I’m really happy to welcome Elaine Spires onto my blog today. Elaine is a novelist, playwright and actress and she splits her time between her homes in Essex and Five Islands, Antigua (W.I.). Being super busy, I’m really keen to find out how Elaine spends a typing writing day in her gorgeous Caribbean surroundings.
Although I’m really someone who likes to sleep, I find that I wake up quite early here. By ‘here’ I’m referring to Avocado Cottage, my humble little house in the Village of Five Islands, Antigua, West Indies, where I spend part of my year. Just before sunrise, animals are on the move; we have herds of cows and goats and some horses which come up and down our lane and they tend to start the neighbours’ dogs off. And once I’m awake, I find difficulty in turning over and going back to sleep again. This must be down to all the fresh, Caribbean air, because when I’m in UK, I have to have the duvet surgically removed some days.
So, I start off, always, by checking to see what my Kindle sales have been like in the last twenty-four hours – sometimes they’re a bit disappointing, other times I go and put the kettle on with a big grin on my face. I’m a self-published author and I have to admit that I find promoting myself really hard, certainly much harder than writing the books! I have a bash at social media and usually have coffee and breakfast out on the veranda whilst perusing Facebook and Twitter and then I set down to writing.
I usually sit on the veranda to write as I’m in the shade for much of the morning. Although I say write, sometimes I start off doing research as I’m a stickler for getting something absolutely right. My biggest bugbear when I read other author’s work is when the research has been sloppy and events, details, information etc don’t ring true. It can be strange sometimes, too, writing in such beautiful surroundings. I wrote most of Single All The Way here in Antigua – so strange to be writing a story set in a snowbound hotel deep in the Essex countryside, while I was sweltering in 90F+ in the Caribbean. Similarly, I’ve just published The Banjo (Book One), which is a saga set in Dagenham in 50s and 60s. I get so involved in what I’m writing that I look up and it takes me a moment to remember where I am!
I’ve got Filmon.TV on my iPad and so I tend to watch UK evening TV programmes for a while, which, with the time difference, of course, means that I take a break from writing between 2.30-5pm some afternoons. Then, after a glass of something chilled to watch the sunset, I have dinner and then edit what I wrote earlier that day before going to bed.
I don’t write every day, of course, but there is no fixed pattern to my working week. If I have plans to go out, then I will, be it a Sunday or a Thursday, and if I have no plans, then that day becomes a writing day.
I’ve just finished the research on my latest book in the Singles’ Series, which has the working title, Singles, Ahoy! From that you can probably guess it’s set on a cruise-ship.
If you’d like to find out more about me, my books or follow my blog, then please go to my website: http://www.elainespires.co.uk