IT'S SAGA SATURDAY!! I am thrilled to bring an interview with fabulous saga author Elaine Everest...

 


Th     Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today, Rachel!

         You're welcome! I am looking forward to find out more about you and your latest release A MOTHER           FOREVER - let's get started...

1.)                What genre do you typically read? Why?

I love to read crime fiction. James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club, Peter James’ Roy Grace series are firm favourites. I will also reread Dick Francis novels as I love the way he set his books around the racing world but not always at a racecourse. Talking of rereading older books, I’m a big fan of Dennis Wheatley’s novels and have the complete set of his works.
Although crime is my first choice of reading material, I’m as likely to read romcom or straightforward romance if the cover or blurb catches my eye, or it happens to be written by an RNA chum.
 

2.)                Share a favourite childhood memory.

Any family party or wedding where my dad and his brothers and sisters would get up on the stage and sing. I would be drawn to the songs they sang from the years before I was born. I absorbed those times and now they play a big part in my stories. My family were very much like the locals in my WW2 sagas. Decent, honest and would stand up to anyone who threatened their family. I’m fortunate to be able to write about the place and people I love so much.

3.)                Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?

My husband is shouting ‘books and dogs!’

Yes, I have bookcases full of non-fiction books, but my excuse is they are research material for my work so not exactly an addition - are they? However, the joy of finding an old copy of an out-of-print book telling the lives of working-class people during either of the wars is such a joy. Then, of course there is my collection of The New Bond, the staff magazine of F W Woolworths. The began in the 1930s and show so well the personal and working lives of the staff. Each of the monthly publications paints a picture of a bygone age.
As for my dogs. I’ve bred and exhibited Old English sheepdogs since the 1970s. It has been quite a commitment as well as an honour to own this lovely breed. Sadly, our last home bred boy passed away a few years back, so we now own our second favourite breed, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog and have just the one – Henry is a right character and I’ve used his Polish name, Henio, in my Teashop Girls series. Come to think of it quite a few of my dogs’ names have crept into my books.

4.)                What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?

That is an interesting question. For me it would be to have a good plot that will weave itself through a historical setting and remain believable. New writers have asked me quite often how to write a historical novel thinking they can simply choose a time in history favoured by readers and take their characters to the end of the war without perishing. Yes, have your historical setting but also have a story featuring interesting characters with a problem to overcome.

I also enjoy research and can get lost in my books and newspapers etc. Starting the writing can be quite daunting and then there’s that light bulb moment when the story falls into place and I can submerse myself in my storytelling.

5.)                Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?

It depends how close I am to my deadline! As a rule, I aim for 1,000 to 1,500 words a day, but often hit around the 2,500-word mark. Writing is just a small part of my working day. ‘The business of writing’ can take over at times as can promoting my books and the writing classes I teach.

6.)                What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I have never pitched a series to my publisher. I have abject fear of having a contract for a series and the first bombs and I still have to write the rest. Does that make me a coward? I have several series that run at the same time, but they are commissioned as and when an idea comes to me and my editor agrees with the outline. I would love to write another Butlins novel one day and readers do keep asking me so watch this space.

Thank you so much for your interesting questions.

About Elaine:

Elaine hails from North West Kent and grew up listening to stories of the war years in her hometown of Erith, which features in her bestselling Woolworths Girls series. A former journalist, author of non-fiction books for dog owners, and qualified creative writing tutor. Elaine has written well over one hundred short stories for the women's magazine market. When she isn't writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school in Hextable, Kent.

Elaine is currently published by Pan Macmillan for her Sunday Times Bestselling historical sagas including the Woolworths Girls series and The Teashop Girls series. She is represented by Caroline Sheldon at the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency. She lives with her husband, Michael and Polish Lowland Sheepdog Henry.

You can find out more about Elaine on:

 Twitter :         @ElaineEverest 

Facebook:       Elaine Everest Author

Website:          ElaineEverest.com

Instagram:         Elaine.Everest

Paperbacks are available for all supermarkets and booksellers from 4th March and all good online sellers.


 

A MOTHER FOREVER

1905: Ruby Caselton may only be twenty-five years old but she already has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Heavily pregnant with her second child, penniless and exhausted, she is moving her family into a new home. The Caseltons left their last place when they couldn’t pay the rent, but Ruby’s husband Eddie has promised this will be a fresh start for them all. And Ruby desperately hopes that this time he will keep his word.

With five-year-old George at her feet and her mother having a cross word for everyone and everything, life is never dull at number thirteen Alexandra Road. It doesn’t take long before Eddie loses another job and once again hits the bottle. It’s up to Ruby to hold them all together, through thick and thin. She remembers the kind, caring man Eddie once was and just can’t give up on him entirely. What she doesn’t know is that Eddie has a secret, one so dark that he can’t bear to tell even Ruby . . .

Through Ruby’s grit and determination, she keeps food on the table and finds herself a community of neighbours on Alexandra Road. Stella, the matriarch from across the way, soon becomes a friend and confidante. She even dreams that Ruby will ditch the useless Eddie and take up with her eldest son, Frank. But when war breaks out in 1914, the heartbreaks and losses that follow will fracture their community, driving both Stella and Ruby to breaking point. Will their men ever return to them?

A Mother Forever is the moving story of one woman’s journey through the worst trials of her life – poverty, grief, betrayal – but through it all is the love and comfort she finds in family: the family we’re connected to through blood, but also the family we make for ourselves with neighbours and friends.

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