Elaine Stock ~ Women of Faith and Fiction

Elaine Stock is an award-winning author of Women’s & Inspirational Fiction. She joins us this morning on Women of Faith and Fiction to talk about life and writing.

Personal

Good morning, Elaine. Thank you for joining me today. Tell us a little about yourself.

A little? That’s more difficult than sharing a lot—LOL.

I grew up in Brooklyn, NY back in the days before it became a glamorous place for many up and coming professionals. However, I’ve lived upstate, happily married, for more years now than my city days to the point that though visiting cities may be interesting, they make me a bit edgy. Yet, I’m thankful for my childhood days in one of the biggest cities in the world, as well as the era I spent those years and believe I was meant to learn several life lessons there and then for a reason.

Although working at a day job 32 hours a week plus Life 101 keeps me plenty busy, it’s writing (whenever I can!) that keeps me sane.

I love visiting big cities, but I’m happy to see the countryside again. Let’s talk about your writing.

Professional

Why did you choose to write in your particular genre?

I think the genre has chosen me. When I first became serious about taking my passion for writing to the next step of publication I chose the route many were encouraging me to take because it was “easy,” and that was the romance genre for the ABA market. Lesson learned: writing romance (of any nature) is not easy or a sure bet. Any good book comes from hours of honing writing skills. Actually, I believe it’s an ongoing lesson and struggle. Plus, mastering the love of editing.

It wasn’t until I devoted my stories to honor God that I began to see major positive changes. Although I am working on a story that may be more suited for the ABA market, I will never be able to ignore the power and love of God and my faith to remove these elements from any of my novels.

I believe when we honor God, we will always see positive changes. Next question. In your opinion, what is the hardest part of the writing process?

These days, it’s sitting down and writing. By this, I mean making time. I love writing, editing, and even marketing and rather would do this than anything else, job wise. Yet, I have to help make ends meet and I’m physically removed from my faithful laptop far too many hours than I desire. But…I’m working hard on my writing to change that. It all boils down to putting everything in God’s Capable Hands and trusting Him.

I agree, Elaine. Submitting and trusting Him is the perfect solution to our problems. First draft: Pencil or keyboard?

Definitely keyboard. I am a huge seat of the pants writer and am in love with my laptop. I tend to type faster than write by hand and if a story is flowing I love the physical feeling of tapping it out on the keys. LOL—there are quite a few letters on my MacBook Air that have nearly vanished.

Plotter or pantser?

Before I begin writing a story I let the idea—mainly the story’s premise—stew and grow in my mind. Then the characters come to life around these ideas. However, as I said above I am a pantser all the way! Before I gave myself permission to be a SOP writer and would attempt outlines—long or short—I always ended up sighing heavily when the story reached its bye-bye moment. I have a lot of fun seeing where the story takes me rather than where I take the story.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee, please. I must have at least 2 hefty mugs in the morning to fire off my brain. Later on in the afternoon hot decaf tea, hot chocolate (if winter), or plain water is always my companion.

Favorite thing to do when not working?

I enjoy long walks, cooking, reading a good novel, watching an old TV sitcom that makes me laugh (i.e. Frasier) or a movie musical, listening to Bach or Beethoven, or exploring with my husband a quaint New England town, one preferably by the ocean.

Sounds like my kind of adventure!

Inspirational

This year’s theme is sharing hope. In Hebrews, the writer tells us to encourage each other while it is called today. Would you please take a moment to share a brief testimony to encourage our readers?

Hope is a great word to latch onto and to never surrender. Coincidentally, hope is my author’s theme: Women’s and Inspirational Fiction to Uplift with Hope of Better Tomorrows. Why do I center on this? Truthfully, as a child and teen I did not have a lot of hope of a better tomorrow. My family had many problems; I do not have many happy memories. I believe God has always reached out to me—my earliest recollection of believing in some sort of Supreme Being was at the age of 6. It wasn’t until I embraced Jesus as my Savior in my young twenties did joy come into my life. This is why I have a passion to encourage others that brighter days can and will happen.

Elaine thank you so much for joining me and sharing your thought with our friends. Thank you, dear friends, for joining us.

