Cover Reveal for Reunion of the Heart by Elaine Jeremiah

Elaine JeremiahIt was only in September last year that my good friend and fellow author Elaine Jeremiah launched her debut novel, The Inheritance. Fast forward nearly twelve months and Elaine is back with a second romantic novel called Reunion of the Heart. Here’s the blurb:

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.

Today is about the all important cover reveal and I’m delighted to be one of the bloggers hosting Elaine and her brand-spanking new cover. So, without further ado feast your eyes on this:

RotH-Cover

If that cover doesn’t say romance, love and passion, I don’t what will! I love the way it hints at a Parisian element to the novel with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Not only that reading Elaine’s blog this morning she’s just a week away from publishing it!

Elaine Jeremiah has always enjoyed writing, but it’s only in recent years that she’s begun to devote serious time to it. She’s written lots of short stories, one previous novel that will never see the light of day and a novel which has seen the light of day: ‘The Inheritance’ which she published last year. ‘The Inheritance’ is available on Amazon.

You can make contact with Elaine via her blog: elainejeremiah.co.uk and Twitter: @ElaineJeremiah

Interview With The Inheritance Author, Elaine Jeremiah

Elaine JeremiahJust 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.

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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 TheInheritanceLondon 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.

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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.

 

Elaine Jeremiah Guest Post – How I Became a Writer

Elaine JeremiahI’m absolutely delighted to welcome my friend Elaine Jeremiah on to my blog today as part of her blog tour to promote her debut novel, The Inheritance, which launches today. Elaine has written an insightful guest post (the first on my blog I’m pleased to announce) about her journey from wannabe writer to published author and all that’s gone on in-between. So without further ado I’ll hand you over to Elaine.

How I Became a Writer

Although I’ve always enjoyed writing stories, I didn’t always want to be a writer. In fact when I was about eleven I wanted to be an actress and I would fantasise about winning the Oscar for best actress! But it didn’t quite turn out that way. I kept on writing but the acting fell by the wayside.

I come from a family that loves telling stories. When I was little my mother would tell me stories of her own childhood that began ‘when I was a little girl’. I used to listen avidly to her tales of life with her two older brothers and the scrapes they’d get into. So it was natural for me to start telling stories of my own. Travelling with our parents through France, me and my younger brother and sister would get bored, spending long hours cramped in the car. So I’d make up stories to tell them. Some of them were quite outrageous, like ‘heroic’ dogs that would make pesky cats go away or even die by planting itching powder on them without them knowing!TheInheritance

I began to write stories too, many of them as part of creative writing exercises at school. I wrote a story about a girl who’s subjected to racist bullying at school; another about a girl trying to cope during the Blitz and one about a girl whose mother is a prostitute. Quite serious stuff I guess, but I was constantly trying to experiment with my writing.

As I got older I had to focus on exams and essay writing as I did my GCSEs, A levels and my degree. For years I did so little work on my creative writing it almost dried up. Once I’d graduated from university though, I had time to focus on it again. I felt liberated now that I could write what I wanted with no constraints. A few years ago I completed my first novel, aimed at teenage girls. I sent it off to a few agents but it was rejected.

Discouraged, I decided I’d do something completely different and began a fantasy story for older children. It went well for a while and I used it to apply for an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. I had an interview for it but unfortunately I wasn’t successful and I ran out of steam with writing the story. Different people had suggested I change different things and it all got too confusing.

I felt a bit down about my writing and unsure what to do next. My husband suggested that I put the story to one side and do something completely different. I wrote a few short stories which really invigorated my writing and I started to think again about writing a longer story, maybe a novel. I was searching for inspiration and then I thought why not take ‘The Prodigal Son’, one of the parables Jesus tells in the Bible, and update it to modern day England with two sisters as the main protagonists.

And it went from there. I’ve finished The Inheritance and I’ve published it. It’s available to buy now. My journey as a writer hasn’t been entirely straightforward. But I’ve got to the point where I have the opportunity to get my writing out there for people to read through the wonders of self-publishing and that is a truly wonderful feeling.

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I know how long and difficult the journey can be from writing the first word of a novel to being confident enough to publish it and make it available to the world. With that in mind I hope you’ll join me in congratulating Elaine on her accomplishment and more importantly head on over to amazon to buy The Inheritance! Not only will you be supporting an indie author at the start of her publishing career but you’ll get to enjoy an excellent story too.

The Inheritance is available on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. Elaine is celebrating her launch day over on her blog today so do please drop by and say hello to her if you have the time. She can also be found on Goodreads and twitter @ElaineJeremiah.

Massive congratulations Elaine! Here’s to the success of The Inheritance!

Blog Tour Stop #5 – Elaine Jeremiah

ButtStormBlogTourToday you’ll find me over on the ever so lovely Elaine Jeremiah’s blog. Elaine posed some questions about the writing process and journey to publication of The Butterfly Storm and you can read the interview here.

Elaine is a writer who has just about finished her first novel, The Inheritance, which she will hopefully be publishing at some point this year. She’s currently working on a new novel with the working title of Reunion, extracts of which can be read on WIPpet Wednesdays. I also interviewed Elaine back in April about The Inheritance and her writing and reading habits, so if you want to find out more have a quick read.

I have a long list of things to do and write this afternoon but I did take time out this morning to meet up with my very good friend and my goddaughter for lunch as they’re over from Singapore (escaping the awful smog for a few weeks) and so it was lovely to catch up. Blog posts, interview questions and writing beckons now.

