On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo
I'm delighted to welcome Elaine Roberts to Sunday Brunch
Thank you for inviting me to your Sunday brunch. For someone who doesn’t really enjoy breakfast brunch is a brilliant time, and it’s an opportunity for a good natter.
Welcome, Elaine what favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch?
One of my favourite foods, smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and I might bring an avocado as well. Sometimes I have a slice of toast or a muffin with it, but not today. I’m trying to be good so it’s better the temptation isn’t there. I’m attempting to get ready for the summer dresses.
Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?
Normally it would be a strong, but not stewed, cup of tea but today I think we’ll celebrate with a Bucks Fizz. That will surprise my friends because I very rarely drink alcohol, unless it’s a Pimms of course. I do like a drink that comes with a snack.
Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio?
The kitchen table will be great, thank you. I like the homely feel of it and we don’t have to interrupt our chatting for any top ups. I’m not one for eating outside; I don’t like having to fight with nature for my food.
Shall we have music playing in the background, and if so do you have a favourite piece of music?
I’m not really into background music, I don’t object to it. I’m probably more into music I can sing along to, which is why I can’t have music on when I’m working. I find it quite emotive so I either start singing or crying, of course if it’s Bohemian Rhapsody then you can also add a bit of air guitar as well.
Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today?
I would like to invite C. S. Lewis, not because he is my literary hero but because as a child I read The Chronicles of Narnia so many times. I still love the stories and never realised the theological links to them, so I would love to discuss that with him. I’m sure that would be a fascinating conversation to have.
Which favourite book will you bring to Sunday Brunch?
Gosh, this is a difficult question. I have so many favourite authors, in different genres. I thoroughly enjoyed and would like to bring The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson, there was something about it that touched me. Being a hopeless romantic P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Aherne, is crying out to be invited, I cried buckets when I read that book. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult is another one. I could just go on and on, haha can I bring more than one because I haven’t even mentioned any saga authors that I love to read. All of the books I have mentioned have been made into films or a television series, and while they have been enjoyable, they were nowhere near as good as the books.
When you are writing do you still find time to read for pleasure? And is there a book you would like to read but haven’t had time for …yet!
Reading has been a passion of mine since I was a child; in fact I preferred to stay in with a good book than go out to play. I find now that between writing and my large extended family I don’t have as much time to read as I once did. My e-reader and bookshelves are full of books I’ve bought and yet to read so to name one would be impossible.
Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
Some of my ideas come from my research. I’ll see a photograph, hear a podcast, or read an article and I just think I’ve got to write about that. One of those was The Foyles Bookshop Girls at War. When I was listening to a podcast from some of the Canary girls who worked in the munitions factory in the First World War it moved me so much I knew it had to be written about. Having said that, like most writers I’m a people watcher and you would be amazed what stories I make up in my head.
Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer?
I used to have an office in my home, which I shared with my late husband. Since he unexpectedly passed away I can’t bring myself to use it, so I now work in my front room with my laptop on my lap and my feet up. I’m not a winter person so I definitely prefer to work in the summer with the longer bright evenings.
When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing?
I definitely need a deadline; I work so much better under pressure. If procrastination was an Olympic sport I would definitely be a gold medal holder. To keep my focus I give myself a good talking to and remind myself of my deadline. I also try to stay off social media and the Internet because that can just swallow my time so easily.
Give us four essential items that a writer needs?
Be open-minded – I look on this as serving an apprenticeship. There’s a thought that because we learn to write at school everyone can write a book, and they can, but it’s about learning your craft.
Patience – the time from idea to a finished and fully edited novel can be months, depending on the genre and the length of the book.
Determination – do not to allow rejections/criticism put you off. Your novel will never be everyone’s cup of tea.
Write because you love it – not many authors are in J.K. Rowling’s income bracket and your love for the subject shines through.
What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress?
Secret Hopes for the West End Girls is my sixth World War One family saga published by Aria, Head of Zeus and is out the 28th April 2022. It is a standalone novel but is the third book in the West End Girls series, and is available for pre-order.
Secret Hopes for the West End Girls
1915, London. World War I has been raging for over a year, but despite it all Rose Spencer is feeling hopeful about the future. She's in love and planning her wedding to lovely, bicycle-shop owner Charlie.
She loves working as a seamstress at the glamorous London's Lyceum Theatre but secretly can't help fantasising about seeing her own designs come to life. And even when she won't believe in her talent, thankfully best friends Joyce and Annie are always around to push her to have faith in her dreams.
But when a German bomb is dropped on The Strand and the city falls to chaos, her life is turned upside down – is hope for a better future lost for good? And if one dream ends, can she find the strength to fight for a different one?
When the war destroys everything, can you still keep hope alive?
More about Elaine
Elaine Roberts is writing her sixth World War One saga. The Foyles Bookshop Girls and The West End Girls are series based in London. She also has short stories published worldwide. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Women Writers & Journalists. Elaine and her late husband, Dave, have a home in Kent. Without her wonderful family and supportive friends, she knows the dream would never have been realised.
Elaine where can we follow you on social media?
Thank you for taking part in Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo.
Thank you for inviting me, it’s been absolutely lovely chatting and eating our brunch together.
Follow us on Twitter @jaffareadstoo #SundayBrunchWithJaffareadstoo
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