Hey everyone, welcome to Piper's Naughty Playhouse Blog. Today we have Ella ~freaking~ Frank on with us. Wooo Hooo! Okay, let's just go ahead and get it out of the way. You know you do it too, and I'm just as guilty myself, so on the count of three, we'll all do it together. Ella, excuse us, we'll be back in just a few.
One... Two... Three... LET'S DO IT!
Everyone better now? I am.
Bio: Ella Frank is a #1 Amazon Best-selling Author. She writes both contemporary and erotic fiction and is best known for her Exquisite Series, and her most recent M/M Series including the titles, Try & Take.
The minute she began her love affair with reading, she became and avid supporter of the romance genre and has never looked back.
Ella is Australian born and bred but currently resides in Houston, Texas with her husband.
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I had no idea that Ella lived in Houston too until I was gathering info for this blog. What a small world it is. We're not very far away from each other on opposite sides of town.
Let's get this show on the road with some questions and answers now.
Piper: Ella, how long have you been writing?
Ella: I started writing novels when I was a teenager, around sixteen, I believe. I always loved to come up with stories and make my friends read them (and by that, I mean, I made them sit down and listen to me read the stories to them. Ha! My version of Audible)
Piper: OMG, bwahahaha! You big bully. That is hysterical, poor little children. lol
Piper: When did you publish your first book? Was it self-pubbed or traditional publishing?
Ella: All of my books have been self-pubbed. Exquisite was the first and that was back on October, 2012.
Piper: Haha mine was November 2012
Piper: When you are writing, are you able to read someone else’s book at the same time? Like when you take a break (hahahaha, like you ever get one of those) or before bedtime? I ask this, because for me personally, I can’t. My voice runnith over, well actually, it runnith out the damn door. I’ll take on someone else’s voice in a heartbeat and not even realize I did it. Lesson learned when I had to rewrite half of a book I was working on, because I stole their voice. Have you ever run across anything similar or am I just the weird one here?
Ella: Haha, no you aren’t the only one. I am kind of like you in this situation. I can’t read the same genre. If I am writing m/m I will NOT read another m/m until I am done. It’s the same with a contemporary m/f or similar themed book. I like you never want my words to feel like someone else’s voice or book. So you aren’t weird..well maybe a little…but I get it.
Piper: I think it must be a requirement to have this type of job. haha
Piper: Are you a pantster or plotter? If a plotter, do you have a daily routine or schedule with your writing, a word count, or set time limit for yourself and your writing?
Ella: I had ALWAYS been a pantser up until this last book I wrote.
I usually go into the writing process with an idea of what I want to write and basic storyline in my head. I may even have a few quotes scribbled down, but then I generally just sit and write.
Having said that, this last book I wrote is totally different, it’s a fantasy romance and I had to build a world from scratch and THAT required an outline with character sheets and plot points, along with different places within the world.
It was weird for me because honestly, I can’t stick to an outline to save myself and when I started I didn’t really stick to this one either. But I had all the background info I needed.
Piper: That is too funny, and same here. I can mention an outline and my muse along with my characters send me running off in so many directions it's insane. It's not going to happen.
Piper: Do you have a guilty pleasure when writing? Here’s mine:
Ella: Hmm, well I write best in the mornings and really love caramel creamer in my coffee. Does that count? I’m not sure that’s a guilty pleasure, more a routine, but it certainly is the best way to get me motivated..
Piper: I think we better get you a name tag too. hahha
Piper: Out of all your stories, who is your favorite character and why?
Ella: I don’t have a favorite character out of all my stories. When I am writing I love each and every one of them, so to try and pick is really difficult. I certainly have characters that are fun to write due to the way they are portrayed, but I love them all equally. Or try too.
Piper: How do you deal with distractions? Like social media, family, etc? My downfall is Facebook, the place is like The Bermuda Triangle, it sucks me in and I'm lost for hours, maybe days. Who knows when.
Ella: As for distractions, they are everywhere!! Usually when I write I need it dead quiet. I turn off all notifications and I vanish from Facebook. My readers and Street Team know that when I am quiet it usually means I am locked in the writing cave, and they are awesome at showing patience and waiting for me to come back out.
In general though I am fairly private and keep to myself, so I tend to just sit down and block the world out when it’s go time, no bribes required.
Piper: Do you set up little goals or rewards for yourself? Like, if you get to chapter seven, you can take a day off, or go out for dinner, etc.? I have to pretty much bribe, no wait, make that threaten. I'll threaten my muse in a heartbeat to stay put. She's been known to get a wild hair and run off getting crazy and causing a distraction. When she runs off, she also kidnaps the men in my head and they all disappear. She’s a bit crazy and not exactly all there, if you know what I mean.
