Recently, QBD Books had the opportunity to sit down with the wonderful Ella Maise – beloved romance writer! Ella has released a range of fantastic books including “To Love Jason Thorne”, “Marriage For One”, and as of today “Charlie, Love and Cliches.”
In our Q&A, we talked about her brand-new book, her writing process, BookTok, and MORE. Let’s dive in!
- Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us, Ella! To start, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Of course! Thank you so much for having me. I’m a romance author who loves to write romantic comedies that are slow burns. I live with my 16.5 years old Golden Retriever and one of my favorite things to do is cook for friends and family. Of course the other favorite thing is reading.
- Your new book “Charlie, Love and Clichés” will be hitting the shelves this month – congratulations! Can you tell us about the plot of the story?
Thank you so much! Okay, so I’m not the best when it comes to shortening the plot of my stories. I tend to give you the whole book, but I’ll try. Charlie and William are two complete strangers who’ve met at a diner. They spend their evenings together for 7 days. They know nothing but their names and both keep showing up every single day, hoping they’ll bump into one another again. But that last day one of them never shows up. Six year passes and Charlie sees William at her father’s company where she works, and William is now her new boss. They have so many reasons why they shouldn’t be thinking of each other, but each day that passes with them running into each other at random places makes life very hard.
- What did your writing process for this book look like?
I hate to say this, but my writing process for Charlie, Love and Cliches was very choppy. I started writing Charlie and William’s story but then struggled with some health issues. I picked it up again, got halfway, and then Covid happened, so I was too stressed to focus on writing happy stories. While it’s been choppy, I knew Charlie and William so well at that point since I kept thinking about them and no other couple for so long that I didn’t have to think too much on how their story was going to go. I love every little thing about this book; especially the fact that William leaves little notes in her romance books, so even though it took a long time to finish this one, I couldn’t ask for a better couple to spend that time with.
- What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing?
I have to say myself. The fact that there is a 4 year break since my last book is still scaring me. And because I was so scared and unsure, I let my fears get in the way. I had a friend who had to remind me that I could do this every now and then. It was hard to try and get past the fact that my readers might have forgotten all about me and that I might have to start from scratch. It made it just a little bit harder to focus on just the story. It definitely didn’t help that I went through a break up at the end of the book.
- If you had to cast any actor / actress to play Charlie and William, whom would you choose?
Would you hate me if I said I couldn’t choose anyone? I’m sorry 😅 All my characters feel like real people to me and it’s so hard for me to reimagine them as other actors and actresses if it makes sense. To me, they’re their own person and I can’t say I ever managed to picture them as an actor/actress. In any case, I think my readers would have a much better answer to this question than me.
- If you had to give “Charlie, Love and Cliché’s” a theme song, what would it be?
Could be Arcade by Duncan Laurence. It doesn’t fit completely, but some parts of the song really speak for them. And the losing game part…Charlie definitely thinks they’re a losing game and they can’t be together.
- Your books have taken BookTok by storm! How do you feel about that? Are you a BookTok scroller yourself?
I’m so surprised! In the best way possible. It’s been 8 years since I’ve published To Love Jason Thorn and apparently it has over 30 million views on TikTok. That is insane to me. I’m so grateful to everyone who read and then posted about it on Booktok. It’s always so unexpected. Now I just hope they’ll love Charlie and William as well.
And, yes, I am a BookTok scroller myself too. However, I do try to stay away from the app as much as I can. Because it can be addicting. 5 minutes of innocent scrolling can suddenly turn into an hour so I try my best to limit myself. It helps that I’m not the biggest fan of social media because it can take off chunks out of my day.
- What do you love the most about writing romance novels?
The hope it gives. The happy feelings. I’m always smiling when I’m writing a good scene, and sometimes crying if there is a break up happening. And then when the book is finished and it gets into the hands of your readers… that’s when the magic happens.
- What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring writer?
Read. As much as you can. Write. As much as you can. And write what you’d love to read. That makes the biggest difference. If you’re forcing yourself to write something just because it’s popular and you think people will like it, it will never make you %100 happy. But if you love your characters and the story it shows through your words. The reader can feel how much you love your characters and your story and it makes everything so much better.