Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Interview with Ella James

Ella James Blog Tour

Hi everyone! Welcome back to TSK TSK! Today we are thrilled to bring you another up and coming author we've fallen for, Ella James, and she is here to give us a little insight into her writers mind and have a little fun.
Grab a beverage, sit back and settle in for a few and get to know the amazing author right along with us... 

Kathryn~ Hi, Ella! Thanks so much for indulging us today! We'll just jump right in...

1. What book are you reading now?
I just finished Touch by Jus Accardo. I don't know how 'big' that series is, but it should be REALLY big if you ask me. :) Very good. Heroine was totally kick-ass.  I go through spurts with reading and writing, so now that I've gotten my reading fix, I'm back to writing, and not reading anything.
Kathryn & Shelley- "SQUEE!" And slap hands! "That's good for we readers!"

2. Do you have a playlist that goes along with your books?

Yes! One day, I'll release all the playlists for the books in an orderly manner that makes sense to someone other than me, but as it is right now, there are a bunch of random songs I listen to for each book - and some songs that I listen to while working on all my books. Florence and the Machine's Heavy in Your Arms is a big one for the Stained Series... and getting more appropriate as the series goes on. I listened to Bon Iver's Holocene a lot while I was working on Stolen; the lyrics don't make sense with it, but I'm not a very sensible person, and the sound of the song is perfect for where Julia is emotionally at the Compound. Both of those songs will definitely appear on the Stolen soundtrack. I listened to Katy Perry's ET a lot for HERE, mainly because of the tempo. I was so stuck on it, I listened to it for a while after I started on Stolen, too. Right now my obsession is a cover of Whatever You Like by Anya Marina. Totally wicked song... and oddly, being used to inspire a very chaste kind of book.
Kathryn- Cool! A few faves for sure!
Shelley- Hey, Anya's a fellow Oregonian!
Kathryn- *shakes head*You and your Northwest connections.
Shelley- *shrugs* It's like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

*Ella chuckles*

3. Do you ever experience writer's block? 
Honestly, I don't anymore. Not really. Over the years I've gotten good at 'un-blocking' myself... to the point that now if I can't write it's generally because something else in my life is taking up too much of my headspace, or because something is wrong with the story structure. That's usually my best clue that something is wrong with the layout of the story. If I don't want to write a scene, 90 percent of the time it's because it's the wrong scene.

4. Which comes first? 

The character's story or the idea for the novel? For me, the characters are almost always first. Before You Go, which is part one of a larger book called Over The Moon, started with a reclusive astronaut I knew nothing about... except that a girl from his past was still in love with him and was worried about him. And he'd experienced something bad. HERE started with an image of a high school girl finding a guy in her backyard, which was a field. He needed her help, and he had a BIG secret. And Stained started with Julia having no idea where to go... literally and figuratively.
5. How do you pick your characters names? 

I try to come up with names I haven't seen two million times already, and I try to make them fit the character. Sometimes I'll throw in something sentimental - like Milo's father's name, in HERE, is based on my favorite place in the world, an isolated island off the southern tip of Ireland called Dursey Island. So his name was Faulkner Dursey Mitchell. (Faulkner was not my sentimentality; Milo's grandfather, her dad's dad, was an English teacher). It only appeared on a tombstone, but I was excited I got to stick Dursey in somewhere. When I originally released Before You Go I wasn't planning to release Over The Moon, the larger book; I was still planning to send it to agents. So I changed the characters' original names to Margo and Logan. Now that I AM going to release Over The Moon, I'm not sure if I should leave them Margo and Logan because that's how you guys know them, or change them back to the names I actually chose for them. The fact that they currently have the 'wrong' names is driving me nuts. =/
Kathryn and Shelley- "LOVE IT!"

6. What was the hardest part to write in the book(s)? 

I tend to get tripped up on things that are emotionally nebulous. Or I used to. I guess I really don't anymore. After 6 years writing fiction and 10 years of writing nonfiction for day jobs, everything has gotten a lot easier. Stained had no hard parts. That book was just easy to write. Stolen was the exact opposite, one of the most unpleasant writing experiences I've ever had. The whole dang book was hard. I guess I could say that generally the detailed parts of any book are hard, but really they're just annoying. Like when the characters get to a new place... coming up with what it looks like, how the buildings are laid out, what everyone looks like and acts like - that is NOT my favorite part. It takes a lot of mental energy. In an ideal world I'd write the dialogue for my favorite scenes, then write a little about how the characters feel at pivotal moments, and a magical genie would fill in the rest of the book for me. ;) 
Shelley- "That would be extremely cool or completely frightening."

7. If you could have dinner with one person whether dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Wow - I've never had this question before. Have you granted me my magical genie?
Seriously, though, I have a real inability to answer this kind of question simply. My mind just runs wild. Like, do I want to solve a mystery? How did Jeff Buckley really die? Can I pull a Time Traveler's Wife and hop out of the soup of time a year or two after I've been dead and visit my surviving relatives? I would be visiting people who were alive, but I would be dead. I also can't help but think that if I had dinner with a recently dead president, like say Reagan, maybe in death the details of life would seem less important, so he might be willing to give up some state secrets. ;) Or can I save my dinner for whatever relative of mine's death is the most unbearable for me, and have dinner with them a little while after their death occurs? Since I have a 9-month-old son, I'd love to have dinner tonight with his 18-year-old self. Is that a possibility? 

