Just over a week ago Elaine Jeremiah kicked off her blog tour with a guest post on my blog about how she became a writer, which you can read here. After a whirlwind few days visiting a variety of other writers and authors I’m delighted to welcome her back for the final day of her tour and an interview about her debut novel, The Inheritance, plus a couple of questions regarding how her first week as a published author has gone.
* * *
In an interview I did with you earlier in the year you said the inspiration for The Inheritance came from the ‘The Prodigal Son’, the parable Jesus tells in the Bible. Instead of two brothers you reworked the story with two sisters, Kate and Emma – was this always your intention or did you initially have any other ideas?
Yes this was always my intention. I was looking for inspiration for a story to write and I felt this was an interesting idea – to write a new take, if you like, on the famous parable. And I found it worked very well; I was able to develop the story in parallel with the one Jesus told, but add new angles to it to give it a modern feel, something that people can hopefully relate to as they read it.
Kate and Emma are very different and grow a lot over the course of the novel. Is there anything of yourself in either of them?
I see myself in Kate to a certain extent. I’m conscientious like she is and like her I tend not to trust myself. I’m a hard worker and I sometimes get it wrong in terms of what I should be focussing on in life as she does. I’m less like Emma but in terms of her self-confidence, I’d like to be more like her.
The novel is separated into chapters either told from Kate’s point of view on her father’s farm in Cornwall or Emma’s, living it up in London. Was the writing process more enjoyable from one sister’s point of view than the other and what challenges did each story thread present you with?
The writing process was equally enjoyable from Kate and Emma’s point of view. I found that as I planned and wrote their separate story lines, new characters and situations developed. Emma’s point of view was harder to write in some ways because I don’t know London that well and I’m not a party girl either, so I had to do research to ensure that I was being as accurate as I could. Although Kate’s story line was mostly easier to write as I know Cornwall quite well, I did have to research farming and finding the relevant information was a challenge.
The family dynamics in The Inheritance are fascinating – is this something that interests you, the relationships between siblings and parents?
Yes, I would say so. I think family relationships are very important; how you’re brought up and your family background can affect you forever so it was good to be able to explore that. Having grown up in a family where both my parents were together (and still are), I find it interesting to imagine what life is like for people growing up with only one parent. All families are different and it’s fascinating for me to write about fictional families where there is tension between siblings and parents for whatever reason.
If you could meet and have lunch with just one of your characters from The Inheritance who would it be and why?
I think it would be Kate because we’re alike as people and it’d be good to have a discussion about the latest book we’re reading, as well as talking about family relationships. I’d particularly want to ask her how she’s getting on with Emma now and if her relationship with Steven is still going strong.
What are your hopes and expectations for The Inheritance now it’s out in the big wide world?
Mainly that lots of people buy it and enjoy reading it. I would hope that people who do enjoy it spread the word. I realise not everyone’s going to love it – that’s impossible – but I hope that there’re plenty of good reviews of it as well as negative!
How has your first week as a published author been?
Interesting and exciting. I’ve had people I’ve never met buy the book and tell their friends they’re enjoying it which is wonderful. My own friends and family have been great. Many of them have bought the book and have helped me to promote it which is lovely. I’ve found myself working quite hard to promote my blog tour with mixed results. Some days have been a bit quiet, but I have gained loads more Twitter followers and more followers on my blog which is great.
No pressure, Elaine, but when can we expect the next novel?
I’m working on it at the moment. It’s going well, but quite slowly and there’s a long way to go before I finish it so I think it’ll be another year at least before I publish it. But I aim to work more on it and publish it as soon as I’m able.
* * *
Congratulations Elaine on a fabulous blog tour and the continued success of The Inheritance!
If you’d like to find out more about Elaine and what she’s writing then you can find her at her blog or over on Twitter. More importantly if you like the sound of The Inheritance then it’s available on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.
‘The Inheritance is a story about family and the intricate difficulties that siblings and parents can go through. There is more to the book than just that and I won’t spoil the plot by saying anymore but suffice to say I was taken on an emotional journey by both sisters as they struggled against everything that life threw at them. The Inheritance is a great first novel – enjoyable, engaging and easy to read.’ 5* review of The Inheritance.