Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ella Griffin sells us on her writing...plus a book giveaway

Introduction and interview by Tracey Meyers

**Giveaway is now closed**

In 1997, I spent four whirlwind days in the southern half of Ireland.  (Truly not enough time!)  The visit was only supposed to last three days, however on our way to the boat that was going to take us to England, our rental car got a flat.  "Too bad" my traveling companion and I said with grins on our faces. "Looks like we'll have to spend another day here." This all took place during spring break my junior year in college.

I bring this up because today's guest, Irish author Ella Griffin joins us to talk about writing and her new book, The Heart Whisperer (reviewed here). Though it hasn't been until fairly recent that I learned of Ella's work, I still feel a connection to her as once upon a time, before she was a writer, she worked in Advertising - my area of study during college.  As you might imagine, once I learned this I was eager to learn more about her.

Though she loved writing ads, she still had a desire to write books.  It was eventually her husband who gave her the confidence to follow her dreams of becoming a writer.

Before I turn this post over to Ella, I want to share her philosophy, which is part of her good reads author page information:

My philosophy is inspired by the parking machine in Dundrum shopping centre. 'Change Is Possible'. 

Not only do I appreciate this philosophy from the view point of a former aspiring advertising person, but always from the point of view of a dreamer.

Thanks to Orion Books, we have FIVE copies of The Heart Whisperer for some lucky readers anywhere in the world.
You can find Ella at her website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

What types of things inspire your creative process?
It can be anything. A stranger’s profile. A snippet of conversation. A half heard song. I usually get inspired when I’m doing other things. Swimming, walking, driving. It’s maddening! Sometimes, I have to pull off the motorway and put on my hazards so I can jot them down in my phone.

Even when I was very small, I had a compulsion to describe everything around me - I see the world through a sort of perpetual waterfall of words. When I think of the right one it feels like slotting a the right piece into a jigsaw. I am addicted to that feeling.

Great books and films inspires me but nothing is as thrilling as watching two people talk and wondering about their lives, their love affairs, their families.

The inspiration for The Heart Whisperer came from a picture I saw on Facebook – a friend’s friend’s girlfriend. This girl had a tangle of coppery hair and freckles and a contagious, face-splitting grin but there was something about her eyes - something hurt and hidden.

I knew I’d never find out what it was so I had to make it up. I took her face and gave her a dark history. A beautiful, successful mother who had died when she was only six in an accident that was her fault.


In what ways is advertising writing similar to writing a novel? In what ways is it different?
Writing ads is fun. It’s exciting and exhilarating but it’s all over so quickly. The ideas come in a rush. You can make someone laugh with an ad. You can charm them. And sometimes you can touch them but it’s only for a moment or two.

Writing a book is a long, slow burn. You have to create a whole world and there are times when you wonder if it’s ever going to come together. But a novel gives you a chance to really move someone.

I had a tweet from someone who’d read Postcards from the Heart last week. One of my characters gets cancer and this woman was a cancer survivor. She wrote to say how much she related to the story. That was huge for me.

Which do you prefer to use to write - a word processing program or pen and paper? Why is this one your preference?
My handwriting is appalling. I have what I call my ‘postcard writing’ and if I write longhand I start with that but, after a page or two, it all degenerates into a scrawl.

For my first book I used ‘Word’ and I had a massive box filled with pages of character backstory. I threw it out at Christmas. It think it weighed slightly more than Victoria Beckham.

But I wrote The Heart Whisperer using an amazing programme called ‘Scriverner’. I’m addicted to it now. It’s intuitive and fluid and it has a fabulous interactive corkboard function.

I spend a lot of time pushing virtual cards around that board, trying to get the tension in the plot just right or fiddling with the balance between humour and sadness.

I couldn’t live without it.

What was your greatest apprehension about attempting to write a novel?
I had a whole wardrobe of colour coded apprehensions. I wheeled a different one out for every stage!

I was afraid that I’d never finish it. When I did finish it, I was afraid that nobody would read it. When it was published, I was afraid that everybody I knew would read it and hate it.

I’m good at apprehensions!

Do you consider yourself a celebrity? Why or why not?
God no! For obvious reasons. I’m not one.

Have you ever been approached by a fan when you were just out and about during a normal day? If so, tell us about that experience. If not, what do you think it might be like if you were?
I was in a book shop a few weeks ago and a girl in her twenties came over and asked me to sign The Heart Whisperer. She was very excited. But sadly, she was not as excited as I was!

Describe where you live in one sentence:
I live between the Wicklow mountains and the Irish sea with an English man and a Scottish deerhound.

Special thanks to Ella Griffin for visiting with us and Orion for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win The Heart Whisperer:
Please comment below with your e-mail address. (Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: Do you consider authors to be celebrities?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

5. Follow us on Twitter and/or Pinterest.
6. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.


Giveaway ends March 6th at midnight EST.

28 comments:

marlene said...

Yes, I consider authors to be celebrities. Some people love actors and movies. I love authors and books :)

I follow this blog

I posted this contest on my FB

I follow CLC on Pinterest

mengel2(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

pascale said...

I absolutely think authors are celebrities. What they produce is much more long lasting and important than what most actors produce on tv/movies.

I follow this blog
I follow on facebook
pascale.poitras@verizon.net

Sheena said...

Yes I do think authors are celebrities. Authors are the best celebrities out there!

I follow the blog and through twitter and am also a member on the facebook page.

wapneski@yahoo.com

Kat said...

Yes I think authors are celebrities.

