Monday, March 13, 2017

Questions Interviewers Ask Me (and might ask YOU)

by Elva Cobb Martin

Today I would like to share some questions I am being asked in author interviews for the March 24th release of my debut novel, Summer of Deception. This might help you know me better, and also help prepare you for requested interviews. ( :

How long have you been writing?
 I have been writing stories and poems since seventh grade. I recall writing a story about a race horse winning a race, even with a broken leg. Only in fiction, my sweet teacher informed me! My writing grew naturally out of my great love of reading. As a child I was a voracious reader first of childhood fairy tales, then other fiction, like Black Beauty, Flicka, and Nancy Drew Mysteries. Later, I loved Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, and Poe. I’ve actually written dozens of poems myself, some of which were published in college anthologies. My most beloved book today, however, better than any fiction or poetry, is the Bible. I love studying it, teaching it, and confessing its great promises.

What was your most embarrassing moment as a writer?
Some years ago Charisma Magazine sent me to Virginia Beach to interview the Revs. John and Anne Gimenez for the magazine’s Most Outstanding Churches in America series. I invited a sweet elderly church lady to drive up with me. She turned out to be a nervous talker, and I overshot an exit to Virginia Beach, and ended up 60 miles out of the way. When we finally arrived at the church member’s house late, where we were to spend the night, I had a black headache and nausea. I barely said hello to the family and went straight to their bathroom and threw up. Wonder what they thought of the wonder woman Charisma sent to interview their pastors?

What spurred you to write this novel?
 I fell in love with an historic, romantic, southern plantation I toured in Charleston, South Carolina--Boone Hall. I also discovered some old newspaper clippings about a famous coastal drug investigation in the 1980’s organized by a U.S. Attorney, Henry McMaster. Those clippings led to the suspense plot in Summer of Deception. Henry McMaster, by the way, is the new Governor of South Carolina. Do I plan to send him copy of the book? In good southern vernacular: Yessirree.

What has been your most difficult challenge as an author?
Learning to write constantly in deep POV and showing, not telling. The two are definitely connected. 

How do you process the rejections and/or negative reviews?
Summer of Deception was rejected 26 times by editors and agents before I received a contract offer.  I learned from each rejection, kept polishing my craft, and refused TO GIVE UP!  Pastor Steven Furtick says it best: “Rejection is just a sign of a new direction.” I call myself a rewriter.

What do you feel is the best success so far in your writing career?
Receiving a contract on my first inspirational novel, Summer of Deception, and justifying to my wonderful husband all this time I spend at the computer and paying for writers’ conferences. ( :

What would be your top three pieces of advice to newer, up and coming authors?

1) Determine you will never give up or quit writing, revising, polishing, submitting, and praying over your writing.

2) Network with other writers, groups, and attend writing conferences. Writer friends and critiques are so important.

3) Learn how to choose and submit well to editors and agents by studying their sites and submission guidelines.

As a Christian author, what would you like your legacy to be?
I am not writing inspirational novels just to give someone  an exciting, satisfactory read, although that is certainly a goal. Never would I go through all this toil and effort for great sales either, although that is definitely a goal. My greatest desire is to impart some nugget of God’s truth that might help someone come to know Christ as Lord and Savior, or find a closer walk with Him, or a deeper faith in God’s blessing and power available to us, and do it through story, rather than preaching.

What is your current work in progress?
I am currently working on Book 2 in an historical series set in the 1700’s. Book 1, In a Pirate’s Debt, will be released by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas (LPC) in May, 2017. (The photo is one of my sample covers I sent to the publisher.)

I also have a cozy mystery simmering on the back burner. (Hope it doesn’t boil dry before I get to it.)

So glad you dropped by. Have you another question for me?  Do leave a comment and it will be so appreciated if you click on the social media buttons below to share this blog. 

Blessings on your day,

 Elva Cobb Martin is president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers (2014-2017). She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried her articles. She has published a Bible study, Power Over Satan, available on Summer of Deception, a release by Pelican Book Group, is her debut novel. She has also completed an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt, slated for release by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in May, 2017. Elva is represented by Jim Hart of Hartline Literary. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives with her husband Dwayne and a mini-dachshund writing helper, Lucy, in upstate South Carolina. She also leads an internet prayer task force praying for a Great Awakening. She would love for  you to connect with her and/or sign up for her newsletter. Email:; web site, her blog;  Twitter;   Facebook, and Pinterest