Ella: I think you need to have a firm talk to your muse, she sounds a little bit unruly, ha.
Piper: You have no idea.
Piper: I haven’t read any of your M/F romances, but I hear the Exquisite Series is excellent. How many books are in it, and are there more to come?
Ella: Thank you Piper. The Exquisite Series contains three books in it in total: Exquisite, Entice & Edible. Edible is Cole’s story and the first place where Logan from my Temptation Series was mentioned. For anyone who read those books, the other Exquisite Stories contain the characters that were at the game night in TAKE.
Piper: I did not know that, how cool is that.
Piper: Okay, here it comes and sure you get asked about it often. Where did the M/M come from? You were writing male/female contemporary romance, then ??? What happened? You just woke one day and thought: “Surprise, it’s Tuesday, I think I’ll write a gay erotica.”
Ella: This question does get asked often, and baffles me, because my first instinct is to ask why it matters? My point being, I write in many genres, and M/M is another in the writing world I found myself wanting to explore. So the simple answer is—because I love to read that genre.
I have been reading and enjoying m/m romance for several years and have many favorite authors who inspired me, to keep in the back of my head, the possibility of one day writing an m/m novel. But I knew I had to wait for that perfect character. HE didn’t come along until Logan showed up in Edible.
So no, I didn’t wake up one day and decide to write it. I thought about it and waited for the right story and at first I thought it would be Cole (how wrong I was). Logan then came along and I knew he was the one.
I am lucky enough now that people have become attached to these two men and their story, because Logan and Tate are two characters I am very proud of, and thoroughly enjoy writing.
Piper: Hmmm...sorry, just thinking about your answer, and I like that. I guess the reason I asked is because the way I came about it is strange, so I kind of like to get a feel of what others do too. I love that you waited and were already a fan. And I love Logan, he's just so perfect. For me, I started out writing a memoir and didn't like it. I had never read in the MM genre, I actually had no idea it existed (long story for another day) but I got dared to try it by another MM author, so I did. I subbed it (well my friend did actually) and it got accepted. I was shocked, but it was just completely strange how it unfolded, and I like hearing about your journey as well.
Piper: Did you find writing M/M to be more difficult than writing M/F? If so, how?
Ella: I wouldn’t say the plotting and relationship building was difficult, but I will say that writing with the same gender makes the writing more difficult in explaining who is saying and doing what without coming off as repetitive or confusing.
When you write m/f you have two totally different body types and he and she’s to work with. In m/m you are working with two men and have to be careful not to be caught up in the question of…hang on, who said that? And who did that?
Beyond that, I found that Logan and Tate’s stories came very easily. Logan’s voice is a blast to write and I find he is one of the easiest heads to get into.
Piper: Oh, I can only imagine what being in Logan's head is like, what a blast that would be. hahaha. I so hear you on the aspect of paying close attention to who's doing this or that and what is what, I'll end up in a scene like this. Everyone all twisted and contorted not knowing what belongs to whom. lol Confused? Me too half the time. hahaha
Piper: Was anyone upset with the genre jump? From what I’ve seen, everyone seemed to be supportive, which is a wonderful thing. I think most M/M authors, at some point, have had to deal with someone who slams them for writing in the genre, I knows I have, but it’s really pretty rare.
Ella: You’re correct Piper most people were very supportive. However there were some that had a problem with an m/f author taking on m/m, stating it just didn’t have the right tone, or was written incorrectly.
But here’s my thoughts on that, in the end, there is no ‘right’ way to write a book, especially one that has never been written previously. I wrote my version of an m/m book and I will continue to do so. I told a story that was in my head and heart. I put it out into the world for people to pick up and give it a try, and if they enjoyed it that’s wonderful.
No matter what genre you write in, you will never please everyone. As long as you are proud of your work and have done your best, that is what counts in the end. I have written, contemporary romance, erotic romance, m/m and now a fantasy romance. I don’t believe a writer has to stick to one genre and I believe the more people writing m/m novels is a wonderful thing. It’s just making the genre a more popular one, and what could possibly be wrong with more books in a genre you and I love.
Piper: I agree 100% with your thoughts on this. 100%.
Piper: I loved Try when it came out, and although I write M/M, it was only the 4th M/M book I’d read. The whole baditude about Logan is my favorite kind of character, he's arrogant, cocky and so sure of himself. But there is always a lesson to learn behind that, because when shit hits the fan, it really hits the fan. Then they usually find out they’ve got a heart-lol So when you tossed in a GFY situation on top of it all...Hello yummies! Had you read very many MM books before attempting your first one?
