The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Thursday, 4 February 2016

A warm welcome to fellow RNA Bath/Wilts Chapter member, Jan Ellis...

 Hi Jan! Lovely to welcome you to my blog - I'm looking forward to learning more about you and your books. Let's start with my questions....

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a vet until a life-changing visit to Lloret de Mar aged eleven, after which I decided I was going to be a holiday rep. What could possibly be more glamorous than living in a hotel, having a pool and taking English tourists donkey-trekking?

2. Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?

Tea. I could give up most things, but not my cuppa.

3. What genre do you typically read? Why?

I'm a paperback tart and will read pretty much anything, so long as it's well written with a strong story. That could be fiction, biography or history. I love old Penguins and will often buy them because of the cover art. We're fortunate in having a fantastic second-hand stall in the local market where I'm often to be found gossiping about books with the owner and other like-minded individuals.

4. Share a favourite childhood memory.

Family picnics on the sand dunes in North Wales, complete with gritty egg sandwiches and enough sun to make your shoulders tingle. After rolling down the dunes in my swimming costume, I'd be finding sand in my ears and belly-button for days afterwards. Bliss.

5. Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?

Not that I can think of, apart from tea. Oh, and cheese. And wine. And books. (Obviously.)

6. What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?

If you're self-employed like me and have lots of competing deadlines, finding the time to sit down and begin is the biggest challenge. Once I get cracking and the characters take over, it's much easier!

7. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?

See above. However, I fully intend to turn over a new leaf and become super-organised . . .

8. What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

Series are great because it means you can explore much-loved characters and bring in new ones. I was delighted (and stunned!) to be asked by Waverley Books to write a paperback for them called The Bookshop Detective. The bookseller in question is Eleanor Mace who runs The Reading Room in An Unexpected Affair and A Summer of Surprises. I'm very fond of Eleanor and her eccentric bunch of friends and family – especially mother Connie and her octogenarian squeeze, Harold – so I'm hoping this new venture turns into a series.

Jan Ellis began writing fiction by accident in 2013. Until then, she had led a blameless life as a publisher, editor and historian of early modern Spain. She fell into fiction when a digital publisher approached her to write a history book, then made the mistake of mentioning women’s fiction, which sounded much more fun.

Jan’s stories have small-town settings with realistic characters who range in age from young teens to eighty-somethings. She is somewhat surprised to find herself a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

The books
An Unexpected Affair, French Kisses and A Summer of Surprise are published as ebooks by Endeavour Press. The paperback versions will be published by Waverley Books in July 2016 and The Bookshop Detective will hit the shelves in spring 2017.

In the meantime, I have a brand-new ebook due out with Endeavour Press in March 2016. Cover reveal to follow! The book is provisionally entitled Kate in the City and here's the blurb:

"Kate has turned her back on university and ended up working for an artisan cheese-maker in a small county town. Life changes radically when she leaves home to take up a job in a super-smart deli and restaurant in Chelsea.

Along with the job come new flat-mates, including the fun, exasperating Imogen and her long-suffering boyfriend, Freddy. Kate thinks she's doomed to early spinsterhood, but Immy has other ideas and sends her colleague out into dating land with unexpected consequences for them both.

This is a fun romance that takes the reader from the King's Road to Cornwall with an eclectic bunch of characters including an old hippy, a Russian property magnate and an ex-boyfriend who doesn't know when to give up."


Find Jan's books here:

Follow Jan on Facebook and on Twitter @JanEllis_writer.

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