5 Minutes With… Elaine Jeremiah

It’s thanks to Twitter that Elaine Jeremiah and I became friends after realising that not only were we both writers but that we lived in the same city. So a few months ago we arranged to meet up and spent a lovely couple of hours in a café on the harbourside talking about writing, our novels and self-publishing. We’ve met up a couple of times since then, most recently last week, but as I said to Elaine it feels like we’re in contact with each other more often than I am with my non-writing friends because of communicating via Twitter and our blogs. Writing can be a lonely business but with a thriving online writing community it’s easy to reach out to other writers for support and encouragement.

Elaine’s busy working on a new WIP at the moment (you can follow her progress over on her blog) and is also putting the finishing touches to her novel, The Inheritance, but she was kind enough to take some time out to answer a few questions…

How did you come up with the idea for your novel, The Inheritance?

I came up with the idea for The Inheritance when it occurred to me that I could do a modern reworking of the parable Jesus tells in the Bible called ‘The Prodigal Son’.  It just seemed like a really good idea because the story is an interesting one and the themes are relevant today. Without giving too much away, but for those who don’t know about the parable, it’s about a young man who demands his inheritance from his father and then squanders it, leaving himself penniless. The way the father responds to what happens is central to the story and the themes in it – love, forgiveness and redemption – are still important today. So I felt a modern retelling of the story would be an interesting project.

You chose the settings of London and a farm in Cornwall – are these places that you know well?

I do know Cornwall – or at least parts of it – very well. My mother’s family all live there. Although she grew up near Hounslow, her parents and older brothers ‘emigrated’ to Cornwall in the seventies and their families all grew up in Cornwall. My mother went to university in Southampton, met my father and settled there. Throughout my childhood right up until the time I left home, we and my two younger siblings would go on holiday there to visit my elderly grandparents, uncles and cousins. I always loved it – it’s a great part of the world, lots of beautiful countryside and beaches. We would often take our rickety caravan there to a lovely campsite near the town of Bodmin where my grandparents lived. Sometimes, when my grandparents were still alive, we would even rent a cottage when we were down there which was different and exciting.

I don’t really know London that well at all. Although I used to live relatively near when I was growing up – about seventy miles away – I haven’t been to London a huge amount. So a lot of what I’ve written in The Inheritance about London is research and a bit of guesswork.

You’re going to be publishing The Inheritance as an eBook, how’s that coming along?

Slowly! I’ve had a couple of writer friends read it in an eBook format and now I’ve had the comments back it’s going to be a case of editing and revising it. When that’s completed I’ll have it proofread. It’s hard to say how soon I’ll be able to publish it once I’ve done all that, but hopefully it’ll only be a matter of months. How many months I really wouldn’t like to say – I guess it just depends how fast I work.

You’ve said to me before that you like to write all kinds of things but if you could only pick one genre of book to write what would it be and why?

I suppose I would have to say contemporary women’s fiction as that’s the genre that I feel most comfortable writing in. It lends itself well to exploring themes of relationships, emotions and bereavements, which is what I’m drawn to. I have a lot of ideas for this genre and they seem to flow from my head to the page quite well. Another thing: I know this is veering off the question a bit, but I would love to be able to write historical fiction as that is one of the genres I love reading. I just don’t feel I have the knowledge to write about that at the moment though. Maybe one day…

What are you currently reading?

I just started reading The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne. I’m a massive fan of Jane Austen and I love her books, the films/TV adaptations of her books, the lot! I also love reading about her life and times. This book is a birthday present from my parents and the author has taken an interesting angle on writing about Austen’s life. She started each chapter from the subject of an object, either a real one from Austen’s life or an object described in one of her novels. Byrne then writes about why that object was important and how it relates to Jane Austen’s life, the wider world beyond Hampshire and England, and her writing. It’s a fascinating book and I’m really enjoying it.

What’s been the most valuable lesson or lessons that you’ve learnt so far as a writer?

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learnt as a writer has been to try to write about what you know, or if you don’t at least keep what you’re writing true to life and accurate. This is important for me to remember because there are times when I’ve felt out of my depth with what I’ve been writing. At some points when I was doing research for The Inheritance, I was struggling a bit to make the passages in my novel about subject matters I didn’t know so much about believable. Thankfully the responses I’ve had to the novel have been positive and any parts that my writer friends who’ve read it have had a problem with, I can go back and revise and try to improve on.

For anyone who hasn’t read your WIPpet Wednesday posts, what are you working on at the moment?

My current work in progress has the working title of Reunion. It’s about a young woman who, along with her best friend, goes back to her secondary school for a school reunion and the events that happen in her life in the weeks and months that follow. My main character – the young woman – had a particularly bad time at school and so going back there is a more cathartic than good experience. The whole idea of school reunions and revisiting your past fascinates me and I thought it would be interesting to explore that as part of my subject matter for a new story.

What’s the one book that you wished you’d written and why?

Well it’s a bit of a cliché for me, being a huge Jane Austen fan, but I’d have to say Pride and Prejudice. It’s just such a wonderful novel and has so many fantastic characters in it – I really wish I’d written it! It’s also an incredibly well observed book. What I mean by that is that the author describes the characters and their personalities so well, and yet she does that without ever really giving a proper description of what they look like. And it’s well observed in the way that Austen subtly describes and comments on the social mores of her day. Then there’s the irony: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.’  Need I say more?

If you’d like to find out more about Elaine Jeremiah then hop on over to her blog to read snippets of her work in progress and to discover what inspires her. Elaine can also be found on Twitter.