Published by Canelo
Genre: Women’s Fiction
available in ebook (22 January 2018)
I’m thrilled to be starting off the blog tour for If I Fall, on its publication day and many congratulations to Ella. For my turn, I have a Q&A, thank you for answering all my questions Ella! My thanks to Ellie of Canelo for the invitation to take part in the tour.
| About the Book |
Four university friends, four devastating secrets
I’m really sorry for what I’m about to do…
It’s fifteen years since graduation, and Connie, Jonas, JJ and Layla have managed to remain close despite the odds. They’ve supported each other, but are some things too big for friendship?
Connie is desperate to maintain the veneer of perfect family life.
Jonas is feeling the pressure at work.
Layla’s career is unravelling thanks to her ill mother
JJ’s past is catching up with him.
When they stumble and fall, who will be there to catch them?
A truly powerful and unforgettable story of love, friendship, and real life, If I Fall is perfect for readers of Alice Peterson, Amanda Prowse and Lianne Moriarty
It’s a pleasure to welcome you to the blog Ella, would you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?
Hi there! And thank you for having me. My name is Ella Harper and I write women’s fiction. I used to write under my own name (Sasha Wagstaff) but I changed my name when I changed genre. I used to work in a bank in London and starting writing on my commute up into London. I am also a Pilates instructor and both writing and teaching allow me to take my girls into school and spend lots of time with them.
Without giving away too much information, can you please tell us a little about your latest novel, If I Fall? Where did the inspiration for the story come from?
If I Fall is a novel about four friends who met at University. Two of them get married and the other two are single and we join them again in the current day. The novel opens with a suicide note and the reader will most likely think that the four friends have great lives in the present day…but they all have secrets or are facing difficult issues. It’s about who spirals and needs saving…
The inspiration came to me on a flight to New York with my friends, funnily enough! I get lots of ideas for novels when I’m travelling…on trains, planes, driving etc. I was thinking about a group of friends and something huge happening to one of them and what might drive them to taking drastic action.
How did you plan/research your books? Do you plot in detail or just see where the story takes you?
I plot in detail – and then I see where the story takes me! I do research in advance and as I’m going along, depending on what comes up. I think it’s great to have a clear structure in place, but I am always prepared to make tweaks and changes as sometimes, you can plan like a maniac, but the story won’t work and it needs reassessing.
What is the best writing advice that you have received? And what advice would you give to anyone trying to get their novel published? Is there anything that you wished you had done differently?
Adele Parks gave me some great advice years ago…basically about keeping going and doing whatever it took to achieve my dream. And I give the same advice to anyone who contacts me – keep going. Keep writing. Try not to overthink. Just get words down on paper and believe in yourself. I don’t wish I’d done anything differently, to be honest. It would have been lovely to have secured a publishing deal immediately rather than it taking a few years, but I think everything happens for a reason and I’m sure I’ve learnt loads of valuable lessons along the way.
Is there any part of the writing process which you enjoy (or find the most difficult) – i.e. researching, writing, editing?
I find writing itself the easiest….I’m happiest left to my own devices, getting on with my story and getting the book written. I find editing arduous, but it’s very necessary and my editor is fantastic so it’s way easier than it could be.
Are there any authors whose books have made an impact on you? What type of book do you enjoy reading for pleasure, and what are you reading now?
I find Lianne Moriarty very inspiring. I enjoy women’s fiction the most and the odd quirky novel that might catch my attention. I’m not currently reading anything as I’m usually writing! But I do miss reading and need to make time for it.
Do you read your own reviews?
I used to read them avidly and be dancing for joy or crying copious tears, depending on the review. These days, I dip in and out of them but I ignore the bad ones. It’s not good for my soul to think about such things so I let them go and just think hey, you can’t please everyone.
Is there anything that you wouldn’t write about?
No, I don’t shy away from any subject. And they have become increasingly challenging as my Ella Harper novels have progressed. I really enjoy getting my teeth into something.
When you’re not working or writing, what do you do to relax?
I exercise. Pilates mostly, but I do all sorts of work outs. And I love a box set. Vikings is my current obsession; me and my boyfriend are addicted.
If you could only keep 3 books on your bookshelf, which ones would it be and why
Good question! Wuthering Heights as it’s my favourite classic novel. A baby naming book as I use them when thinking about characters and one of my own so if I ever doubt myself I can look at it and remind myself that I have actually achieved something pretty darned cool.
| About the Author |
Ella Harper learned foreign languages, and imagined she might eventually get a glamorous job speaking French. After climbing her way up the banking ladder, Ella started idly mapping out the beginnings of a novel on an old laptop. When she realised her characters were more real to her than dividends and corporate actions ever could be, she left her job to become a writer.