Kathryn- "Well, since you brought up a magical genie, here is our next question..."

8. If you were granted 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
Selfish mood or selfless mood?
Selfish. Or maybe I can pull a hybrid:
1) Enough money to be able to write and travel all the time without having to worry about money; also, this would satisfy a more selfless wish of giving to the needy. So I'm wildly wealthy, able to live like a vagabond (who feeds her children organic fruits and veggies and doesn't have fleas), and I can donate to all my favorite charities.
2) Eternal physical fitness and health, with the ability to die whenever I decide it's time. (God complex? Who? Me?) Actually I think I'd like to expand this one to eternal physical fitness and health for EVERYONE. And maybe also the ability to bring back the dead? (God complex? Who???? ME?!).
3) Julia's ability, but an expanded version. I'd like to be able to eliminate people's pain - both physical and mental. In which case, I'd probably take that puppy on a never-ending world-wide tour and totally forget about my writing and my fitness. ;)

9. And an easy one...Salty or Sweet??

Wow, Ella! Such fun, highly entertaining answers with some great advice thrown in! Thank you so much for stopping by and letting us all get to know you a bit better. S-Yeah, I feel like I know what makes ya tick now. Coolness.
Ella-* chuckles again* It's been my pleasure
Kathryn-*turns to Shelley* You're so eloquent.
Shelley- I have my moments.
*Kathryn slugs Shelley's shoulder* Ow!
Anyway...we had a blast visiting with Ella. We hope you enjoyed the interview and are now RUNNING to get your copies of ALL of her books! Check Ella out on goodreads and WHEN you finish reading any or all of her marvelous stories, be sure to leave a kind review.
As always, thanks for joining us and HAPPY READING!!!

~Kathryn and Shelley

A little bit of info about Ella:
Ella James is the author of Stained and Stolen, books one and two in the Stained Series; HERE, book one in an unusual sci-fi romance trilogy; and Before You Go, a one-shot YA romance beach read that tells the first meeting of Logan and Margo, who will be featured in her upcoming adult release, Over The Moon. She has a YA paranormal romance release scheduled for almost every month of 2012, including Chosen (Stained Book Three) in June and the second HERE book in July. Ella is inviting readers to help her write an adult romance shapeshifter novel, which is plotted via polls and questions on her blog and her Facebook page. Ella lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her wonderful husband, opinionated baby, and mopey dog. You can visit her blog at www.ellajamesbooks.blogspot.comor friend her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ellajamesbooks
To see her in person, get your ticket to UtopYA Con, in Nashville July 6-8: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2821742909?ref=ebtnebregn

Make sure you take a look at her books NOW and get your copies!!

After a fire destroys seventeen-year-old Julia's home and kills her foster parents, she chases the half-demon responsible across the country and back, determined to avenge her family and discover why a host of celestial baddies want her dead. With Julia is enigmatic hottie Cayne, who has his own score to settle with the half-demon, and who might be just as dangerous as the creature he and Julia hunt.
Listed as one of the Top 10 Books of 2011, Cayne voted one of 2011's Top 10 Book Boyfriends. Recipient of the Flamingnet Top Choice Award.

Milo Mitchell's life used to be charmed, but that was before her family dissolved, she went a little crazy, and her best friends started acting more like strangers. Spending Saturday morning in a treehouse with a stun gun for company and a herd of deer for friends is the only exciting thing in her life...until she shoots a fawn and finds her dart stuck in a guy.

Her gorgeous victim is dressed in a Brioni tux and armed with a hanky. He has no idea who or where he is. Afraid her dart caused his amnesia, Milo takes him in, names him Nick, and vows to help him solve his mystery. Soon the pair find Nick's face in a newspaper obituary, and Nick begins to have strange, ethereal memories of Milo--who is sure she's never met him. Suddenly Nick knows things he shouldn't know and is doing things he shouldn't do. When the Department of Defense shows up, Nick and Milo run--toward a shocking conclusion that could destroy both their worlds.

Margo Ford just became an heiress. Not the Paris Hilton kind. Her billions came after her father died and her insanely wealthy, insanely absent mother officially claimed her. Unfortunately, some terrorists noticed, and they hatched a plot to kidnap her. After a news report goes awry, reporting that Margo *has* been kidnapped, and her mother offers the humiliating sum of $500,000 for her return, Margo doesn't want anything to do with her *#$!@ of an egg donor. Then she is sentenced to a summer of "protection" on her mother's private island. Not the Oprah Winfrey kind. This one has an astronomical observatory filled with scientists, including Logan Greer, a super hot, super infuriating planet-hunter. Hiding out from kidnappers has never been so boring... until suddenly it isn't anymore.


  1. Thanks so much for having me! xx

  2. Ella James... Definitely our pleasure!
    Kathryn and Shelley
    TSK TSK What to Read

  3. Great interview! Learned a thing or two and eager to read the Stained series.