Thanks Piper! I kind of love Logan Mitchell myself, although I have more of a crush on Tate. Logan is such a fun character to write because he has zero filter. He really has no problem with saying what he thinks, and he always puts his foot in his mouth around a certain man he loves..which I find endearing. How many m/m books have I read? Wow…a lot. I was reading them before I started writing Exquisite back in 2012. My first full m/m book was by G.A Hauser and then L.A Witt and SJ Frost became my staples. I loved the Conquest Series by SJ Frost and her PNR Vamps are amazing. I will buy and read anything she writes. The GFY sub genre is one I enjoy, obviously, since that’s where I started with Try, so a lot of my past m/m reads involves that theme. But I have read 100’s.
Some other authors on my Kindle include: JL Langley, Carol Lynne, Damon Suede, Jet Mykles, SJD Peterson, J.M Cartwright, K.A Mitchell, Darien Cox, NR Walker, Riley Hart, Jaime Reese & River Jaymes.
Piper: Oh wow, you have read a ton of them. Wow, I suddenly feel like a horrible reader. lol Who's your top 5 favorite authors.
Ella:'s Top 5 Authors:
1. JR Ward
2. Tiffany Reiz
3. SJ Frost
4. Diana Gabaldon
5. Lauren Dane
Piper: Do you see yourself writing more MM’s when you finish the Temptation Series?
Ella: Yes I do. I won’t be stopping anytime soon in the m/m writing world. Having said that, I will also be writing in other genres so it will depend when the right time comes. But yes there will be more m/m’s from me in the future.
Piper: Yay, I'm glad to hear that. Woo hoo!
Piper: I actually just started listening to Take last night on audio and can see the chemistry crawling over them. Love that. I originally mentioned I hadn;t finished it because of the pesky little heathens, aka my children, and their need to eat. Still not sure where they get the idea it should be every day and three times, plus snacks, at that. Vivid imaginations-bwahahaha. Anyway, I did get to finish and I loved it. I didn’t realize that there would be a third installment in the series. No complaints from me, but I was curious if you had planned it out to be this way or do you just kind of take it and run with it?
Ella: I don’t have pesky heathens such as children but I am told they do better if fed, I know that same rule applies to me. I get grumpy when hungry.
Yes, I had always planned three books for The Temptation Series, so it wasn’t a surprise it ended in the way it did. It was a surprise that it ended where it did though. So the third installment, TRUST will be picking up where this one left off.
Piper: Okay, I had to snoop around some of your interviews to see if I could get a hint on what might be coming our direction in the near future. I didn’t realize you had a release in December. Yay us! (I’m so out of the loop) Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Ella: Yes! I have my first co-authored book, with the wonderful Brooke Blaine, coming out 12.16.14 – The Fantasy (A Desperate Man, Vol:1). It’s the first volume in a series of erotic serials, and is based on a sex addict by the name of Evan James. It is m/f and will be focusing on his life and struggles with this debilitating addiction he deals with daily.
Piper: You’re originally from Australia, but currently reside in Texas. Do you have family that still lives in Australia?
Ella: I am Australian! I currently live in Texas, yes, but that will be changing very soon. I am in the process of a move up North. All of my family lives back in Australia. My parents, sister, and nephews. I will get to see them in March 2015 when I go back for a signing. I can’t wait. I miss them terribly.
Piper: If you could use only three words to describe yourself, what would they be?
Gullible (ß-shhh don’t tell anyone)
Piper: What was it like for you the first time you met one of your readers?
Ella: Surreal and humbling. I always thought I was an outgoing person, and I think I am when I am with people I know quite well, but get me in a room where a person is talking about a book I wrote, and boy do I suddenly feel shy. I love meeting readers and I feel so fortunate that I get to do what I love for a living that I almost feel as though I should be the one going up to them for an signature. It’s a unique experience, one I will never quite get over, no matter how many signings I do or don’t go to.
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop in here with us, Ella. It was a pleasure having you here on the Naughty blog (we kept it pretty clean I think) Lol. I didn't realize how long the list of questions was, oops, I really didn't, and you were so sweet to answer all of them. Below I'll list out some stalker links for anyone who might like to check in with Ella, and you can also go to our Author of the Month page, listed under the Precious...ssss page tab up top, to see more information on Ella as well.
Don't forget - we finally have a sign up spot to receive the monthly newsletter from here called The Naughty Nibbler. It's listed on the Contact tab above for you. There should also be a subscribe button somewhere here on the page. Thanks for stopping in.