Author Talk! With Erin McCole Cupp

Author Talk! Unclaimed Edition with author

Erin McCole Cupp

In case you haven’t read my recent blog post (& why exactly haven’t you?!?), lately I’ve been enjoying a new take on an old classic-Unclaimed: The Memoirs of Jane E, Friendless Orphan. 

Today, you get a peek behind the curtain and into the mind behind the story-author Erin McCole Cupp.  She’s beautiful, smart, funny, and she’s a great writer.  If I didn’t like her so much…well, let’s not go there.

Anyway, here’s Erin!EMCHeadshot

Q: So what made you think you could get away with rewriting Jane Eyre?

EMC: I never expected to get away with it! I think of it as more of a translation than a rewrite, anyway, and when you’re reading a translation, you must always keep in mind that it is but a pale image of the original.  At any rate, way back in Y2K, I had spent the first part of the year reading a steady diet of William Gibson, Neal Stephenson and Bruce Sterling–the revered trifecta of the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction.  When our summer vacation came around, I decided I’d take a vacation from reading for professional development as an aspiring SF writer and bought a bunch of books from the literary classics bargain bin at a boardwalk bookshop.  A few chapters into Jane Eyre, my mind kept throwing up these weird parallels between the character of Helen Burns as Jane’s spirit guide and the character of Molly as Case’s spirit guide in Gibson’s Neuromancer. I remember thinking, “Wow, Jane Eyre would’ve made great cyberpunk.” [beat] “Oh, crap, now I have to write it!”

Q:  That was sixteen years ago, and the first edition of Jane_E dropped a decade ago. What made you decide to revisit your first novel and rerelease it electronically? 

EMC: I just think (“hope” might be a better word) that the audience might be ready for it a bit more now compared to ten years ago.  I’d already been thinking of re-releasing it as a single book and getting a fresh cover, having it available in hard copy as well as electronic format.  However… it’s a long book when taken all in one slice! Jane’s story (mine as well as the Bronte version) also divides itself naturally into three parts: her early years, her developing relationship with her employer, and then everything that happens after that relationship catches fire, for lack of a better term (and those of you who’ve read Jane Eyre know of which I speak).  I figured that by breaking it down into smaller portions, a reader could take a chance on Book 1 (Unclaimed) without the commitment to some giant tome.  Of course if you want the giant tome, that’s still available.

Q: So when do the next two books come out?  

EMC:  I’m looking at October 7 for Nameless (Book 2)  and December 6 for Runaway.

Q: Why make us wait so long?!

EMC: Because I’m mean.  Ha!  Actually, there’s the cover art to take care of, thanks to Fiona Jayde Media.  I also wanted to give the text a little extra polish that may have gotten lost in the initial editing, which was done when I had infant twins.  I’m working with Rebecca Willen over at Our Hearts are Restless, and she’s great–reasonable, thorough, no-nonsense–but I’m also letting those aforementioned twins (now 12 and homeschooled) provide an additional level of copyediting.

Q: What’s that like, letting your children correct your work?

EMC:  You mean, besides the weird factor of letting them read something on the edgy side that came out of my brain before they were even born?  Actually, it’s a lot less stressful than I thought it would be.  It’s a good way to model humility, really.  I mean, I’m the one always correcting their work, and now I’m letting them turn the tables.  I think it’s good for all three of us.

Q: Any other projects in the works?  

EMC:  Always!  Besides the Jane E series, I’m a contributor to The Catholic Mom Prayer Companion, which is available on pre-order for an August 29th release.  I’m also working with Ellen Gable of Full Quiver Publishing on an anthology of Theology of the Body fiction and poetry tentatively titled Image and Likeness.  That’s exciting, working with so many talented authors, and that’s scheduled for a October 22 release.  Finally, I’m still pecking away at the first draft of the sequel to my murder mystery Don’t You Forget About Me.

