Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Interview with Elaine Spencer…

October 15, 2014

Please welcome Elaine Spencer – Elaine Spenceran author of historical fiction.

1. What do you enjoy most about writing?
As a writer of fiction, I enjoy escaping to a make believe world where I am in control.  I also like that I’m constantly learning in a way that I enjoy.
2. What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I started getting into writing as a form of self-expression and healing when I was in high school.  It began as journaling then, as I learned more about myself and the world, ideas just started to grow.

3. Has your genre changed or stayed the same?

It has changed from writing for myself to writing for others in a more technical form to writing historical fiction for pleasure, which is what I enjoy most.

4. What genre are you currently reading?

Historical fiction and biographies.

5. Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

Although most of my reading these days is for research, I love reading just for pleasure.  There’s nothing like going on a mini vacation from daily life by getting lost in a good story.

6. Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

I have a wonderful list of family and friends who support and encourage but my husband and sister are definitely at the top.
7. Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

There is a lot of myself in the character of Charlotte Logan (Charlie) but one of my favorite characters is Percival Meade because he starts out snooty, annoying and with many flaws but turns out to be likeable and a little more humble while staying true to who he is.

 8. Where is your favorite writing space?

I have a home office with everything I need including a writing desk and comfortable reading corner.


9. Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants writer?
I create a basic outline where I decide on the setting, plot, main characters and so forth.  Once the writing process actually begins, changes develop, new characters step in and the story unfolds.

10. What inspires your ideas/stories?
Inspiration is all around but we have to go looking for it.  Books, music, news, observing people, traveling, nature, personal experiences and good old imagination are some of the places where I find inspiration.

11. Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

I joined a local group but found that with an outside job, research, and writing, I couldn’t commit to a scheduled time so found an online source that suits my needs and allows more flexibility to share and critique with other writers, access workshops and participate in forums.
12. If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?
There are so many writers to learn from and even more I’ve never read but I love the way authors like John Steinbeck have mastered their use of description, dialogue, and creating believable characters.
13. Do you have a book(s) published? If so, what is it called & where can readers purchase it?
Freedom Reins is a historical fiction available through a variety of sources including Amazon,, and itunes.

Freedom Reins

14. Where can readers find you and your blog?

My website is
15. Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?
I’m currently researching and have begun some writing for another historical fiction.

Thank you Elaine for the insight into your writing journey.

Today’s word is…telecommute

January 15, 2013


Telecommute – Definition: work at home by the use of an electronic linkup with a central office.

Would this ability be a dream come true for you? Could you resist delving into your work in progress if it was so easily accessible? What sort of schedule would you come up with to balance official work and writing?

From my own experience of working from home, I can say I was very regimented in my working hours – probably too much so! I was at my desk at 9am worked through until 1 pm – took an hour’s lunch break then back at 2 pm to work until 5 pm. However, I was able to do a couple of loads of laundry and vacuum most days in my ‘tea breaks’ as well as enjoy an hour’s walk with my dog. It was near perfect, except for being alone all-day, apart from my canine companion. I did speak to many people on the telephone during the day but it was human contact I missed. Occasionally I would bump into a fellow dog walker during my lunchtime walk but that was it until the family came home. A lot of people were jealous but once I explained the practicalities, they were surprised at my regime and understood the implications better. Most revealed they could not stick to such a schedule. I then clarified that my boss would soon notice if the day-to-day work was not done! There is always a ‘cost’ to any arrangement.


At first glance this linkup seems perfect but in real terms maybe not. I can envisage a constant conflict of wants and needs even a feeling of guilt as you continue writing past your allotted break period. If I was given this capability now, I’m not sure I could be so regimented. Why you ask? Because at that time I was not writing – now it is too much of an obsession not to be lured into it.


So could you do it or are you doing it? What’s your routine?

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