Author of historical novels
New book in April 2009 - see below
Better known locally as Olive Whaley, she was born and
grew up in Wivenhoe, the village of her parents and grandparents.
She went to school first at Wivenhoe Council School in School Lane (as it
was called then and which is now the Wivenhoe Centre in Phillip Road) and
afterwards at Colchester County High School, where although she had an
aptitude for writing essays, she had no ambition towards writing, her main
interest being in music, especially the piano. Nowadays this interest is mainly channelled into singing in the church
She is married to Jeff Whaley, another 'local' who spent his working life
restoring antique furniture. They have three children and seven
Far from being born with a quill in her hand, Elizabeth didn't start
serious writing until after her children were born, beginning with short
stories - on the premise that not so much paper was wasted if they were
rejected! However, luckily most of them 'stuck' and after having a hundred
or so published or broadcast she won first prize in a short story
competition run by the Daily Express, which led to an invitation to write
for Mills & Boon. This was a useful stepping stone and after
publishing five titles for them she moved on to writing historical
Her third novel, Cassie Jordan,
was short-listed for Angel Prize for East Anglian writers and later The
Buttercup Fields (under the title. The Chair Mender,)
was short-listed for the very first Catherine Cookson prize. (Always the
bridesmaid, never the bride!).
Since Strangers Hall was published in 1988, she has
written a further 15 novels.
|Elizabeth Jeffrey’s new novel
THE THIRTEENTH CHILD is due to be published by Severn House in
Set locally in the 1890’s it is the story of Jemima, the unexpected
and unwanted thirteenth child of a drunken slattern of a mother who is
brought up in poverty, whilst her twin, Sophie is taken to live nearby
with a doting aunt. Jemima knows Sophie doesn’t like her because she
is the clever one and is determined to become a school teacher. But
then Sophie needs her help. Must she sacrifice everything for the sake
of her twin?
This is Elizabeth Jeffrey’s 17th novel.
Left: Elizabeth Jeffrey signing copies of her
last book, Travelers' Inn at the Wivenhoe Bookshop on 7th December
For a complete list of novels with a synopsis on each
Note: Publishers of Elizabeth Jeffrey's books has been Judy Piatkus (Publishers) Ltd of 5 Windmill
Street, London W1T 2JA. Severn House will be publishers in the future.