Hello everyone and welcome to a new feature on my blog! Every Friday night, I will be posting an interview with someone in the book community – a blogger, an author, anybody really. This is a great way to meet some new people and learn about other parts of the bookish world.
For my first guest, I have the lovely Ella Martin here! She is a young adult romance author and her sophomore novel, I Love Him, I Love Him Not published this week. It is based off a fairytale retelling, which I’m always a fan of, and goes along with her first novel which I did a ton of posts about last year. Anyway, I’m very excited for you to meet her and hear more about her amazing book.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog! These were some pretty heavy, complex questions, and I enjoyed answering them. xoxo – Ella
- What was different about the writing process for this book vs. Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?
I wrote Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2012 and finished it in 24 days. That was grueling, but I didn’t know any better. I signed with my agent two months after I’d finished it, which was amazing but crazy, and I’m still not sure how it all happened.
Conversely, I’d started working on what would become I Love Him, I Love Him Not in December 2012, and I struggled with it for literally years before I handed it off to my agent in February 2015. There were dozens of starts and stops, complete rewrites, and grueling revisions, whereas Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? had never been rewritten and only had only gone through the most basic revision process.
- What inspired you to write this story?
If my writing prompt for Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? was “What would happen if Prince Charming really wasn’t so charming?”, my prompt for I Love Him, I Love Him Not was “What if Sleeping Beauty didn’t want to wake up?” And if I had to name a song that summed up Talia, the main character, that would be “The Only Exception” by Paramore.
Fear can be an extremely debilitating thing. I think all of us have either known people who have or ourselves gone through a period when we were so afraid of risking a broken heart that we refused to acknowledge whatever truth was staring us in the face.
- Which new character are you most excited to introduce readers to?
Even though this is in the same world as Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?, because it’s centered around Talia instead of Bianca, there are quite a few characters we’ve never seen before or have only heard mentioned in passing. We get to see Jake’s bandmates, we see a little more of the Westgate Prep faculty, and we see Talia’s mom and new stepdad. But by far, my favorite new character is Clover Davies. She’s amazingly complex; in fact, when she’s introduced, Talia lays out this long list of why it’s easy to hate her, but in the very next paragraph, she admit she kind of likes her, too.
In many ways, Clover is modeled after someone I went to high school with who, many years later, I discovered didn’t have the perfect life we’d all thought she had. And I kept her in mind as I wrote Clover. She’s beautiful, pedigreed, confident, and perfect—and deep down, she’s a mess like the rest of us.
- What has been your favorite part of being an author so far?
Talking to young writers and meeting young fans of my work has been the absolute best. Interacting with people who have read Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? and have opinions about Dante (whom we will briefly see again) and Tim has been completely wild. I’ve been lucky enough to speak to some high school freshmen in Orlando during a school visit and recently had a school visit via Skype with some fifth graders in California, and it was a treat to talk to these students not just about writing but about not giving up on their dreams, whatever those dreams may be.
- What is your favorite book you have read in 2015?
I’ve reread a lot of books this year, returning to old favorites as I write in order to cleanse the palate, if you will. And much to all my friends’ chagrin, I don’t keep up with Goodreads and list out all the books I’ve read or am reading, so it’s hard for me to remember which books I’ve read this year. But my favorite new book of 2015 so far (and I say “so far” because Gail Carriger’s Manners & Mutiny will be out soon, as will the third book in The Starbound Trilogy by Anie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner) is probably The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver. It’s the kind of book that tugs at your soul while you read it and stays with you for a while. But I’m currently reading Holly Bourne’s Am I Normal Yet?, and holy wow, I’m loving it so far.
Thanks for answering my questions, Ella! Make sure to check out her book, I Love Him, I Love Him Not, on sale now!
If you would like to sign up for this feature, you can do so here.