I follow on facebook and twitter
And follow blog
Follow CLC on pin interest too

k_duncan21@yahoo.com

Ananda said...

YES, I think authors are celebrities and since I prefer books over movies, authors are even bigger celebrities according to me than actors:)

Thank you so much for this great opportunity to win this lovely book.

love2slim(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

Nova said...

Yes, I most certainly do think authors are celebrities!
I follow this blog by GFC.
I follow this blog by email.
I follow CLC on pinterest.
I am a fan of CLC on facebook.
sparkle40175(at)hotmail(dot)com

Lauren McCormick said...

I absolutely think authors are celebrities!
When I've been lucky enough to be present at a book signing, I get all giddy and excited!
The books I've had signed I cherish, as well as the books I've won that authors write a note inside to me!

I'm a CLC member and follow the blog on Facebook, Email, and Pinterest.

I made sure my Mother became a CLC member and I know a few of my Facebook friends joined via my shared links. I always share Giveaways on Facebook.

itzhunicAThotmailDOTcom

Anonymous said...

I do consider authors to be celebrities!

I follow the blog.

I follow on Pinterest.

cat123hen(at)aol(dot)com

Jessica said...

1. Yes, authors are definitely celebrities! I would love to meet some of my favorites!
2. I follow this blog through GFC.
3. I tweeted this. https://twitter.com/xxpaperhearts/status/307227296077578240
4. I'm a member of Chick Lit Central on facebook.
5. I follow through twitter and pinterest.

Thanks!
-Jessica M
walkingcorpse11@hotmail.com

Mrs Mommy Booknerd said...

Yes, I have been star struck while meeting an author that I love. They take you to an amazing places, how can not be star struck when their words move you!

I follow here, faceboom, twitter and pintetest.

Mrsmommybooknerdsboomreviews at gmail dot com

rhonda said...

Authors are my favorite celebrities.email follower Twitter follower@rhondareads.Will tweet.lomazowr@gmail.com

Suzy said...

Yes, I think authors are celebrities, but just a lot friendlier and willing to interact with their fans via social media.

I follow this blog
I posted this contest on Twitter
I follow on Facebook
I follow on Twitter

SuzyQ4PR AT aol DOT com

DarcyO said...

1. Yes, I consider authors to be celebrities.

2. I follow this blog.

3. I tweeted: https://twitter.com/darcy1956/status/307270505562505216

4. I joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook.

5. I follow on Twitter (@darcy1956)

I'd love to read this one. Thanks for the chance.

valleyreader (at) gmail (dot) com

Ingeborg said...

1. I'm not sure if I would call an author a celebrity. I would rather meet an author than a movie star. An author is so much more intelligent. A writer writes the words an actor just reads them.

2. I follow by email

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Tiffany Drew said...

Yes, I do, especially the big name ones :)

GFC follower Tiffany Drew
facebook member Tiffany Drew
Twitter follower @enterthedrew
Pinterest follower Tiffany Drew

jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

karenk said...

yes, i guess authors are celebrities, too

i'm a follower!

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Bonnie K. said...

Yes, authors can be celebrities. Pretty book cover.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

I follow the blog.

I shared on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/bonnie.karoly/activity/10151310768670233

I'm a member of Chick Lit Central.

I follow on twitter and tweeted: https://twitter.com/grobiemum/status/307305658213101568

Chanpreet said...

kaur_chanpreet(at) hotmail (dot) com

1.I do consider authors to be celebrities. I'd much rather meet an author I love then a movie/tv/singer star.

I've only met one author and I was giddy about seeing her and giddy afterwards for having spoken to her. :p

2. I follow the blog.

3.I tweeted about the contest.

4.I'm a member of the facebook group.

5.I follow on twitter

Linda Kish said...

I suppose some of the more well-known authors would be considered celebrities. Probably not all authors.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

TinaB said...

Yes, I do consider authors to be celebrities!
I follow you on fb and pinterest.
Brannanflooring@aol.com

Hailey said...

I definitely consider authors to be celebrities.

I tweeted this giveaway

I follow CLC on twitter

I liked this on Facebook

fishiegirl22@yahoo.com

Mary Preston said...

I consider myself a fan, therefore they must be celebrities. I certainly celebrate their work & creative genius.

FB & GFC: Mary Preston

Email Subscriber:
marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

bn100 said...

Not really

I follow the blog

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jeryl M. said...

Authors can be considered celebrities because they are well know and have huge fan followings.

I am a subscriber.

I am a Facebook fan.

I follow on Twitter and Pinterest.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

StereoQueenBee said...

1. Please tell us: Do you consider authors to be celebrities?

I do - especially some of them! ;)

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

Am already a follower.

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Facebook - Sabrina-Kate Eryou
Twitter - stereoqueenbee

4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Am already a member.

5. Follow us on Twitter and/or Pinterest.


Follow on Twitter.
queenofcrunk@gmail.com

Amy Sue Nathan said...

I totally consider authors celebrities. Not me, of course, but others. I'm totally a fan-girl when it comes to meeting published authors. I go all wobbly-kneed and I can't talk. And if you know me, you know talking is not usually a problem.

Bridget O'Neill said...

Absolutely! I think I would be more excited to meet an author in person than a movie star :)

I follow the blog
I'm a member of CLC on Facebook
I follow on twitter

Bjoneill@hotmail.com

Lisamarie said...

That is a definite YES! Authors are celebrities...The books they write is a piece of them and it lasts way longer than a movie/tv show.

I'm a CLC blog follower
I'm a CLC FB group member & twitter follwer

tropicalsunlover05(at)yahoo(dot)com