Today’s guest is the talented author Elaine Cantrell who has penned a book titled The Enchanted. The Enchanted is a fantasy romance that reviewers are raving about. Elaine was born and raised in South Carolina where she obtained a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University. She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators, Romance Writers of America, and EPIC authors. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest. When she’s not writing or teaching, she enjoys movies, quilting, reading, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments.
Don't forget to stop off at her blog tour to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!
Thank you for this interview, Elaine. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I’m a social studies teacher who was born and raised in the South. I say y’all, love sweet tea, pimento cheese, and grits, and wave to people I pass even if I don’t know them. Because of my grandson I’m well-versed on many vital subjects, including Spider Man, Star Trek, and WWE Wrestling. I started writing in 2001 after my son asked me to read a book he’d written. He had to get his talent somewhere, right? He gave up on writing, but I kept going and now have a dozen or so books to my credit.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
The easiest way is to share my standard book blurb, so here goes. Forced by his father into a marriage he didn’t want, Prince Alan soon finds that his bride isn’t the sweet, submissive creature he expected. Morgane has the heart of a dragon and beauty beyond compare, but she isn’t thrilled about the marriage either. When black treachery threatens the kingdom, Morgane and Alan embark on a perilous journey that has an excellent chance of ending in failure and death for them and all of their people.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
I picked the romance genre because it’s versatile. Almost any topic under the sun lends itself to romance. I’ve written romances about a handicapped ex-football player, a soldier just home from the war, an FBI agent stalked by a madman, and a woman on the run from her mobster husband.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book? This was my first fantasy romance, so I did a little reading before I started The Enchanted. Right away I saw that I didn’t want the romance to be swallowed up by the fantasy elements. Throughout the book I was careful to balance the fantasy and the romance.
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
The Enchanted is published by Astraea Press, a small publisher. I found AP just as they were opening for business and liked the vibes I got from them. I submitted my story about the football player, and they took it.
Was it the right choice for you?
Yes, it was. AP has good editors, super cover artists, and a publisher who’s a dream to work with. The AP authors have also been supportive of each other.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
So far I’ve held an online release party, spoken about The Enchanted at my local library, done an online book blast, shared excerpts on my blog, and used social media to call attention to the book. I’ve also guest blogged and written articles anywhere they’d have me.
How is that going for you?
Sales aren’t bad, but they’re never good enough to suit me. I worked hard on The Enchanted, and I think it turned out well. Naturally, I want to share it with everyone.
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
I had great success with my book blast. I wrote a post that included a blurb, excerpt, author note, and links and lined up some author friends who all agreed to post the info on the same day. I saw a big jump in sales.
Do you have another job besides writing?
Yes, I teach high school social studies. Actually, teaching history is where I got the idea for The Enchanted. We were discussing the Middle Ages, a time when arranged, dynastic marriages were very common. That gave me the idea for a story about an arranged marriage, but I didn’t want to do a straight historical. Instead, I decided to add some fantasy elements and write a fantasy romance.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
Arrange a support system to help you spread the word about your book. People won’t buy it if they don’t know about it.
What’s next for you?
I have a time travel romance coming out in December from Whiskey Creek Press so I’ll need some time to concentrate on that. I’d also like to finish the book I’m working on now and get it submitted to Astraea Press. I think it fits their guidelines really well. It’s set in a haunted inn owned by a burned war veteran. I also want to edit my first romantic comedy and see if I can find a home for it.
Thank you for this interview, Elaine. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
I’d love to. Here are my links.
I’m including an Amazon buy link for The Enchanted, but it’s available at most online outlets and can be ordered by any bookstore.