Bestselling Author of The Woolworth’s Girls has a brand-new release 4th May
The Butlin’s Girls
Elaine, welcome to my blog, it’s lovely to have you here with your new novel, The Butlin’s Girls. I can’t wait to hear more about you since your success with The Woolworth’s Girls and learn more about your writing career. For readers, scroll down for my review of The Butlin’s Girls
Firstly, could you tell us what inspired such an original and nostalgic story?
Thank you for hosting me on your blog today, Karen. The Butlins Girls was the second book in my first two-book contract with Pan Macmillan with the contract stating ‘The Woolworths Girls and one other.’ No pressure there! I wanted my story to remain in the Erith, Kent area as that is my ‘patch’ for my sagas. With a new cast of characters I thought I’d move on in time slightly and started to research what was happening at the end of WW2. It was then I noticed that Billy Butlin was reopening his holiday camps after having them requisitioned and wondered if one of my girls fancied working in a holiday camp - and more to the point, why would she leave her home to do so…?
How did your writing career begin?
I’ve been writing for twenty years professionally although for the first few years I supplemented it with some part time temporary work until my cash flow was at a level I could call it an income. 1997 was the year my dad died and it made me realise I need to start following my dream of being a writer and not just playing at it. I suppose you could call it my ‘light bulb year’. I started with short fiction, there were many more markets back then, and quickly moved to writing features specialising in features for the canine market as my hobby (or life style) was in breeding, exhibiting and judging dogs. Novel writing was still a dream at that time.
You also successfully run Creative Writing Classes in Kent, what made you want to be a creative writing tutor?
The opportunity to teach creative writing came about in 2003 after I won the BBC Radio Kent Short Story Writer of the Year. I’d previously attended a creative writing class at the Dartford Adult Education Centre and was approached to teach classes there and also at Meopham and Gravesend. Although I was able to teach my subject through my own experience I did study and obtain the right qualification to teach adults of sixteen and over. It was an interesting course but to this day I don’t feel that all tutors in Adult Education need such certificate. Lace makers, quilters, holistic therapists… Why do they need a paper certificate. This has been the downfall of adult education centres.
What top three tips would you give a would-be journalist starting out today?
1. Decide what kind of journalist you wish to be and stay focused on your dream.
2. Ask yourself if you need to take three years out to gain a degree or instead learn on the job and via evening classes.
3. Join online forums for freelance journalists. There’s wealth of information to be found and so many helpful journos to guide you on your way.
What top three tips would you give a would-be short-story writer starting out today?
1. Read the magazines. If you don’t how will you know the market. If you don’t like the stories you see in publication then don’t bother trying to write short fiction.
2. Attend workshops and classes and learn your craft. Don’t expect overnight success.
3. Be professional. Writing short stories is not a hobby, you are joining a profession so never write for free and follow the rules.
What top three tips would you give an aspiring novelist starting out today?
1. Join an association. If you have romance in your stories then join the Romantic Novelist Association. Their New Writers’ Scheme is second to none.
2. Read, read, read the genre you wish to be published in.
3. Attend workshops, events and network. Get to know the publishing world. Novel writing is no longer a solitary occupation.
Finally, if you didn’t write your lovely and well-researched historical novels, what genre would you choose specifically and why?
I would love to be a crime writer. Most of my novels do have some crime in them. In fact I am a member of the Crime Writers’ Association on the strength of the crime in my romance sagas! However, I’m very happy to be writing historical sagas.
And what can we expect next from Elaine Everest?
At least one more Woolworths story will follow later this year with another novel currently being written for May 2018.
‘Molly Missons gazed around in awe. So this was Butlin’s. Whitewashed buildings, bordered by rhododendrons, gave a cheerful feeling to a world still recovering from six years of war. The Skegness holiday camp covered a vast area, much larger than Molly expected to see.’
Molly Missons hasn’t had the best of times recently. Having lost her parents, now some dubious long-lost family have darkened her door – attempting to steal her home and livelihood…
After a horrendous ordeal, Molly applies for a job as a Butlin’s Aunty. When she receives news that she has got the job, she immediately leaves her small hometown – in search of a new life in Skegness.
Molly finds true friendship in Freda, Bunty and Plum. But the biggest shock is discovering that star of the silver screen, Johnny Johnson, is working at Butlin’s as head of the entertainment team. Johnny takes an instant liking to Molly and she begins to shed the shackles of her recent traumas. Will Johnny be just the distraction Molly needs – or is he too good to be to be true?
Thank you, Karen
So Welcome Elaine, and I’m sure The Butlin’s Girls will fly off the shelves – it’s the perfect nostalgia summer read.
My 5* Review of The Butlin’s Girls by Elaine Everest
The Butlin’s Girls by Elaine Everest had me gripped from the very beginning. I adored The Woolworth’s Girls so was eager to read Elaine’s second novel and it’s a read I would thoroughly recommend. From the start, the story takes you on a warm summery ride into the life of Molly who has just suffered the tragic loss of her parents. When the evil villains, Harriet and her son Simon, enter her home, she is forced to seek a safe sanctuary and with the help of her parent’s old friends Kath and George, she discovers Butlin’s is a natural choice. Here she meets not only her film idol, Johnny but two amazingly warm but also troubled friends, Bunty and Plum. The novel is beautifully paced with each of the character’s individual stories steadily unfolding, providing one another with so much love and support, their troubles are steadily resolved, including Molly’s. You won’t fail to want to keep reading. And, Johnny may find her amusing to begin with, but you will just love the way his sweet care and devotion brings her so much happiness. A real pleasure.