Meet Elaine Schulte

Today, you might find Elaine Schulte at the gym, observing from the sidelines as young gymnasts take their first tumbles on the balance beam. Tomorrow, she might be sitting a few rows from a stage, watching as kids audition for Christian theater.

When you find Elaine, you'll notice she's holding a pen in one hand and a notebook in the other. Whatever kind of book she's writing—whether historical fiction, a book for preteens, or an adult novel—she feels that research is necessary to create an accurate, relevant story. "I do a lot more research than you'd think," says the author of 27 novels.

Although she focuses mainly on books, Schulte occasionally writes magazine articles. A recent article presents guidelines for choosing children's novels. She believes that "warning Christians about the content of secular novels" is one aspect of her ministry. "So many people think that just because their children are reading a book, it's better than hanging out in the mall or doing drugs, " she says. "But some of the secular novels are so terrible that they're imprinting very bad things in [the readers'] brains."

That's one of the reasons she began writing the Twelve Candles Club series for young girls. "My agent called me and said, 'Could you do something like the [secular] 'Baby-sitters Club' series but with a Christian accent?"

At the time, Schulte was enjoying the success of her adult books and wasn't sure she wanted to write children's books. But she decided to give it a try, and the Twelve Candles Club series was born. Although the Twelve Candles titles deal with issues facing girls, such as blended families and coping with siblings, Schulte is quick to point out they're not "problem" books. "There's a place for problem books. I've written some myself, but the Twelve Candles Club is a series I want girls to enjoy and still be encouraged in their walk with Christ," she says.

In addition to the Twelve Candles Club, Elaine is also the author of the Ginger series, California Pioneer series and her latest children's series, the Colton Cousins, which are historically accurate and especially useful for homeschoolers and Christian schools. They can be used as supplementary reading for units in Pioneers, Westward Expansion, U.S. History, Virginia History and California History.

Information courtesy of Bethany House Publishers. Updated 6/ 2003

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