Author Interview & Giveaway: Ella James

A little about Ella:
Yep. I'm a 20-something with a journalism degree (not the greatest use of college money anymore). ;) I'd been working as a writer and editor for about two years when a job change landed me on the design desk at a newspaper. I got kind of depressed because I missed writing, and my boyfriend (now my husband) suggested that I start writing a book. I had always, always wanted to do this--in fact, it was the main reason I got a degree in writing--but for some reason I thought I'd have to wait until I was in my 30s to get started. I guess I was procrastinating! Once I started, I just couldn't stop. I worked nights, designing news pages, so I would wake up every morning just dying to get to my laptop, and I'd often be late for my job at 3:00... I've written a few books since then, and I still like it just that much.

Can you tell us a little about your YA novel STAINED?
Stained (Stained Series)

It's urban fantasy, and I guess I'll just give you my little blurb and save the details for question #3. :)

The blurb:

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.

Where did you get the idea for STAINED?

As emo as this sounds, all my books usually begin with a feeling. When I wrote Stained, I was kind of in a transitional phase. I had just decided to leave journalism and pursue fiction. I knew I'd need a low-profile job, one where I didn't have to use my brain much because I'd be spending so much of my "free time" (haha) writing. I started working as a receptionist, which was pretty much the most boring thing I could think of. I had this horrible boss who told me (correctly) that his plumber would make a better receptionist than me. So I found myself thinking of this girl, just sort of wandering the streets with no home, no idea what she was doing... and then I gave her something I wanted: a sense of purpose, a little excitement, and of course a hot guy. :)

You have just recently released your novel BEFORE YOU GO can you tell us a little about this book?
Before You Go

Sure. Margo Ford is the daughter of a California senator and this insanely wealthy Chinese-born entrepreneur. Her parents had what was basically a one-night stand, and since her mom had no interest at all in raising a child, she gave Margo to her father (the senator) to raise, on the condition that there would be no strings attached. When Margo's dad dies of cancer, she's 15 and she has no memories of her mother outside what she's seen on TV finance shows. Her mom didn't even claim her (and give her an inheritance) until her dad's death. As soon as she did, a terrorist group started plotting to kidnap Margo. After some issues with this, Margo is yanked from her best friend's summer house and sent to Cindy (her mother)'s private island, which just happens to be the location of an astronomical observatory. A guy named Logan is working there. He picks Margo up at the airport when her mother doesn't show and things kind of go from there. ;) It's a fairly low key, fun beach-read kind of book with a bang-up ending.

How does it feel to have your books out in the world for everyone to read?

I actually love it. It's better than not having anyone read them, because then you're afraid no one will like them. At least if they're out there, you know, and I've gotten positive feedback.

Both your books STAINED and BEFORE YOU GO have elements of romance/fantasy and paranormal. Are these the genres you yourself like to read and if so who are some of your fave R/F/P authors/books?

Yeah, other than the occasional biography or geek science book, I read YA romance (and adult romance) almost exclusively. For non-fantasy adult romance I like Lisa Kleypas a lot. I really love Devil in Winter and Because You're Mine. Fantasy genre romance, my favourite is probably J.R. Ward. I read Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devreaux when I was a lot younger and that really influenced the way I saw romance--the idea that love transcends time, and that you don't have to write like Shakespeare or Emily Bronte to portray that. The book Outlander also helped me in that way. I can't help but like the Time Traveler's Wife; it's just a great book idea, despite its ending. I love, love this YA book called The Only Alien on the Planet. It's an awesome book--sort of a romance/psychological drama/character study--and it really influenced the way I see YA romance- that it should be (if it's done well) something intimate, something that feels almost like a secret. (Go. Buy. This. Book.) I think Maggie Stiefvater does that so well- evoking an emotionally intimate feeling. Somewhere there is a universe where she has published 100 books, and I've only read one of them so far... The last random thing is a book called Sweet Prairie Passion by Rosanne Bittner. It's really old, which is why I'm listing it- b/c I read it when I was 11. It was my first romance novel (given to me by my grandmother!!), and I still read it once a year or so...

This year you have two books releasing, the sequel to STAINED, STOLEN & a book called HERE. Can you tell us a little about them?

I hope to be releasing a few more, too! Here has a sequel called Away, and there are two more books after Stolen. ;) I've also got a zombie book in the works. I really can't say too much about Stolen without ling anything spoiler-ish, but there is a snippet on my facebook page. In general terms there are more characters (many more) -including several more hot guys. A lot more about their "world" is revealed, including something big about Julia, and things get very dire for Julia and Cayne. I can't explain, but you'll see...Stolen is better than Stained.

HERE which you are also releasing sounds a little different from your previous books. Can you tell us a little about HERE?

Oooh, I don't want to say much about Here. ;) I like to think it's interesting and different than most other things out there. It's not immediately apparent what's going on in Here, and I think one of the bonuses associated with independent publishing is that I don't *have* to do a blurb that reveals significant plot details. I will say it's a pretty cool premise--really interesting even if I had written it poorly--and there's a lot of drama/conflict that is...well, inherent to what is going on. Sorry to be so vague! Go buy it and see. ;)

What do you hope to achieve with your writing career in 2012?

I want to publish as many ebooks as possible and grow my readership. Also write at least two new books that are refreshing and fun for me, and finish a far-future spec fiction YA romance I've been working on since 2006.

Buy now:

Contest: Head over to facebook and add Ella as a friend!/profile.php?id=100002788977703 You must then give Ella and her books a shout out on your FB page and you will then be entered to win a $20 Amazon Giftcard! Make sure to tag Ella so she sees the shout out!

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