Joan Ellis

Author Interview: Joan Ellis

IMG_0613-2-1Hi Joan. Thank you for joining us. Can you tell us a little about your books, I am Ella. Buy Me, and The Killing of Mummy’s Boy as well as your latest novel, Guilt? 

I am Ella. Buy me – ‘I am a ginger tom. I am a boy racer. I am a housewife. I am a pain in the arse.’ Ella David is Bridget Jones meets Peggy from Mad Men. Based on my experiences in Soho’s mad, bad Adland, the book is a ‘laugh-out-loud’ tale about Ella David, a girl in a man’s world. Set against a backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain when money trumped morals and lust was a must, Ella spends her time dodging her sleazy boss and getting hooked on bad boys. Can two unlikely friendships help her go from the firing line to a girl calling the shots?

The Killing of Mummy’s Boy – a chance meeting with a killer was the inspiration for my first psychological thriller. Trapped with a murderer on a train for almost two hours, listening to his tales, I was horrified, terrified and disgusted but never bored. What better start to a novel. 

‘‘I slit someone’s throat,’ the man told the woman on the 4.20 from Waterloo to Portsmouth.’ Two strangers. One shared interest. Murder. Ben slit a man’s throat. Sandra’s son, Carl witnessed a murder. When Sandra discovers she is being stalked, she turns to the least likely person for help with horrific consequences.

GUILT is about a little girl is left alone with her younger brother and he dies. The guilt informs the rest of her life. When it threatens to ruin not only her life but her relationship with her new baby she must revisit the path to discover the truth. What she uncovers is as hopeful as it is disturbing. Elements of the book are based on a real life tragedy. I wanted to explore the notion of guilt and blame and how these two imposters can exert power over the most innocent lives.

‘You died a month before your fifth birthday. You were probably dead long before Mum downed her third gin with Porky Rawlings.’ 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 relationship with her new baby, she sets out to discover the truth. What she discovers is as disturbing as it is magical.


What’s your writing process like? Do you plan much and do you wait for a full draft to edit?

I start with the basic premise and rough outline. My characters are my best friends. Without them, I’d be lost. I enjoy getting to know them and allow them to flesh out the plot and write the book for me. I write, read, reread and edit every chapter as I go along and repeat the process as many times as necessary with the final draft.

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