**The band begins to play a lively rendition of "Before He Cheats" (Carrie Underwood)**
**Band finishes and audience claps**
ANNOUNCER: Good morning, Blog Studio. Welcome to another wonderful live author interview. And now, please welcome our always smiling hostess, Carol Ann Erhardt.
**Carol Ann enters through the curtain opening**
CAROL ANN: **laughs** Thanks everyone for coming by today for our very special interview with a fantastic author, from my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. Her name is Elaine Cantrell, and I think you are going to enjoy hearing about her and her brand new release, Purple Heart. Please help me make her welcome. Ladies and gentlemen....Elaine Cantrell!!!
**Audience applauds and hoots as Carol Ann holds up a copy of Elaine's book.**
**Elaine bows and takes a seat on the set with Carol Ann**
CAROL ANN: Elaine, I'm so pleased that you could join us today for our special extra edition of the Blog Studio. This is a beautiful book cover.
ELAINE: Thank you so much! I am very proud of this cover. The artists at The Wild Rose Press are very talented.
CAROL ANN: I agree. **Carol Ann places the book on the table between them** Please tell the audience about this book.
ELAINE: The name of my novel is Purple Heart. My hero, Mike Hightower, is a soldier in Iraq who makes a good friend called Ramirez. During one engagement with the insurgents Mike is wounded. Ramirez saves his life, but in the process the insurgents kill him. Mike goes back home and looks for a place to live. He finds a nice apartment, but it's owned by a Lebanese woman. Purple Heart is the story of how Mike learns to let go of the hate that now consumes him and love again.
CAROL ANN: Where did you come up with the idea for this book?
ELAINE: My nephew was sent to Iraq and after hearing him talk about things that he saw I decided there was a story that needed to be told.
CAROL ANN: I can't wait to read this! What do you think audience? **Audience applauds** I think they're in agreement. So, Elaine, when you are writing, which comes first: plot or characters?
ELAINE: Plot usually, but I have done it in reverse. I'm working on a sci fi romance which features characters I've written about before. I just couldn't let them go.
CAROL ANN: Being a romance writer, what does the word romance mean to you?
ELAINE: Magic. Heart stopping, thrilling, warm, and forever magic.
CAROL ANN: One of the hardest things for me is choosing a title for my books. How do you decide on titles?
ELAINE: I try to make my title relevant to the story. In the case of Purple Heart, Mike was wounded so he automatically received a purple heart.
CAROL ANN: Which is a fantastic title. I have my father's purple heart. He was killed in action. But, enough about me and sad things. Let's pep up the interview a bit. Let's say your life is about to become a movie. What will the title be?
ELAINE: It Can Happen To You. I've always believed that if you want something bad enough you can have it. Look at me; I wanted to write, and now I've had four books published.
CAROL ANN: Wonderful! The blog studio audience always wants to know more about how we writers operate. So many think that we get up in the middle of the morning, put on our comfy slippers, sit in front of the computer and bang out a hundred pages, then take a shower, get dressed and relax for the remainder of the day while we wait for our royalty checks.
ELAINE: **laugh** Yeah, right!
CAROL ANN: What is a normal day for you?
ELAINE: I'm a teacher so during the school year I have to go to work, but in the summer I get to be a writer full time. On those days I get up and have some coffee while I check my email. I write until lunch time when I take a break. I do errands, chores, etc, and after dinner I write for another hour or so. My husband sometimes reads what I wrote that day and makes suggestions to improve it.
CAROL ANN: So in the summer, you almost fit the sterotype! **laugh** I'm sorry, couldn't resist. There are some days when I get up and wonder why. When you are down, who can make you laugh?
ELAINE: My grandson, David. The child is totally adorable. And I'm not prejudiced either!
CAROL ANN: I love my grandkids. They are so much fun! They keep me young. Tell me, Elaine, do you collect anything?
ELAINE: I used to collect angels because they were so beautiful, but I filled up the display cabinet so I haven't bought any in a long time.
CAROL ANN: I can relate. I used to collect music boxes until I ran out of space. Now they just collect dust. **laugh** Whoops, looks like our time is running out. Quickly, one last question. Do you believe the pen is mightier than the sword? Why?
ELAINE: Yes, of course it is. I'm a history teacher so I'll use the American Revolution as an example. The Founding Fathers were influenced by Enlightenment writers such as John Locke and Montesquieu. Our constitution and the Declaration of Independence are full of Enlightenment ideas. Without the pen, men like Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin would never have known about the Enlightenment, and our country might have been quite different. Bet you didn't know you'd get a history lesson, did you?
CAROL ANN: **LAUGH** No, but it was very appropriate to the question.
ELAINE: Teachers can't help it.
CAROL ANN: Elaine, it has been so much fun having you today. Thanks again for coming by.
**Carol Ann stands and applauds. The audience joins in.**
CAROL ANN: And here is the link where you can learn more about Elaine and her published work.