie Cooper! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: April Gardner