Monday, 18 December 2017

Debut Spotlight: Elle Spellman

Today it's my pleasure to welcome blogger turned author Elle Spellman to the blog for our chance to get to know a little more about Elle and her debut novel She's Bad News.

Elle Spellman is a writer and comic book geek living in Bristol, UK. She's been writing since a very young age, spending her childhood afternoons penning stories about fictional adventures, and illustrating them too.

Now, Elle tends to write contemporary fiction with kick-ass heroines and a little bit of magic. She's Bad News is her debut novel, and she's just finished working on her second. Her other interests include running, wine, red lipstick, the paranormal, and all things Batman.

Elle's Blog:
Super Heroines blog:
Twitter: @capesandcorsets 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing journey?
I've been a bookworm ever since I was a child, and have wanted to be a writer pretty much all my life. Even during the years I was intent on joining the Ghostbusters. (Admittedly though, that is STILL  a huge dream of mine...) When I was nine and had a vast collection of Ladybird books, I wrote many of my own and even illustrated them too, and sent them to Ladybird. Of course, they were rejected, but I was always super excited at receiving the letters!

Now, I write novels, and had the idea for She's Bad News quite some time ago. As well as reading a lot of women's fiction, I'm a huge comic-book nerd and really wanted to write something comic-inspired. 

If you had to give an elevator pitch for She's Bad News, what would it be?
Failing small-town journalist wakes up with super powers and uses them for the wrong reasons!

She's Bad News features a reporter Bella Brown who discovers that she's inherited some superpowers, where did the inspiration come from?
The idea just came to me one day - I wanted to write about a superheroine. As soon as it did, I knew it had to be done, and the ideas for the novel just flowed. I think my love for comics had something to do with it! It's a question a lot of us ask ourselves at some point, isn't it? If you had super powers, what would you do? I wanted to explore the possibilities, especially with a character who feels somewhat trapped in her life. After all, if there was an easy way to get what you wanted...would you use it?

Describe Bella in three words.
Determined, impulsive, resourceful.

As a blogger how are you feeling now that the shoe is on the other foot and it's your own novel that's now out in the world being reviewed?
It's a rather scary experience! Scary, but at the same time, very exciting. It's been in the back of my mind for quite some time, but now the moment has arrived, it's quite surreal. I keep having to tell myself, 'Hey, Elle! Your book is ACTUALLY OUT THERE NOW. BE SCARED!' But I'm happy. It's still sinking in that my book-baby has been released to the public. Of course, I hope people love the book, but I know some won't! It's just part of being a writer.

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors who are thinking about writing a novel?
Firstly, at the risk of souding bossy, JUST WRITE IT! Get the first draft down and don't look back until you've finished it. Don't stop to edit, you can  rewrite and perfect it later. Once that frist draft is finished, you will feel amazing. On that subject, I'll just say that when writing, it's normal to think that everything is pants. There have been plenty of times when I've read over a chapter I had just written, only to think, 'was I drunk?! This is awful!' Granted, reading over it a few days later, it read perfectly fine. It's okay to hate your own work sometimes. As writers we can be our own worst critics.

However, I think the most important piece of advice I can give is to write what makes you happy. Don't write what you think will be the next big fiction trend if it's not what you enjoy. Write for YOU. 

Have you treated yourself to something special to celebrate publishing your first novel?
Wine! Also, I'm about to get a charm for my bracelet. I bought the bracelet it as a gift to myself and buy a new charm for each big achievement. Hopefully one day it'll be adorned with many more book-related gems!

Finally what can we expect from you next?
I am just finishing my second novel, which is women's fiction with magical realism. I started it as a personal project but have really enjoyed writing it. I have also just started book three, which focuses on three women who start training for a half-marathon together, each for a different reason. It feels quite strange to be writing something that doesn't focus on spirits or superheroes!

What would you do if you woke up with super powers?

For Bella Brown, life hasn't gone according to plan. She's almost thirty, still living in her uneventful hometown, and her dreams of becoming an investigative reporter have fallen by the wayside.

That is, until she wakes up one morning to find she's been gifted with some amazing new abilities. What’s a girl to do with heightened senses, super speed and the ability to lift a truck one-handed? Bella quickly discovers that her new powers can easily help her land front-page leads at local newspaper, The Hartleybourne Gazette. 

Soon Bella's out every night chasing down local criminals for stories, while keeping her powers a secret from everyone besides flatmate Chloe. But when a burglary-gone-wrong accidentally turns her into the mysterious Hartleybourne Heroine, Bella finds herself on the front page for the wrong reasons. Her secret becomes harder to keep as she tries to track down the source of her powers, and especially when crime reporter Matt Gilmore is intent on unmasking the town's new vigilante...

Suddenly, having an extraordinary life is far more dangerous than she ever imagined.

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