Before you go, Elaine is offering a free book when you sign up for her newsletter. Here’s the link: https://elainestock.com/free-gift-for-you

“I have a lot of fun seeing where the story takes me rather than where I take the story.” ~ @ElaineStock via @GailJohnson87 #authorlife #WFF https://gailjohnsonauthor.com/2019/08/16/elaine-stock-~-women-of-faith-and-fiction/

Book Blurb

The journeys in life take you to unexpected destinations. The love of a good person brings you home.

Kierra Madden, proprietor of the Kindred Lake Inn, struggles for stability after her engagement ends, family strife continues, and business slows. When her mom, sister and teenage niece move in with her, life becomes a lot more complicated. There’s certainly spare room…until one guest arrives…on his bicycle.

Ryan Delaney is fit and trim…quite the eye candy.Ryan, a TV news anchor on a leave of absence following a horrific incident, enjoys the peace long-distance biking offers. Only in town to mend his strained relationship with his teen daughter, he never expects to fall for Kierra fast and hard. Despite her policy of separating business and pleasure, mutual attraction pulls them closer until unforeseen consequences threaten to wedge between them.

Surrounded by springtime beauty, will the temptation of desire bloom into a more powerful and lasting love?

Bio

Elaine Stock is an award-winning author of Women’s & Inspirational Fiction to uplift with hope of better tomorrows. Her novel, Her Good Girl, received the Outstanding Christian/Religious Fiction in the 2018 IAN Book of the Year Awards, 2018 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal in Christian Fiction and the 2018 American Fiction Awards in the Christian Inspirational category.

Elaine is a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Romance Writers of America. Born in Brooklyn, NY, Elaine has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a NYC gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book.

Social Media

Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Patty Smith Hall

Good morning, dear reader! I’m excited to introduce you to author Patty Smith Hall! Patty has a fantastic story to tell, so I won’t keep you waiting.

Good morning, Patty. Tell us a about yourself.

Personal

I’m a wife, a mother and a grandmother to the sweetest little boy on the planet(I’m a little bias!). I’m a Georgia girl who loves to mess around in my garden, sit out on my back deck and spend time with my family. I started writing almost twenty years ago and have been published for the last ten years.

Patty, I think every grandmother should be biased! Now . . .

Professional

Why did you choose to write in your particular genre?

My writing is my ministry, a way of showing the world that Christians are real people with very real problems, the only difference being is that we (hopefully) rely on our faith to help us through them.

Exactly. Please share something you wish the reader knew about your book.

Most of my characters are named after family and friends, and they love it! Of course, none of them are villainous, though some of them have asked me to use them that way. It’s my way of showing them how much I love them.

I love that. Thomas Kinkaid painted initial inside his puzzles. Now, in your opinion, what is the hardest part of the writing/working process?

Typing! I’m a terrible typist! I spent my typing class flirting with the boy sitting next to me!

LOL! I love your honesty! How about some fun questions? First draft: Pencil or keyboard?

Pen, and not just any pen. I use a Pentel EnerGel with navy blue ink. I’m weird about my paper too—I use Vera Bradley notebooks. They’re wider and I can get a thousand words per page.

I’m picky about my pens. I’ll have to check out the notebooks. Plotter or pantser?

I’m a little of both. I plot out a story on notecards, usually scene by scene. But if a character throws a wrench into a scene, I’ll follow him and see where things go.

Tea or coffee

Sweet tea with two lemons and extra ice.

Now you’re talking! Nothing beats sweet tea and lemon! Crushed ice, please. Favorite thing to do when not working?

I love to spend time with my family, especially my grandson. He’s two and learning new things every day! I also garden, read(a lot!) do word puzzles and binge-watch BBC with my husband.

You’d love it at my house. 🙂

Inspirational

This year’s theme is sharing hope. In Hebrews, the writer tells us to encourage each other while it is called today. Would you please take a moment to share a brief testimony to encourage our readers?

As I mentioned before, I don’t type well so I write all of my manuscripts long-handed. Which makes things interesting when you’ve got multiple deadlines looming and you’re a find-and-pick typist. I had played around with tablets and writing apps, but nothing worked for me.

