The Versatile Blogger and The Real Neat Blog awards


I’ve been nominated by the lovely Melissa for these two blogging awards: The Real Neat Blog Award and The Versatile Blogger award. She’s asked me to answer 7 questions. I’m really meant to nominate others for the award and give them questions too, but I just haven’t got the time or the energy at the mo (new job and all that) so it’s just my answers here. Anyway, here goes:

1. Who is your favourite author or what is your favourite book? My favourite author is Jane Austen and my favourite book is by her: Pride and Prejudice. :)

2. If you had a super power what would it be? To travel back in time. I really wish I could see what life was like in the past, even the not too distant past.

3. If you could produce a movie which one would you choose? I don’t know about producing a movie – if I imagine myself as a filmmaker, it’s more as a director. So I guess maybe I would direct something like The Hunger Games trilogy, or if I was feeling a bit more arty, maybe a film like Black Swan.

4. How has WordPress helped you to become a better writer? It’s helped me enormously by allowing me to connect with other indie authors around the world and their help and support of me in this writing process has been immeasurable.

5. What fun thing do you do to keep yourself from burning out? I read, watch TV, socialise with friends, walk the dog. Things like that. :)

6. When you were a child, what did you want to become? When I was about 5 I wanted to be a nurse. That didn’t last very long! Then when I was about 11 I longed to be an actress. That lasted a bit longer but of course I didn’t become that either!

7. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you go? I would want to live in San Francisco or somewhere else nearby in California. I’ve always wanted to go to California, but I never have. It looks so beautiful and I’ve heard the climate is so mild and balanced it sounds lovely.

Thanks Melissa for some great questions. I’ve enjoyed answering them. And thank you too for nominating me for these awards. :D


No I’m not dead…

… just been working hard at, well, regular non-writing work. I’m hoping to get back to writing and blogging more soon though so watch this space!

As I mentioned before, Teaching Mr Leavis is out with my nine lovely beta readers and will be back in my hands before too long. Then I have the lovely task of editing! Which I actually don’t mind too much BTW.

And how about you all? What stage is your writing at?

‘Teaching Mr Leavis’ being sent out to beta readers soon!

Beta readersA short post today (and it will be short this time!) to say: I’ve reached another milestone in my writing journey. Yes, that’s right I’ve finished the first draft of my third (third!! :) ) novel Teaching Mr Leavis.

And I’m sending it out to beta readers soon. So watch this space – I may be able to publish it before the summer if all goes well. Or at least it should definitely be published before the end of the year. Eek!

My thanks goes out to the nine people who’ve very kindly agreed to give their time to have a read of my novel. I have to say I’m always a bit apprehensive at this point in the writing process, the first point at which anyone apart from me gets to read the whole of the first draft of my novel.

Yes, I’ve already shared parts of it on WIPpet Wednesday (where a group of us writers share and comment on each other’s writing), but that’s different. This time people will be seeing the whole of it and that’s rather scary! Will they hate it or (just as bad) be disappointed? As I’ve told people, I feel that this is very much an early first draft, so I’m hoping that my beta readers can share their wisdom on how to make it much better.

But having said all that, it is exciting too because as a writer obviously I want people to read my books. So I’m hoping this will just be the start. That eventually many more people will read Teaching Mr Leavis too. :D

What are your thoughts and feelings when you’re sharing your book with your beta readers and/or editor for the first time?


Reunion of the Heart Q&A with @ElaineJeremiah

Elaine Jeremiah:

Check out my interview on the fabulous Lit World Interviews blog!

Originally posted on :

RW: For those that read my Week In Review when it came out, they know the answer to this, however for everyone else and just because I love the name of it, where are you from?

ElaineELAINE: Bristol, UK.

RW: That is very British sounding and knowing something about you, I want to ask who are your favorite authors?

ELAINE: Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Philippa Gregory, Nicholas Evans and many more!

RW: I see a theme here; British, romance. Should I go ahead and ask what book you would like to have written that’s not yours?

ELAINE: Oh I think it’d have to be ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. It’s just such an amazing book, it’s my favourite and I love it. If I could have written it, I’d be so proud!

RW: Knew it. We’re totally British here. Let’s see your favorite word?

ELAINE: Ooh that’s a hard…

View original 1,564 more words

Changing tack

Changing tack

Another short(ish) post. I thought I’d update you with how things are for me right now writing-wise. Well I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and having plenty of heart to hearts with my husband about my writing.

And I’ve been thinking: what do I really want most – to write whatever I want, or to write the books that people want to read? See, I think it’s like this: different people may like different genres of books BUT most people also like reading what they’re used to.

So if someone likes, say, sci-fi, they will usually want to read a novel that is recognisibly that: sci-fi. Similarly romance, or a thriller or a detective story. People like what they like – it may sound trite or like a sweeping statement (which, yes, it could be seen as) but I think it’s very often true.

Now with me it’s like this: I enjoy writing (obviously!) and for a while now I’ve been struggling with being torn between writing whichever story idea comes into my head, or writing for a particular genre and thereby gaining more readers. The thing is I don’t want to write like a fraud – I want to write authentically – to be true to myself and my writing style.

