Please welcome Elaine Stock to my blog. Good morning, Elaine. Why don’t we get comfortable and have a chat?
Back of the Book Blurb:
We Shall Not Shatter
An unforgettable story of friendship, family and hope as two courageous young women face one of history’s most horrific tragedies.
Brzeziny, Poland, 1939 Zofia’s comfortable-lifestyle overturns when her husband, Jabez, who monitors Nazi activity, has gone missing. Rather than fleeing the country with her young son, as she had promised Jabez who is fearing retaliation, she decides to stay. She cannot possibly leave her friend, Aanya. Since their childhood they have amazed fellow Brzeziners that it does not matter that Aanya is Jewish and deaf, and that Zofia is Catholic and hearing. Now, more than ever with war looming, Zofia will do whatever is necessary to protect her family and Aanya.
As both love and war approach their Polish town, Zofia and Aanya must make choices that will change the meaning of family, home, and their precious friendship. The journey, decisions and the no-going-back consequences the women face will either help them to survive—or not—as Hitler’s Third Reich revs up its control of the world.
Inspired by the author’s paternal heritage from Brzeziny, this is a heartbreaking yet beautiful story of two women who are determined to remain united in friendship and to live freely despite the odds.
1. Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.
First, I’d like to thank you, Mary, for the opportunity to meet your lovely blog viewers and fellow book lovers. By nature, I’m a blend of a quiet, introverted person who transforms into an extravert on issues I’m passionate of, particularly human rights for all. A lover of the written word ever since I learned reading by reciting NYC billboards to my parents as we drove by them, perhaps it’s no surprise that I’ve always been drawn to stories. Growing up in a troubled family environment, I was also drawn to stories of how people throughout time have not only survived but thrived. Following the publication of a few contemporary inspirational novels, I’m now happy to say that I’ve found my true author voice and enjoyment in penning historical fiction. My first historical title, We Shall Not Shatter, Book 1 of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy, is releasing on May 15, 2022, by Amsterdam Publishers.
2. Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?
As I’ve said above, I’ve adored the written word/books ever since I can recall. Although I won a writing contest in 3rd grade (just don’t ask me the subject—LOL), and dabbled in writing fiction as a hobby in junior and senior high, it wasn’t until my mother’s passing when I was 26 that I took writing for publication seriously. My mother loved reading fiction as well, and wrote poetry, but her mental illness kept her not only reclusive but prevented her from pursuing the arts. At the time she passed, I realized that I didn’t want more time to race by until I pursued, on a serious level, my passion for writing. However, what I refer to as Life 101 (those unexpected bumps that come along and trip you) occurred, it wasn’t until much later that my first novel was published. Yet, during those years I learned more about the craft of writing, and about myself as far as what I can and can’t do and how far I can willingly push myself and put aside a good deal of my shyness, and have no regrets to a bit of a delay in publication.
3. How difficult was it writing your first book?
The writing part was easy-peasy! The real question is how difficult was it in learning how to edit a book, and more so, learning how to remove the stardust from one’s eyes and how to accept that *all* books need editorial help and improvement. I’ve come to absolutely love the editing stage and am convinced that is where the fun magical part of having a story becomes alive.
4. Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?
Honestly—no. Never! Just the opposite: I am at the point in my life that I want to quit the day-job and solely work on my writing.
5. Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?
Fortunately, through the years, it’s become a nice blend of support from my husband and close friends and fellow authors. With the upcoming release of We Shall Not Shatter, which was inspired by my paternal heritage from Brzeziny Poland, my father has become more of a champion of my writing than ever and I so appreciate his support!
6. Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I hope readers, whether ones who have enjoyed my past novels or new ones to my books, will give We Shall Not Shatter a try and will be encouraged by the characters in their daily trials and joys in life. I’m encouraged that the novel has already garnered some publicity and an awesome review and contest placement (Finalist in the WWI-WWII category) in the Historical Fiction Company’s Book of the Year.
7. What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?
It would be to 1) believe in yourself and 2) to never give up, and by countless of caring and wise people.
8. What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
Although We Shall Not Shatter is in the historical fiction genre, and slants toward Women’s Fiction (each book of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy is a tale of how women connect and together can overcome obstacles), I believe it will appeal to both female and male readers who appreciate that historical era.
9. Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?
I wanted a cover that depicted Brzeziny on the eve of the German invasion. Considering that the Polish town, before WWII, was once the center of fine tailor craftsmanship in Europe, but was virtually wiped off the map during the war, I hoped for more of a scenic, atmospheric cover that would showcase the place and time and hint at the danger ahead, rather than a display of characters. My publisher, Amsterdam Publishers, was extremely enthusiastic and supportive of my choice.
10. What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?
I just finished editing Book 2 of the Trilogy, Our Daughters’ Last Hope, which will be out in Fall 2022. While I cannot share an excerpt, here’s a glimpse: This is Herta Weber’s story, the woman that Zofia (one of the main characters from Book 1) befriended on the St. Louis ship. It’s a story of unexpected friendship across enemy lines, when two mothers seek to save their children’s lives. It’s set in the Netherlands.
11. Any last words before we wrap things up?
Once again, thank you, Mary, for hosting me!!
And, I look forward to meeting future readers. They can subscribe to my Author Newsletter without concern of spam or a bombardment of newsletters: https://elainestock.com/for-readers
Elaine Stock writes Historical Fiction, exploring home, family and friendships throughout time. She enjoys creating stories showing how all faiths, races, and belief systems are interconnected and need each other. A member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and The Historical Novel Society, she wrote We Shall Not Shatter, Book 1 of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy, inspired by her deaf great aunt who was left behind in Poland and perished in the Holocaust. The novel has earned the Historical Fiction Company 5-star and “Highly Recommended” Review and won the Finalist Award in the Historical WWI-WWII category of the Historical Fiction Company 2021 Contest.
Website: https://elainestock.com Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ElaineStock
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