It is a real pleasure to present author Ellie Holmes to you all.
– What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to either be a primary school teacher or a writer – 50% isn’t bad!
-What is your favorite genre and what drew you to it?
I love commercial romantic fiction because it gives you such a wide and fun canvas to work with.
– When did you start writing in a professional way?
2005 – That was the year I went to my first professional writers’ conference and signed a contract with a literary agent.
– Do you have a specific writing method or ritual? How many hours do you devote to writing every day?
I try to write 5,000 words a week, usually a 1,000 words each evening. That can take forty minutes if I’m in the zone and over an hour if I’m not. I spend half an hour writing blog posts first thing in the morning and then finding photos for them in the evening. On the one day of the working week that I am at home I spend all day in the study working. Across a week, I put in about 12 hours.
-What part of writing do you enjoy most?
I love it when my characters take over and start telling me things about them that I didn’t know!
-How do you develop your characters?
I work hard at getting to know my characters. I write a little biography for each of my main characters – the key things that have shaped their personalities, what their hopes and dreams are, what they are most afraid of, where they are in their lives and where they hope to be. By the time I have finished their biographies I should know everything about them from what sort of car they drive (or would drive if money were no object), to which way they would vote and who their favourite singer or band is. I do all of this before I start writing the book.
-Which of the characters in any of your books mean the most to you and why?
I love Jessie the lead character in my novel The Flower Seller http://goo.gl/UrHYRb I love the fact that even though her heart is broken at the start of the book she is determined to find someone special to share her life with. It would be all too easy for her to retire from the battlefield of life but she doesn’t want to be that woman who was too scared to love again and I applaud her spirit.
-What are your aspirations as a writer and where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
My aspiration as a writer is simple – to entertain people. If people enjoy my books then I have achieved my goal. Where do I see myself in five years’ time? I hope I am still happy and healthy and writing books that people want to read.
-Which author has influenced your writing most?
I have to cheat (sorry!) and name two. Daphne Du Maurier and Sidney Sheldon. I love their skill as authors. They both had the ability to create memorable characters and gripping plots.
-If you could go back in time and rewrite a known work of fiction, which would it be?
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
-Would you change the end? What would your alternative be?
Of course, I am a romantic novelist instead of dying the young couple would marry and live happily ever after.
-What would you like to say to your readers?
Welcome to my world. I hope you enjoy The Flower Seller and want to come back for more.
A colour- Purple
A day of the year- My birthday
A favourite recipe- Lemon posset and lemon shortbreads. A lovely, light dessert for a hot summer’s day.
A movie- Wizard of Oz
A song- Nice ‘n Easy by Frank Sinatra – a classic
A quote- ‘Sometimes when fortune scowls most spitefully, she is preparing her most dazzling gifts’ Winston Churchill.