Monday, September 24, 2012

Author Spotlight...presenting the fabulous Jo Ellis!

(JLD) We are very, very lucky to have a certified best-selling author with us today! Joanne Ellis is perhaps best known for her best-selling novel Spoilt, but she's got a lot more than one book in her! Welcome, Joanne! Please tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What do you do for a living?

(JE) I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia where I have lived most of my life, except for the six years I lived in the capital of Australia, Canberra.  I have two school aged children, a cat and two guinea pigs.  I am a bookkeeper by trade but find it isn’t really what I want to do, it simply pays the bills. I’m currently studying floristry and hope to move into this when I’ve finished at the end of next year. Of course, I would love to make a living from writing too, but my second love, after writing, would be flowers. I’m finding an artistic flair for it and the class is lots of fun! Seems I am creative in many ways. ;)

(JLD) What started your writing career?

(JE)  I always wanted to start but wasn’t sure I ‘had it in me’, so when I went through a difficult time in my life, I decided I’d try and see what I could do. I’ve always had a vivid imagination and found when I opened the door, the ideas flooded in. I just wish I had more time to do it. Writing has become my release, my solace, and I love to fall in love with my characters each time.

(JLD) What is the name of your book and what is it about? What did you want to accomplish when you wrote it?

(JE) I have several. Spoilt is a romantic suspense about a series of murders and the love story between Lucas, a detective, and Chelsea, who is a part of the investigation. It is the first in a series of four. The second, Twisted Fire, is about Charlotte, Chelsea’s sister and follows on from where Spoilt left off.  It involves arson, murder and a serious, yet dashing fire fighter! ;) The third, Womaniser, will be out within the next few months. My stray away from suspense to paranormal, aimed at YA readers, Folk Law is due out soon. I also write under a pen name and have one novel released under this name. Spoilt was my first, so I’ll talk about that as far as what I wanted to accomplish, at first, I just wanted to start and see how I would go. Once I’d written down a basic start point, characters and plot, I then started. Within two weeks the first draft, albeit short draft, was completed and I started on the next. It took me about two years of work to ‘finish’ before I signed with Night Publishing (Now Taylor Street Books). When I had a few more first drafts written, I decided to find out what I could accomplish, this is when I joined I learnt a lot from this experience and I have come a long way since then and I still have a way to go!

(JLD) Is there a character you identify with? Who is your least favorite character and why?

(JE)I guess I identify a little with a combination of two characters thus far. Again Chelsea (who is a florist) and Charlotte have both of me in them. Charlotte is probably my favourite character and the easiest to write as she is like me. My least favourite character, well I guess I should say the murderers… for obvious reasons. Anyone I don’t like, I kill off. ;)

(JLD)I s your book based on real life or fiction?

(JE) Mostly fiction but using real life topics, eg murder, the impact on those around them, and people falling in love, however they aren’t based on real life events. ‘Love And An American Girl’ has aspects of real life. My experiences on authonomy helped develop the story.

(JLD) What do you want readers to take away after they’ve read your book?

(JE) The same thing I get from reading, something that draws me in and I can’t put it down. To fall in love along with and with the characters, and then want more! To ride the rollercoaster with my characters and have something stay with them, like the characters do after I have finished. I think that is why I write more than one book with characters I love. I want them to enjoy the time they spend reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

(JLD)  What is your favorite genre, and do you write in that genre? Will you ever write in a different genre?

(JE)  I guess I tend to favour romance and thus why I write in this genre, that being said, when it comes to reading, I will try anything. As there are many sub-genres within romance, and I have dabbled in a few, there is variety within the genre. I don’t know whether I would stray from the romance aspect... but I do have a few on the ‘drawing board’ that don’t…

(JLD) What’s the hardest part about being a writer? The easiest part?

(JE)The hardest part is finding the time, and editing, re-writing, re-reading, re-editing… it is time consuming. The easiest part is being in the story, in the zone with the characters, and the words flow. The thrill of falling in love with the characters, feeling everything with them, it is draining and exhilarating all at once.

(JLD) What advice do you have to new writers out there?

(JE) Read, re-read, find a writer buddy or buddies, and beta readers. Join writer’s communities and listen to advice.

(JLD) Excellent advice! If you could start your writing career over again, would you do anything differently?

(JE) Yes! I would write slower and edit as I go rather than just get it all down and fix it later. I now take much longer to write a first draft and I edit as I go, in the hope of having less work to do later.

(JLD) Which person, alive or dead, would you like to spend time with? Why?

(JE)Oh, there are too many to name! Friends who live interstate and overseas… relatives who are gone… and any movie star who will whisk me off to Castle Hollywood and make me filthy rich. ;)

(JLD) Thanks so much for joining us here today! If you'd like to read Jo Ellis, here are some links…

Passion turns to envy. Love to murder. One way or another, everyone is spoilt.

A sadistic killer is stalking the streets, carving his hatred into the bodies of beautiful, young women.

The murders are stirring up bad memories for Detective Lucas Hudson, as he struggles to remain focused - juggling the horrors of today with horrors from the past.

When Chelsea Summerville's best friend goes missing, she's unwillingly dragged into the race to stop the killer.

As Lucas and Chelsea find happiness together, Chelsea becomes the hunted rather than the hunter.

Can Lucas shake off his demons and save the woman he loves, or will everything he holds dear be spoilt?

From the international best-selling author of 'Spoilt' …

It may be a bit of a cliché to say that all firemen are hot, but Captain Jared Montgomery is in an intensely smoldering class of his own, which makes him somewhat explosive to handle.

When he first met Charlotte at the vet's where she worked, he immediately judged her to be breathtakingly beautiful, flirtatious, superficial and shallow. He didn't like her but he
couldn't get her out of his mind. She thought he was aggressive and rude, but she couldn't get him out of her mind either.

Then mutual friends and family forced them together at a wedding and suddenly they had a runaway fire going between them nobody was going to put out until the day Jared discovered Charlotte locking lips with Dr Shaw, the local vet and her boss.

She, of course, said it wasn't like that at all, but she would, wouldn't she?

And it might all have ended there if Charlotte hadn't nearly died in a fire and if Jared hadn't been the one to
save her …..

If you like your Romance as straight as your firemen, this is the one for you.

And Jo is kind enough to offer a free kindle copy of Spoilt to one lucky reader! To enter:
1) Comment on the blog post
2) tweet the interview
3) Follow the blog if you don’t already…

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