Good morning…. and welcome once again to my blog.!! So sorry I didn’t blog last week, but I just had to finish reading Elaine’s book Gracie’s War before I could give it a review..!!
First, I’d like to Introduce Elaine…
Elaine was born in Kent and has lived there all her life. She loves to set her stories in the NW Kent area about times gone by and the people she knows so well. Her favourite era is the 1940s where her strong female characters cope not just with the war but with family issues and life in general.
Married to Michael for many years she is mad about dogs and has shared her home with umpteen Old English Sheepdogs and Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, some of whom were homebred. Elaine has written over sixty short stories for women’s magazines, non-fiction books for dog owners as well as many features for most UK newspapers and magazines. When not writing Elaine can either be found at a dog show either exhibiting Henry her latest family member, judging or just chatting to friends or running The Write Place creative writing school that she founded in 2009.
I blog as part of the WriteMindsWritePlace team. We are five RNA members who also sell short stories to the Womag markets.
The Write Place creative writing school: www.thewriteplace.org.uk
Twitter: @elaineeverest Facebook: Elaine Everest
Ok…. Now we have the tea poured, the cream scones ready and the… well the sun isn’t shining, but we will pretend.
Good morning Elaine and thank you for allowing me to interview you.
What is your favourite memory of writing?
I can recall having a Petit Typewriter as a Christmas present and basing out my first world changing novel entitled, ’Pip the Pixie’. I’m not sure what happened to Pip but I do recall that at the age of ten I had no idea of how to present a manuscript and just kept taping fresh pages to the bottom of the completed work then rolling it up like a scroll.
Could I ask, Where or what do you draw your inspiration from?
I’m currently writing historical family sagas set in World War Two. The area I love to write about is where I was born in North West Kent (part of which is now South East London). My inspiration comes from my family having lived in the area for hundreds of years and knowing much of what happened in the towns and villages I know so well. I often think I was born in the wrong time.
From any of your novels, which would be your favourite character?
My favourite character is Peggy from my novel, Gracie’s War. Peggy is Gracie’s best friend and stands by her whatever the world throws her war – and Gracie does have her share of troubles. We can all do with a friend like Peggy.
And could I ask you to describe your own perfect hero. I know what mine would be.!!
I’m kind of in love with Tony from Gracie’s War. As the story starts at the beginning of WW2 I looked to film idols of the time and found a young John Mills. Honest, decent and will get his girl and be faithful whatever happens. My heroes have to ‘decent sorts’ I don’t go for the wild men who need to be tamed. Well, ‘back then’ decent chaps always got their girl – in the films at least!
I must confess to quite liking a bad boy and try to add one to my stories. However, true to the time period I cover they will always get their come-uppance after breaking the girl’s heart.
Would you ever, or have you ever used parts of your own life within your novels?
Not quite my own life but I have used my Mum’s story in Gracie’s War. Gracie is trapped by rising flood waters when the Thames broke its bank during the terrible floods of 1953. As a child my Mum told me how she was rescued by boat along with her wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses – all homemade – and so romantic. Thousands of people were made homeless by those floods and indeed there were deaths but for me the drama and romance of the story was perfect for Gracie. Mum married Dad one month later and I appeared on the scene ten months after the wedding. I’d love to ask my Mum more of her young life during the war years. I know it was a hard time but Mum died at a very young age and her stories died with her.
When is your favourite time of the year to write?
Winter, when it’s cold and the curtains are shut against the wind and rain. Today it has been so hot and I’ve found it hard to write. In fact I’m writing this just after midnight as the night is cooler. I often go away to a writing retreat with my friends in November. We like to rent a cottage by the sea in Whitstable. We write for a few hours then go for a walk along the sea wall and stop for a hot drink before returning to our keyboard. It’s an important part of my writing year.
And finally. What are you currently writing and what makes it unique from other novels you’ve written?
I’m currently working on a full length saga again set in WW2. This time I have a literary agent and working under her guidance to produce a story that readers will enjoy and publishers want to buy! I’m being asked all the time for a follow up to Gracie’s War and hope that before too long there will be a follow up. Being published with Gracie was an exciting time for me. I was fortunate to be picked up by Pulse after winning their ‘Write for Us’ competition and this lad to me becoming a graduate of the RNA Nw Writers’ Scheme. In May I was one of the lucky authors to be short listed for the Joan Hessayon Award and although I never won – there were some fab books and authors – I was able to secure an l agent to represent me for future work. I’m still pinching myself.
Wow, thank you so much for sharing with us.
My review on Gracie’s War.
Gracie’s War was published by Pulse (Myrmidon Books) in October 2013. It follows Gracie as WW2 starts and she falls head over heels in love with Tony. But then Joe, a family friend, wants her at all costs and Colin has gone away to war. Can a girl stay strong and be good when her world is collapsing around her?
This was an amazing book that transported me to WW2 wartime britain. Elaine very cleverly details the clothes, foods, atmosphere and lifestyle. I couldn’t put this down and is a must for anyone to read. It has a lovely mixture of everything. A little romance, hardship, drama and mystery. I loved it…!!
Available for download from Amazon:
From me… 5 stars..!!
Next week, I will be so happy…. I’ll have the very lovely Suzan Collins with me.