Fellahs, what have we agreed? Not just about hamstah week? That there wasn’t going to be one?
No. I wasn’t bad.
Not necessarily. The correlation between being good and having It’s Hamstah week is non existent. Do you really want to know? Now then, today’s guest is the lovely Elaine Jeremiah, who just released her second book.
Not exactly. In fact Elaine’s book is about a purty interesting subject as you’ll see if you button your big hamstah beaks and read on. What is more it is my pleasure to invite the lovely lady here today, so let’s go with it. Take it away the Dook…
Shey. So Elaine, let’s forget this book stuff. Tell us about you. I mean I can’t believe you have this dog called Dug. And we are very fond of dogs called Dug here after a certain Dug took over the Naughty Christmas Blog Hop.
But I called a dog that in one of my books!
Elaine. I live in the UK in the city of Bristol, the biggest city in the south west of England, with my husband and our dog who is indeed called Dug! Dug will be four years old in October. He’s a beautiful golden retriever and he’s lovely. But he was VERY difficult to train as a puppy – basically you couldn’t teach him anything he was so excitable. So he’s actually a lot better now, especially to cuddle. As a puppy he was all teeth and claws.
I haven’t always lived in Bristol – I actually grew up about a hundred miles away near Southampton where I was born. But my husband is pretty much properly a West Country man. I’ve lived in Bristol ever since we married – so that’s 12 years now. And I love it. It’s a great city with friendly people and loads of places to shop, which suits me just fine!!
Shey. it’s a city with a big history of trading and sea-faring, but it’s also the birthplace of Hollywood star, Cary Grant.
And, not content with that–Bristol that is, not you lot, there’s the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
where Ralph Bates, Peter O’Toole, Kenneth Cope, Patrick Stewart, Jane Lapotaire, Pete Postlethwaite, Jeremy Irons, Greta Scacchi, Miranda Richardson, Helen Baxendale, Daniel Day-Lewis and Gene Wilder–puhew– studied their craft. (To name but a few.)
Elaine. Oh gosh that list makes me feel so ignorant lol!!! I knew about Cary Grant and I was aware that a lot of well-known actors trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School but I didn’t know all of those you mentioned had. One actor with a Bristol connection I must mention is Bob Hope.
Bob Hope actually lived for a while down the road from where I live now before his family emigrated to the States when he was very young. There’s actually a (rather tacky-looking) plaque to him at the entrance to St George Park where I walk Dug!
Shey. Wow! How did I miss him? Paleface Potter was such a brill cheesy film! What is it with Bristol? The drinking water? Elaine. It’s hard to narrow down choosing a favourite because they’re all great, but I did like Patrick Stewart in Star Trek and other things. He’s an amazing actor.
Elaine. Well without giving too much away, it’s a romance about a young woman, Anna, who’s invited along with her best friend Melissa to their secondary school reunion. (In case you don’t know the UK school system, secondary school is for 11-16 year olds.)
Anna’s reluctant to go; she was very unhappy there and is worried it’ll bring back bad memories for her. But Melissa encourages her to go so they do. Anna sees Will there – a guy she was at school with who made her life a misery. She finds it hard to cope seeing him there, but he’s different from how she remembers him. I don’t want to say too much more, but the reunion acts as a catalyst for change for Anna and she’s surprised by the direction her life takes.
Shey. Great idea for a book especially as school days can make fond memories, or not so fond. How was that for you?
Elaine. Erm… not so good. I had a really tough time at school, especially at secondary school. In some ways I guess you could say I drew on my own experiences a bit when writing this novel. Although in the novel Anna experiences things I didn’t.
Elaine. No, I’ve never been to a reunion.
Shey. I don’t blame you if your school days were tough. What are your thoughts on them generally?
Elaine. I was actually invited to one – to my first secondary school that I went to. I switched schools when I was 13. But I turned it down, as I said my schooldays were not happy ones and although it would have been interesting to see my ex fellow pupils all grown up, I decided I’d rather not.
My thoughts on school reunions? Well I guess it comes down to how you got on when you were at school, if you were happy or not. I think that sort of determines how well it will go for you. Like my mum said to me – I may have been curious about what my ex fellow pupils were like now, but they too would be scrutinising me.
So I think for some people, like myself, who’ve had a bad experience, it’s best not to go there. But it certainly makes for an interesting storyline which is why I wanted to explore it in this novel.
Elaine. Oh he’s very delicious. I’m not going to tell you his name for fear of giving too much away! But he’s tall, with a great athletic figure, a defined and sculpted body with dark eyes and dark curly hair which curls around his temples. He dresses well and his clothes cling to his body in all the right places, as my heroine Anna notices.
Shey. Oh she wouldn’t be the only one…
Elaine. He’s very creative too and did a degree in fine art, specialising in jewellery making. Now he owns his own jewellers.
Shey. Oh he sounds delicious. A sort of …gem.. Not looking at any jewel thieves here. You’ve chosen to go down the self-publishing route. What advice would you give anyone considering this?
Elaine. Don’t expect success overnight. It can be a rewarding experience, but you’ve got to be prepared to work hard and realise that sales of your book may not come easily. I think it definitely helps to have more than one book out there. Once you’ve published more than one, there’s more scope for people to read your latest book and think ‘I’ve enjoyed this one, maybe I’ll read their other novel’.
Shey. So, what’s next for Elaine Jeremiah?
Elaine. Well I’m currently job hunting. I want to work part time as an admin assistant ideally, so I’ll still have plenty of time for writing. Writing-wise I’m working on another novel; I’ve done over 20,000 words on it. It’s another romance set in a school, but this time my heroine’s a school teacher. And she’s very different from Anna in ‘Reunion of the Heart’ – a lot feistier. I’ve deliberately set it 20 years ago as that is when I was at secondary school so that’s what I remember. I’m really not at all on the ball when it comes to technology in schools and what they’re like today! So I thought it’d be better to set it back in the day so that I know a bit more about what I’m writing.
Shey. A lot of aspiring writers follow this blog, any advice for them?
Elaine. Keep persevering, keep aspiring, don’t let go of your dreams. I dream of making it big in the writing world, I think as authors we all do, but even if you don’t make it THAT big, you can still make a little splash whose ripples can have a bigger effect. I’m not giving up – nor should you!
Shey. it only remains for me to thank you for giving your time today. Oh and wish you luck.
Meet Elaine here
After a messy breakup with her boyfriend, Anna is feeling fragile. So when her best friend Melissa suggests the two of them go to their school reunion, she’s reluctant as Anna’s school days weren’t her happiest. The evening is going well until she meets the boy who made her school life hell.
But the grown up Will is different and Anna is surprised by the direction her life takes. The reunion sets in motion a series of events that lead Anna to realise things will never be the same again.
‘Reunion of the Heart’ is a romance that will lead you to ponder whether love can atone for past mistakes.