Joan Ellis

Joan Ellis: Why I Set My First Novel In Soho

Joan80s Soho. So sexy. So sassy. So sordid. So the right time, right place to set my first novel.

Soho was never so-so. What better backdrop for my first book: I am Ella. Buy me?

Working in advertising agencies in the heart of the city allowed me to get up close and personal with one of the most exciting places on earth.

Boys dressed as girls, and women competing in a man’s world – everywhere I looked sisters were ‘doing it for themselves’ to quote the lexicon of 80s cool, Annie Lennox.

By night, Madame Jo-Jos was, and I hope always will be, home to the beautiful people – impossibly tall, exotic creatures sashaying across the stage in vertiginous heels and feathered frocks.

By day, after a bad morning, my analgesic of choice was usually a glass of something cold dispensed by the latest bar. Staggering out of one of those dark, smoky caverns, my eyes slowly adjusting to the stark afternoon light, I would often collide with an ageing celebrity darting furtively from a sex shop, clutching guilty pleasures in brown bags.

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