I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Single All The Way by the fabulous Elaine Spires (released 9th October 2014, click here to get hold of your copy). For the tour I was given the opportunity to quiz Elaine on her latest release, what she likes most herself about the festive season and why writing contemporary fiction is the BEST…
Hello Elaine, a huge, warm welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! Thank you so much for participating in this interview. Would you like to start by introducing yourself…?
I’m a contemporary writer of books which are humorous, sexy and romantic with travel and twists thrown in along the way. When I’m not writing novels, I’m a playwright, director and actress too. At the moment I am directing Cindarella for Melabeau Productions at the Brookside Theatre in Romford. It stars ex Eastender Peter Dean, X-Factor’s Lydia Lucy & Luke White and other amazing actors. I’m so proud to be working with such an incredible cast! I live part of the year in Essex and the other part in my beloved Antigua.
Can you tell us a bit about your latest novel; Single All The Way (published 9th October 2014)?
It is the third book in the Singles’ Trilogy and is set in a country hotel in Essex over a snowy Christmas period. Travel Together Tour Manager Eve Mitchell is planning a quiet Christmas at home to rest and relax before a special New Year. But she soon, very unexpectedly, finds herself in the depths of the Essex countryside looking after a singles’ group which contains some old, familiar faces and some pleasant – and not so pleasant – new ones. With its country walks, quizzes, disco and black-tie ball, the Christmas and Twixmas Break passes quickly, but just as they think it’s all over the plot takes a twist and we learn some dark secrets…
Single All The Way is the third novel in your Singles’ Trilogy. For those of us who haven’t discovered this fantastic series yet can you tell us a bit more about the two previous books?
Singles’ Holiday (Book 1) is set in Antigua… the Caribbean at its most luscious, its most beautiful… silver sand, cobalt sky, warm turquoise sea… and a bunch of complete strangers, who only have one thing in common: they’re single. Some are looking for romance, some for something more. But they’ve all chosen to spend their holiday with people they have never met before. And pretty soon, some will become good friends, some enemies and some lovers. And many of them will experience things they never expected, including their tour manager Eve, who perhaps has the biggest shock of all.
It’s a story that will make you laugh and make you cry with just the right number of twists to keep you turning the pages as you get to know all the members of the group as they, in turn, get to know each other.
We have just finished a very successful run of the stage play of Singles’ Holiday which was held at Brentwood Theatre. It was truly wonderful to see my book acted out on stage with another incredible and very talented cast.
Singles & Spice (Book 2) is set around a holiday to India’s Golden Triangle – Taj Mahal, the pink city of Jaipur, tiger-spotting in Ranthambore, the noisy, crowded streets of Delhi. This is a trip that is hot, humid and spicy. Eve has a couple of familiar faces in her little group of travellers and others that she hasn’t met before; sexy man-eating pensioners, a compulsive over-eater, a constant whiner and a man with a personal problem. And there’s a big surprise awaiting someone -and Eve – early one morning. By the end of the tour, which sees the group travelling by coach, rickshaw, train and elephant, she will know rather more about some of their innermost secrets than she’d like. But Eve deals with all the twists and turns the trip throws at her as we come to understand what makes people travel the world with a bunch of complete strangers and appreciate the success that is a singles’ holiday.
Single All The Way is set during Christmas, what’s your favourite thing about the festive season?
I think I actually love the run up to Christmas rather than Christmas Day itself. I love the parties, the meeting up with friends, seeing the shops lit up, the lights in people’s windows. That’s the bit I love the most.
Is lead character in Single All The Way, Eve Mitchell, based on anyone in real life or she is completely fictional?
The automatic assumption is that Eve is me, merely because I have a history of working as a tour manager for a singles tour operator. She isn’t me though, she is an individual, although the way she reacts, and her thoughts and actions sometimes are based upon personal experience. I suppose therefore she’s a combination of me and her own person.
Where do you find inspiration for writing your novels?
Every day live gives me inspiration. The people I meet, my friend, what people are talking about on the bus, I find inspiration everywhere. My book What’s Eating Me comes from the fact that I’ve experienced food issues for most of my adult life. What’s Eating Me & Sweet Lady both started out as plays. Singles’ Trilogy and Sweet Lady came from experiences I have encountered throughout my life. My inspiration therefore comes from a mix of experience, people I’ve met along the way and my very vivid imagination!
As well as writing novels you are also a successful playwright and actress. Which profession would you say you enjoyed the most?
There is something about acting, especially at a theatre to a live audience, so I suppose if I had to choose just one of the areas, it would be acting. That said, I enjoy every single thing I do. I love writing just as much. It’s just that acting gives you an instant reaction, through laughter and other responses, which you don’t get from books unless a reader leaves a review or gets in touch to tell you how much they’ve enjoyed your writing.
What’s the best thing about writing contemporary fiction?
I like the fact that I’m not confined to a particular genre. My writing is not just chick lit, it’s not just erotic, it’s not just romance. It’s a mixture of all three. There is lots of light and shade and a bit of everyday life, fantasy and the odd twist thrown in! I do like a twist!
Who are your favourite authors and what books do you enjoy reading?
Lee Childs, Peter Jamdes, Val McDermid, Kathy Reichs – I really enjoy a good old murder mystery.
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
I’ve just started writing a book called The Banjo. A Banjo is an East-London term for a cul-de-sac. The book is based in a Banjo in Dagenham in the 1950s,60s & 70s and is based around the families living there and what is going on in their lives. This may be another trilogy. I haven’t quite decided yet!
I’m also working on a free Christmas novella for my readers which will be available VERY soon! Hopefully, fingers crossed, I will also be filming more of The Amazing Adventures of Maisie & Em, as we are waiting for more funding to be confirmed so we can shoot the rest of the series which is set in Antigua.
A huge thank you to Elaine for participating in this interview & also to the lovely Kim for including me as part of the Single All The Way blog tour. ♥
About the book
Single All the Way is the third in the Singles’ Trilogy. The first book Singles’ Holiday was set in Antigua and the second Singles & Spice set in India. In this book, Travel Together Tour Manager Eve Mitchell is planning a quiet Christmas at home to rest and relax before a special New Year. But she soon, very unexpectedly, finds herself in the depths of the Essex countryside looking after a singles’ group which contains some old, familiar faces and some pleasant – and not so pleasant – new ones.
With its country walks, quizzes, disco and black-tie ball, the Christmas and Twixmas Break passes quickly, but just as they think it’s all over the plot takes a twist and we learn some dark secrets…
About the author
Elaine Spires is an author of contemporary novelist of books which are humorous, sexy romantic with travel and twists thrown in along the way. When she’s not writing novels, she is a playwright, director 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 Antigua. You can find out more about Elaine and all her other books at her website www.elainespires.co.uk