Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Welcome to Romance Author - Elaine Everest

I’m delighted to welcome Elaine Everest to my blog.

Elaine Everest - Author

Hello Elaine - It was lovely to connect with you through the Romantic Novelists’ Association. I find the RNA to be such a great group to belong to and very supportive of all romance authors (new and established) and their diverse romance genres. But before we discover more about your latest release, Wedding Bells for Woolworths, here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers and followers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.

Elaine: Thank you for inviting me to your blog today, Arabella and asking such interesting questions.

Arabella: Authors can release books, making them available to readers in various ways…via an agent, or working directly with a traditional publisher, or they can even go the self-publishing route. Which method of publishing do you prefer, and why?
Elaine: I had four books published before I was approached by an agent, and then published by one of the ‘Big Five’. My first three books were paperback first – this was before digital publishing, so eBooks came along later. I enjoyed going out and about to do signings and meeting readers. With these being books for dog owners I would sign at dog shows and also at Crufts which was great as I go to meet many dogs and their owners. I also had one eBook novella – my first saga, so not only was this learning about promoting online but also working with a small publisher. Soon after I became represented by Caroline Sheldon of the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency who has been a joy to work with being inspiring and also straight talking when I worry about something. With Caroline’s negotiations I was signed by Pan Macmillan after writing just three chapters. The rest is history. I really do feel I’m a traditional author as I like to see my books in supermarkets and bookshops. I also enjoy working with professionals, who know the industry inside out. I do admire writing friends who self-publish. Who knows, perhaps one day I’ll be brave and try to produce my own book from start to finish.

Arabella: A slice of Chocolate Cake, a piece of Fruit, or Burger and Fries?
Elaine: I should say a piece of fruit but will opt for a slice of chocolate cake. For me cake means I have something to celebrate and quite often that is book related. This may be sending my latest manuscript off to my editor, or perhaps news about sales. Publication day will be celebrated with afternoon tea with friends, something I missed when Wedding Bells for Woolworths was published at the end of April. Instead I ordered cake online from Betty’s, which was delicious.
At the writing classes I run in Hextable, Kent, we often celebrate successes with cream cakes.
The only thing better is a glass of fizz!

Arabella: Who or what inspired you to write your latest release, Wedding Bells for Woolworths?
Elaine: My latest release, Wedding Bells for Woolworths is set in 1947 and 1948. This is the sixth book in the series and just like the others I will not send an outline to my publisher until I am happy that I have enough historical interest to weave my plot around. The Woolworths Girls was supposed to be a stand-alone book. However, readers took the book to their heart, so I kept writing until we reached the end of World War 2 with A Gift from Woolworths. However, I knew that the characters had so much more to give I started to think about another book. With the war over whatever could I write about? Reaching for my history books I spotted Princess Elizabeth’s engagement and wedding to her Philip in 1947 and the ‘Austerity Olympics in 1948 London. Ideas started to form… I had my story!
Next March there will be another book about older characters.  I’ll be going back to 1905 to tell the story of Ruby Caselton as a young woman. I had great fun writing that book. Even now the characters are whispering to me to visit them in 1950…

Arabella: If the person of your dreams, (husband/wife/partner/or superstar), were to take you out for the night, where would they take you and what would you do?
Elaine: What a lovely question! At the moment, while in lockdown I’d kill for a very good Indian meal so would like to drive to a nearby town with my husband and meet up with old friends and pass the night eating and chatting.
However, having recently missed a writing retreat in Ramsgate with three writing friends where we eat out each night in different restaurants overlooking the historical harbour, I would kill to have the world back to normal and head to East Kent where my teashop books are set. We do get a lot of writing done during the week but enjoy our evenings too.

