Welcome to my stop on the Joan Ellis ‘I Am Ella, Buy Me’ blog tour! I have a wonderful interview for you with this fantastic author and I am extremely excited to share it with you.
About the book:
Based on Joan’s own experiences in top London advertising agencies, this funny, fast-paced tale is set against a backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain where money trumped morals and lust was a must. ‘I am a ginger tom. I am a boy racer. I am a housewife. I am a pain in the arse.’ Working in Soho’s mad, bad Adland in the sexist 80s, Ella David is a rare beast – a woman in a man’s world. When her lothario boss, Peter Richards, bored with his ball-clicker, demands something or someone new to play with, Ella finds herself battling more than just fat thighs. Faced with losing her job or sleeping with him, Ella turns to her friend, Adam Hart the one constant bright spot in her life. Can love help her go from a girl in the firing line to a woman calling the shots?
An interview with author Joan Ellis:
Hi Joan welcome to the blog – thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for me! Just to warn you though, this is my first author interview so please be kind!
Hello, no worries, it’s my first time too! I’ve had a sneaky peak at your questions – they’re great!
Let’s start off on the right foot. Thanks to Ella and Adam, reading your book made me think constantly of cake… What’ll you be having? And can I offer a cup of tea, coffee or other to go with it?
Home-made chocolate cake, New York cheesecake, Christmas cake, coffee and walnut, lemon drizzle, raspberry Pavlova, Yule log, almond croissant. The richer the better. And a cup of black Earl Grey, please. On second thoughts, better make that a pot. Thanks!
Now we’re comfortable, could you please introduce yourself a little – any likes, dislikes and hobbies you can tell us about?
Can’t get enough of:
Love and laughter with family and friends.
London (especially my beloved Crouch End), the Isle of Wight for taking me to its heart and Capri for the best gelato in the world.
The sea – the one place where I don’t have a care in the world. I saw a sea-horse once. Not going to lie – I thought it would be the size of, well, a horse.
My thatched cottage – like living in a tea-room but with less people and more cakes.
My cat, Baby Ragger – born to be cute. Cheers me up when I’m down.
Could certainly live without:
One guide to writing says “Write what you know” – is this what you have done in ‘I Am Ella, Buy Me’?
Yes, up to a point. Like Ella, I was a woman in a man’s world, an award-winning copywriter in top London advertising agencies with a penchant for bad boys and big hair. Well, it was the 80s.
Some sleaze did actually say to me: ‘I’ve never had you, have I?’ Wrong on so many levels but the perfect quote for Peter!
Obviously, ‘I am Ella. Buy me’ is a novel; what happens never happened in real life but it’s fun to think some of it might have. I’m just relieved Peter isn’t out there somewhere, stalking the corridors of power, causing havoc!
‘I Am Ella, Buy Me’ has some fantastic characters (Wally and Adam) and some not so good ones. I am of course talking about the sleaze-ball (Peter) and villainous weasel (Tom) – are any of these based on people you have come across before?
Wally is based on my darling Dad, the funniest man I ever met. Adam is a great friend of mine who has seen me through the best and worst of times. Kind, witty and most importantly, knows there’s nothing a slab of cake can’t solve.
Tom and Peter are pure fiction, each created using a mishmash of unsavoury characteristics. I love a good villain. Every book needs at least one to add colour to the black and white pages.
Do you have any plans in the pipeline for a next book?
I have just launched my first psychological thriller, The Killing of Mummy’s Boy. People ask why I didn’t move when I found myself sitting next to a murderer on a train. In the hour I was trapped with him, I was terrified, horrified and sickened but never bored. What better start to a novel?
My third book Guilt is out soon. Seven-year-old Susan is alone with her younger brother when he dies of an overdose. The guilt informs the rest of her life. When it threatens to destroy not only her but also her family, she must revisit her past to discover the truth.
If you want to give someone a fright this Christmas, these are the gifts that keeps on giving!
For fun, if you were stuck on a desert island and you could take only 3 items with you, what would they be and why?
Something to write on – I could invent a host of characters to keep me company. One might even be smart enough to help me escape!
A massive photo album going back years – I’d relive all the happy times spent with my daughter, my husband and the rest of my family and friends.
Red lipstick – no-one would see me wearing it but it would make me feel more glam.
Finally for the most important question. In a cream tea, do you put the jam or cream on first?
Love it! Always the cream on first but I’m a Londoner, what do I know?
Thank you. It’s been fun and thought provoking.
And thank you Joan – you’ve given us some amazing answers!
A bit about the author:
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 creative 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!
Suffering from swine flu and sweating like a pig, she moved from London to the Isle of Wight where she lives on cream teas with her beloved husband, daughter and two cats.
Want to check out previous and upcoming stops on the ‘I Am Ella, Buy Me’ Blog Tour? Take a look at the tour poster below!
This blog was brought to you by JennyBee’s Book Blog in concert with Girls Love To Read Blog Tours