SO, if you haven’t already purchased Unclaimed, what are waiting for?  Get on the Fan Wagon people.  This is good stuff. Seriously.

 

May Your Journey Be Blessed!

S.S. (Suburban Saint)

 

Have I Got A Deal For You!

Hello Blog Reader People!  I know it’s been a while since I’ve graced your inboxes. So, as a token of my remorse, I’m sending you the inside scoop on a great deal on an even greater book.  Believe me.  After this, you won’t even remember that you’re annoyed with me. (I hope.)

Don’t You Forget About Me

by Erin McCole Cupp, author extraordinaire, is on sale through Amazon Kindle until May 1st for –wait for it—

99 measly cents!

People, you can’t even buy a cup of coffee for that anymore!  (Unless you know something you’re not telling me….)



Here’s a little about the book

here

. And, here’s a little about Erin here:

Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mom, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, Parents, The Catholic Standard and Times, and The Philadelphia City Paper, and she is a regular contributor to

CatholicMom.com

. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables.

Her influences include Neal Stephenson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Jane Austen.

Her weaknesses include iceberg lettuce, frozen drinks, and anything labeled “Visitor Center.”

Erin is the author of Jane_E, Friendless Orphan:

A Memoir (Broken Wheel Media, 2006), Don’t You Forget About Me (Full Quiver Publishing, 2013), and Working Mother (Full Quiver Publishing, 2013), all available on Amazon.

You can find more about Erin at

erinmccolecupp.com

.

Did I mention that she’s funny too? 

Seriously though, I’ve read the book and I really enjoyed it.  It’s a murder mystery dealing with environmental destruction and infertility with a heroine that’s struggling to get past her past while she’s contemplating a mystery and falling in love all at the same time. 

Just. Go. Buy. The. Book.  You won’t regret it.

Oh, did you know that you don’t have to have a Kindle to read Kindle books?  You can download the Kindle app for your smart phone or for your computer and read your book while you’re pretending to work.  I won’t give you away.  It’ll be our little secret… Shhhh…

Blessings,

Laura

Have I got a deal for you!

Today I’m proud to be a part of the Working Mother ebook blog tour at Will Write For Tomato Pie.  See my interview at Will Write For Tomato Pie!

My friend Erin McCole Cupp has written a short but powerful story about the struggle the Holy Family might have had just to survive in a harsh world.

I really enjoyed this short book.  It took me by surprise quite honestly.  Erin has the ability to look beyond the paintings and statues and see the real person along with their very real emotions.

Did I mention that it’s available on Kindle?  And only 99 cents!  You can thank me later.

May Your Journey Be Blessed,

S.S.

Working Mothers Everywhere!

Today I’m proud to be a part of the Working Mother ebook blog tour at Will Write For Tomato Pie.  See my interview at Will Write For Tomato Pie!

My friend Erin McCole Cupp has written a short but powerful story about the struggle the Holy Family might have had just to survive in a harsh world. 

I really enjoyed this short book.  It took me by surprise quite honestly.  Erin has the ability to look beyond the paintings and statues and see the real person along with their very real emotions. 

Did I mention that it’s available on Kindle?  And only 99 cents!  You can thank me later.

Blessings,
Laura


Road Trip-The Aftermath

 
Wow!  I learned so much, met so many amazing people, and received so much encouragement and support that my heart just might burst!  Seriously, it was awesome!  I will be posting pictures of some of the cool people I met while I was playing the #CMNSelfie Scavenger Hunt created by Erin McCole Cupp at Will Write For Tomato Pie after this post.  So, watch your inbox!
 
Because of contacts that I made on the trip, I am now working on a book proposal for a major Catholic publisher as well as a new blog concept. (Insert squeal of excitement here!)
Soon you will see only green, stewardship-of-Creation posts here at Green 4 God.  To address all the other blog posts that I wish to write, I will be posting under the upcoming blog, Suburban Sainthood. 
Until SS is up and running I will continue to post here all the things that I want to say.  “Why” you say?  Because it’s my blog and I want to, that’s why! 