When the iPad Pro came out, I thought it might work for me, but the price was out of my range. We were in the midst of losing our home and money was very tight. Things were so bad, I thought about giving up my writing and finding a steady part-time job to help out.

One particularly bad day, I decided to go to the mall and window-shop but when I got there, I couldn’t make myself go inside. I sat right there in the parking lot and just poured my heart out to the Lord—all my failures and mistakes, my worries about this writing ministry I’d started. I was just finishing up when my phone rang. It was the local public television station that I donated ten dollars a month to (remember, we watch BBC shows.) They wanted to let me know that I had won the grand prize from a recent drawing.

An iPad Pro and an Apple pencil.

God showed up when I needed encouragement the most. I still have my doubtful moments, but then I look at that tablet and remember that God has a definite plan for this ministry. All I have to do is follow Him.

Patty, I love this. What an amazing testimony! Thank you so much for sharing that with us. And thank you for visiting with Women of Faith and Fiction.

ClicktoTweet: “They wanted to let me know that I had won the grand prize from a recent drawing.” ~ Patty Smith Hall for Women of Faith and Fiction @pattywrites @GailJohnson87 #authorlife #amwriting


The Southern Belle Brides Collection

Hometown Bride by Patty Smith Hall
Marietta, Georgia—1870
Jilly Chastain never lied, but when her mother fabricates a marriage with her childhood sweetheart, Grayson Hancock, Jilly goes along with it, never expecting Grayson to show up, ready to make their make-believe marriage real.


A multi-published author with Love Inspired Historical and Barbour, Patty lives in North Georgia with her husband of 35 years, Danny; two gorgeous daughters, her son-in-love and a grandboy who has her wrapped around his tiny finger. When she’s not writing on her back porch, she’s spending time with her family or working in her garden.

You can connect with Patty Hall on Facebook and Twitter.

Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Nike Chillemi

Good morning, readers! Hope your week has been great so far.

In this episode, Nike Chillemi is our woman of faith and fiction. I met Nike online when she visited this blog. We are now in the same ACFW crit group! I always enjoy talking with Nike because she has a great sense of humor.

Readers, you’ll notice the format is a little different this morning. I’m not losing my mind. Nike asked permission to change things up a bit to share more than a few words on each question. So, let’s get started!

Personal

Good morning, Nike. Thank you for joining me! Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been reading classic mystery novels, detective stories, and espionage/national security thrillers for a long time. I find them to be fascinating. I enjoy seeing the inner workings of the minds of the brave men and women characters who fight against terrorists and evil doers…and who push back that evil, so it doesn’t harm America. It thrills me reading a novel where I hold my breath as the heroine/hero pulls the fat out of the fire one more time.

For decades, I read Michael Connelly, David Baldacci, Robert Crais, Lee Child, Vince Flynn, Stuart Woods, Harlan Coben, Tom Clancy, and others. Yes, they’re all general market and their all guys, and their books are indeed realistically violent. Men like things that go boom, and they like to shoot it up. I found that it was the general market women thriller writers who began putting in the graphic sex scenes. Now, many of the men are doing that too which disappoints me, and I eliminate them from my TBR list.

I came to know Jesus as my Savior twenty years ago. So, I spent most of my life totally unaware of the need for a personal savior. However, in these types of novels, I did see the intense war between good and evil. I didn’t know anything about a personal God who cares for me. But it wasn’t hard for me to believe there was a devil when someone presented that to me. And, if there indeed was a devil roaming the earth seeing who he could destroy…then it wasn’t that hard to believe there was the opposite, a God who cares.

Along with this realization, I came to read Christian mystery and thriller writers such as Luana Ehrlich, Nancy Mehl, Robbin Carol, Mark Young, Donn Taylor, H. L. Wegley, Robert Liparulo, and others. I feel called to write Christian themed novels in this genre, and hopefully, my books will be fun entertainment for those who enjoy this type of novel. At the end of the day, perhaps my stories will help some to see that there is a God and that God does personally love them.

Nike, I love the way you began piecing the puzzle together by reading general fiction and Christian fiction. ❤ I enjoyed that testimony. Next question… Tea or coffee?

