With Author Ella Frank
Ella was gracious enough to answer some questions for us so ... prop up your feet and get comfortable and I hope you enjoy the interview.
1. Why did you decide to write romance novels?
- Because I love reading them! I fell in love with love around the age of fourteen/fifteen when my Nan gave me my first Sandra Brown novel, and after that I was done. From there I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to fall in love in real life, and I wanted to write and read about it in books!
2. Do your leading men come from any place in particular? Dreams? Movie stars? Your partner? Past partners?
- I always think every character you create has a little piece of someone you know, and maybe a piece of yourself. But really, my men are all from my overactive brain!
3. What do you do in your down time?
- Read! Or binge watch Netflix. I love TV shows but hate commercials. So Netflix and Hulu are possibly the best things that have happened in modern times IMO.
4. When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
- The erotic section. Hands down. I make a beeline in that direction and my husband heads to the DVD’s. I used to take great joy in taking the risqué titles to the cashier’s and smiling sweetly at them. But now I buy them on my kindle…ahh, some of the thrill is gone because of that!
5. Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
Well, that would be the author’s I grew up devouring. That list includes, Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, Janelle Denison, Lori Foster, Carly Phillips. There are so many wonderful writers in the genre. I also grew up reading James Patterson, who I love.
6. What research did you have to perform to back up your story? Any research, which really opened your eyes or gave you new respect for a topic or profession?
- With this recent series (Masters Among Monsters) I’ve been able to go back to my first love of Ancient History and do some digging and research on several topics. Some were not so pleasant like torture, and others much more so, such as clothing, locations, and myths.
In other stories, such as Blind Obsession I got to research all about Paris and violins and classical music and it really gives a whole other level of appreciation.
7. What is your method for writing a book? A certain amount of hours every day? A certain routine? Are you character/story builder or an outliner or some other method?
- Up until recently I would’ve said I was a total pantser (as in writing by the seat of my pants). However, I have recently become an outliner of sorts. It’s messy and no
one really understands it but me, but it’s definitely helped with this series for sure. Not that I always stuck to it!
8. How do you get past writers block or distractions like Facebook?
- I walk away. Sounds simple, right? It’s not always so. If I’m stuck on something I will usually try and push through until I’m so annoyed I get mad, throw a tantrum, and THEN walk away. As for Facebook, the trick is checking once in the morning, and once in the evening, and really even then sometimes I have to take time-outs to make sure everything gets finished on time.
9. What is your favorite book from childhood.
- Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta. This is such an amazing book about finding out who you are, and being proud of it. I also got to go and listen to the author speak as a teen which was phenomenal.
10. What’s on your desk? Can you see your desk? Describe what you see when you look around.
- I usually sit at my kitchen table first thing in the morning at 4:30a.m. when I get up. I know I’m insane. That’s actually where I am right now, and there is an unopened bottle of wine, waiting for tonight and my headphones to block out all noise. Later when the rest of the world wakes up, I will move to my actual desk which is a varidesk! Sometimes I sit, and other times it folds up so I can stand. I love it.
11. What's the weirdest thing you've Googled?
- Well, it wasn’t weird so much as unexpected for a woman to be searching it. I write in the m/m genre and considering I am a female I had to research quite extensively through videos and words and also chatting with people, the sexual interactions and situations I wanted to use. Now I just imagine it all in my head and go from there. But you always want to be as accurate as possible.
12. What is your favorite line from any of your books?
- That’s hard! Like making us pick our favorite child. I have a couple that come to mind.
“You are going to ruin me.”
She placed her palm over my heart and tapped 1,2,3. 1,2,3—before whispering, “You’re going to save me.” ~ Veiled Innocence
“Before this, I didn’t know you were essential for me to feel alive.” ~ Trust
When did this story morph? When did it change from a tale of two to a tragedy of three? ~ Blind Obsession
13. Do you believe in love at first sight?
- Not really! I believe in lust at first sight. I think you can be very attracted to someone as soon as you see and meet them. But usually it takes a few conversations to find that deeper connection. It might only be one or two conversations, but there usually needs to be some talking. However, in some books it totally works! After all, it’s the fairytale and it’s fiction, where anything is possible!
14. What do you do when you are not writing?
- I love movies, reading, TV and relaxing with good food and wine.
15. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
- It’s always tough to hear that someone doesn’t love a character you may particularly love writing or feel a connection with. That’s always the toughest for me. It’s almost like you want to defend them like they’re your blood relative. But in the end, you are putting your work out there to be read and enjoyed (or sometimes not). That comes with the territory, you just have to develop a thick skin and not let it mess with your head.