Her new release is Bethany’s Calendar, a memoir of her daughter’s battle with brain cancer.
What’s your background, Elaine, and how did you became interested in writing?
I think most authors confess to a childhood passion for writing. My early attempts at the craft were an assortment of short fiction, poems, and a television manuscript! I’m sure they were quite amusing. I never thought this interest would lead to becoming a writer but the Lord kept leading me onto that path, regardless of my own plans.
What gets you in a creative mode and how do you begin your writing process?
With prayer that God will guide my writing. And then lots of coffee. ;-)
Many writers utilize a writing group. Where do you get constructive critiques and feedback?
I get lots of feedback from my husband (who is an editor) and other editor and writer friends. I value the opinions of others in the field. About a year ago, I began a writer’s group called Word Weavers so that Christian writers would be able to get constructive feedback on their work. They’ve been an invaluable help to me.
What led you to write Bethany’s Calendar?
What is Bethany’s Calendar about?
It’s the story of facing my worst fear: losing a child. It’s also the story of how we helped her through that painful journey and how others in similar situations can be strengthened in their role as caregivers. This memoir is geared toward families dealing with serious illness, cancer sufferers, nurses, and friends of caregivers. I pray that what my husband and I learned during this crisis will give hope and help to others.
While reading Bethany’s Calendar, my heart ached for you and your family and I wondered how difficult it was to lay open your “mother’s heart” as you did.
Reliving that painful time was at times excruciating. I had many prayer warriors lifting me up to help me through the writing of the chapters. What a blessing to feel the prayers of others.
What's the most important thing readers will learn from Bethany’s Calendar?
I pray that readers will see how faith in God can help them through the most dire of circumstances. Life is not easy but the Lord has promised us He will never leave us or forsake us. I also pray that caregivers will learn ways to be advocates for their loved ones who are ill. Every patient who is weak from illness, needs a strong supporter who is willing to go to bat for them.
Now that Bethany’s Calendar is out in bookstores, do you have any projects you're currently working on?
I’m working on a historical fiction set in Saratoga, New York in October of 1777. And in October of 1977. And no, it is not a time travel novel. ;)
When you're not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
Being with my family. Crocheting. Going to quality movies. Drinking tea and eating scones.
Where can readers find your book?
At Amazon. Here is the purchase link: http://buff.ly/12izRBy
Elaine’s contact information:
Blog and Website address: www.elainemariecooper.com
Here's my review of Bethany's Calendar:
Beautifully crafted … poignant … heartrending, yet full of hope. In Bethany’s Calendar Elaine Marie Cooper lays open her “mother’s heart.” With grace, love, stunning honesty, and welcomed moments of humor she introduced me to and made me love and care for her dear, beautiful, vivacious daughter until her loss became my own.
Throughout Bethany’s Calendar, Cooper has delicately woven threads of advice on how to respond and care for patients and families during end-of-life experiences and grief. What a journey. What a blessing. Thank you, Elaine.