On The Road Again

Just can’t wait to get on the road again. 

My apologies to Willie Nelson for borrowing his song. But I really can’t wait to get on the road again!

As you read this, I’m probably in the air somewhere between North Texas and Chicago en route to the Catholic Marketing Network Tradeshow AND Catholic Writer’s Guild Live Conference in the Chicago area and I couldn’t be more excited.

This will be my third conference but, since I tend to go every other year, my fourth year as a member of the Catholic Writer’s Guild.  The CWG has been HUGE in my journey of becoming a writer, speaker, and blogger.  I owe them a lot and I still have a lot to learn from them.  Hence my attendance at the conference.

For fun I’m also going to be playing the #CMNSelfie Scavenger Hunt game hosted by Erin McCole Cupp.  So, in the next several days you’ll be seeing lots of images of me on Twitter (follow me @TheLauraBNelson) with random people, paper popes, and conference swag.  Feel free to play along with the Home Version of the Game at #NOTatCMNselfie.  Who says you have to be present to win? (And by “win” I mean, not-get-a-prize-but-get-the-satisfaction-of-collecting-all-the-items-on-the-list.)

I’ll be spending some extra time in prayer this week at the conference.  (Catholic conferences are like that.)  And, I’ll be including my blog readers on my prayer list.  If you have any prayer intentions you’d like me to include, tweet me or leave me a blog comment and I’ll be sure to include you specifically in my prayers.

While we’re talking about prayer, say one for me this week as I travel, learn, and discern God’s will for me.  I really appreciate it.

Blessings,
Laura

Who Doesn’t Like A Bargain?

There are few things that bring me as much pleasure as a really good deal.  I’m not talking about the “I’ve-got-to-buy-it-because-it’s-on-sale,” kind of deals. Oh no!  I’m talking about the “oh-my-goodness-this-is-the-best-______-I’ve ever seen-AND-it’s on clearance-AND-I have a coupon!” kind of deal.

The “want” or “need” has to come first.  THEN the discounted price pushes it over the edge into “really good deal” land.  In other words, I have high standards for what I call a good deal.

Soooo, when I say something’s a good deal, you can trust me that it really is.

Which brings me to a REALLY GOOD DEAL that you have to hear about.  Author (& friend) Erin McCole-Cupp’s latest novel, Don’t You Forget About Me, is FREE on Amazon Kindle now through June 12th. 

This is a great book at a great price.  I’ve read it. I’ve reviewed it. I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve even interviewed the author!

At this point, the only reason you should still be reading this is because you don’t have a Kindle and are weeping into your keyboard.  Well, dry those tears people!  You can read Kindle books on your computer, your phone, or your tablet.  Just download the app and read away.  (There might be a few more steps involved but it’s really easy.  I promise!)

So, why are you still here?  Go!  Get the book!  You won’t regret it!  Seriously.  Get the book.

Blessings,
Laura

My Writing Process — Blog Tour

Thanks to Erin McCole-Cupp for inviting me to participate in this fun blog tour.  Consider it a peek inside the mind of a writer, if you will.  I’m considering it a kick in the pants from a dear friend to get writing again! (potayto, potahto…)

Erin is a fantastic author of several Catholic fiction novels that have real depth, complex characters, and compelling plots.  (Can you tell I’m a fan?)  She’s also the author of two blogs that I read regularly: Will Write For Tomato Pie, her blog about her novel Don’t You Forget About Me, and Mrs. Mackerelsnapper, her cooking blog about Meatless Fridays NOT just during Lent.  This lady is amazing.  You should TOTALLY check out her work.

Without further ado…My Writing Process!

1) What am
I working on?
 
