Q: Please tell us about yourself.
I heard three teenage girls laughing on a train. It was the most joyful sound and took me right back to my misspent youth. It reminded me I should laugh more. After something bad has happened, I’m good at finding the funny. Just wish I could get to that place faster.
I’m easily bored and very impatient. Not good.
Q: Tell us about your book.
I am Ella. Buy me, is Mad Men meets Bridget Jones.
Based on my life as an award-winning advertising copywriter in Soho’s sexist, sexy Adland, the story is set against a backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain when money trumped morals and lust was a must. Ella is a girl in a man’s world, battling her sleazy boss. On her way to the top she makes two unlikely friendships, finds her one true love and eats her own body weight in almond croissants.
Luckily, you don’t have to like Adland to like Ella!
Q: What inspired you to write I am Ella. Buy me. ?
Working in advertising was one of the funniest times of my life. We always got the work done but boy we had fun! Adland provided an exciting setting for my novel and the quick-witted people I worked with inspired a cast of characters.
People who have no connection with the industry enjoy hearing about my antics in Adland so writing a book based on those surreal days was the next step.
Q: How much time per week do you spend writing/editing your work?
Ten hours a day, seven days a week. I love losing myself in another world and getting inside the minds of my characters, even the not-so-nice ones are interesting. Given the choice, I prefer the ones who make me laugh. It’s less draining!
Q: If you could meet three authors, which authors would you choose?
Harper Lee – If you’ve read To Kill A Mocking Bird you’ll know why.
Jerome K. Jerome – Idle Thoughts of An Idle Fellow was first published in 1889 and is still laugh out loud funny.
John Kennedy Toole – I wish he was here, writing more brilliant, smart, funny books like A Confederacy of Dunces. Sadly, it was not published in Toole’s lifetime. Following his suicide, his mother campaigned to get her son’s masterpiece into print. I am so pleased she did.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
Up to my eyes getting two more books finished and out before Christmas.
Guilt [psychological thriller]
Seven-year-old Susan is alone with her younger brother when he dies of an overdose. The guilt informs the rest of her life. When it threatens to destroy not only her but her relationship with her baby, she must revisit her past to find the truth. What she discovers is as horrific as it is magical.
The Things You Missed While You Were Away [memoir]
Funny and bittersweet, this is for anyone who has been a child. My Mum brought me up alone and I was also a single mum to my daughter too. This glimpse into my childhood in the 60s and my daughter’s in the 90s proves that when we lose someone special, love comes from unexpected places to fill our hearts.
Title: I am Ella. Buy me.
Author: Joan Ellis
Genre: Humor / Chick lit / Romance
I AM ELLA. BUY ME
‘I am a ginger tom. I am a boy racer. I am a housewife. I am a pain in the arse.’
Ella David is Bridget Jones meets Peggy from Mad Men.
Working in Soho’s mad, bad Adland in the sexist 80s, Ella is a rare beast – a woman in a man’s world, dodging her sleazy boss, Peter.
Based on Joan’s experiences in Soho’s mad, bad Adland, this fast-paced, funny tale is set against a backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain when money trumps morals
and lust is a must. Thankfully, Ella knows love is more powerful but can two unlikely friendships help her go from a girl in the firing line to a woman calling the shots?
Award-winning advertising copywriter, comedy writer, performer, lecturer – Joan Ellis has been them all. With a full-time job in a top London advertising agency and a new baby, she did what any right-minded woman would’ve done and set up a comedy club. She even appeared on the same bill as Jo Brand. Once.
A career highlight was casting a black and white moggie as Humphrey Bogart for her award-winning cat food commercial. Other great performers who brought her words to life include Penelope Keith and Harry Enfield.
As a lecturer, Joan taught comedian Noel Fielding all he knows about advertising before encouraging him to showcase his talents on a wider stage.
Working for The Press Association, she tutored Wordsworth’s great-grandson in the art of copywriting: Buy a host of golden daffodils and get a blue one, free!
She was a lecturer in PR and Advertising at Bournemouth University.
She penned a regular column about her daughter for parenting glossy, Junior. Sophie is now eighteen and refuses to read a word her mother writes.
Suffering from swine flu and sweating like a pig, she moved from London to her beloved Isle of Wight where she writes and eats cream teas with her long-suffering husband, daughter and cat.
She recently launched her books at The Ventnor Fringe and the Isle of Wight Literary Festival.