Monday, May 7, 2012

Writing Fever

Written by Elaine Cantrell

I wrote my first story somewhere between the ages of three to five.  Well, I didn’t actually do the writing because I couldn’t write yet.  I dictated the story to my father who wrote it down and read it back to me.  It was a great story.  It must have been-I can still remember how my father laughed when he read it. 

He kept it too.  After he died in 2002, my stepmother found it in the cedar chest where my parents kept important papers.  What was it about?  Oh, it was a story about Woody Woodpecker.  Where did I get the idea?  From a storybook my mother bought for me.  I liked the little book so much I decided to write my own story using the same characters.

I didn’t do any more creative writing for many years.  I did a lot of reading, though.  My mother loved to read, so she took my sister and me to the public library every week.  I can also remember saving my weekly allowance to buy special books that I wanted for myself. 

So, how did I become a writer?  My son inspired me.  He came to see me one day and told me he had written a book that he wanted me to read.  Naturally, as a mother I was totally thrilled to have such an exceptional son.  “How did you know you could write a book?” I asked.

I’ll never forget his reply.  “I make up stories in my head to amuse myself when I get bored, so I thought I’d write them down.”  Wow!  I did that too.

Armed with the encouragement of my friends and family, I set out to write the next Gone With The Wind.  Yeah, right.  Nobody liked my first book, but I didn’t care.

Undeterred, I tried again.  This time I decided to TAKE STEPS.  I submitted my second novel to a small publisher who sponsored a contest for romance novels.  Publication of your book was first prize.  To my great and utter astonishment, I won, and my first novel, A New Leaf, was released by Oak Tree Books in 2004. 

Since that time I’ve become addicted to writing.  I do it all the time.  I even took my computer with me on vacation.  If I can’t write I get antsy.  I’ve been known to get up in the middle of the night to write down ideas or super great sentences.  (Some of ‘em didn’t look too good the next day.)  I become totally absorbed in my character’s lives and hate like crazy to let them go when their story is finished.  It gives me great satisfaction to create a world and move the characters where I want them to go.  So, what’s the cure for this addiction?  I don’t know, and I don’t care.  I like it.

Where has my addiction taken me?  I have ten books that have already been released, and I’m still writing. 

I hate to miss a change to plug my new book, so let me say that The Sentence is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at
Here’s a blurb and short excerpt from the book.

Rachel Amos doesn’t understand her father at all.  How could he bring Clint Hayes who burned Saved By Grace Christian Church into their home for six months?  Sure, the guy didn’t mean to do it, and her dad’s a minister, but if he wanted to Hayes, why didn’t he go to the prison to do it?  And no matter what her friend Christina says, she doesn’t watch Clint every moment they’re together.

By the time they made it to the grocery store, snow covered the roads, and the car’s tires had started slipping a little. They bought their bread and milk and got home as fast as possible. After Clint parked his car, Rachel started to go inside, but Clint put his hand on her arm to detain her. “Look at it, Rachel. Isn’t it beautiful?”

Rachel turned her face toward the streetlight to better see the plump white flakes that fell silently to the earth. “Oh, yes.”

The night seemed so quiet. The snow muffled ordinary noise, and there wasn’t any traffic on the roads. And oh, those huge snowflakes looked like something from a wintry Christmas card as they floated lazily to earth, coating everything in a pristine white blanket.

Snowflakes glinted on Clint’s shoulders and in his hair. Impulsively, Rachel stepped closer to him and brushed them away. “You have snowflakes on your coat,” she muttered.

“Uh huh.”

Another huge flake wafted through the air and stuck in his eyelashes. Rachel didn’t stop to think about it. She gently brushed the snowflake away, her heart pounding when she felt the warmth of his skin under her fingers. Her knees got kind of spongy when Clint took her hand and brought it to his lips.

Rachel’s blood roared in her ears as he slid his arms around her. She tilted her head back, her eyes fluttering shut. When his lips gently touched hers, Rachel reflexively clenched his shoulders.

“Oh, Clint!”

If you’d like to read some more excerpts from my books, you can do so at my website at

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