with author Ellen Frazer-Jameson
What motivated you to become an author?
All my life I have been a writer. Since the age of 7 I kept a diary. I don't
remember a time when I wasn't actively writing, from the school mazagaine
up to the present day. Most of my career was spent as a working journalist
on national newspapers and magazines. To write a novel was a lifetime
ambition. I still have at least one unfinished manuscript from decades ago
at the bottom of a desk drawer. I've been published in fiction and non-fiction
and co-authored original plays.
What do your readers mean to you?
My readers help me to mirror emotions I am processing
through my characters. When a woman tells me, "You touch
a special place inside me. I feel you know me and relate to
the challenges in my life - and I love the five-star luxury and
the glamourous world you describe."
I laughed when the husband of one of my readers told me,
"Once my wife starts reading a new book of yours, I know
I've lost her to your storytelling world. She becomes so
enchanted, she even forgets to cook dinner."
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To develop great characters, research amazing locations and develop
a story that will transport my readers to another time and place. My
style of writing is not about the ordinary - it is about the extraordinary.
I love to share my thoughts and feelings with my friends the readers and
together we go through great emotional experiences and find strength
and power to overcome. My books are a celebration of life - and love.
What are you working on next?
Currently I am finishing up my next book the title is
Once Upon a Lie. It's a bit darker than some of my
other books but the connecting chord is love.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love Jackie Collins, (she was British, like me)
her characters are so well drawn, rich and bitchy.
Her gold plated five-star world is where my female
heroines reside. We both have extravagant tastes!
I am also a big fan of the younger, best selling
authors like Gillian Fynn and Paula Hawkins,
Their psychological thrillers never fail to keep
you guessing right to the end.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The sun shining through my windows if I am at
home in Miami or Spain, or the sound of the rain
if I am in London. I am constantly excited
and enthusiastic about life. Truth is, I spring out of
bed even before the alarm goes off. I tell myself,
"Something wonderful is going to happen today."
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My passion is to dance the Argentine tango and ballroom
dance classes, especially waltz and foxtrot classes, are how
I keep fit. I am not a gym bunny. I love classical and pop music
and regularly attend concerts and live performances. Culture
nourishes my soul, I love ballet, visiting art galleries and checking
out great architecture. I also do my fair share of retail therapy,
checking out the latest fashion at the high-end designer
stores, Even if I am only window shopping. Bookstores
with in-house coffee shops are another favourite.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I have a never-ending supply of books on my kindle -
bestsellers, unknowns and most important, ones recommended
by friends. It took me ages to get used to reading a whole
book electronically - but when traveling it is a luxury to have
thousands of books to hand in one small device.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes - I was about 6 or 7 and the primary school teacher read
it out to class.The story was a funny one about a case of mistaken
identity with a ginger cat that a little girl wore as a fur collar.
Something must have sparked my imagination. I don't
remember where I saw the cat.
What is your writing process?
When I am writing a novel, I am very disciplined.
I write for at least four hours a day. That produces
2,000 words and I don't allow myself to leave my desk
until I've made my word count. Words on paper is my
mantra, you can't edit a blank page.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The classics were the ones that inspired my enduring
fascination with literature. Charles Dickens will always
lead my author list, Oliver Twist is perfection.
American writer Mark Twain and his Adventures of
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. But before these
lofty novels, like most girls, I was enchanted by fairy tales,
Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. I've written several modern
fairytales and even turned the character, Chicabella, into a stage play.
How do you approach cover design?
The image is always presented to me in my imagination
as I am writing the book. I know exactly what I want.
The challenge is then to work with a very talented graphic designer
to make my vision come to life. The images of my Love trilogy, are
a great example of how an image develops through the continuing story
and the characters in the book came to life on the covers.
What do you read for pleasure?
My books are more about handbags than handguns
but I get excited by masterful storytellers like Lee Child
and Ian Rankin. I am also a huge fan of the thriller writer,
Peter James and his detective and murder series.
I also devour crime books by Lynda La Plante. The
woman's angle on violence and crime is eyeopening.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Describe your desk
My desk is wherever I am, I set up working spaces all over the world.
I use a desktop computer where possible but sometimes for
practical reasons I use a smaller laptop - but never write on my lap.
I insist on a proper chair and desk and clutter is kept to a minimum.
Certainly I put everything away every evening
When did you first start writing?
I have written all my life and kept a daily diary since the age of seven.
Even now I don't miss a day. It serves as a record for when I want to
look back over the years and reminisce - and is a valuable research tool.
What's the story behind your Miami based book, Dark Hole in Soul ?
This is a family saga. Dark Hole in my Soul is set in New York
and Miami. It features three strong, beautiful women and the very
different paths their lives take. Serena is a teen sensation
pop star who falls in love with by a drug dealer, her mother
Kathleen becomes an alcoholic and her grandmother Caitlin
struggles to make anything decent of her life with a wastral husband.
The colourful Cuban community in Miami features in the book
as does the wild and carefree ways of the Irish in New York.
The story is contemporary but timeless. The women all face
their own heartbreak and eventually are forced to find salvation.