Interview with NP author Joanne Ellis
As promised a short taster and the link to Joanne’s new book Twisted Fire.
It may be a cliché to suggest 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 mutual friends forced Jared and Charlotte together at a wedding,
they started a runaway fire between them nobody was going to put out until the
day Jared discovered Charlotte locking lips with Dr Shaw, her boss.
It’s not everyday I have the honour to introduce a best selling author, but today I have. Australian author Jo Ellis’s debut Spoilt is a best seller. Well, if that isn’t a dream come true! Joanne is another prolific writer, of both novels and short stories, and her second novel Twisted Fire -sequel to Spoilt - will be due out with Night Publishing within weeks. I’ll give you the link as soon as it is available.
Jo writes romance, sometimes with a fantasy twist but always with a lot of suspense. She’s definitely the action-packed writer but she also never fails to pay careful attention to all the human emotions her characters have to go through. What struck me most when reading her work to prepare for this interview, was her crystal-clear and super-confident style, there is not a word out of place or superfluous. Exactly the kind of writing that pulls you along…and makes the stuff best-sellers are composed of. Good luck with Twisted Fire, Jo!
Where do you live (town, country)? Were you born and bred there?
I live in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. I was born and bred here but lived in the capital, Canberra for six years.
What kind of food do you like? Are you a good cook? How important is food to you?
I love Indian and Italian food mostly and also love a good pizza. I wouldn’t say I’m a good cook but I love to bake, pies, cakes… Food is very important to me, I love eating and trying new foods.
Do you do any sports? How often? What does exercise mean to you? Any other hobbies?
I haven’t played sport for many years but when I did I played netball and softball. Now I jump on the treadmill when I have time. I would have to say I’m not a huge exercise fan but my love of food makes it a necessity. Hobbies, well first and foremost reading and lots of it. I also like to do jigsaws and crosswords.
Do you have kids/grandkids? If so, please tell us a little about them?
I have two kids. My daughter is five and my son three. They are the light of my life.
Do you like travelling? Where do you go then?
I do like to travel but unfortunately don’t get much time to do it. I have been to many planes in Australia but would really love to go to Europe and New York.
Do you have another job apart from writing? For how many hours? How do you feel about the ‘other’ job?
I am a bookkeeper by trade and have my own small business. I don’t work many hours and do most of my work from home which is great. If I had a choice though I would be writing full time and probably wouldn’t miss the tedium of bookkeeping.
How do your family/friends react to you being a writer? Have their opinions changed since you became a published author? Which remark from your surroundings has stuck most with you?
My family seemed to have taken it all in their stride and don’t say much, though I know they are proud of me. I don’t think they have changed their opinion all that much. I think they see writing as just a part of who I am. The best remark or reaction I’ve had to my work are the people who email me to tell me they loved my story or when people I know go out of their way to tell me as well. I think the reaction of people I meet when I say I’m a writer are the best reactions… the wow, a real author!
Would you call yourself a social human being? Do you have time for going out and spending time away from the writing desk?
I am very social and love the company of others. I’ve always been a little ‘wild’ and enjoy a good social gathering. I don’t have a lot of time to spend away from the writing desk going out… having small children kind of makes both a little hard at times. Though they are a good distraction.
Which character trait do you like best about yourself and why? Which trait would you rather do without?
I think my kindness and compassion… why? I guess I like making others happy. I could do without being stubborn and impulsive.
Can you describe the place where you write + the view?
I write anywhere I can. Time is always a factor so it is whenever I can fit it in. When I do sit at the table to write, the view isn’t very exciting, just my backyard but I do like to look at the clouds and blue sky when I get stuck.
Is there something you always need to have near you when you work (beverage, cigarette, mascot, music, quote, etc)?
Not usually, no. I write when the muse strikes and all I need is the laptop usually.
What genre(s) do you write in? How did that develop?
Romance in most sub-genres. I guess it is because I love a good romance, always have. I like writing about people falling in love.
When was your first book released and how did that make you feel?
July 2010. It was a great feeling. To see my work in paperback is indescribable. I am still in disbelief over how well Spoilt has done.
Can you tell us some background information on the book? (How did you get the idea, how long did it take you to write and edit it, is it part of a sequel, how does the published book make you feel now?)
It all started with a few scribbled notes about the main characters and a basic plot and grew from there. It took me two weeks to write the first draft and almost three years of editing before it was published. How does it make me feel now? Fantastic but also I think I have developed my writing so much since then and believe I could do it better were I to write it again. Spoilt is the first in a series of four. The sequel, Twisted Fire, is due out soon.
What are your writing habits? (every day, number of words, etc.?)
When I first started I wrote four really quickly. The next four took a bit longer. Now I tend to write whatever story is inspiring me and when I can. I am also rewriting and editing a lot of the original work I did because I did right them in quick secession and they are very rough. I now work slower and edit as I go.
Who’s been your biggest inspiration and why? Since when?
First of all it was my favourite authors, particularly Paullina Simons, I wish I could write like her. Now it is a closer writer friend of mine. It is great to have someone to bounce ideas off and be a reader for you. I love his work and it is an inspiration to me.
What does Night Publishing mean to you?
Everything. Tim has been so supportive and I don’t know where I would be without him or the opportunity Night Publishing gave me.
Where do you see yourself in 5-years’ time?
Well I hope to have many books selling well so I can write full time and travel. I girl can dream.
Final fun question. If you had to choose: are you a Houdini or an Edison? This is for the official NP tally.
I would have to say Houdini, more the entertainer than the academic.
THANK YOU SO MUCH, Joanne!
Want to read Jo’s work or get in touch with her, here are the links: