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 university lecturer, Joan taught comedian Noel Fielding all he knows about advertising before encouraging him to showcase his creative talents on a wider stage. http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/news/1306141/ Working for The Press Association, she tutored Wordsworth's great-grandson in the art of copywriting: Buy a host of golden daffodils. Get a yellow one, free! She also penned a regular column for a parenting glossy, about her young daughter, Sophie who is now eighteen and wise enough never to have read a word her mother has written. Joan taught PR and Advertising at Bournemouth University and now writes full-time. www.joan-ellis.com
1. Have you always wanted to become an author?
When I was at primary school, the teachers despaired of me. The headmistress even went so far as to tell my Mother I would 'never amount to anything'. Luckily, my brilliant Mum thought differently. She taught me how to write. Until then, I couldn't even spell. The turning point came the day my essay was read to the whole class. Thanks, Mum!
2. What do you love most about writing?
The best bit has to be getting into the hearts and minds of the characters and discovering what makes them tick. With 'The Killing of Mummy's Boy' I was a murderer, a callow youth and finally a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown! The experience took me to some dark but interesting places. There comes a point when the characters take on a life of their own creating unexpected plot twists.
3. Do you have any advice for people who want to become authors?
Write. I wasted two years talking about writing my first book. I could have written two more novels in that time.
4. Who inspires you?
My Mother. She used to tell me wonderful stories when I was a child but she lacked the confidence to get them published. She brought me up alone, in very difficult circumstances, with very little money. When she was younger, she worked long shifts as a nurse and then did a paper-round until the age of 80! She encouraged me to be self-reliant and work hard. What better inspiration!
5. Are you working on anything new at the moment?
I am putting the finishing touches to a light-hearted memoir.
About the books
‘I am a ginger tom. I am a boy racer. I am a housewife. I am a pain in the arse.’
‘I am Ella. Buy me.’
Ella David is Bridget Jones meets Peggy from Mad Men.
Based on Joan’s experiences in Soho’s mad, bad Adland, the novel is set against a backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain when money trumped morals and lust was a must. Ella is a woman battling a man’s world, trying to escape her sleazy boss on the way to the top. Two unlikely friendships help her see there is more to life than work. Can they help her go from a girl in the firing line to a woman calling the shots?
‘Fans of Mad Men will be enthralled.’ Natasha Presky
‘Very, very funny.’Bookaholic Confessions
‘Crackling dialogue dances off the page. Pure entertainment.’Book Addict UK
‘‘I slit someone’s throat,’ the man told the woman on the 4.20 from Waterloo to Porstmouth.’
‘The Killing of Mummy’s Boy’
Two strangers. One interest. Murder. Ben slit a man’s throat. Sandra’s son, Carl witnessed a stabbing. When Sandra discovers she is being stalked, she turns to the least likely person for help with horrific consequences. Hate, fear and lies boil over in this Isle of Wight-based page-turner with love at its black heart.
‘Terrifying.’ Trish Jackson, author.
‘Brilliant.’Paul Burke, author
‘Gripping. A real page-tuner.’ Mary G.
‘You died a month before your fifth birthday. You were probably dead long before Mum downed her third gin with Porky Rawlings.’
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 also her relationship with her new baby, she sets out to discover the truth. What she finds is as disturbing as it is magical.
‘Mesmerising’Trish Jackson, author
***** ‘The courage of the main character makes this a book full of hope.’
Cath Rundle, reader
‘An unusual and outstanding thriller.’ Derek Hall, reader.
Joan Ellis. Copywriter. Comedian. Columnist. Lecturer. New novelist. www.joan-ellis.com