Friday, August 17, 2012

Interview with romantic suspense author Elaine Cantrell

Romantic suspense author Elaine Cantrell is here today as part of a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish for her novel Never Trust a Pretty Wolf.

As part of the tour, Elaine will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commentor during the tour. If you'd like to be entered to win, leave an e-mail address with your comment below. And if you want more chances to win, follow the tour and comment at other stops.

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She holds a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America and EPIC authors. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Books. 

At present, she teaches high school social studies. In her spare time she enjoys reading, collecting vintage Christmas ornaments, and playing with her grandchildren. Visit Elaine at and at . She’s on Facebook at and Twitter at and would love to be friends. 

Welcome, Elaine. Please tell us about your current release.
Never Trust a Pretty Wolf, is one of three that I’ve had so far this year, and in case you’re wondering, I’m overwhelmed with trying to promote three books at one time.

Never Trust a Pretty Wolf touches on several themes. The first and probably the most important is forgiveness. Both my hero and heroine have serious issues in their pasts that make them feel they need forgiveness. These issues are so serious that when my heroine learns about what my hero did, she isn’t sure she can forgive him. So, the story is partly about their search for forgiveness and redemption.

The book is also a story about starting over. Both Liesel and Andy remind me of a phoenix who rises from his own ashes to begin a new life. Ultimately, this is what both Liesel and Andy want-a new life.

And of course there is a bad guy. I don’t mean a kind of bad guy. I mean a guy one local sheriff called a criminal ‘heavy hitter’. Even my hero believes that he’d rather not meet William Wolf without backup. But you know he does.

What inspired you to write this book?
That’s a good question, and in this case very easy to answer. I wrote the book because I Iove romantic suspense. I never really thought about it until I sat down one day to do an inventory of the books I had on hand. They were all romances of course, but most of them had elements of suspense in them, and one book was totally romantic suspense. Once I understood how much I liked the genre it was a simple matter to sit down and plan the book.

Andy’s hand shot out. “Give me that gun,” he commanded.
He took it from her with ease. “I don’t know why you have this,” he whispered, “but if we get out of here alive you have some explaining to do. Now, keep moving but stay in control. Remember, no headlong plunges into the woods.”
Forty‑five minutes later, they exited the woods near the bridge that crossed the little creek. Liesel fearfully scanned the inviting, family‑centered area. “I don’t see anyone.”
“Two o’clock. Men in khaki.” Andy came to a halt and jerked her against him. “Kiss me like you mean it.”
Liesel didn’t mind if she did. Hopefully the khaki men would never imagine that two lovers out for a stroll had only moments before been running for their very lives. She prayed the men didn’t get too good a look at them. Throwing her arms around him, she pressed her body against his.
 She wouldn’t have admitted to it for anything, but in spite of the danger, she felt a thrill from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. Nobody could kiss like Andy Bryce!
 Andy took her hand, and they strolled casually across the bridge as if they’d been on a leisurely little walk. He kissed her again before they got into the Mustang. The minute they got in, he put the car in gear and slowly made his way out of the park. “Now, Liesel,” he said. “Why don’t you tell me why those men are trying to kill you?”

What exciting story are you working on next?
The book I’m working on now doesn’t have a title yet, but it’s a romantic comedy. Sometimes when authors write books they’re aiming for a particular market, but right now I’m just writing what makes me feel happy. Guess what? Even though the book is a romantic comedy, you could also bill it as romantic suspense. One of my main characters fakes his own death because he has to enter the witness protection program. He testified against a drug kingpin whose family is out to get him.

This book is inspired by my grandson, David. David’s seven and in love with WWE wrestling. He begged me to write a wrestling story, so my hero is a former wrestler.

I think just writing something because you want to is a good idea. When I read some of my rough draft to my husband, he laughed.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Not until I got my first book published, but I should have considered myself a writer from the first day I sat down at my keyboard to write. Any person who takes the time to write fiction is a writer. They may not be a published writer, but they are a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’m still working full time. I teach social studies at our local high school. At school we have four ninety minute classes each day with forty minutes for lunch. Each teacher has students for three of the four periods with the other period being free. It isn’t easy to find enough time to write. Sometimes I write during lunch, and after I get home from school I sit down at my keyboard for a few hours.

Now in the summer time things are different. I get up and check my email first, then spend several hours writing. I break for lunch and the early part of the afternoon, and then I’ll do a little more before and after dinner.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have to have a tapping straw on hand when I write. Oh, I know, it sounds ridiculous. I’ve found that when I’m thinking or proofreading, I can think so much better if I have a straw to twirl around in my fingers. It has to be one of the bendy ones, not straight, and the bend has to be at exactly the right angle. My family thinks I’m crazy, but I’ve noticed that they can’t keep their hands off my straw. They refuse to get one of their own, though. I bought a huge bag of straws so I can have a fresh one when they mess up the angle on mine.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Not a clue. If anybody ever asked me I’d have said either a ballerina or a secretary because those were acceptable occupations for a girl way back when. LOL. The idea of me being a ballerina is hilarious. I can’t walk two steps without falling over my own feet. I’m also built like my mother-short and stout. Ballerinas are not short and stout.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’d just like to say that I really do appreciate anyone who takes the time to read my work. I’ve gotten some nice compliments and reviews, and then again I’ve gotten some that aren’t so nice, but either way, I feel truly humble that a person would choose to share their time with me and my book.

I’d love to hear from you too. I got an email just the other day from a lady who read The Sentence. She told me it touched her heart and was exactly what she needed to read. I think I was smiling for the remainder of the day. You can reach me at 

Lisa, thank you so much for letting me come to your blog. I’ve enjoyed your questions.

Happy to host a stop along your tour, Elaine. Thanks for talking with us. Readers, don't forget about the gift card giveaway! If you want to be entered to win, just leave an e-mail address with your comment.


Mary Preston said...

I do enjoy Romantic Suspense. The kind of stories that just draw you in.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Elaine today.

Elaine Cantrell said...

Marybelle, most of my work really does have an element of romantic suspense, some to a greater degree than others.

Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed reading the questions and answers.

Chelsea B. said...

Hi, Elaine! Romantic Suspense is the best, isn't it? I love the who-done-it factor :-) Have a great weekend-- try and stay cool! Whew! It's hot...


Anonymous said...

I went through a ballerina phase myself...obviously, it didn't work out! Best of luck with the release.


MomJane said...

I loved the excerpt. I love romantic suspense. They seem to be more realistic to me.

Elaine Cantrell said...

Thank you, Ingborg. It's hard sometimes to come up with interesting answers, but if you have a good interviewer like Lisa it's easier.

Chelsea, it's cooler in SC today. High eighties, but bad humidity.

Vita Jex, it makes me laugh to think of me Asa ballerina.

MomJane, I try to write stories that tell people that they too are special and that love can happen to them too.brain it 43

Joanne said...

Congrats on the new release. Great excerpt. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it.


Susan Shapley said...

Rising from the ashes like the Phoenix....I like that image. After having read the excerpt, I know that I must read this book! I admire people and characters who have the moxie to soldier on, no matter what.
Susan Shapley

Elaine Cantrell said...

Thank you for commenting Susan and Joanne. I'm glad you like the sound of the book.

Karen H said...

Just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!

kareninnc at gmail dot com