We spoke to author Ellie Holmes about her debut novel The Flower Seller, a romantic novel about joining the dating pool again after a long relationship. Read on for Ellie’s writing process, her stance on authors as brands, and news about her upcoming projects.
1. Your debut novel, The Flower Seller, came out yesterday. What was the inspiration for the book and what can readers expect?
The Flower Seller is a commercial women’s fiction novel – a romantic read with a hint of suspense to hopefully keep those pages turning. I hope readers will like and engage with Jessie, my main character and want to go on a journey with her through a year in her life.
The inspiration for the novel came from two different strands that I wanted to explore. The idea of a woman entering the dating pool again after a long marriage and all the difficulties that brings with it and the fact that people have hidden depths which may not be apparent when we first meet someone. The two ideas melded together and The Flower Seller was born.
2. Tell us a little bit about your writing process. What does your average day as an author look like?
I have a part time day job so on the days I work I write in the evenings – usually I aim for 1,000 words a day, 5,000 words in a week. On the days I am home I make sure I hit my words for the week quota and then work on edits. As I am self published I also have to stay on top of all my business admin, work on marketing and keep an eye on social media. So I spin a lot of plates each week.
3. Do you feel that shaping a brand around your writing is important? To what extent do you handle your online presence yourself and what do you feel is better left in the hands of professionals?
A brand is essential in this day and age. People have so little time you need something that is going to catch people’s eye and make them remember you. A strong brand can do that. I got a fabulous website designer on board to help bring my ideas to life – Aimee Coveney. She also created banners for my Facebook page and Twitter and which I also use on my newsletters so that I have one cohesive look across social media. The day to day running of social media I do myself – people like the personal touch. They don’t want to be spammed by automatic tweets.
4. What do you have planned for further writing?
I have a romantic mystery novella coming out in September called The Tregelian Hoard set in the beautiful Cornish countryside. It is the first in my Cornish Intrigue Series featuring intrepid portable antiquities specialist, Jonquil Jones.
Then in June 2017 my next full length novel White Lies will be released. It tells the story of interior designer Sam Davenport as she struggles to reconcile herself to her husband Neil’s actions and we discover what happens when seemingly innocent white lies get out of control.
5. Any advice for writers looking to follow in your footsteps?
Take time to write the best book you can – edit it and then edit it again. Find beta readers to read it and comment on it and then hire a professional editor and a professional proofreader. It takes a lot of time to get it right but it will pay off in the long run and using a company like Whitefox to assist in the project management side of things does take some of the pressure off.
Thank you to Whitefox for giving me the opportunity to take part in your blog and for being a crucial member of Team Ellie!