Passion Never Retires for Elaine Weeks

Best thing about my work: I can do it at home I can do it anywhere. As long as I have a computer and the time to write, I’m all set. I can work late if I want to. I can sleep in if I want to. And I love not having a “boss” per se. I work with my husband on my fiction and non-fiction books. In terms of the non-fiction, we both do research, writing and editing, and he does most of the design and layout. We are a team.

My idea of perfect happiness: I would say being able to do something that I love and actually making a living from it. Tied with that, helping my children follow their dreams and assisting friends in their pursuits. Also, doing what I can to make the world a better place environmentally, socially, and spiritually. And last but not least, eating chocolate croissants in Paris while reading a book and watching the world passing by.

My greatest fear: not trying something because I think I will fail and then finding out too late that I could have done it.

The trait I most deplore in myself: not speaking my mind enough, i.e., being too nice to someone who doesn’t deserve that response. I was brought up in a household where we weren’t taught how to deal with conflict properly, to avoid it instead, so it’s a constant struggle for me to resist the impulse to swallow an outraged response when it’s perfectly necessary and required.

Greatest extravagance: traveling.

On what occasion would I lie: If it were a matter of life and death, for me, my husband, children, family, dear friends, maybe even complete strangers. And of course, to spare someone’s feelings. Not always successful in that regard, I’m afraid.

The one thing I most dislike about my work: How much it hurts my hands, fingers, wrists and forearms. I often wake up in the night from the pain. I have tried to dictate to the keyboard but it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Because I have to rest my hands, I don’t do as much writing as I should.

When and where I was the happiest in my work: writing in Bali and Thailand.

My greatest achievement in work: attempting to write a novel and succeeding when I thought I could never ever manage such a thing. I was awed and intimidated by all the great authors I had read and couldn’t imagine ever being able to write a novel, let alone one that was any good. I’m proud to say that I feel my novel is a good read.

Where I would most like to live: Paris. Second choice, somewhere warm with delicious food, culture and environment.

My most treasured possession: my health and vitality. I work hard to preserve both.

My most marked characteristic: hmmm, I guess my eyes. They are large and kind of change color depending on what I’m wearing from brown, to golden to green. And I think they are very kind eyes that suggest my caring nature.

Most inspirational place in my city: There is a 5km walking path in Windsor, Ontario along the Detroit River all the way from Hiram Walker’s Distillery to the Ambassador Bridge, which links us to the U.S. Along the path is a stunning waterfall and gardens built as a memorial to my father, mayor of Windsor from 1975 to 1982, who understood the value of green spaces in cities and spearheaded many parks. He was also a humanitarian: one of his achievements was opening Windsor’s doors to the Vietnamese Boat People when nowhere else in Canada would have them. Sitting by his waterfall, watching the sunset over the bridge with the city of Detroit skyline as a backdrop is always inspiring.

Favourite place to eat and drink in my city is a tie between Sun Hong for Chinese food and Pho Xic Lo for Vietnamese. Have been going to both about every week or two for about 15 years. Never disappointed. Well, maybe once when there was something about the noodles that we didn’t like. Otherwise, sooooo good and inexpensive, too, which is a nice bonus. We just drink tea – lots of tea, there.

A book that influenced my life was one of the first “real” books I read when I was around 12: “To Kill a Mockingbird”. The message of the book absolutely resonated with me and helped shape my resolve to be compassionate towards my fellow man. It also made me want to read more “real” books, as in, classics and books that have a message or carry me off into another world. “The Diviners” by Margaret Lawrence was another book I read in my youth and again, reinforced my interest in matters that are real but perhaps not in my sphere of consciousness.

My favourite writers and living persons in my profession: There are so many… essentially any author that captivates and awes me with their writing ability. Here are a few: Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, J.K. Rowling, Barbara Kingsolver, Paula McLain, Justin Cronin, Miriam Toews, John Irving and many others. I seem to have an affinity for female writers – not intentional.

The music I would listen to on my last day, if I knew it was my last day, that is, would be jazz and anything I could dance to, like Motown, Funk, Salsa, etc.

My hero and heroine in fiction is a hard question. There are many. I’ll be selfish and suggest my own novel heroine, the escaped slave, Sadie.

My heroes and heroines in real life: Michelle and Barack Obama, Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama, Jane Goodall, Jane Jacobs, Mrs. Einstein, Madame Curie, and many more.

The movie I would recommend anyone to see once in a lifetime is “The Wizard of Oz”. (What else?)

Art plays a vital role in my life and work. I studied art and my two children are artists. (I believe we’re all artists as children – it’s part of how we learn – but we often get discouraged from following that path.) Art is about creating something that wasn’t there before, which goes hand and hand with writing. And of course, looking at art, listening to music (all day), and making art when I get a chance is pure therapy.

My greatest fan and partner in crime is definitely my husband. We’ve been together since 1980 (married since ’86) and we collaborate on books together (nonfiction). Our latest book is “5000 Ways You Know You’re From Detroit”. Bonus: he’s a fantastic amateur chef, and what woman doesn’t love a man who can cook? He loves to travel and it’s because of him that I caught the travel bug.

If I could, I would like to work with Margaret Atwood. Her vivid imagination and her desire to explore controversial and unconventional topics inspire me.

During 2017, I have been working on a sequel to my time traveling novel, “Time Trespasser”. It’s about what happens to my main character, slave-owning cotton plantation master Jacob Williams, and about the fate of many other characters, including some of his former slaves, his family and several of the people he met in the future. I just wish I had more time to work on it; the non-fiction projects (they pay the bills and our traveling expeditions) take precedence. And my fingers and forearms hurt from typing. Sigh.

To me, the words, “passion never retires” mean that the desire to invent and tell a story stays present and strong until one’s dying day.

I can be contacted by email:, by messaging me on my facebook page: @timetrespasser, or even by snail mail: 716 Windermere Road, Windsor On N8Y 3E1. 

My book websites


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