Let’s see….sanity, …humility,… Oh!  You mean what writing am I working on!  These days I’m working on getting back to my personal blog here at Green For God.  But, I’m always working on my contributions for Catholic Mom and writing homilies and commentaries for Faith Catholic.  I have a couple of projects that have been on hold for personal reasons (like life, children, health etc.).  One is my book, Green For God, that I finished over a year ago and now decided it needs to be rewritten. (argh!)  The other is a book form of one of my favorite and popular talks I give, Women of Wonder-What You’re To-Do List Says About Your Spiritual Life. I have another idea for a blog and book but it’s still too rough an idea to share.

2) How
does my work differ from others of its genre?
 
Well let’s just say that my writing will never be confused with St. Thomas Aquinas’!  Really, my goal when I write is to inform and inspire Catholics to get excited and passionate about their Faith.  I think where my writing differs from the writing of some other Catholic non-fiction writers is in accessibility.  I’m not trying to be the deepest, smartest, most thought-provoking mind-bending writer.  Instead, I try to talk to everyday Catholics from the perspective of an everyday Catholic who loves her Faith, doesn’t understand all of it, and struggles to live it each and every day.

3) Why do
I write what I do?
 
Because if I try and say everything that’s on my mind to my husband and children, they might lock me out of the house!  Writing is the safest way for me to get all the thoughts that are in my head out without annoying too many loved ones. 🙂
 
AND…

I want Catholics to get excited about their faith!  It’s too amazing not to share.  I know not everyone is as enthusiastic as me but this is great stuff.  Get excited!

4) How
does your writing process work?


Poorly most of the time but when I do write it’s mostly in stolen moments here and there.  Luckily (or unluckily depending on your perspective), my kids are involved in things that require me to drive them places and then wait for them.  So, while I wait, I write.

Usually my process involves getting an idea, typing it up before I forget it, and throwing something haphazard together before I edit it to death.  I believe wholeheartedly in the phrase “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”  In the past my tendency to be perfect has immobilized me.  So, now I think “crappy first draft” when I start writing and “get it 80% done and move forward.”  Otherwise, I will never move on to the next thing.  Once you give up on perfection, you become a lot more productive (& relaxed!)  

So, that’s enough about me.  Now it’s time to talk about some other amazing authors.  Unfortunately, the authors I asked to participate are so good that they’re too busy writing to write about their writing! So I’m going to give you some links to check out a couple of writers that I like (in addition to Erin, of course).

Paula Huston– author of Simplifying the Soul-Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit and a LOT of other books

Paula is an inspiration to me because she seeks simplicity in order to bring her closer to God.  I seek simplicity too but she actually accomplishes it!

Jared Zimmerer– author of The Ten Commandments of Lifting Weights and Man Up!

I’ve recently become acquainted with Jared through our parish and some old Catholic school connections.  He’s a dynamic man who is alive in his faith.  While his writing is intended mostly for a male audience, I think it’s beneficial for anyone.

Hallie Lord– author of Style, Sex and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things That Really Matter

Hallie is to Catholic Women what Jared is to Catholic men: she is the epitome of a girly-girl with the faith of a ChurchFather.  She seamlessly combines her feminity and her faith all the while keeping her sense of fun and playfulness.  Reading her work keeps me on track in my faith and also keeps me from getting too serious.  Love this lady!

Interview with author Erin McCole Cupp

I’m thrilled again to host author, Erin McCole Cupp here at G4G to talk about her newest book-Don’t You Forget About Me which is free on Kindle through Thursday, November 21st!  Did you hear what I said?  Free, people!  FREE!

P.S. Sorry for the weird white background thing going on.  Don’t know why it’s there and can’t seem to get rid of it.  Oh well.  The content is still amazing. 🙂

Hi Erin!  Thanks so much for joining me here at Green
4 God to discuss your new book, Don’t You Forget About Me.  I have to say, I really enjoyed your
book.  The plot itself was gripping and I
found that I really cared about the characters and what happened to them.  I have to ask, is there any autobiographical
element to it?

