Posted in Writing


Hi Jan and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Thanks for having me, Jo. I’m self-employed and have several day jobs, mostly related to the book trade. I sometimes feel like one of those 1970s TV entertainers who kept lots of plates spinning on sticks. I love it and having a variety of work certainly keeps me on my toes.

Spinning plates

When did you decide to become a writer and how did you begin that journey?

I trained as a journalist because the careers lady at school said it was a good choice for someone who enjoyed telling stories! I soon moved into publishing and have been writing and editing non-fiction ever since. I fell into fiction after being approached by Endeavour Press to write a history book; we couldn’t find a topic that worked, so the publisher suggested I try my hand at romcom instead. I ended up writing four e-novellas for them, which were later picked up by a traditional publisher who also commissioned a brand-new paperback called The Bookshop Detective. Mine has not been a typical journey!

What makes a good hero?

Heroes should be complex and contradictory, which means they must have been through the emotional mill. My hero Daniel is still partly in love with his ex-wife, for example, even though she broke his heart. Like most of my characters, Dan won’t see 40 again…

You’re an author of rom coms and contemporary fiction. Have you ever been tempted to write, say, crime or a psychological thriller?

My last story centred around two Victorian mysteries and – as it happens – I began writing a thriller at our recent RNA Bath & Wilts writing day. Did I mention that I get bored easily?


When it comes to getting away on holiday are you a Beach or City girl?

A city near the coast is my idea of heaven. I’ve recently returned from Naples and loved it.

What would your advice be to new writers?

Go for it! Rather than fretting, grit your teeth and write something. It might be rubbish, but you can always revise it later. The important thing is to get the creative juices flowing. And read as much as you can, in any genre, trying to note how the authors manage dialogue, time-shifts, etc. Lastly, do make sure that your grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct before sending your book off into the world.

And finally, you’re planning a year out, getting away from everyone on a desert island – what ‘must haves’ would you take with you and why?

An endless pile of books, a year’s supply of teabags and a small dog. Who could ask for more?


JE in NaplesJan Ellis began writing fiction by accident in 2013. Until then, she had led a blameless life as a publisher, editor and historian of early modern Spain. She fell into fiction when a digital publisher approached her to write a history book, then made the mistake of mentioning women’s fiction, which sounded much more fun.

Jan describes her books as romcom/mystery with the emphasis firmly on family, friendship and humour. She specialises in small-town settings, with realistic characters who range in age from young teens to 80-somethings. As well as being an author, Jan continues to work at the heart of the book trade.

About the books

JE books x 3

An Unexpected Affair and A Summer of Surprises and French Kisses and A London Affair are published in two paperback volumes by Waverley Books. The Bookshop Detective is a paperback original.

Follow Jan on Facebook and Twitter @JanEllis_writer
Jan’s Amazon page:

Posted in Writing





Nine hours and eleven minutes …
That’s how long it’s been since Ella Hope was beaten to within an inch of life and left for dead.
She lies, unable to move and praying for somebody to find her, as she counts down the minutes and wonders who could have hated her so much to have hurt her so badly.
Was it the man she went on a date with the previous evening, the man linked to the deaths of two other women? Or somebody else, somebody who wants her out of the picture so much they’re willing to kill?
Whoever it is, they will pay. All Ella has to do first is survive …






This is Lynda Stacey’s first venture into psychological thriller land.  It begins in quite a dramatic way with reporter Ella Hope lying injured out on the moors. She has only a vague idea of what has happened but she does know someone attacked her and she has been badly hurt.

A great start to a story, pulling the reader straight in. What’s different about this psychological thriller is that it is interwoven with a romance between Ella and her new next door neighbour Will, also a reporter.  Ella has spent seven months recovering from her ordeal.  She still has a long way to go with safety issues around men but Will eventually wins her trust.  Ella is determined to get to the bottom of what happened to her and knows gym owner Rick Greaves has something to do with it.  As her memory gradually returns she begins to piece together what happened that night.

Right from the beginning we hear the attacker’s words and thoughts.  They have killed before. Now Ella has escaped death, will they return to finish the job?

A worthy four star read.

About Lynda…

L (1) copy 2Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire and went to both Bentley New Village School, and Don Valley High School.

She is currently the Sales Director of a stationery, office supplies and office furniture company in Doncaster, where she has worked for the past 25 years. Prior to this she’d also been a nurse, a model, an emergency first response instructor and a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor … and yes, she was crazy enough to dive in the sea with sharks, without a cage.

Following a car accident in 2008, Lynda was left with limited mobility in her right arm. Unable to dive or teach anymore, she turned to her love of writing, a hobby she’d followed avidly since being a teenager.

Her own life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.

Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.

She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her ‘hero at home husband’, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.