Today I am very pleased to welcome Elle Field to the site! Elle is a fantastic author, reader and blogger, and she’s someone I always enjoy chatting to! You can buy her novels Kept and Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not from Amazon now! I hope you enjoy our interview! I’m also VERY pleased to report that Geli will be FREE from March 4th-March 6th so make sure you pick up your copy!
1. Hi Elle! Welcome to the site! Can you tell us about yourself?
Thank you for having me! I’m loving the site’s new look. I’m Elle, and I’m a twenty-something chick lit author who lives in London. I’m a massive fan of The Killers, Milka Daim, giraffes, caipirinhas, Audrey Hepburn movies, Scrabble, sunshine and champagne.
I became a fan of chick lit whilst I was at university. I studied International Relations and Social Anthropology, you see, so when I was home for the holidays the last thing I wanted to do was read anything serious. Chick lit was the perfect escape and I knew that I wanted to write it once I graduated, though I actually penned my first novel in the summer between my third and fourth year. It was quite dreadful!
2. You’re a self-published author of two novels, Kept and Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not, can you tell us a bit about your books?
Kept was my debut novel. It’s about twenty-something Arielle Lockley who always wanted to be the next Coco Chanel, but has spent the past four years living the high life, all paid for by her boyfriend Piers. When the recession hits, it’s not just the economy that takes a tumble, and Arielle finds herself living back at her parents’ house with a CV that’s as welcome as a pair of knock-off Jimmy Choos. She’s also finding unwelcome thoughts of her childhood sweetheart popping into her head because of where she’s living… Kept is about the fantasy we’ve all dreamed of – living the jet-set lifestyle – but it explores the reality of what that’s actually like.
Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not tells the tale of Hot or Not columnist Geli Voyante. As well as scoring plenty of freebies, her job also has the added bonus of sitting next to Theodore Bones, the very hot political columnist. When her arch-nemesis Tiggy Boodles gets engaged, Geli finally sets about to try and convince Theo that she’s not as shallow as her light-hearted column suggests and, more importantly, that she’s the one for him. Geli soon realises though that just like there are two sides to every story, that applies to people too…
Both are available in Kindle and paperback formats, and you can also purchase Kept on Kobo.
3. Where did you get the name Geli Voyante? I love it.
It was a somewhat wacky name that randomly popped into my head and I have no idea where it came from! I knew that I couldn’t have Geli as her real first name though – what sane parent would call their child Geli?! – so I made it a shortening of Angelica which is far more sensible!
4. Your bio on your website tells me you’re publishing two books this year, can you tell us anything about them? Titles, synopses, potential release dates…?
I’d love to! This year I will be releasing Lost, which is the sequel to Kept, so you’ll all be able to find out how Arielle gets on now she’s back in London… I don’t want to spoil it for those who still need to read Kept, but I can tell you that there will be more of Ob in this book. I’m sure fans of Kept will be pleased to read that!
I’ll also be releasing The Dirtification of Tabitha-Rose. Tabitha is quite a colourful character, who popped up in Kept, and I think it’s time to share her story. The chapters in the book alternate between Tabitha’s view and the view of her therapist – it’s definitely fun writing from a male perspective.
I don’t know the exact release dates yet, but I’ll share them as soon as I do – I expect my first release of 2014 though will be in the summer months.
5. You seem to do quite a bit of travelling, where’s the best place you’ve ever visited?
Jordan and Brazil are my two favourite countries that I’ve visited. Jordan is such a cool country and I love the mix of the West meeting the Middle East – it’s not a super strict traditional country like people tend to think, plus it has this amazing alien desert landscape that looks like you could be on Mars. Brazil is this vast juxtaposition with influences from various countries all over the world, and it has an eclectic vibe – I’d love to revisit both countries but there are all these other new places I need to travel to first!
6. When you’re writing do you have a routine, or do you just write as much as you can, whenever you can?
Definitely as much as I can, when I can! As I still work full-time, I don’t have the luxury of writing when I want – I have to snatch hours in the evenings, at the weekend, or write when I’m on holiday. I find that I’m most creative around 10pm to 1am, which is not ideal when you have be up for work the next morning!
