Friday, 14 February 2020

Release Day Spotlight and Guest Post: The Single Best Thing by Elaine Spires

The Single Best Thing by Elaine Spires

I have been very fortunate in that I have travelled extensively. My mis-spent youth was mis-spent first of all in Mallorca and then Ibiza followed by a short stint on Corfu. They were very different places then to the tourist hot spots they have now become. As you have probably spotted they are all islands. Much of the last decade was spent living on Antigua - another island so I think it’s safe to say that I do have a thing for them.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Mallorca. I was on a school trip and we’d travelled overland - yes overland - from Dagenham via Calais, Paris, Port Bou and Barcelona. Our ferry pulled into Palma very early one late-March morning and we scurried up onto the deck to be literally blinded by the light. The sun was so bright; it reflected in the sparkling blue sea and off the white buildings that curved along the palm-tree fringed Paseo Maritimo. We thought we’d died and gone to Heaven.

And so my love affair with ‘Abroad’ began. Two years later I deferred my dance and drama course at Liverpool to take a gap year which ended up lasting sixteen years!

After a few years back in UK I became a tour manager for a UK singles’ tour operator which meant I spent the following thirteen years accompanying groups of single travellers all over the world and this life - and being a tour manager is a way of life not just a job - gave me a rich and deep well of resources for my Singles’ Series. The Single Best Thing, which is out on 14th February, is the sixth and final book in the series and is set in UK, Florida and Antigua.

When people know my background they often ask, “What’s your favourite place?”

The truth is “I don’t know.”

As you’ve already seen from the first paragraph, I am an Island Girl. And to Ibiza, Antigua, Mallorca and Corfu I have to add Bali as another special island, and Ireland and Australia, although that’s a large one! Cuba holds a special place in my heart; I love it because it’s a fabulous mix of the Caribbean, Spain and Africa. Iceland, too, is a magical place; a vast island that’s nothing like I’d imagined it would be. Mauritius and Hispaniola are unique and appealing. I love the Canaries, especially as they’re so different from each other. And Madeira is like holidaying in a floating flower pot. Just across from Ibiza lies the fourth, smallest Balearic Island, Formentera. It is the most wonderful place. I make it known that if I should ever go missing then look for me first on Formentera.

I’ll never forget visiting The Maldives, a country formed of 1400 tiny islands. And they are spectacular - it’s like holidaying in a giant aquarium.

So I think it’s safe to say I like islands, especially but not exclusively, warm ones with turquoise waters and silver beaches.

And it was logical to consider myself a Beach Person.

But travelling also took me through the majestic Norwegian Fjords and into the Arctic Circle (on a cruise along the Norwegian coastline right round to the border with Russia). I also went down to the other extreme - South America - to Patagonia one of the most stunning places on Earth. I was fortunate enough to go through the Canadian Rockies from Vancouver to Banff and so I decided I was really a Mountain Person after all.

Until I went to the desert. How stunningly beautiful is the Sahara? And Al Qudra? After a couple of back-to-back visits to Egypt and Dubai I declared myself a Desert Person.

But I also love being in a city. I’m never happier than when I’m sitting on an open-top bus doing a city tour. I love the buzz and the vibes of cities, the culture, the restaurants, the monuments, the music, the people. I didn’t want to leave New York or Boston or Buenos Aires. I adore Madrid, Shanghai, Dublin, Jaipur, Bangkok, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and not forgetting wonderful London. Perhaps deep down I’ve always been a City Girl.

The simple answer is that I found beauty in all these destinations. The world is a wonderful place. Everywhere has its own special beauty; its own charm and attraction. So I find it absolutely impossible to choose one favourite place. But I consider myself blessed to have so many.

Almost four years have passed since Melv followed Eve back to England refusing to throw away their long awaited chance of lasting love and happiness. Much has happened in that time. No longer a tour manager for Travel Together, Eve is enjoying unexpected success in her new career. Has she forgiven him for hurting her so deeply? Was her love for him simply enough? And what about her own dark secret?

Provoking smiles and tears this glimpse into Eve’s future brings the Singles’ Series to its final conclusion

Elaine Spires is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter and actress. Extensive travelling and a background in education and tourism perfected Elaine's keen eye for the quirky characteristics of people, captivating the humorous observations she now affectionately shares with the readers of her novels. Elaine has written two books of short stories, two novellas and seven novels, four of which form the Singles Series - Singles’ Holiday, Singles and Spice, Single All The Way and Singles At Sea. Her latest book, Singles, Set and Match is the fifth and final book in the series. Her play Stanley Grimshaw Has Left The Building is being staged at the Bridewell Theatre, London in May 2019. Her short film Only the Lonely, co-written with Veronique Christie and featuring Anna Calder Marshall is currently being in shown in film festivals worldwide and she is currently working on a full length feature film script. Only the Lonely won the Groucho Club Short Film Festival 2019!  Elaine recently returned to UK after living in Antigua W.I. She lives in East London.

Twitter: @ElaineSWriter
Instagram: elainespiresauthor