Arabella: Currently, what is your most favourite T.V. programme, and why?
Elaine: I love to watch old movies my favourite channel being Talking Pictures. Films can often conjure up ideas for books and short stories along with showing the times where my books are set. The other day I watched Hobson’s Choice and last week The Boys from Brazil. I’m waiting for ‘A Matter of Life and Death to appear and also Private Function. All lovely films. My husband is now retired and will browse channels to find documentaries about WW2 to help by book research.
I’m a great fan of quiz shows and try to reach my daily wordcount by the time Countdown starts each day. I have lunch while watching and then get stuck into book related admin work while Tenable, Tipping Point and The Chase are on in the background. I can work while the TV is on but for some reason cannot work when I play music.

A Matter of Life and Death

Arabella: When writing a book or chapter, which do you concentrate on first: plot, character, or setting?
Elaine: Plot comes first, but I don’t start to write until I know everything about that chapter or scene. I need to be able to see the scene and be part of what is going to happen. Then I open my laptop and start to write.

Arabella: How do you research your novels and characters?
Elaine: I have a vast collection of non-fiction books I can wade through along with DVDs, CDs for music research, and old maps, magazines from the period and memorabilia I’ve collected along the way. If I’m writing a Woolworths book, I’ll go back to the cyber Woolworths museum and also visit Bexley council archives for news about the towns where the books are set. I’m fortunate that the library and archives departments will send me interesting snipped and images if they come across something that may be of interest for me. Lucky me!

Arabella: What advice would you give to someone who is starting out on their writing journey?
Elaine: I would say keep reading and engross yourself in the novels set in the eras you wish to set your book. Study bestselling authors to see how they write successful books. Learn from authors who have gone before us. Also, keep writing even if you feel it is rubbish. Small gems come from our ‘rubbish words’ and will give us ideas for new scenes and stories.

Thank you again for inviting me along today xx

It was lovely to have you as a guest on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, Elaine. And the fact your local library sends you special clippings…WOW! Your own ‘private’ researchers. J
Best wishes for your latest release, Wedding Bells for Woolworths, and hoping there are lots more Woolworth adventures to come.

About   Elaine Everest

Elaine Everest - Author

Elaine Everest is from North West Kent and she 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, and author of non-fiction books for dog owners, Elaine has written over ninety short stories for the women's magazine market. A winner of major competitions including BBC Radio short story of the year writer, and runner up in the Harry Bowling Prize she enjoys a challenge. This includes broadcasting live on radio and having to think on her feet when asked awkward questions.
When she isn't writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school in Hextable, Kent. She lives with her husband, Michael and Polish Lowland sheepdog Henry.

Chat to Elaine:
Twitter: @ElaineEverest
Facebook: Elaine Everest Author
Instagram: @Elaine.Everest

Book Blurb:    Wedding Bells for Woolworths

July 1947. Britain is still gripped by rationing, even as the excitement of Princess Elizabeth’s engagement sweeps the nation...
In the Woolworths’ canteen, Freda is still dreaming of meeting her own Prince Charming. So far, she’s been unlucky in love. When she has an accident on her motorbike, knocking a cyclist off his bicycle, it seems bad luck is still following her around. Anthony is not only a fellow Woolworths employee but was an Olympic hopeful. Will his injured leg heal in time for him to compete? Can he ever forgive Freda?
Sarah's idyllic family life is under threat with worries about her husband, Alan. Does he still love her? The friends must rally round to face some of the toughest challenges of their lives together. And although they experience loss, hardship and shocks along the way, love is on the horizon for the Woolworths girls.

Formats: eBook, paperback, audio, hardcover
Published 30th April 2020
Available from all good online sellers and supermarkets.


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today, Arabella. xxx

    1. Elaine - Thank you for entering into the spirt of the blog and reaching out to readers and writers. You gave some great tips and lots of 'Chit-Chat' about yourself.
      All the best for your release, 'Wedding Bells for Woolworths', and I'm looking forward to hearing about the next book in the series.

  2. A great interview with lots of top tips for writers! Many thanks Arabella and Elaine.

    1. Jenny - Thank you for leaving a comment and I'm so pleased you enjoyed reading the blog. Elaine gave some great answers and there was a lot I discovered.
      Uum...The Write Place creative writing school. If ever I move to Kent...

  3. A great interview, Elaine and Arabella. Thank you both.


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