My name is Ella and I’m not very interesting really. I have two kids, a husband and I live in a house. I also like to eat pizza, drink wine, read copious amounts of books and moan that no-one takes anything up to their rooms that I leave on the stairs. But I also like writing heart-warming romantic stories, which is what my life is largely about at the moment.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I’ve always written in some capacity, but last year I lost my job and needed to think of something else, so I thought there was no time like the presence to start writing novels.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? I only write on one day a week as other days I have work commitments and preschool aged children to deal with. But on that day I sit down in front of the computer at 9:20 and stay there until 2:45. I usually have a sandwich as I edit what I’ve written half way through. I dread to think how many crumbs are in my keyboard.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? No I don’t. I’d sooner write something and then cut it out later than write nothing. Basically I always have something to say and that’s true verbally as well as on the written page!
4.Are you a plotter or panster when it comes to writing a story? Panster overall. I take stock about half way through to check where it’s all going but I like the characters to lead the way. It’s amazing how your own creations can surprise you sometimes.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published, and what was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors? Self-published but hoping (dreaming, perhaps) of become traditionally published one day. My advice would be to give it a go, nothing is stopping you from self-publishing and you never know what might happen.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? My first ever blogger review. At that point no-one but a couple of close friends and my sisters had read the book and of course they were going to be nice weren’t they? My first blogger review (Chicks That Read) said it was “Bloody brilliant” and I thought that that was, well, bloody brilliant!
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My debut novel, Check Your Privilege, is about a single mum living in London. Nancy’s life is hectic, she works as a nurse, she has young children, friends with problems, her gay ex-husband and his partner to contend with and then out of nowhere she meets someone she can be herself with, who makes no demands of her, the charming Jonny. Unfortunately their lives just seem too different. Overall the book is about forgiveness, being true to one’s self and being grateful for everything we have.
I am currently working on my second novel, Out There Somewhere, which is about a young woman who decides to change the habit of a lifetime and travel the world, secretly searching for the one that got away.
8.What audience is your book targeted for, and what genre does it come under? I’d say it was definitely chick-lit or romantic comedy. But it’s a more realistic and less glamorous book than many out there.
9.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I have a part-time day job and two very young children. As a family we properly chill out at weekends and just enjoy each other’s company really.
10.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Well, I’m pretty new to all this so should probably be receiving this advice rather than giving it! But I have found that Twitter is a great place to connect with people. I don’t think giving it the hard sell is appreciated by anyone and will probably lose you followers so I keep that to a minimum.
11.What is the hardest thing about writing? Finding the time! I love writing and don’t ever put it off by doing something else. I would write all day if I could.