Eleanor Chance - A Lonely, Troubled Nurse and a Mysterious Abandoned Baby
Eleanor Chance is a writer of award-winning suspense, thriller, and historical women's fiction. She cherishes books that influence her writing and her life. She hopes to create the same experience for readers and thrives on crafting tales of everyday superheroes. Her debut novel, Arms of Grace is a finalist in consideration for production by Wind Dancer Films, a silver medalist in the Readers’ Favorite Awards, and a recipient of the B.R.A.G. Medallion. She also writes under the pen name E.A. Chance. Eleanor has traveled the world and lived in five different countries. She currently resides in the Williamsburg, Virginia area with her husband and is the proud mother of four grown sons and Nana to one amazing grand-darling. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Arms of Grace.
Please give us a short introduction to what Arms of Grace is about.
Arms of Grace is the story of Grace Ward, a divorced and childless nurse whose sterile existence is thrown into chaos when a baby is abandoned in her ER. From the instant a strange woman thrusts the infant into her arms and disappears, her life is transformed as she fights to save his life and give them the future they both deserve.
Was there anything in particular, an incident or something you read, that made you want to tackle this?
When I was working in a hospital many years ago, there was a young patient who had suffered a severe brain injury and had been in a coma for several months. I’m not sure of the circumstances, but he was a ward of the state. I often passed his room and saw the way the nurses and other medical staff treated him with loving care, concern, and respect. I moved to another city shortly after and never knew what became of that boy, but the incident started a story brewing in my brain. Arms of Grace is the result.
Tell us more about Grace Ward. What makes her so special?
Grace is a determined woman who is fiercely loyal, but she has a tender and loving side, too. She’s a dedicated nurse who fights for the rights of her patients and the little guys. Due to her tragic past, she has a hard time trusting others, but she learns there are many worthy of her trust if she gives them a chance.
Why did you include a deadly infection in the story?
I’ve had a few readers ask if the epidemic in the story is related to the pandemic, but Arms of Grace came out long before what’s happening in the world right now. I’ve always been fascinated with epidemiology and infectious disease, but I never could have imagined our current situation. Fortunately, Covid-19 is far less deadly than the virus in the story!
Arms of Grace is a finalist in consideration for production by Wind Dancer Films. Please tell us more about this.
Arms of Grace was a silver medalist in the Readers’ Favorites Awards, and as part of that competition, Wind Dancer Films chose 10 books out of thousands to consider for adaptation into film and Arms of Grace made the list! I was shocked and thrilled when I got the call. They haven’t optioned Arms of Grace yet, but fingers crossed.
You write about some heavy themes—things that many of your readers have probably never experienced—yet it's very easy to identify with your characters. How do you make them so relatable?
Great question! One of my favorite things about fiction is that we can travel to new places or imaginary worlds, meet interesting people or have experiences we never would in our realities, all without setting foot outside our homes. As an avid reader myself, I love books that transport me to places where the characters come alive. I try to create that feel in my stories, hoping to make the characters real people you could meet in everyday life. When I’m creating a story, the characters become real to me. I know who they are, their mannerisms, tone of speech, quirks, and all. I even dream about them occasionally. My goal is to get that down on paper, so the reader sees what I see.
What was your greatest challenge when writing this book?
Arms of Grace was my first complete novel, so there was a huge learning curve for me. You can take all the classes and read all the books on how to do it, but like most things, there’s no substitute for sitting down to do it. Writing a book is a massive undertaking, and seeing it through took more commitment and discipline than I’d expected. There were times when I wanted to quit, but I’m so glad I didn’t!
When starting on a new book, what is the first thing you do?
The first thing I do is write out what’s called the premise. This is the core of what the main character’s journey or goal is and what will happen if she doesn’t achieve it. It’s a challenge to narrow that down to a workable idea. Sometimes I write it out like a blurb or tagline on a movie poster. Once I have that, I begin mapping out the points along the way of my hero’s journey. That’s my favorite part of creating a new story!
How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
The sequel, Little Lost Things, is the continuing story of Grace and Johnny after some time has passed and includes many of the same characters from Arms of Grace. Grace’s Favorite Italian Dishes is a cookbook based on the novels and includes some of Grace’s favorite recipes prepared by Alec. Each recipe has a fun snippet that relates to the characters or story. The series isn't finished, so stay tuned for another installment sometime in 2022!
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Interacting with readers is my favorite part of being an author! They can get in touch through the following links:
Email: [email protected]