Thanks so much for having me, Laura!  Don’t You Forget About Me is completely autobiographical… it’s the autobiography of a
fictional character named Mary Catherine Whelihan!  Oh, you’re asking if I was bullied as a child at a Catholic grade school!  Well, as I said over at
Kathleen Basi’s blog… I certainly had a less-than-pleasant experience myself, but I
also own that I was a less-than-pleasant child. 
We all survive our childhoods, and whether we come out victim or victor
is really up to each of us.    

 Besides sharing a history
of rough peer experiences with my character Cate Whelihan, she also “inherited”
her endometriosis from me.  While she and
I took very different paths to treatment, it was still the same path.  As the saying goes, “Write what you
know.”  Sometimes our whole lives can
serve as research—or at least the jumping off point.   

Speaking of autobiographical information, I
understand that you are a lay Dominican. 
Would you mind explaining what that is and, perhaps, how you became one?

Over a decade ago, a friend invited me to a weekend at a
Dominican retreat house.  At the time, I
didn’t even know what a Dominican is, much less that there are Dominican
laypeople!  On the first night of that
retreat, I remember coming down the staircase of the house, and I saw
emblazoned across a ceiling beam was the Dominican motto, “To Praise, To Bless,
To Preach.”  It was as if something
literally fell into place inside my heart, and I could hear a voice say,
“That’s what you’re supposed to be doing.” 
It took about five more years for me to figure out what Dominican life
would mean and to find a chapter to join. 
The Dominican layperson promises to live a life of
prayer, study, community and apostolate.  Dominicans of all kinds—priests, brothers,
nuns, sisters and laypeople—all participate in some kind of preaching
apostolate.  As a writer, a reader, and a
Catholic, the Dominican life has been a great fit that has really guided my
path deeper into the heart of Jesus.  You
can find more information about Dominican life at
Lay
Dominicans:  Fraternities of St. Dominic
. 

Back to the
book!  I loved all the 80s
references!  What made you use the 1980s
as a backdrop for the history of your characters?

Because I just love big hair?  No, seriously, in Don’t You Forget About Me, the main character, Cate, is facing down
so many of the demons of her childhood. 
Using the 80s songs as titles felt like a fun way to harken the reader back
to the culture of that decade without overburdening the story with
flashbacks.  Another thing the 80s song
titles did for me as a writer was to keep me focused and motivated.  The mood or connotations in my mind that go
along with each title song sometimes guided where the story would go next, what
the characters would feel, or the direction of a space of dialogue.  It was a lot of fun!

 I have to admit that
I learned a lot about endometriosis from your book.  I didn’t realize that there are now better
choices for women who suffer from the disease than there once were.  Why did you choose to bring this issue into
the book?

I like to say that the story itself was born from a
serendipitous collision of scars. I was reconnecting with people from my
childhood just as I was seeking treatment for endometriosis myself.  As someone who came to Catholicism in part
because of its holistic approach to the treatment of women’s health, I felt so
much frustration with how the secular medical establishment just wanted to
cover up my pain and not heal me, when
there
are healing treatments to be found
. 
However, it seems like because those treatments have been found as a
direct result of the Catholic approach to women’s health, the more secular
practices want to turn a blind eye. After all, who wants to be shown up by the
backward, ignorant Catholics, right?  I
realize that I’m venting, so please take that into consideration.  Anyway, if there is a “message” to be found
in Don’t You Forget About Me, perhaps
this is it:  that there’s hope and
healing out there for whatever sickness we have, if we’ll just hang on and keep
looking long enough to find it. 

Finally, I love the
way you integrate your faith into your fiction. 
When you approach a new project, do you decide on the plot and fit in
the faith?  Or, do you think about what
issues you’d like to include and then write the plot to support it? I hope that
question made sense.  Anyway, however you
approach it, you do a lovely job.  I look
forward to reading more of your work!
 

