Author Interview with Jan Ellis

Hello Jan, I am very happy I can welcome you on my blog after reading your lovely book „French Kisses“. (Read my review here: bit.ly/1mpGmbW)

Could you please introduce yourself to my readers who don’t know you?

I am delighted to be invited onto your blog, Isabell! My background is in non-fiction publishing and I am also an historian, but I do that work under a different name.

An Unexpected Affair was the first fiction that I had written since primary school. Fortunately people enjoyed it, so the publishers commissioned me to write a second e-novella, called French Kisses.


How did you come up with the idea for the French Kisses storyline?

In An Unexpected Affair, the heroine Eleanor Mace had worked in France in her twenties, but returned home, got married and settled in England. I thought it would be interesting to see what might have happened if she had stayed in France. So, in French Kisses, my main character – Rachel – does just that.



Are experiences in your books based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Quite a few people I know find themselves in the novellas! For example, I have a neighbour who is an artist, and the florist and former model, Philippe, was inspired by one of my oldest friends. Pelette is based on a lovely village in the Drôme region, which I know quite well.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

Part-time: I fit the fiction around my other work. I’m not very good at just doing one thing at a time – I get bored easily!

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I would like to write a third book to tie up the stories from the first two novellas. If you have read them both you will know that Rachel’s father (Harold Greaves) is going out with Connie, who is the mother of Eleanor Mace in An Unexpected Affair. I think it would be fun to bring the two women together and see how they are getting along with the new men in their lives!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

As you noticed, Isabell, I’m not great at endings! For book three, I think I might start at the end and work backwards. It could be an interesting experiment.

Do you ever experience writer's block?

Only when my heroine falls for the wrong man and I have to figure out how to get the story back on track. That’s part of the fun, though.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I am a great traveller and have spent several years wandering around the world. Among the more unusual places that I’ve visited are Borneo, the Falkland Islands and Mongolia. I’m lucky enough to visit Germany every year because I attend the Frankfurt Book Fair. When I’m at home, I enjoy walking the dog and singing in two local choirs.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I guess I usually have a couple of books on the go at any one time. It’s hard to pick out favourites, but writers whose work I have enjoyed recently include Andrew Miller (Pure), David Nicholls (One Day) and C.J. Sansom (Dominion). When it comes to women’s fiction, I love Anita Shreve’s early books, for example Sea Glass. Maggie O’Farrell’s The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox is dark and wonderful, and I’ll read anything by Virginia Woolf. I could go on . . .

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

Reviews that pick up on the things that you are pleased about in your writing are great. For example, when people laugh at the bits you hope are funny! As for bad reviews, it is unpleasant when someone is nasty about a book they have downloaded free of charge without bothering to check what kind of book it is. In that case, it’s really not the author’s fault! So far, I have been lucky and had lots of lovely feedback.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

* Visit my website to find out more about me and to read extracts from the novellas: Homepage
* For background to the books, see Shelfari
* To see what I’m reading at the moment, see Goodreads: Goodreads profil
* You can also follow me on Twitter @JanEllis_writer

Buy your own copy here
Buy your own copy here

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