Authors reveal the images that inspired 100,000 words
THIS WEEK: Elaine Spires reveals how two very different buildings have influenced her writing: the Taj Mahal and a council estate in Dagenham…
Elaine Spires is a novelist, playwright 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 seven novels, two novelas and two selections of short stories. She has written numerous plays and sketches, including What’s Eating Me, her one-woman show that she performed on the London and Edinburgh Fringes and which later became her first novel. She also adapted her book Singles’ Holiday for the stage and wrote the serial drama Paradise View which was filmed and extensively broadcast throughout the Caribbean. Elaine is a keen armchair tennis fan and she spends her time between her homes in Essex and Five Islands, Antigua (W.I.).
ELAINE SAYS: I am going to share two photos with you – two very different photos, but both of them triggered very different books.
You don’t have to be a World Traveller to recognise where I’m sitting in the first one. Yes, that’s me, on “Diana’s Bench” in front of the Taj Mahal. Like most people, I had seen umpteen photos of it during the course of my lifetime but none of them ever really did the building justice. When I went there during my second visit to India I really did stand with my mouth wide open at its jaw-dropping beauty. Our guide had said we would be going just after dawn as it was best appreciated in the early-morning light. And he wasn’t wrong. The Taj Mahal shimmered and glistened and gleamed as the sun’s rays spread over it turning the facade into a rich, jewel-encrusted brocade… TO READ IN FULL, CLICK HERE