author, Just Ella
Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)
I have lived in Utah, Arizona, Missouri, Virginia, and now Idaho. I’ve been married for almost a decade (which I can hardly believe) and we have four children, the youngest of which is just a few months old. I had the opportunity of visiting France and Switzerland when I was a teenager, and my husband took me to Italy when we’d been married less than a year. If I make it to Ireland at some point, my traveling dreams will be complete.
Most writers are readers. What are some of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your "must read" list?
I have read and enjoyed many books, but I’m critical enough that it’s pretty hard for a book to make it onto my ‘must read’ list. My classic must read is Jane Eyre. My modern must read is Edenbrooke.
What is one silly fact about you?
I have a mild obsession with waterfalls, but have had few opportunities to see them. It’s my unrequited love.
Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well?
I love romantic stories. No matter what genre I’m reading, the element that will pull me along is the relationships. But I am incredibly uncomfortable with explicit scenes. I have no interest in either reading or writing them, thus reading and writing clean romance just makes sense.
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
My characters and plots aren’t based on me or my life, but there is plenty of little details and life lessons that end up woven into my stories, often without me realizing it. I wrote down the story of how my husband and I fell in love and when my sister read it, she said, “You’re first kiss is just like Ella’s!” I had to think about it for a minute before realizing that, yup, she was right. And it was completely unintentional.
What are the elements of a great romance for you?
A great romance has to feel genuine. The novels where the characters hate each other for most of the book and then suddenly decide they are passionately in love don’t work for me. A relationship has to be built, it has to progress. I want characters to share conversation and experiences, not just attraction.
What are your hero and heroine of the story like?
Gavin is down to earth and unassuming. Ella is fighting to understand who she is and where she fits in.
Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
Just Ella has all the toe tingling romance without the cheesiness that often accompanies romance novels. I’ve done my best to make characters who live, feel and react in realistic ways.
Do you have a favorite character you have written so far?
Yes, and his name is Tobias. He’s from my next book that I have yet to finish and he’s actually the ‘villain’ character. I adore my main characters, but there was something very different and freeing about writing Tobias. He’s such a bad guy but I just love him.