Elaine has a life-long association with horses and ponies, going back to her childhood riding with the Pony Club and local Hunt In Glamorgan, South Wales. All her life she wanted her own horse, but had to wait until she was 43.
Following early retirement from her academic and management career they now are a major part of her life; one from which she is constantly learning. Her equine interests lie in showing, breeding, classical riding and natural methods of backing and producing horses and ponies. She is also a qualified EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) practitioner specialising in equine EFT and rider confidence problems. www.drelaineatkins.co.uk
Dogs are another passion. She has a lifetime's experience of owning, training, working and showing a variety of breeds of dogs, and owned the Tyheulog Gundogs kennel back in the 1980's and 90's, competing successfully in gundog working tests and winning some significant show awards too. She bred one of the very few Irish Water Spaniels ever to win a Field Trial award - the legendary Tyheulog Adarwr.
If there is any spare time, Elaine writes. Her first novel - Eight of Cups - written with Marion Duffy, her long-time friend and co-author of their previous non-fiction books, was published in December 2008. The second novel, 'Never do Harm' is due out at the end of the year. Together they write under the pseudonym Mirren Jones. See www.mirrenjones.co.uk and www.mirrenjonesblog.com