Aw, thank you so much for your kind words!  I always put story first and don’t worry
about the faith.  The longer I write, the
more I’m confident that if I’m writing the story out of a heart aimed toward
God, He’ll season the whole pot with the faith part.  All I have to do is stir it up and
serve! 

Thank you, Laura! 
This was a blast—like, totally rad!

“You’re not writing about those transgender frogs, are you?”

Author Erin McCole Cupp

Today I have the pleasure of hosting author

Erin McCole-Cupp


here at Green 4 God.

Erin is not only a
friend and an inspiring Catholic, she is also  the author of several books
including her newest release-

Don’t You Forget About Me

, which I really,
REALLY enjoyed.

I hope you all buy 5
copies of it and hand it out to people on street corners.

Yes.

It is

that

good.

Take it away
Erin!

“You’re not writing about those transgender frogs, are you?”

I ha

d to laugh out loud when I heard that coming out of my
phone.

I was talking with an old youth
ministry acquaintance who had, in the many intervening years, become an expert
in Catholic women’s health care.

“No,” I said when I’d recovered enough to reply.

“I’m not writing about

the
transgender frogs

.”

I’d called him telling him that I had a novel written and

a publisher

on the hook for it.

The publisher wanted me to double-check my
science and report back, which I was more than happy to do.

So I rang my expert and told him that the
novel was an ecological suspense thriller that dealt with issues of women’s
health and included a Catholic perspective.

That’s when he asked about the frogs.

Nobody knows for sure why so many suburban frogs are coming
up with both male and female gametes.

Some say
it’s because of pesticides

.

Other
say it’s from

hormonal
birth control-based estrogen compounds, erm,

passing

into the water table

.

Still others, like my medical consultant, say that they’re frogs and not
humans, and let’s not sensationalize this, mkay?

It’s a tricky subject, our fertility, whether we think it’s
a disease to be covered up, medicated, or surgically removed; or we consider it
a precious gift under crazed, blind attack from within and without.

In a way, environmental stewardship is a
tricky subject for

exactly the same
reasons

.

Are we to use our human
ingenuity to tame the earth to our services and to hell with the consequences?

Or are we to let it grow wild and free and
leave as few footprints as we can, clutching our chests with guilt any time we
bend a blade of grass the wrong way?

And the answer is… Ha!

You thought I had one, didn’t you?

Silly, I just have a book, and a fiction one at that.

I’m not an environmental scientist.

I’m not a Bible scholar.

I’m just a novelist.

With a novel like

Don’t You Forget About Me

, I had the opportunity to hold a mirror
up to how we are treating the environment and ourselves—and aren’t those two
things one in the same anyway?

Here’s what I do know.

There were

two
jobs God gave humans when He created us

:

“Be fertile and multiply,” and “fill the earth and subdue it.”

He blessed us to do these jobs.

He even drew us from the earth and from each
other in order to give the earth—and each other—to us as gift.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to
Christians, especially Catholics, that when we hurt the earth, we hurt
ourselves… and vice versa.

Is “the Pill” hurting the frogs?

Is
it hurting us?

What
about those pesticides

?

Do we serve
either the earth or ourselves if we plug our ears when asked such questions?

While you won’t meet any transgender frogs in

Don’t You Forget About Me

, you will meet
some characters asking themselves and each other these questions.

Are we doing the two jobs that God gave
us?

What sacrifices are required of us
if we desire to fulfill those two jobs in good faith?

What sacrifices will be made of us if we
don’t?

Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She has been a guest blogger for the

Catholic Writers Guild

, and she blogs about year-round meatless Fridays at

Mrs. Mackerelsnapper, OP

. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. She has been voted “Best Speaker” for her chastity talks at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania’s Newman Center. She is the founder of

Warriors of Lourdes

, an organization that unites people in prayer against child abuse. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, or gardening in spite of herself.

Both of

Erin’s books are available on Amazon

.