I’m hosting an interview today with Joan Ellis, the author of “I Am Ella. Buy Me”, a chick lit / humor / romance book. Welcome to my blog, Joan!
1) How long have you been writing?
Since I was ten-years-old. Until then, I had been a rubbish speller and my Mum had to write all my school essays. Eventually, thanks to her patience and understanding, I discovered how to do it myself. Before long, the other kids stopped laughing at me and started laughing with me when the teacher read out my stories.
When I left school, I went to college and became a copywriter. Working in the advertising industry for over thirty years, I got paid to come up with ideas and write every day. Brilliant!
2) Is I am Ella. Buy me. your first book? If not, please tell us a little about your first book.
‘Ten wrong spelling, ten red crosses. And judging by my teacher’s expression, they weren’t meant to be kisses.’
The Things You Missed While You Were Away is for anyone who has been a child.
This glimpse into my upbringing in the 60s and Sophie’s in the 90s proves when we lose someone special, love comes from unexpected places to fill the hole in our hearts.
Sophie, like me is an only child brought up in a single parent family. This funny, happy memoir is written as a long letter to my father detailing all the magical memories from both my childhood and Sophie’s he never got to see. You don’t have to have lost a loved one to love it. It’s for the child in everyone.
Based on a regular column I penned about my baby daughter, Sophie for a parenting glossy magazine almost eighteen years ago, I finally plan to publish the memoir in 2015.
3) Why did you choose chick lit as genre for your book?
It’s the most fun you can have at the keyboard. I love creating a character and letting them loose on a blank document. Before I know it they’re throwing out witty one-liners I could never think of.
I am Ella. Buy me is chick lit with added extras. It explores Ella’s character at a deep level and
I read Bridget Jones Diary when it was first published. I loved it. Not only did it connect with a generation, it was heartbreakingly hilarious. For me, Helen Fielding is the mother hen of all chick lit.
4) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
The more you read, the better you write. It’s a lovely way to hone your craft as you enjoy your favourite author’s books and discover new novelists along the way.
5) Do you have any works in progress you’d like to tell us about?
I enjoyed writing my second novel, psychological thriller: The Killing of Mummy’s Boy, so much, I penned another, Guilt.
Seven-year-old Susan is alone with her younger brother when he dies of an overdose. The guilt she feels informs the rest of her life. When it threatens to destroy not only her but also her family, she sets out to revisit her path and discover the truth. The consequences are as magical as they are tragic.
Guilt is an interesting emotion. It seems to me, those who should feel it the most deeply manage to brush it off, yet the innocent fall victim, allowing its corrosive properties to eat away at their lives.
My next novel will be another chick lit. Time for a laugh!
Thank you for having me stop-over. Great questions! Hope you enjoy the books.
About The Book
Author: Joan Ellis
Genre: Humor / Chick lit / Romance
I AM ELLA. BUY ME
‘I am a ginger tom. I am a boy racer. I am a housewife. I am a pain in the arse.’
Ella David is Bridget Jones meets Peggy from Mad Men.
Working in Soho’s mad, bad Adland in the sexist 80s, Ella is a rare beast – a woman in a man’s world, dodging her sleazy boss, Peter.
Based on Joan’s experiences in Soho’s mad, bad Adland, this fast-paced, funny tale is set against a backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain when money trumps morals
and lust is a must. Thankfully, Ella knows love is more powerful but can two unlikely friendships help her go from a girl in the firing line to a woman calling the shots?
Award-winning advertising copywriter, comedy writer, performer, lecturer – Joan Ellis has been them all. With a full-time job in a top London advertising agency and a new baby, she did what any right-minded woman would’ve done and set up a comedy club. She even appeared on the same bill as Jo Brand. Once.
A career highlight was casting a black and white moggie as Humphrey Bogart for her award-winning cat food commercial. Other great performers who brought her words to life include Penelope Keith and Harry Enfield.
As a lecturer, Joan taught comedian Noel Fielding all he knows about advertising before encouraging him to showcase his talents on a wider stage.
Working for The Press Association, she tutored Wordsworth’s
great-grandson in the art of copywriting: Buy a host of golden daffodils and get a blue one, free!
She was a lecturer in PR and Advertising at Bournemouth University.
She penned a regular column about her daughter for parenting glossy, Junior. Sophie is now eighteen and refuses to read a word her mother writes.
Suffering from swine flu and sweating like a pig, she moved from London to her beloved Isle of Wight where she writes and eats cream teas with her long-suffering husband, daughter and cat.
She recently launched her books at The Ventnor Fringe and the Isle of Wight Literary Festival.