7. Your books covers are so lovely, did you use the same designer for both books?
Thank you very much and I did, yes. I have zero drawing skills so I commissioned a fabulous illustrator called Will Duffy who designed me these two awesome covers. He’ll be so pleased to hear that you like them!
8. You seem to read loads of books, do you find reading other authors helps you with your writing? Do you read whilst you write? I know some authors can’t or they copy whomever their reading’s writing.
I think it’s really important to read as much as you can, whether you’re an author or not. Getting lost in the world of an amazing book is one of the most enjoyable things I can think to do.
When I’m working on my own books I tend to avoid chick lit as I don’t want to accidentally influence my work. I tend to stick to crime thrillers, YA books and fantasy genres when I am working on my books.
9. How long does it take you to start writing your book and have it ready for publication?
There’s a reason Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not starts in December 2007… that’s because that’s when I first started writing it. It’s tricky to quantify exactly how long the process takes for me as my writing has been rather on and off over the past few years. However, as I’m writing Lost from scratch and need to keep up the momentum with my books, I’m hoping that I will be able turn it around my within five or six months. Wish me luck!
10. How have you found the self-publishing route? Did you have anybody to help you out when you decided to first self-publish Kept? Is it a rewarding experience?
Amazon are really clear in their guidelines on how to self-publish so I didn’t need any help on the technical side, but I did hire a copy editor and proof-reader to make sure that Kept was the best book I could make it story-wise.
I have been really lucky that I’ve only had a couple of bad reviews since I started self-publishing – all the rest have been super positive, often with readers begging me to publish more books as quickly as I can! I’ve found the self-publishing route an absolute pleasure and I’m certain that I have connected more with my readers than I would have done if I had a gone down the traditional route.
It’s definitely a rewarding experience, but I’d love to have a traditional publishing deal for the paperback versions of my books. I can’t wait until the day that I see my book in a book shop, at the airport or in a supermarket – I definitely can’t achieve that sort of reach on my own, but I’m so glad I took the chance and self-published. I’d rather have people enjoying my books whilst I make the paperback dream happen rather than having the manuscripts sat on my computer.
11. Finally, what advice would you give to people wanting to self-publish their novel?
You might get impatient, wanting to get your book out there as soon as you have your first draft, but make sure that your book is the best it can be before you hit publish. You should definitely get someone to proof-read your book. If you can’t afford an editor, call in favours from your book-loving friends. Readers deserve to buy a professional book – that should be the case whether it’s a self-published book or not – plus they can be pretty unforgiving (and damaging) if they spot errors in your book, which you do not want.
Finally, never give up. It might take you six months to self-publish your novel or it might take six years – if you give up though, it never will. Good luck!
About the Author
Elle Field is a twenty-something chick lit author who lives in South London with her boyfriend. She enjoys exploring and photographing Blighty’s capital, seeing far too many musicals, and eating her way around London’s culinary delights.
Her debut chick lit novel Kept was released last year, followed by Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not. Watch out in 2014 for the release of Kept’s sequel, Lost, plus The Dirtification of Tabitha-Rose.
· You can read Elle’s literary, London and life adventures on her blog: http://www.ellefield.co.uk
· Follow her on Twitter: @ellefie
· Like her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ellefieldauthor
· Connect with her on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7060681.Elle_Field
Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not blurb:
‘I think I will always be known as the Hot or Not girl, defined by it for the rest of my career. Even my tombstone will read: Angelica “Geli” Voyante, beloved trendsetter. Death? Not Hot.
Yet, it doesn’t sound right. Why won’t anyone realise that there is more to me than this fickle persona I have inadvertently become?’
Geli Voyante is bored of being the Hot or Not girl, even if it has the perk of sitting next to Theo, the newspaper’s very Hot political columnist. She’s also getting a little lonely being single.
When her arch-nemesis Tiggy Boodles gets engaged, and other loved ones start to settle down, it’s time for Geli to convince Theo that she’s not as shallow as her column suggests and, more importantly, she’s the one for him. Geli should remember though that there are always two sides to every story, and that applies to people too…
Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not is currently FREE to download on Kindle worldwide:
Thanks so much, Elle!