Paranormal Addicts would like to extend a warm welcome to Ella. Thank you for stopping by and answering some questions about yourself, your career and your books.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? I’m a former journalist who has written fiction ‘seriously’ – with the intent to publish – since 2006. I’m married with a 10-month-old little boy. I’m quirky (not necessarily in the cool and trendy way) and I love traveling and daydreaming.
If you didn’t write, what other profession would you have selected? Medicine. I still plan to go back to school to get a medical degree. Journalism, too. That’s the one I did select. Taught me how to write… didn’t really pay the bills. ;)
What profession do you think you would hate? Ack! I’m afraid I’ll offend someone. But the truth is, I always say a slow (or maybe speedy!) death for me would be something like accounting. I’m not a detail person. I was once a secretary for a law office. I nearly burned the place to the ground. =/
Who is your favorite author? The author who has probably written the greatest number of books that I enjoy is Lisa Kleypas. The author who is just plain my favorite is Maggie Stiefvater. I love her blog posts and have followed her blog since before Shiver became big. I adore EL James and think she wrote an awesome love story; I really enjoyed that. I also really enjoy J.R. Ward.
What is your favorite genre to read? Romance, absolutely. J
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I always had an affinity for words and an aversion to real life. ;) It didn’t hurt that writing was the only thing at which I excelled.
What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process? Honestly – how difficult it is to get traditionally published. For a long time I believed that if you wrote a good book you could get published by a NY publisher. Life became much better once I realized and accepted that that’s simply not true. Talent, quality, and professional presentation have a lot to do with it, but luck, timing, and connections play a part as well.
Where does your inspiration for a new book come from? A lot of it’s just organic to my head. Like…it’s just something that I do, the way maybe a composer is always mentally arranging bits of music. But the true origin of all my books is dissatisfaction with “real life.” I have the most wonderful husband and a baby boy I adore, and I would say my day-to-day life is very fulfilling, but I think for most writers real life is just not enough.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula? Formula? Me?! No. ;) I read all the standard books on plotting, which taught me what I know about it. Reading taught me the rest. And I am by no means finished learning everything about it. With characters, I try to reach down into myself and pull out the parts I need for a given character. I think it’s a lot like acting.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing? A story that has forward-momentum and reasonably high stakes. Excellent characters. A plausible and interesting premise. Conciseness. Strong ‘voice.’ The worst thing to me is when I buy a book and everything about it is awesome… except that there are a few key details I just don’t buy. The writer has not sold me on everything, or something about the story just isn’t plausible.
How long does it usually take for you to write a book? Somewhere between 40 and 50 hours. When I can get my hands on them depends on my day-to-day life… It varies a lot.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do to get out of it? I don’t anymore, not really. For me writer’s block usually means my personal life needs my attention at the moment – time to go have a long vent-session with my husband – or there is something wrong with the plot. Writing a book is as easy as eating cake if the plot is spot on. J Well… if eating cake took 40-50 hours.
Who do you ask to read your work and give their opinion? From those opinions what helps you the most and how do you keep from picking it apart? My husband is my editor. He’s an editor for his day job, too. We’ve been known to have screaming matches over the placement of a comma. (No, that is not a joke.) J
Do you have a favorite book that you have written? My favorite is HERE. I love writing in first-person, and I think the premise (and story) are unusual. It’s the kind of book I would really love to read.
We would love for you to paint a picture for us of you writing your books. Do you always write in your office? Do you ever go outside on a beautiful day and write there? Are you listening to music when you write? Drinking wine? Do you do your best work during the day? At night? I do decent work any time I can focus – meaning no crying baby, no loud TV, no plans for the next two or three hours. I have a slight preference for writing in the morning, although I hardly ever get to indulge that preference anymore now that I have a child. I usually write under a fleece blanket with the laptop (guess where?!) on my lap, sitting on the couch with the couch’s arm and a pillow propped behind me.
Can you share a little of your current work, Chosen, with us? Yes. (see below - she sent along a special treat)
In Twitter Fashion use 140 characters or less, sum up Chosen for us. Continuation of Stained storyline, plus Swiss Alps, more characters, and more drama.
Will we be seeing a following book to this story? Yep, there is a fourth Stained book which is untitled, and will be out later in the summer.
Ella James is the author of Stained and Stolen, books one and two in the Stained Series; HERE, book one in an unusual sci-fi romance trilogy; and Before You Go, a one-shot YA romance beach read that tells the first meeting of Logan and Margo, who will be featured in her upcoming adult release, Over The Moon. She has a YA paranormal romance release scheduled for almost every month of 2012, including Chosen (Stained Book Three) in June and the second HERE book in July. Ella is inviting readers to help her write an adult romance shapeshifter novel, which is plotted via polls and questions on her blog and her Facebook page.
Ella lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her wonderful husband, opinionated baby, and mopey dog.
You can visit her BLOG, become a fan on Goodreads, or friend her on Facebook .
For a list of her award-winning YA romances, visit her Amazon page.
Here are blurbs about all my books except Stolen and Chosen, because they contains spoilers:
After a fire destroys seventeen-year-old Julia's home and kills her foster parents, she chases the half-demon responsible across the country and back, determined to avenge her family and discover why a host of celestial baddies want her dead. With Julia is enigmatic hottie Cayne, who has his own score to settle with the half-demon, and who might be just as dangerous as the creature he and Julia hunt.
Milo Mitchell's life used to be charmed, but that was before her family dissolved, she went a little crazy, and her best friends started acting more like strangers. Spending Saturday morning in a treehouse with a stun gun for company and a herd of deer for friends is the only exciting thing in her life...until she shoots a fawn and finds her dart stuck in a guy.
Her gorgeous victim is dressed in a Brioni tux and armed with a hanky. He has no idea who or where he is. Afraid her dart caused his amnesia, Milo takes him in, names him Nick, and vows to help him solve his mystery. Soon the pair find Nick's face in a newspaper obituary, and Nick begins to have strange, ethereal memories of Milo--who is sure she's never met him. Suddenly Nick knows things he shouldn't know and is doing things he shouldn't do. When the Department of Defense shows up, Nick and Milo run--toward a shocking conclusion that could destroy both their worlds.
Margo Ford just became an heiress. Not the Paris Hilton kind. Her billions came after her father died and her insanely wealthy, insanely absent mother officially claimed her. Unfortunately, some terrorists noticed, and they hatched a plot to kidnap her. After a news report goes awry, reporting that Margo *has* been kidnapped, and her mother offers the humiliating sum of $500,000 for her return, Margo doesn't want anything to do with her *#$!@ of an egg donor. Then she is sentenced to a summer of "protection" on her mother's private island. Not the Oprah Winfrey kind. This one has an astronomical observatory filled with scientists, including Logan Greer, a super hot, super infuriating planet-hunter. Hiding out from kidnappers has never been so boring... until suddenly it isn't anymore.
As a special treat, Ms. James' has given our followers a sneak peek at this book.
So without further ado.....Chapter One of Chosen
Thank you Ella for stopping bye and sharing so much of yourself with us. To our followers, head on over to your favorite e-book retailer and pick up her books. Her books are amazingly priced. You can't beat a quality story for less than $3 (most are under a buck).