How did you get the idea for this book? Why did you want to write about this time period?

My husband was not of my faith. I think best while writing, so used the book to formulated answers to his questions and arguments. I love to read the old traditional Regencies because of the humor in them based on witty repartee. I love to laugh. Conversation was a practiced art among the gentry and served for entertainment. With no T.V. or radio to distract one’s mind, one was forced to think. I never can understand people who bring a radio to the beach. How can they experience the sound of the surf?

When I showed my students at an all-girl’s school the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, they were entranced by it. It spoke to them of an innocent time and I could tell it was something they felt they were missing.

Eden was a child’s advocate before they were even heard of. What made you want to talk about how children were treated back then?

Children are at the mercy of adults. Completely innocent of malice, they arrive open to receiving all the love they deserve. The things imprinted on their impressionable young minds remain there all their lives. Children were treated as little adults in the Regency. Upper class mothers sent their babies to live with a wet-nurse. Then the boys were routinely sent away to rough schools at young ages. It seemed so unfeeling to me.

When and how did that change in history?

Each little step forward has been the result of devoted, hard-working people. It has always been ongoing, but in England, I think it was very marked in the Victorian era, possibly as a result of the stories of Charles Dickens whose own factory experience as a child echoes in all his books. Unfortunately, there are still countries in which very little has changed and children are still treated as chattel and put to work today, especially little girls.

It says that you are a drama and literature teacher in your bio – what made you want to write a novel? How did that come about? Please explain.

I wrote stories and illustrated them when I was in third grade. I always wanted to be a writer, but I also enjoyed acting, singing, painting, dancing, water sports, and living. At times I asked God why He gave me so many talents, feeling if He had given me only one, then I could have focused on developing that one talent to its fullest. But singing and painting bring me great joy, and as I write, I am acting out the parts. My Journalism teacher seemed to think a person should not write his signature novel until he had lived enough to know something. I used to read the classics and be overwhelmed with the authors’ wisdom and be certain I did not know enough about anything to write. I took Journalism and creative writing in High school and in college and took the Writer’s Digest Courses in writing to prepare myself, so I was always writing short stories and poetry along the way.
Unlike my Journalism teacher, I think people of all ages have something to say and should not allow themselves to be intimidated.

Were parts of this book difficult to write? If so, why?

The only difficulty I have is in trying to make the language clear while still having the flavor of the era it is set in. There are some pretty dramatic moments in the book and as I was writing those scenes, the hair on my arms was standing on end and my heart was in my throat, but I knew Eden would be all right.

What was your favorite scene of this story to write?

The scene beside the lake when Colin finds Eden alone. Romantic and funny; nuff said.

When you are writing a story what comes first for you. The characters, plot, setting, something all together different. Please explain.

The theme comes first, then conversations, then characters. I tend to think in Regency England times, so my setting seems to be a given. Then research suggests situations, and I try to make the characters determine the plot, although you can’t always make characters do what you want them to.

What books have inspired you, moved you deeply in your spirit?

I read Joan of Arc by Mark Twain when I was about twelve. I was quite a Tomboy and so was she. The book instilled in me an independent spirit. I no longer cared what others thought of me as long as I knew I was doing what God wanted me to do. That was really a very freeing attitude for a teen.

To Kill a Mockingbird, with its theme of respecting the differences in people was the next book to move me. Written through the eyes of a child, I recommend it for everyone.


1. Since you are a drama teacher, what plays have you just loved directing and putting on with your students?

I must go in for quirky characters since the first that came to mind were loaded with them. You Can’t Take it With You, Harvey, and The Importance of Being Earnest were all a lot of fun to direct, and a lot of fun for the cast to perform in.

2. You find yourself in a life threatening situation and you need help. Who would you call on for help? (Pick anyone from books, movies, etc.)

Superman would be my first choice. He could fly super-fast to my side and take care of any physical problem I can think of. If it was a money situation, he could take a lump of coal and melt it into a diamond that we could sell. I have always had a partiality for mild-mannered, gentlemanly geeks in glasses.

Now, if you were thinking of a more realistic character, I think Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy would be excellent at problem solving. The way he searched the London hells for Elizabeth Bennett’s sister and forced her boyfriend to marry her by dangling a wad of money in front of him, he seemed very resourceful as well as forceful to me.

