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Welcome Elaine Stock, thank you so much for joining us. We would love to know, When did you decide to become a writer? Is there a particular person or event that created that spark?

I’ve always enjoyed a good story! Ever since I could recall, my mother always held a book in her hands. She made a big and delightful fuss when I signed the back of my very first library card, making it possible for me to check out countless books through the years that not only entertained and educated me, but most likely helped to keep my sanity intact. My aunt was also an incredibly talented storyteller and used to regale my brother and me with amazing stories.

I penned stories in my early years of elementary school, moving onto the desire to become a comedic playwright in my junior high school years, and then into mainstream fiction in high school. However, it wasn’t until my mother passed away when I was in my mid 20s did I begin to take my writing interests seriously—she was a very creative woman who due to mental illness never could make her dreams come true. After many years of off and on writing, learning the craft, and trying different genres did I make the move to link my writing to my faith. That’s when things began to change for the positive as far as accomplishment and publication goes. I wish I’d had that insight years ago … maybe I’d have several novels published by now … but maybe not. I’ve also learned that everything happens in His time frame, not mine.

[Tweet “I’ve also learned that everything happens in His time frame, not mine. – @ElaineStock #wisewords”]

What is your favourite genre to write?

I write contemporary mainstream fiction. I’ve tagged my writing as “Fusing Family Drama and Psychological Suspense” because the former psychology major in me loves stories about broken/troubled families and how our Father can heal what society deems impossible. Throw in a dollop of suspense and it becomes a creative playground for my imagination.

Are your books only for Christians or would other people also enjoy them?

My novels do circle around faith elements—I believe in hope, in His hope, and cannot get away from that. Yet, I don’t make them sermon-like preachy, nor do I believe that Christian fiction needs a “Saving” scene. I do believe that the general market reader will enjoy my novels.

How long have you known the Lord, what brought you to a relationship with Him?

I cannot not recall a time when I haven’t believed in a supreme being that rules the universe. However, I wasn’t brought up in a Christian home and I believe this was the impetus for my search for God throughout my teen years. Through the social media of the ‘70s—way before the Internet!—as in movies and pop songs, I became curious about Jesus, a Savior, wanting a direct relationship with me and one who wants to connect me to Father. After marrying my husband I was baptized (by sprinkle) in my early 20s and many years later was baptized a 2nd time by submersion. Both times I’ve experienced a truly Holy presence.

How do you connect with God best?

My days are filled with constant murmurs or out and out conversation with God. I also enjoy taking walks—that’s when I hear Him reply the clearest to me. Sometimes, too, I meet certain people or witness people interacting in dynamic relationships/conversations with each other, go about my own life, and then later learn that I’d earlier received what I think of as a God-lesson.

What do you consider the best piece of advice you can give to novice authors?

Believe in yourself and the stories/accounts you’re meant to write. Not to say that you shouldn’t accept objective help and learn about the craft of writing, but do avoid any negativity and discouragement or the disregard from those who label your writing interests as a hobby that will pass. In other words: take your writing seriously. Also, accept that it will take time and that you’re in it for the often very long haul.

[Tweet “Believe in yourself and the stories you’re meant to write. – @ElaineStock”]

Are you a member of any writing groups?

I belong to: ACFW and WFWA (Women’s Fiction Writers Association).

What writing project are you currently working on?

I’m finishing up another story about a family. Three of its members—a daughter about to turn eighteen, her mom, and her father, all need rescuing but for different reasons.

Thank you again, for sharing with us today Elaine! If you would like to learn more about Elaine Stock’s books or purchase them, you can find them below:

Welcome Kathleen Friesen, Tell us how long have you been writing, and when did you become serious about the craft?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Doodles, poems, and many, many story beginnings filled notebooks throughout my earlier years. I was in my late forties when I decided it was time to get serious and learn how to write properly. Through a friend, I found Jerry B. Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild. At the time, It offered a two-year online course that covered all of the basics. That course changed my life. (CWG no longer exists, but Mr. Jenkins recently started a new online writing course.)

What did you find appealing in this course?

First, the fact that it was online. That meant I could continue with my assignments even while we moved across two provinces and lived, for a while, in our RV. Second, each student was assigned a personal mentor. That one-on-one communication made all the difference to me.

Do you work outside the home?

Not unless you count working in my garden! My husband and I retired almost two years ago, so I don’t have many interruptions—as long as he has a project to keep him busy.

What is your best time for writing?

I’m an ease-into-the-day kind of gal, so mornings are my favorite time to sit with my laptop and write. But if necessary, I can continue through the day, especially if the story is being particularly stubborn.

What particular challenges do you face as a writer?

It would be easier to list challenges I don’t face. But learning new technologies is a real challenge for me, as is learning all about marketing. I’m considering dipping my toes into the indie field with my newly started series, and the learning curve there appears as steep as the Matterhorn.

How are you working to resolve them?

Read, read, and read some more. And, because I’m female, I ask for help! Seriously, there is a LOT of information online, and I keep working at it a little at a time.

What advice would you give to an older person who dreams of becoming a writer?

Write! Take courses as you can—there’s an abundance of online writing aids and information. Join a local writers’ group if you can, and be sure to join an online group that offers critique groups. That has improved my writing and understanding of the craft in a unique way. Do not assume that your age disqualifies you. You bring your life experience to your work, and that’s priceless. Go for it!

If want to learn more about Kathleen Friesen’s books or purchase them, you can find them below:

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