Today I’m chatting with MV Ellis about becoming a writer, what famous writer she’d like to have coffee with and much more. And check out her friends to lovers rock star romance book, Finding Marnie. The gorgeous cover alone makes me want to read it! 😍
- Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always written, but in terms of writing with the intent to publish a book, that’s been much more of a recent thing, and I’ve had a few false starts, including receiving some very lukewarm feedback from my English teacher when I was twelve or so that put me off the idea of pursuing writing for a long time.
I’ve tried to write novel on a few other occasions, most often when I had dreams of quitting a dreadful job and writing full time.
False starts aside, I completed my debut novel Catching London in 2017 after deciding that enough was enough, and that I really needed to apply myself and get on with it, as the book was pretty much writing itself in my head, anyway. I think my success that time was because rather than writing in reaction to something external and negative (i.e. a job I hated), the catalyst was internal and positive –it was about me doing it because I wanted to. At that point, I couldn’t not do it, I felt compelled to. The rest as they say, is history.
2. How many books have you written?
Six and a half. Book seven is taking shape as we speak!
3. Have you had to research anything strange? If so, what was it?
I often hope nobody looks through my browsing history. Sometimes it’s weirdly mundane things that ensure my books are factually accurate, then there are the more bizarre things like how to commit a certain crime, or the effects of this drug or that. Then there are the sexual positions…It all makes for very entertaining reading, for sure.
4. How do you deal with bad book reviews (if you’ve had any?)
I haven’t had a tonne of bad reviews, which is great! On the other hand, I’m very thick skinned about reviews. Sure it would be amazing to think that everyone loved every word I wrote, but like anything, I know that’s an unrealistic expectation. I just remind myself that even the most popular and critically acclaimed authors and creatives in general have their detractors. And like any aspect of life, we can’t please all of the people all of the time. People have different tastes and passions, and that’s what keeps life interesting. Just like ever person in the world isn’t going to be a friend, likewise, what I write isn’t going to suit every reader.
As a writer, I think what’s important is to be true to yourself when you write and to find your tribe—the people who get the way you think, and the way you write. It’s just like finding your groups of friends. They’re out there, you just have to look for them. That said, if I see something in a negative review that I feel I can work on or benefit from in my writing, I’m not proud. I’ll do whatever it takes to make my work as good as I possibly can.
5. Do you have any marketing tips?
I definitely don’t feel like I have all the answers (or even many of the answers) where marketing is concerned. My biggest tip is probably just to keep experimenting and learning. What works for one person and their readers may not work for another. Heck, with the speed at which the industry is growing and evolving, what works one day may not work the next! In that sense, it’s important to be nimble.
Connected to what I’ve said above about reviews, I think a lot of the success of many authors is their ability to find and nurture their people, and then for those people to be evangelists to other readers. In the end, that’s not so much marketing, it’s putting out good books and nurturing relationships with readers. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the most difference, but they’re also the hardest to actually do.
6. Do you base your characters on real people?
My husband is a musician, and I’m therefore fortunate to have toured with a number of bands and artists over the years. For sure this has provided inspiration and a factual basis for what I write, given that my books to-date are all rock star romances. On the other hand, neither my characters or their stories are based on a specific person, or events.
7. Do you set writing goals? If so, do you regularly achieve them?
I have big plans for the next few years in terms of the things I want to achieve with my writing, which does mean setting daily, weekly or monthly goals. I try my best to meet them, but the best-laid plans, as they say…sometimes life, other work or procrastination gets in the way!
8. What time of the day do you like to write?
There are definitely not enough hours in the day! If someone could hurry up and invent a way to make 40 hours out of 24, that would be much appreciated. In the meantime, I make time where I can, and stay up late. Very late. With two young children in tow, most of my writing takes place between 9pm and 2am. Surprisingly, though it’s hard and I’ve woken up with my face squashed into the keyboard more times than I’d care to admit, I still love doing it. I guess that’s the sign you’re doing the right thing.
9. What famous author do you wish could be your mentor?
I’d love to meet LJ Shen for a coffee and pick her brains about conquering the publishing industry. She’s done that in spades.
10. What was your reaction when your first book was published or you got your first contract?
I was lucky enough to receive six publishing offers for my debut novel, Catching London. It’s safe to say that I was ecstatic. After months of slaving away to write the book with no real idea if it was any good or not, it was wonderful to receive the validation and confidence boost that maybe I could find success as a writer. When I got the fourth offer, I finally actually told my husband that I’d even written the book—he had no idea up until that point. I’d kept the whole thing a secret from him and everyone!
Oh this book! Fun, feisty, serious all while drawing me in! 5 stars – Goodreads review.
Their love is a legacy of broken hearts and shattered dreams. Can they find each other without losing themselves?
He is everything I want but know I can never have.
Every fiber of my being has ached for Luke from the very first moment we met. However, with my parents’ legacy of toxic obsession woven into my DNA, I know love is pain and should be avoided at all costs. I’m unloved and unlovable. Still, in moments of weakness, I allow myself to imagine what it would be like if I was the kind of woman who deserved the love of a man like him.
She is hiding in plain sight, waiting for me to find her.
Marnie has had my heart from day one, and always will. It’s just a shame I couldn’t muster the words to tell her so when we first locked eyes. It’s a failing I will live to regret for years to come. However, I’m determined to make things right, even if it takes me a lifetime. I need her to know she is enough. In fact, she is more than that. She is everything.
BUY THE BOOK
ABOUT MV ELLIS
MV ELLIS knows what it’s like to fall head over heels in love with a badass musician. She followed her heart halfway around the world to be with one. She moved from London to Sydney after a steamy holiday romance with a sexy bass player in sultry Brazil.
Twelve years, two children and a dog later, and she’s still smitten. All this with a guy she sat next to on a bus for 36 hours! She has toured internationally as a ‘WAG’, and her experiences inspire her writing.
Ellis’ love of romance began when she was 11 years old, after a summer spent secretly reading her auntie’s books. She’s been a sucker for an alpha hero and strong heroine ever since.
An avid reader, Ellis always knew that she’d write a book of her own one day. She was right about that. Following a career spanning advertising, marketing, and social media, she finally wrote Catching London in 2017. Her fourth novel, Finding Marnie, was released in February.
CONTACT MV ELLIS