1. Elena would you please tell us about your latest book Sugar Crush.
Thanks, Stephanie! I’m so excited about Sugar Crash. It’s the story of a single mom, Darci who has always handled everything on her own. But when her twelve year old daughter, Taylor, is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, she has to learn to open her heart and let others in.
I’m so excited about Sugar Crash because a lot of the events surrounding Taylor’s diagnosis are based on the real life events of my good friend, Deb and her own journey with diabetes.
2. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
Obviously I want readers to gain a better understanding on diabetes. I feel that so often, diabetes is a very misunderstood disease and it doesn’t get the recognition and attention that it needs in order to help find a cure.
But Sugar Crash is about so much more than diabetes. Besides educating people, my goal is always to entertain and it’s my hope that readers relate to Darci’s story and her journey to accept help from others. Too often, women particularly, feel like we need to do it all on our own. And that’s just not true! As a society we need to get better at asking for and accepting help.
3. What is your next book project?
Oh, I have so many projects percolating in my brain right now. There’s just never enough time, it seems. BUT, my next book will be the second in the Castle Mountain Lodge Series. It will be set at a mountain lodge in the Canadian Rockies, the same as Unexpected Gifts, but will follow the story of two different characters. Although Andi and Colin will make an appearance in this next book as well.
4. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. I started writing stories in elementary school and won some short story contests in high school. I took a break from writing after I graduated and didn’t start up again until my twins were born in 2002. I tried my hand at writing a novel in 2005 and completely rediscovered my love for fiction again.
5. What are your goals as a writer?
My number one goal has always been to be able to reach someone with my stories. It’s always my hope that someone can pick up my book and be totally immersed in the story that they don’t want to put it down. But it’s when I hear that my story touched them in someway or made them think, or even opened a dialogue with someone they care about, that I know I’ve achieved my goal. It sounds crazy, but I’m always pleased to hear that I’ve made someone cry because it means I’ve done my job as an author.
6. What books have most influenced your life?
This is a very tough question. But I’d say the books that influenced me most were every book that I ever picked up as a child and couldn’t put down. I devoured the Laura Ingels series, Babysitter’s Club, Anne of Green Gables and Sweet Valley. They’re all very different books, but the one thing they had in common was their ability to totally transport me to that time and want to be in the story. To me, as a child, that was amazing. And I knew I wanted to be able to do that too.
7. Who is your favorite author and why?
Another super hard question. I don’t know if I can answer this. I love so many books for so many reasons. BUT if I had to pick one it would be Diana Gabaldon because her books are truly amazing and she is a lovely and very giving person as well.
8. What is your favorite Quote?
“If you can dream it…DO it!” and “A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.” ~George Bernard Shaw.
9. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
If you want to write, WRITE! There are a million things that will get in your way…if you let them. Make time for what is important and put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard and get it out. Write, write and then write some more.
In no particular order, I am: a writer, a mother of twins, a swimmer, a wife, a volunteer, a runner, a friend, a triathlete, a daughter, a sister, a Brownie leader (recently retired), an auntie, a cyclist, employee and…
I’m trying to do it all and have it all because nobody said I couldn’t. And even if they did, I probably wouldn’t listen because I’m too busy.
I’ve been writing in one form or another since elementary school but although I always knew I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, instead I earned university degrees in Marketing and Psychology and writing got put on the back burner. After my twins were born I was buried in diaper changes, middle of the night feedings and mountains of laundry, so obviously it seemed like a logical time to start writing again. I guess it took me while to grow up.
I turned to non-fiction and became a regular contributor to local parenting magazines, published in four Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, and a compilation by Seal Press. It wasn’t until 2005 that I tried my hand at writing fiction and wrote my first novel. It’s buried on my hard drive where it should be, and I’ve since written three more.
Thank you Elena for this wonderful interview. I’m currently reading Sugar Crash and I’m enjoying it very much.