As I said to my husband – you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. Like the rest of my life, with my writing I can’t be something I’m not. But I need to do something radical. I’ll be honest – my sales have hit rock bottom and yeah I’m really gutted about that.

So at my husband’s suggestion (and this idea has grown and grown on me) I’m gonna try something new. I’m going to write a short(ish) story, maybe a novella, and I’m going to pick a genre and aim my story fairly and squarely at that. It’s going to be a romance, still working on the details and I’m not gonna give too much away, but let’s just say I’m hoping that by aiming at a particular sub-genre of romance, I may be able to do a bit better.

It’s gonna be a bit of an experiment and it may not work, but my hope is that I can get my writing noticed a bit more and who knows – I might have people read this new story and think ‘I wouldn’t mind reading another of Elaine Jeremiah’s novels’, thereby increasing my sales.

It’s a gamble, but hey I’ve got nothing to lose! I do think it’s a bad time for all indie authors at the mo what with Kindle Unlimited being introduced and all that, but quite frankly I’m going to keep persevering with my writing until there’s no breath left in my body! So I’m going to be a bit more calculating in my approach – and write what (I hope) people will really want to read.

Have you ever reached a point in your writing journey where you decided you needed to change tack? How is it panning out for you?

Another call for beta readers

Well I’ve reached another milestone – I’ve ‘finished’ my third novel Teaching Mr Leavis and I need some beta readers to take a look at it for me.

The reason for the inverted commas is that I feel there’s still a long way to go before I publish it. Yes, I know that’s what beta readers are for, to help you get to the stage where it’s ready, but to me it’s a lot less ready than my previous novel Reunion of the Heart was when I sent it to beta readers.

So that you know a bit about it, Teaching Mr Leavis is a romance set 20 years ago in a fictitious English city. The heroine is a newly qualified teacher who’s just started teaching at a secondary school (for 11 to 16 year olds in case you’re unfamiliar with the British education system!).

I deliberately set it 20 years ago because that was when I was at secondary school and I felt I just don’t know enough about schools today to set it in the present. Technology especially has changed and I wanted it to be authentic, so I thought it would be better set in the time that I remember.

Anyway I just want to add that this version of Teaching Mr Leavis that I’ll send out is very much in the early stages. I’m sure there’s a whole lot that whoever’s reading it will want to comment on and suggest improvements on. It’s not long, less than 60,000 words, but there is a lot that needs work on. I just need some advice and I’ve got to the point where I feel I can’t do much more on it on my own without some other people’s suggestions.

Thank you for reading this and if you’re interested, I look forward to hearing from you.

My email address should you wish to get in contact is: elaine (dot) jeremiah (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks for your time! :)

Brief blog post about… blogging

Blog tour image

I’m only doing a brief blog post today as it’s a Sunday night, I’m tired and I’ve got work tomorrow. Oh joy! Actually the job’s going well but still…

Despite my fatigue, however, I thought I’d share with you some thoughts, things I’ve been considering about what makes a really good blog. I’ve numbered my points, but they don’t necessarily have to be in this order.

  1. Content. This may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget when, say, you don’t have a lot of time and you just want to do a quick post before going to bed after a difficult Monday! But it is important – it’s important to remember who you’re aiming your blog at – who the reader is and tailoring your blog content accordingly. So you need to think about what you really want to say on your blog – like commenting about writing, films or whatever it is you want your blog to be about. Research your subject area – I think this is key to getting your blog to be genuine and authentic.
  2. Appearance. This is one I often struggle with. I’m not the best in the world when it comes to knowing how to create a blog that looks really great and professional. If I’m honest I don’t know all the tricks – what it often comes down to, I think, is literally knowing which button to click to make all the columns and images align properly for example. This post is a case in point – if anyone in the world knows how to get WordPress to align the picture and the text properly PLEASE drop me a line!!! Anyway, if a blog looks good it’s obviously going to attract more traffic, which is the name of the game in the blogging world. :)
  3. Interacting with your readers. As I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, this one is so important. I always try to reply to every comment that gets posted on my blog. I realise that if you have, say, 20,000 people following your blog, this is going to be difficult. But for most of us, we don’t have this problem. So if you can do everything in your power to connect with your followers, that’s going to be a surefire way of even more people following your blog. People like to hear from you, they want to connect.
  4. Think about who your readers are. This is linked to no. 1, but I think it deserves a bit of extra reflection. Who are you targeting your blog at? Are they teenagers/twenty somethings/middle aged? Are they single/married/divorced? You can have a really good time thinking about who your readers are. I’ve been doing this for my novels, trying to think clearly about who I’m aiming them at. It works well for blogging too.

I’m running out of steam now and that’s just about all I can come up with tonight. But it’s definitely worth bearing in mind thoughts on how to make your blog better, particularly if you need a boost in the numbers of people following your blog. Even if you don’t, it’s still good sometimes to take stock and think again about where you want to go with your blog, what the next chapter of it is going to be.

Phew! That post wasn’t so short after all. ;)

So over to you. What do you think makes a good blog? Do you have any tips you’d like to share, things that have worked for you?