Studioenp: Pepsi or Coke—or something else?
Ellie: I’ve recently gotten into ginger ale—I never liked it growing up, but as an adult I’ve found that I prefer it. Coke and Pepsi always have a faintly artificial aftertaste, and I’m enjoying the almost spicy tang of the ginger instead.
Studioenp: Yes, it’s a lovely drink, as is tonic water, another drink you don’t tenf to consider when younger. Which season do you like best and why?
Ellie: Autumn! I lived in London for a while and have a thing for rain, plus there’s something wonderful about crisp mornings and rustling leaves.
Studioenp: Autumn is Em’s favourite, too, although not the rain. Blasted stuff. What’s your fondest childhood memory?
Ellie: When I couldn’t sleep, I would take my stuffed animals and my duvet, and go wandering to make a nest someplace else in the house. My mother still tells the story of the evening she found me—and my animals—asleep on the landing, and I actually remember settling myself there! We were going to have a picnic, which obviously got interrupted by my impromptu nap.
Studioenp: Aww, what a lovely memory. Do you have a best friend—who is it?
Ellie: I have two wonderful best friends who are both on constant call (when not interrupted by their respective children), and are the snarkiest, warmest, wittiest friends I could wish for. We always have a message thread on the go and range from the sublime to the ridiculous in seconds, with plenty of love and support thrown in. They’re both writers as well, so it’s also an excellent source of plot solutions and character help!
Studioenp: Excellent! Do you have any quirks?
Ellie: Plenty, although I like to think they’re adorable rather than annoying! I eat the orange part first off a jaffa cake, can start reading a book from any page, enjoy tidying things (apparently that’s a quirk?) and can’t ever spell “restaurant”... I let spellcheck do the work on that one so it should be spelled right!
Studioenp: Hahahaha. Post-It notes or notebook?
Ellie: Both! I always have a notebook in my bag, along with electronic post-it notes for random ideas when I’m on my laptop. I prefer writing electronically, so a physical notebook is only for those ideas I get when I’m travelling—but I hate to be without one.
Studioenp: What do you do to relax?
Ellie: Read, watch Ghibli films, walk, and read awful stories on Reddit. In terms of writing, my guilty pleasure is fanfiction—if I ever get stressed over my WIP I’ll go and write something in someone else’s universe.
Studioenp: Great! Perfect three-course meal?
Ellie: Location: a tiny restaurant in Italy, preferably Florence or Bologna. Bruschetta, pasta, whatever main is recommended, and then tiramisu, all with a bottle of the local red. Absolute perfection. Failing that, I usually settle for the perfect trinity of pizza, garlic bread, and ice cream, on my sofa.
Studioenp: Yum yum, it all sounds delicious. What type of music do you enjoy?
Ellie: I’ll usually be listening to eighties and nineties pop, with a selection of modern bits thrown in. My current favourite is soundtracks—I’m flitting between various Ghibli films and Disney (I’m an adult, honest) with some chillout mixes thrown in.
Studioenp: Sounds like quite a mix! Do you dance like no one’s watching?
Ellie: Always. My favourite memory of a night out was randomly getting dragged to a live music venue—I was in jeans and a t-shirt when everyone else was in clubbing clothes, and I danced my heart out to AC/DC and The Killers. Screw everyone else, have fun!
Studioenp: That’s a great outlook! Thank you so much for letting us get to know you a little, and we wish you well with your upcoming releases. May you sell thousands!
Dear readers, please feast on the waffles and ice cream over there on the table, and there’s some chocolate sauce to dollop on top as well. Cor! Then sit back and enjoy the following excerpt. Whoop!