Author Interview: Elaine Stock

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

A whole bunch, before I learned what those choices/dreams entailed. Two examples: a garbage collector (I thought operating those big garbage trucks would be fun!) and a brain surgeon (too much blood and guts involved). However, having been raised with a book-loving mother and a story-telling aunt, and visiting the library on a weekly basis, I started to create stories as far back as I can remember. Hindsight suggests that it was inevitable that I turned my interests to writing. At first, it was all for my own fun, though I did win a third grade writing competition. As the years ticked by, and my creative always-reading mother who dabbled in poetry passed when I was in my 20s, I took writing much more seriously.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Now that I write historical fiction for the general market, I’ve had the pleasure and enjoyment of hearing from readers of my novels much more often. Many of them visit my Facebook Author Page (and personal page). As much as they remark about my stories on a positive note—ranging from praise of the plot and characters, and how the novels have encouraged them in their own everyday lives—what I truly appreciate by this cheer from my readers is the support and encouragement to continue writing the stories that I do.

Do you prefer ebooks, printed books, or audiobooks most of the time?

As a reader, I primarily read printed books while at home and listen to audiobooks while driving. While I’ve learned a lot about writing from reading across genres (historical fiction being my #1 favorite), I believe I’ve picked up some writing tips listening to how other authors developed characterization, pacing, and plot. In other words, I’ve picked up some valuable lessons and nuances auditory-wise that I might not have if I had relied solely on the visual word, especially since I’ve trained my mind to always be in the editorial mode. However, I do read ebooks for research purposes.

Does writing energize or exhaust you? Or both?

Usually, if I achieve what I want to accomplish on a given day, writing will actually fill me with a peace. On the opposite hand, if I don’t achieve something as planned (with the exceptions of emergencies), I tend to be disappointed and at times, grumpy or fretful.

Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym, and why or why not?

Interesting question! The short answer: Yes. Even to the point of taking out a website domain for the pseudonym, which I’ve since relinquished. I have my publisher, Amsterdam Publishers, to thank for me choosing my real name to use as my author name. She persuaded me to realize that I’d spent years building up connections under Elaine Stock, and not this pseudonym and there weren’t any justifiable reasons to begin all over again. This was one of the best pieces of writing advice I’d ever received! I have no regrets.

Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?

Well, I’m not sure whether my readers have loved this one side character (I’m not mentioning the character’s name or the book title because it’s a major spoiler), but there was one character that I had to tragically kill off because there was no way around it, plot-wise. To do so would have greatly soften the impact, the one thing I did not want to do.

Have you used an app to borrow ebooks or audiobooks from the library?

Yes, though I admit I’m fairly new to the world of app users. Now that my CD player in my car has given up the ghost, I first tried the Hoopla app on my cell phone. It worked fine, but I wasn’t able to drive away from home more than a mile before it quit on me (apparently, it needed my home modem). Drats. I’ve since moved onto the Libby app, which works well and suits my present needs. I’m happy to say that the audiobooks (released by Tantor Media, a division of Recorded Books) for the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy are available on both my local library’s Hoopla and Libby apps and am hopeful they’re also available on many more.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

I credit the title for We Shall Not Shatter, Book 1 of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy, to the two central characters, Zofia and Aanya. At a pivotal part of the story, when these friends have to part, they make a pledge to each other that their friendship would not break like the glass of Kristallnacht. As for Book 2, Our Daughters’ Last Hope, Herta and Julia are two mothers who are willing to do anything to ensure their respective daughters live through the war, but with very few options, they both choose what seems like the last hope for their beloved children.

How do you come up with character names for your stories?

A fun question! I’ve always thought that authoring a story is similar to expecting a baby—you play with name possibilities often. Just when you believe you have chosen the perfect name… poof… back to combing through on-line websites for names, paying close attention to names that would have been used back when my historical fiction characters were born. Although, I do have a fun story to share of how I discovered the perfect name for my 2nd women lead character in We Shall Not Shatter. After much research and pondering, I tried different names but couldn’t find an ideal one. I work part-time at a bakery and one of the tasks I do is to inscribe messages on cakes, which usually includes a person’s name. One message was for someone by the first name of Aanya… and there she was, my character with the perfect name!

Would you and your main character get along?

Yes. Most positively, yes. I pen historical fiction with a slant toward women’s fiction. Although I have both female and male readers, they’re stories about women, whether friends or family. My characters and I spend enormous amounts of time and I care for them and worry over them and think about them even while not writing. And that’s how it is between good friends and loving family members: you get along and are there during both good and rough times. That’s not to say that my characters are puppets and do exactly what I tell them to—they often surprise me, on a delightful level, with their own insights and preferences. In some respects, I learn a lot from my characters.

Short Author Bio:

Elaine Stock writes Historical Fiction, exploring home, family and friendships throughout time. She enjoys creating stories showing how all faiths, races, and belief systems are interconnected and need each other.  Born in Brooklyn, New York, she has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a city gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book.





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