So excited to have Elaine Everest on the blog today with an exclusive look at a day in her life. Elaine’s fantastic new novel Christmas at Woolworths lets us catch up with best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda. You can enter win a copy over on our Twitter page today, link below.
Even though there was a war on, the Woolworths girls brought Christmas cheer to their customers
Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths. With their loved ones away on the front line, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day. Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love . . . Until a mysterious stranger turns up one day – could he reignite a spark in Betty?
As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead . . .
With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?
A Day in the life of Elaine Everest
Elaine Everest, author of Bestselling novel The Woolworths Girls and The Butlins Girls was born and brought up in North West Kent, where many of her books are set. She has been a freelance writer for twenty years and has written widely for women’s magazines and national newspapers, with both short stories and features. Her non-fiction books for dog owners have been very popular and led to broadcasting on radio about our four legged friends. Elaine has been heard discussing many topics on radio from canine subjects to living with a husband under her feet when redundancy looms.
When she isn’t writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school at The Howard Venue in Hextable, Kent and has a long list of published students.
Elaine lives with her husband, Michael, and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry, in Swanley, Kent and is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Crime Writers Association, The Society of Women Writers & Journalists and The Society of Authors as well as Slimming World where she can been sitting in the naughty corner.
Thank you for inviting me to your blog.
I always thought the life of a writer would be as glamorous as Barbara Cartland’s life with a room full of secretaries noting down my every work and a bevy of staff to peel grapes and jump on my very whim.
So… I’m woken early with our dog, Henry, woofing to go out into the garden to chase off the foxes that chose our garden to play in throughout the night. Then I put the kettle on and switch on my laptop. I try to avoid social media until I’ve answered my emails and added any work requests to my ‘list for the day’ – the list is never ending!
Anyone who has ever dreamt of becoming a full-time writer has never, in my opinion, imagined doing admin and paperwork but, like any self-employed business (as that is what we run) there is paperwork to attend to whether it be accounts, answering messages from our agent, updating our publisher on the latest book or the enjoyable task of responding to readers. Often it can be hours before I start to write. However, write I must and for me, that is turning out at least one thousand words of the current work in progress each day. Currently, I’m about to start writing another Woolworths novel for Christmas 2018 and I’m deep into research. National news, local news, food, clothes, work, I need to immerse myself into the world of my ‘girls until I can find the connection. Even while I’m researching and making copious notes I can hear Ruby calling to me to write down her predicament. Bob wants to have a telephone installed at number thirteen and she’s none too keen. They only bring bad news don’t they? I’ll stop and write that scene now…
Apart from Thursdays when I attend a Slimming World group – don’t ask about my weight loss – I’ll make sure to have written some words before lunch. At the moment I’m into making my own fresh soup. We have a soup maker and it is so easy to load it with fresh vegetable and twenty-minutes later sit down to a hot meal. My favourite recipes are Pea and Ham and Chicken and Sweetcorn. I must try some new recipes before we become bored!
After lunch I’ll head out with my husband and Henry for a brisk walk around our local park. I wear a Fit Bit to monitor my daily steps but to be honest I treat it more like at watch at times. Sitting at a computer all day long is not good for me and as a diabetic I must exercise more. A five thousand-step walk will help with this. We may stop at the farm shop on the way home or my husband will drop me off at the supermarket where I make sure to sneak to the book section to look at my own books or take a photo of my friends latest paperbacks. We love to share ‘shelfies’ on Facebook. Back home I’ll log onto social media and catch up with readers and friends. I’ll chat with my students on our closed group and no doubt discuss the latest news at the same time before getting back to work.
Apart from writing a book I may also have edits in from my editor, Victoria, at Pan Macmillan or there could be a book coming out soon in which case I’ll be working with bloggers and my wonderful PR representative, Bethan, at ED PR. It is such an exciting time as I watch a book I poured my heart and soul into heading towards the bookshelves and my wonderful readers. Reviewers will be giving their opinions of my story and fingers crossed the booksellers like it enough to stock the book in their shops.
Do I switch off before dinner, as I would have done twenty years ago before I became a full-time writer? No, of course not. Stories will be swirling round in my head while I prepare dinner and afterwards I’ll open up my laptop and get stuck in again. It is an honour to be contracted to write books and if I have a story to tell I ignore the clock and keep writing. Wouldn’t you?
I do take time off and this is one of the perks of being self-employed and working from home. Now my husband has retired we can take ourselves off for the afternoon to visit a National Trust property or perhaps wander round a garden center – or just stay at home and watch a DVD. I also like to meet fellow writers for an outing or a pleasant lunch. However, I have to make up for any lost time or I feel my work in progress following me round tapping on my shoulder to remind me to get writing.
For anyone thinking of becoming a writer I wish you good luck. Put the hours in, learn your trade and you will find you have a job for life – a very enjoyable job.
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