Friday 8 May 2020

Blog Tour: Author Interview with Elaine Everest Author of Wedding Bells For Woolworths

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Wedding Bells for Woolworths. Wedding Bells for Woolworths by Elaine Everest is out now, published by Pan Macmillan, priced £6.99 as paperback original and eBook. I have an interview with Elaine Everest to share with you today and if you like the sound of that, you can click here to order your copy now. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

Here's what it's all about... 

Wedding Bells for Woolworth is the latest feel-good novel in former Woolies girl Elaine Everest's bestselling Woolworths Girls series. It sees the return of her well-loved characters in another heartfelt and gripping story. 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. 

Are you ready for that interview?
Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today.

First question- how did you get into writing?
I’ve been a fulltime freelance writer since 1997 when I gave up my work in office management to concentrate on my writing. It wasn’t a good year as I had health problems and both my father and father in law passed away. It was the nudge I needed to turn a hobby into a business, and I steamed in writing short fiction for magazines, articles for newspapers, online content, competitions etc. There were highs and lows, and a lot of hard work, but twenty-three year later I can say it was enjoyable and successful.

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?
I never base my characters on real people. However, I may lift an interesting trait, circumstance, or mannerism from time to time.
I will know all my characters before I start to write. I will make sure I know their motives, weaknesses and strengths. Knowing what makes a character tick means I can throw them into any situation and understand how they will react.

What was the inspiration behind Wedding Bells for Woolworths?
My previous Woolworths novels had brought us to the end of WW2. With Freda appearing in The Butlins Girls we knew what she was up to in 1946. So, when another book was requested by my publisher, Pan Macmillan, I knew we had to move forward and away from the war years. I hit the history books and discovered that Princess Elizabeth married Phillip in 1947 and the ‘Austerity Olympics was held in London the following year. With the historical information in place I could next decide what should happen with my characters. That is where the fun starts!

What is your writing process - do you plan it out first? Write a bit at a time?
When an author is contracted to a publisher it is not possible to ‘just write’. We need to have an outline and for our editor to ‘really love it’ before we plan more before starting to write – and send in the manuscript on time six months later.

How much of you is reflected in your writing?
I write sagas set in a time before I was born – but the town is my place of birth and I know the Woolworths store (I was a Saturday girl many moons ago), and I know the people who lived in the town. So, in a way much of what I am is in my books.

What kind of research did you have to do before/during writing Wedding Bells for Woolworths?
A lot! I have to know what is happening with Woolworths at the time of the book. What is happening with my characters since the last book – that means checking character profiles and notes. I need to know what is happening in the world since the end of WW2 and also what has happened in the town where the books are set. I love this aspect of writing my books especially when I come across a little nugget of information that I can use in a story.  

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?
I’m grateful to anyone who spares time to write a review, post something about my books on their blogs. A comment on social media, private messages, and letters are all a joy to receive. 
However, I’m not happy with the underbelly of the review world where people write horrid comments about authors and their books whilst hiding behind made up names. Some of the major websites and selling sites refuse to help authors by taking them down and for new authors this can be distressing. There are also some smaller publishers who nag their authors to ask on social media for book reviews – this is so tacky! Reviews should be given freely in appreciation and accepted with love.  

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?
I’m in awe of many of my fellow saga authors. They write with sincerity and a great knowledge of their subject. We are a close circle who chat online and meet up whenever we can. The support we received when times are hard – writing as a profession can be so hard at times – is valued so much. So, if you don’t mind I’ll not single out any one author. x

Finally, what are you working on right now?
I have two books already written and with my publisher, Pan Macmillan. Christmas with the Teashop Girls is to be published in October 202, with another book linked to my Woolworth characters coming out in March 2021.

I’m in the process of starting a new WW2 novel for October 2021 at the moment, which I’m excited about as it is a little different to my past books.

Thank you for such interesting questions

Elaine xx

About the Author
Elaine Everest is from North West Kent and she grew up listening to stories of the war years in her home town of Erith, which features in her bestselling Woolworths Girls series. A former journalist, and author of nonfiction books for dog owners, Elaine has written over sixty short stories for the women's magazine market. When she isn't writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school in Hextable, Kent. She lives with her husband, Michael and sheepdog Henry. 
You can find out more about Elaine on Twitter @ElaineEverest or Facebook /elaine.everest

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