Good morning Ellie and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?
Hi Jo, thanks for inviting me on to your Tuesday Talk Interview! So, a little bit about myself – I live in the beautiful East Riding of Yorkshire in the UK, with my partner, David, and two children, Joe and Abbie. Well, I say children, but they’re 21 and 18 now… where did the time go? I currently work full-time in local government and have just, as we speak, completed a Master’s Degree in Public Management. It’s something of a relief as it has impacted on my ability to concentrate on my writing so I’m looking forward to really being able to crack on with my WIP. I write contemporary romance novels, erring on the sweet/sensual side but with an emphasis on the emerging relationship between the hero and heroine. I hope I write characters that readers are really able to connect with, and show them dealing with everyday problems and barriers that we all encounter.
When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer and how did you begin that journey?
I think I first decided I wanted to be a writer in my late teens when I began to write down the stories that, until then, had only been in my head, albeit fully completed stories! I knew nothing about the business then and had some sort of halcyon dream of sending off my first, typed manuscript and being taken on instantly by Harlequin Mills and Boon! Oh the innocence of it all. Of course, I received the standard rejection letters – hardly surprising as I now know that what I sent out was a rather rubbish first draft but I was so excited to have ‘finished’ a novel that I sent it out straight away. I did receive one very positive rejection who gently pointed out some of the areas I could work on and told me that I wrote quite well and that I should continue to hone my craft. Well, I’ve spent years and years doing just that, with ever more positive feedback (but still no contract) until just last year I received that offer of a publishing contract from the lovely Tirgearr Publishing with my debut novel Beauty and the Recluse.
Who are your favourite authors and have any of them inspired your writing in any way?
Gosh, that’s a tricky one! I love a wide and rather eclectic range of writers and genres. I adore Jane Austen, Barbara Erskine, Daphne Du Maurier and Victoria Connelly in terms of romance; Tolkien and J K Rowling for fantasy; Elizabeth Peters, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Matthew Reilly for thriller/crime; Stephen King, James Herbert and Dean Koontz for horror. They all inspire me in different ways but something clicked when I read Stephen King’s On Writing and it helped me to focus and take on a more business-like approach to writing.
Are you a panster or a plotter? What works best for you?
A bit of both really, but I tend to plot in my head. I still like to ‘write’ full novels in my head and plan out the full story line. When I actually get around to writing it down, the characters themselves can suddenly come up with a different storyline or angle but, in general, it’s already there in my head. I don’t tend to plan in terms of writing out an outline, or summary of chapters etc. I just sit down and start to write.
Can you tell us something about your current WIP?
My WIP is set in the historic town of Whitby in North Yorkshire. It tells the story of Chloe, who doesn’t have a great deal of self-worth due to a difficult relationship with her mother and who is reluctant to trust anyone after being involved in an abusive relationship with her ex-fiancé. Luke is a successful business man who moves into the area and whose company has recently taken over the company where Chloe works. Having seen the destructive power of relationships, when they don’t work, through his parent’s acrimonious divorce, Luke is not looking for commitment and unwilling to risk hurting someone as his father did. Unfortunately for both Chloe and Luke, their attraction is mutual and both must ultimately decide if they are willing to trust the other with their heart.
Are you a beach or city girl? Name some of your favourite holiday destinations
Hmm – can I offer an alternative? I’m a rural type of girl. Having grown up living in an idyllic cottage on the edge of a wood, miles from anywhere, I just love spending time being miles from anywhere and anyone (except my family, of course!). My favourite holiday destinations are Scotland, Egypt, Portugal and Greece – the rural parts, of course Having said that, my favourite city is Edinburgh – I go as often as I can.
And lastly, if you were able to invite four celebrities to dinner who would they be and why?
Christian Bale – because he’s lovely to look at and I adore his voice.
Julia Roberts – I’ve always loved her, ever since I saw her in Pretty Woman.
Angelina Jolie – gorgeous woman, a great ambassador and I’m a Tomb Raider fan!
Sean Bean – a bit craggy now but still, he’s Sean Bean and I love him.
Ellie’s Social Media Links:
Tirgearr Publishing: http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Gray_Ellie/index.htm
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01F650ROM
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F650ROM