Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Q & A with Ella Vincent

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1.    Did you always dream of being a writer?

It’s always been there yes, although I always thought I would become a non-fiction writer.  I’ve also dreamed of being a chocolatier, an evolutionary theorist, a nurse, a campsite owner and a lifelong student.  One of them has to come true.

2.    You are doing self-publishing, what does it include?

In some ways it’s very simple, you write your book, load it up and wham bam, people can buy it.  But it takes a lot of work. Proofreading, and editing your own work without help or guidance is very hard and promoting it is even harder.

3.    Your book is called Check Your Privilege, what is it about?

The story is about a single mum living in London.  Nancy’s life is hectic, she works as a nurse, she has young children, friends with problems, her gay ex-husband and his partner to contend with and then out of nowhere she meets someone she can be herself with, who makes no demands of her, the charming Jonny. Unfortunately their lives just seem too different.  Overall the book is about forgiveness, being true to one’s self and being grateful for everything we have.

4.    What was your inspiration for the book?

I wanted to touch on the real problems faced by women today.  For most of us it’s not all shoes, cocktails and jobs in PR.  Our lives are about financial worries, work worries, relationship problems and parenting.

5.    Can you tell us more about the main characters?

Nancy is a very funny, ‘just gets on with it’ sort of a heroine.   Full of love, but light on sentiment, I think Nancy reflects how many of us would really like to be.  Jonny is also hilarious, but a bit too privileged to see how life really is for most people.  Having said that he’s charming, gorgeous, cool as hell and everything you’d expect from a heartthrob.

6.    Where and when do you write your stories?

At home in the lounge, until the day comes that I can build an office.  The telly’s usually blaring and the kids are asking me inane questions as I write such as, “why do I have to wear pants?”

7.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

At the weekends neither me or my husband do any work.  We hang out as a foursome eating cake, playing football, swimming, walking or carrying out yet another family hair lice treatment.  

8.    If you could switch places with a character from a book, who would it be and why?

Anyone wealthy from The Great Gatsby, enjoying sumptuous parties and a life of carefree living.

9.    What books have most influenced your life most?

History books tend to do a good job at reminding me that life is short, I’m not special and to just enjoy every day.

10.  How would you describe your style of writing?

Conversational, real and a bit like having a chat with an old friend.

11. What do you enjoy most about writing?

Dialogue, it’s where I feel my stories really come alive.  I also love it when the plot all suddenly comes together. 

12. Imagine Check Your Privilege would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?

Ooh, good one.  I think Anna Friel for Nancy and a younger Orlando Bloom for Jonny, but only when he had his hair longer and was looking a bit rebellious!

13. What are you working on at the moment?

My second novel, Out There Somewhere, is about a young woman who decides to change the habit of a lifetime and travel the world, secretly searching for the one that got away.

14.What do you do to promote your book?

     Not much really as I’m bad at the hard sell.  I do the odd tweet about it and have asked a few book bloggers to give it a chance. I’ve discovered that without book bloggers I’d have had no chance at coverage at all.  You guys rock!

15. How do you plan your stories?

I have a vague idea in my head and then just go for it and see what happens.  About half way through I might do a plot diagram and sort out when and where pivotal things are going to happen and how they are all going to come together, but essentially it’s an organic process.

16. Coffee or tea?

 Herbal tea usually.

17. Paperback or e-reader?

Paperback; although I use both I do prefer the reality of a book.  I like putting it on the book shelf when I’m done and thinking about it whenever I look over at the shelf.

18.  Mountains or the sea?

Can I not take both?  The Fjords perhaps?

19. Summer or winter?

Summer, despite being a ginger.

20. Sweet or salty?

Salty, or both when it’s on offer.  My husband makes the best salted brownies, I’ll take them any day.

About the author:

My name is Ella Vincent and I've recently decided to have a bash at writing books for a living. I live in the East of England with two children, a man and a couple of cats.   When I'm not writing, I'm doing fabulously interesting things with my life such as my day job, washing up, mowing the lawn or the school run. 

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