Today, I would like to introduce one of my favourite authors to you, Joy Ellis. She also happens to be my best stationery loving friend.
Joy’s crime fiction novels are published by Joffe Books and she has sold over 1 million copies. What an acheivement, don’t you agree?
Links to some of her most popular books can be found at the end of the interview.
So, for now, I will hand the stage over to Joy.
First off, would you tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.
I’m Joy Ellis and I write crime novels set in the Lincolnshire Fens. All my novels are inspired by the landscape here, thought by some to be flat and uninteresting, but most know that they possess an airy beauty with 360degrees of sky and miles of misty waterways. I live with my partner Jacqueline, who is a retired police officer, and now in-house police procedural consultant (and tea-maker!) We have three Springer spaniels, so have ample opportunity to tramp the fen lanes looking for good spots for a murder!
Joy on Writing
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I research long and hard. I love that part of writing. Every time you learn something new.
How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
Three to four months.
Are any of your characters based on people you know?
Inadvertently! But never intentionally!
Is there anything you regret about the books you have written? (Characters, Storylines, etc.)
I wrote one stand alone novel called Beware the Past. Spoiler alert!!!! At the end I left the team in tatters, the DI retiring and his sergeant in ITU not expected to recover. Fine for a stand-alone, but…. they want a sequel. Rats! How do I get out of that one?
What items are essentials to have by your side when you write?
Tea. Tea. Tea. Dog biscuits, because I’m rarely alone, And I have to have my lucky thesaurus (given as a gift by two lovely people who are no longer with us), several four leaf clovers, a selection of rocks and crystals, an amethyst angel and a small brass Buddha, (I’m covering all bases here) two plastic aliens, a set of angel cards and a china dog picking four leaf clovers. Not that I’m in any way ritualistic….
Do you have a favourite place to write? Tell me about it.
My office, surrounded by all of the above.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
A ghost story, written around the age of eight?
Joy on Feedback
Do you read the reviews of your books? How do you deal with the negative ones?
I find reading reviews desperately hard. I do read them because some kind soul (mostly although not always kind) has taken the time to read and digest every word that I have written, so that needs recognition. Constructive criticism I welcome, and I work on, but I’m very sensitive and serious negativity in a review can block my writing for days. I take everything to heart, if someone says my book is pants, then I believe them and immediately consider giving up!
Do any of your family members read your books?
Just Jacqueline, as my police procedural advisor, all the rest of my family are long gone, bless them!
Joy on Reading
Who are your favourite authors?
One is tempted to say Helen H Durrant, Charlie Gallagher, etc and all the other Joffe books authors, but if I’m to be serious I adore British women crime writers from Agatha Christie and PD James to Elly Griffiths and Kate Atkinson. In a very different vein, Paulo Coelho, Charles Dickens, Umberto Eco and the man who wrote what I consider the most chilling crime novel ever, the 1966 true story/novel, In Cold Blood, and that is Truman Capote.
Joy’s Random Thoughts
What does literary success look like to you?
Simply seeing your name on the cover of a book. Success!
Do you believe in Writer’s Block?
Big style. Only hit me once, but it was devastating!
What inspires you to get out of bed every day?
Three dogs with crossed legs!
What is your most unusual writer’s quirk?
If I don’t start writing very early, like around 6am, I think I’ve jinxed myself for the rest of the day. Weird, mind-set, but then I do kill people for a living.
Do you feel like you would be a better writer if you wore sparkly socks during your writing sessions?
Now that’s a thought! But frankly, no.