Tea or coffee? Both. I usually start my day with two large mugs of coffee. But later in the day, it will be hot black tea. Lipton, if I have a choice. Organic Lipton if Walmart hasn’t sold out of it. Don’t give me the fancy stuff. Perhaps that’s because Lipton was on the shelves of my mom’s cupboards. I find things in my life run into each other.

Share a favorite thing to do when not writing.

My favorite thing to do when I’m not writing or working is going out to eat with my local group of Christian writers. Four of us (Lynn, Lou Ann, Tracy, and myself) go out almost every Friday. As the weather in northeastern coastal Florida gets intensely hot and humid, I find myself asking the waitress for unsweetened iced tea with a wedge of lemon. We love all the local family oriented places that feature southern cooking including crab and shrimp boils, barbeque, and Caribbean cuisine. And we also try Thai, Indian, Japanese steak house fare, and other more exotic cuisines. I also love to cook and am trying to convert traditional American cuisine into lower fat and sugar versions, hopefully, that taste good. I use myself as the taste tester.

So, just as things maneuver themselves from my work life into my non-work life, they also move into my writing. Food, organic food, cooking and cooking healthy show up in my detective novels in one scenario or another. In my latest release, COURTING DANGER, secondary character Nicholas (Nick) Anastos is the head chef in a chop house owned by the heroine’s family. And this man can cook. Readers have told me when they’re in the middle of a Nick Anastos scene, their mouth starts watering, and they want to get something good to eat.

LOL. Sounds like fun! 🙂

Professional

For your first draft, do you use a pencil or keyboard? Do you plot or fly by the seat of your pants? Do you have a to-do list or do you work from a spur of the moment idea?

I use a keyboard for the first draft of my work-in-progress (WIP) I’m slaving over. For those who do not write, this is the novel I’m next gong to publish, ACTS OF MALICE. However, in general, for novels I have lined up for the series I’m working on, or ones I’m thinking of for a future series, I could do either. And for future novels, I’m a combination plotter/panster. I’m not a true plotter, as I don’t make a highly detailed outline. I could create files in Word where I’ll make notes in different colored fonts, or I’ll highlight things I want to point out to myself. If I choose to use a spiral notebook, I find I rip out pages I don’t care for which is gratifying. Both have their positives and negatives.

I never thought about ripping sheets from a notebook as gratifying. Maybe that’s why I use a spiral notebook. (Laughing.) Nike, thank you for sharing your thoughts with our guests today.

ClicktoTweet: “My favorite thing to do when I’m not writing or working is going out to eat with my local group of Christian writers.” ~ Nike Chillemi Women of Faith and Fiction @NikeNChillemi @GailJohnson87

Book Blurb

Newly installed Pelican Beach, Florida detective Katerina “Kat” Andruko fears the prime suspect will get off in the murder of a teen with the help of the department’s forensics psychologist, a man she’s just started to trust.

This case has national security implications that give former US Army Ranger, Dr. Dimitri Garmonin a opportunity to work with the FBI. The case could give him the chance to obtain the funds needed to expand his small Behavior Analysis Unit. He’s unmoved by the chic FBI agent sent to assist but is intrigued by Kat with whom he shares a Slavic heritage.

Kat and her partner detain two wrong suspects, giving the department negative press. The predator turns his anger on Kat, targeting her. Can Dimitri use his profiler skills to catch this killer before he hurts the woman he’s growing to love?

Purchase Link for Courting Danger

Bio:

Nike N. Chillemi writes contemporary detective novels, It’s been said she writes literature that reads like pulp fiction. Plenty of action, a dash of grit, wry humor as well as an uplifting message. There’s often a national security/public safety twist to them. She likes her bad guys really bad, her good guys smarter and better. Her newest endeavor is COURTING DANGER.

Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight (formerly the Grace Awards) and its Chair, a platform to promote excellence in Christian fiction. She has been a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories; the Genesis Awards in 2019; and an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series (out of print), set in the mid-1940s has finaled, won an award, and garnered critical acclaim. The first novel in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series HARMFUL INTENT won in the Grace Awards 2014 Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense category. She has written book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and John 3:16 Marketing Network. https://nikechillemi.com/

Author Blog: https://nikechillemi.com/