Ten to Talk Through: Ella Allbright

Today’s post is another instalment in my new Ten to Talk Through series, and this is a super timely one.

Today I’ve sat down for a chat with the lovely Ella Allbright. Ella’s book The Last Charm is published today. So, what better time to sit back and grab a cuppa while we chat dream book destinations, how Ella likes to relax, and her thoughts on NaNoWriMo.

Where does inspiration come from for you?

In essence it’s from the world around me. I see a book being a bit like a jigsaw puzzle – it’s made up of lots of little pieces of myself, my friends and family but strangers also, films, songs, stories, places and  experiences. I usually start off with a ‘what if?’ question to establish the core of a story, before creating the characters and then building a world around them. The inspiration for The Last Charm came from my lovely editor Charlotte Ledger at One More Chapter. She commissioned me to write an epic love story set around the charms on a bracelet, and we built it from the ground up. It was a really exciting project to work on, and very collaborative.

Have you ever based a character on yourself?

In a word, no. However, there’s a small part of me in every character I write. Leila in The Last Charm can be difficult to love at times because she’s immature and can be selfish, and doesn’t sometimes see what is right in front of her – I’d like to think I’m not like that! However, I can be distracted when I’m writing, as she can be when she’s painting, and I am fiercely independent like her. Jake shares my love of reading, and some of the quotes he shares with Leila are my favourites. We also see the world in a similar way.

Is there anywhere in the world you would love to set a book?

One of my dreams was to set a book in Italy, and I managed it during lockdown as my WIP features a road trip around Italy. My fiancé and I had a mini trip there in 2018 as he was out there for a work, so I flew out to join him and we drove back to the UK. It was squashed into four days but was amazing; the sights, sounds and food were gorgeous – and very romantic.
I’d like to set a future book somewhere tropical and balmy, but I honestly like UK settings too – hence The Last Charm being set in my home county of Dorset, and the Love London series being set around famous landmarks in our capital.

What is your most common method of procrastination?

Writers are terrible for procrastination and I’m no different! My guilty pleasures when I’m in a writing slump are reading (anything and everything), listening to writing podcasts and housework. However, I often find those pastimes inspirational – especially housework because it gives me time to think, and I often find myself coming up with book ideas or dialogue while doing it – so usually it’s not long before I’m writing again.

What snacks do you have close by when reading?

I’m not a big snacker, but my favourite way to curl up with a book is on the sofa with either a giant cup of tea or glass of wine (depending on the time of day!) Otherwise, I love reading paperbacks in the bath with a large G&T ☺

How do you work through to overcome writer’s block?

A bit like above where I’ve talked about procrastination, I find that doing other things really helps unblock any issues. Listening to writing podcasts inspires me to carry on with my own writing journey, and reading gets me excited about storytelling again ☺ I’ve also found that sometimes with writer’s block, I just need to force myself to physically sit down and write – setting a challenge of a short period of time, say thirty minutes. Once I can get through the first ten minutes, I’m usually so immersed I’ll carry on writing for hours.

Ella Allbright

What’s your elevator pitch for your debut novel?

Great question! That would be Crazy, Undercover, Love (under my Nikki Moore pen name) which was shortlisted for a Romantic Novelists’ Association Award ☺ 

Feisty career girl Charley travels to Barcelona for a weekend assignment as PA to the gorgeous CEO, but little does he know she has a hidden agenda…

What’s your elevator pitch for your WIP?

This will be an Ella Allbright book and is untitled at the moment…

Sheltered Izzy embarks on a road trip around Italy to find her father as part of her bucket list, accompanied by Will – a foster care survivor who’s the perfect companion to open her eyes to the wonders of the world… and perhaps teach her how to fall in love?

What’s your biggest piece of advice for wannabe authors?

Whatever happens, just keep going! Sit in that chair, be disciplined, write chapter after chapter until you have a finished book, then edit it with critical eyes before sending it out. Learn to live with rejection and see it as a normal part of being a writer, pick yourself up and keep sending your book baby out. Don’t give up knocking on doors until one opens for you ☺

What’s your opinion on NaNoWriMo?

It’s great! When I was writing my debut novel, I was juggling a full-time job and three young children and found it really difficult to find the time and energy to write. Doing NaNoWriMo in 2012 gave me the focus I needed to finish the book and I wrote 50,000 words over the course of that November. I’ve done it a couple of times since, and am doing it this year too. Wish me luck!

Buy a copy of The Last Charm now!

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