3. What is a special quality, talent, and or event that you have experienced that would surprise people? Please explain.

First, I was instantly healed of a very debilitating back injury at a Women’s Aglow meeting. I had to have someone drive me and was in a lot of pain, barely able to walk. I did not want to have surgery because it was a very dangerous operation, and my sons were still young at the time. When the leader said that she had a word of knowledge that someone’s back was being healed, I claimed it. I felt like a heating pad had been applied to the painful part of my back and then I felt the vertebrae separate and click into place. The pain left and never came back. That was the event.

The most amazing and wonderful thing I have been privileged to participate in has been to have Jesus use me to heal others. I have laid hands on people and prayed for their healing in the name of Jesus Christ, and had them respond that they were healed right then.

4. If you had all the time in the world and just as much money to do anything you wanted, what would you do?

Set up funds for many of the excellent abused children’s charities which are already in operation, but which are always struggling with needs for working buses and clean facilities and working computers etc.

Then I would go to a secluded waterfall in North Carolina and watch the water and breathe the air for a long time.

5. If you could spend 48 hours with two people alive or dead in the history of the world who would you pick and what would you do?

First, I would choose to see Padre Pio, a priest saint who died in 1965. People came from around the world and took a number to stand in line for confession to him because he could read souls, which meant that if a person was confessing and forgot something, Padre Pio would often remind them of what they had forgotten even if it was from 40 years ago. I believe that unconfessed sins can have an effect on your physical well-being as well as your spiritual well-being. I would like to make as complete a confession as I could to Padre Pio and have him help me to recall.

Then, since I love history and would love to visit as many museums and old Cathedrals as I could, I would like to travel with Burt Wolfe to Chartre in France. I figure he would be able to make the best travel arrangements and he seems to love history.

6. What movie impacted you as a child? Why?

“It’s a Wonderful Life”. It helped me to see that God is carrying out his plan for our good and the good of others even when we cannot make sense of why certain things are allowed to happen to us.

In the movie, the Jimmy Stewart character injures his hearing saving his brother from an icy lake. He finds out at the end of the story why this was allowed. We usually do not get to know the reason for the sorrow in our lives in so clear a way as that, but sometimes we are able to reminisce and think, “I was molded by those awful experiences into the person I am today.” I believe we will be able to ask Our Lord in the next life, if it is still important to us then.

Thanks for stopping by Elaine and letting my readers get to know you and your books better.

Blessings on your writing adventures.

Nora :D


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  1. Several of her books and movies are ones I like. What a testimony of healing for her back. I, unfortunately, did have back surgery, and it was not exactly successful (understatement), although I still look to the Lord for healing. Thanks for sharing. Please enter me in your contest.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  2. Nora, your interviews are always so interesting!

    Once I discovered Georgette Heyer, Regencies became a favorite genre of mine. I had never really thought about it, but Elaine's right in that the humor comes from "witty repartee." That's what I enjoy.

    To Kill a Mockingbird was also a book that impacted my life, Elaine.

    I have had Gentle Journey on my reading list for some time now and would love to win a copy.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  3. i always love finding out about authors and thier inspirations and ideas.i look forward to reading this book.Please enter me into the giveaway

  4. What an inspirational interview. Would love to read her books.

    Gail Mundy

  5. Wonderful interview! I love the Pride and Prejudice version with Colin Firth as well. I also thought it showed how strong and masterful Darcy when he rescues Lydia and forces that scoundrel to marry her. It's a Wonderful Life is another favorite.


  6. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

  7. Thanks for the great interview. I would really like to read this book!
    Love and prayers Melody

  8. What a great job you did providing pictures for my answers. Surely you had a hard time finding them. I enjoyed answering the questions. They were thought provoking and fun. Thank you so much for this opportunity. Elaine

  9. The responses to the questions made me understand Elaine more. I'm going to suggest that my wife read this interview, she's a social worker/case manager. Plus, I'd like to win this book too. :)

  10. THANK YOU Elaine for taking the time to let us get to know you and your book better. It has been fun.


    Blessings to you. Thanks to everyone for encouragina Elaine on her writing Journey!!

    Book Club Servant Leader