Wordy Wednesday with Elaine Spires

It's August so it should be sunny and delightful in the UK, I'm sure it's sunny and delightful in Antigua. And this week's author has experience of both of those extremes. I'm happy to welcome Elaine Spires to Wordy Wednesday.

Elaine is a novelist, playwright and actress. Extensive travelling and a background in education and tourism perfected Elaine's keen eye for the quirky characteristics of people, captivating the humorous observations she now affectionately shares with the readers of her novels. Elaine spends her time between her homes in Essex and Five Islands, Antigua (W.I.).

So Elaine, grab a biscuit or a cocktail (or both, let's live a little) and we can begin..

When did you start writing?
I started writing plays about 20 years ago. I went to the Anna Scher Community Theatre in Islington and Anna always encouraged us. There was a prestigious Festival of Plays held at the end of every term from the best plays staged during that term. In 2005 I put on What's Eating Me on both the London and Edinburgh Fringes and afterwards I just didn't want to let go of Eileen, the heroine, so I turned the play into my first novel. Ooh a playwright, I'm not sure I've interviewed an author and a playwright before!

What 3 things (not including paper, computer, pens) would you like to facilitate a good days writing?
Inspiration, peace and quiet,

Do you write to a schedule, eg every day or three times a week, set times, etc or do you write as and when the mood strikes?
I wish I could say 'set times, every day.' That is what I would strive to do in an ideal world. Unfortunately, it really is as and when the mood strikes, although I do try to schedule in at least two complete days a week for writing, but my life has too many distractions! I love being in Antigua, though. I find it conducive to creativity. I can't help thinking that if I was in Antigua that work would be the last thing on my mind.

Is writing your main source of income, I read lots of articles saying writers make no money, and my readers asked this question a lot! Can you survive on book writing alone? if not, what else do you do?
I wish! I am hoping above hope that a publishing house will take me on but at the moment I self-publish and quite honestly make peanuts. I do a bit of acting and teaching drama and Spanish to makes ends meet. After five novels, two short-story collections, two novellas, a TV series and several plays I'm hoping to soon be an overnight success!

What are your favourite biscuits? Borders dark chocolate gingers. oooh good call, though they do get sticky in the sun

Where do you do most of your writing?
At home in Hornchurch, with forays to my little house in Antigua (Avocado Cottage) when time and finances permit.

What book are you reading at the moment?
I have just finished Renita D'Silva's A Sister's Promise. An enchanting book,exquisitely written. Renita's descriptive ability is second to nobody.

Do you use social media (facebook, twitter, instagram etc) to engage with your audience, do you think it helps sales and do you find it fun or a chore?
It is both to an extent. I am hopeless at self-promotion but I do try as I think used in the right way it can really boost sales, I just haven't cracked the right way yet! LOL! Modesty apart, I know that thousands of people would enjoy my books, but I find it hard to reach them through social media. I don't really 'get' Twitter, I'm afraid :( Readers writing reviews helps, too. Disaster! I adore twitter - I do think the secret is ...well, maybe I'll blog about that, mainly it's just about being chatty

Have you ever fallen over in public?
More times than I care to remember. If anyone is going to trip over it's me. And I also find seeing other people trip or fall over very funny, don't ask me why! And I once sashayed out of the Ladies at the Dorchester with my skirt tucked in my knickers. You can take the girl out of Essex....

Do you own an e-reader? and do you prefer to read digital or paper copy?
Yes, I've got a Kindle and a Kindle App on my iPad. Both are hugely convenient for travelling but I still prefer the feel, the smell, the joy of holding a good old book. This is a common theme, a love of the immediacy of getting an instant book and the convenience of a library in your bag, but we ll seem to love the feel of paper

Do you dream in colour?
Yes, most definitely.

If reading and writing were banned, what would you do instead?
I really can't imagine life without either, especially reading. It would be my idea of hell! Cook perhaps? But then, I wouldn't be able to read a recipe, would I? Travel again? But not good if you can't read up on your destination. Oh, dear! I'd probably have to do something awful, like exercise!

What is your ideal holiday?
Somewhere like the Maldives. That's like being on holiday in an aquarium. Deserted beaches, no children. Family resorts are my idea of hell. I also enjoy city breaks. I've had some fabulous ones, New York, Dublin, Amsterdam, Bilbao, Cork, Boston. I'm looking forward to Stockholm pre-Christmas.

Elaine has written a plethora of books, including:
What's Eating Me - Eileen Holloway is an obese mother of two, whose husband went out to see a man about a car one night and never came back - this sounds intriguing and something I'd like to read.

Sweet Lady - the story with a couple of huge twists, where nothing is as it seems! - set in Antigua, maybe a good summer read
The Singles Trilogy - again set in Antigua.
Several short story collections - I find short stories are perfect for a weekend or busy parents with little time!
Find out about all of Elaine's stories here
Why not grab a few for your kindle....or in paper form for that traditional feel.


COMING SOON - THE BANJO - A trilogy set in Dagenham from 1950s - present day

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