Hello everyone! I would like to tell you about this book I’m part of the tour! It’s a fun YA book! Today, I’ll give you all the goodies, and then I’ll introduce you to the author.
Set in 2001, Ella Drake has just experienced two terrible losses: her father’s death and her brother going overseas to fight the war against terrorism.
Just when things start to calm down in her life, her mother’s job is outsourced to India.
Frightened, Ella tries to find security for herself and her mother. The search for security leads to a children’s bookstore, a new friend, and her first kiss. And possibly, it paves the way for healing to begin.
From the bestselling author of I Woke Up In Love This Morning, Ella Bella explores loss and how lives can be changed.
Everything changed that autumn.
I know that sounds like such a cliche, but it was true. I started high school, and I was trying to become someone else. This was incredibly stressful, reinventing yourself. I had no idea how Madonna did it every year.
Gone was the girl who wore pink barrettes and chewed gum. I braided my hair in dozens of braids. Mom took one look at it and she declared, “Your hair looks like a rat’s nest.” I didn’t care. It was my hair. I even thought about going by real name Eleanor, but realized that for better or worse, my name was Ella. Or if you asked my brother Derek, Cinderella.
About the Author:
Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons is the author of the Smashwords bestseller I Woke Up In Love This Morning and the essay collection I Woke Up In Love This Morning. She lives in Lafayette California and is working on a novel.
Red Room page: http://redroom.com/member/jennifer-kathleen-gibbons
facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/jennifer.gibbons
My twitter name is: @jenniferkate
And now, I would like to introduce you to the author, as she is my guest interview for today! WELCOME!!
Maghon: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
Jennifer: I was always a reader; I was just someone who loved words. I loved stories. When I was ten and reading a Nancy Drew I thought you know, I could do this.
Maghon: What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
Jennifer: With the first ebook I was testing the waters. I read about Amanda Hocking and was just amazed. Here was someone who thought Okay, I can tell a good story. I’m going to put myself out there. I kept waiting for the right time to send it out to an agent and see what happened. However I was about to turn forty, and I wanted desperately to get my work out there in the world. So I put out a mini short story collection titled I Woke Up In Love This Morning. I’m not making Amanda Hocking money, but I put my work out there in the world.
Maghon: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Jennifer: With Ella Bella, it started with a real life event. Ten years ago my mother’s job was outsourced to India. A couple of years before my grandfather died unexpectedly. Suddenly I had a story. I knew Ella just went through a terrible time, and it was up to me to write it down. While it began with a nugget of my mother’s job being outsourced, Joan (Ella’s mom) is definitely not my mother. Joan is very passive and very much in denial about what is going on in her life. That is so not my mother. Ella and I do have things in common: we have loyal friends, a fondness for French Fries, and we’re both bad at volleyball.
Maghon: How do you chose when/which characters die in your books?
Jennifer: I knew Anthony (Ella’s dad) was going to die from the beginning. There’s been times in my life when I think okay, I went through something terrible, but I’m okay now. But what I’ve learned is that grief comes in waves. Sometimes it just hits you out of nowhere a person you adored is gone, and somehow you have to muddle your way through it.
Maghon: I completely understand this! Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest or that you recommend, other than yourself of course?
Jennifer: Most definitely moi!! I love Nina LaCour’s writing; we went to Mills College together and I knew right away she was going places. Jessica Anthony’s Chopsticks blew me away. I’m definitely looking forward to David Abrams’ first novel Fobbit; I’ve been a follower of his blog for years and I know it’s going to be great.
Maghon: Who do you look up to as a writer?
Jennifer: So many authors spring to mind: Judy Blume for always telling the truth and risking censorship. Beverly Cleary for Ramona Quimby. Meg Cabot for her humor and her output. Anne Lamott for her honesty. Ann M. Martin for creating Baby-Sitter Club and with the proceeds donating it to charities. I also admire poet Susan Browne; she was a teacher of mine at Diablo Valley College and taught me to always improve my craft and never settle for less. I was incredibly saddened by Nora Ephron’s death; she was so incredibly funny and smart.
Maghon: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Jennifer: Truth? Not sure. Part of me wishes I could’ve had a starred review in Publishers Weekly and advertising in the New York Times. However, nothing in my life has been traditonal, so why should my writing life be any different?
Maghon: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Jennifer: I have a processing disorder, which means I process information differently than others. I also have a learning disability with my handwriting making it illegible. I know, pretty darned ironic. So I learned to type at a young age and learned to copensate. I learned in my writing in order to make it what I wanted it, it would require many many drafts and patience on my part.
Maghon: What book are you reading now? Or what genre?
Jennifer: In honor of A Wrinkle in Time’s 50th anniversary, I’m finally reading Madeleine L’Engle’s books. To be honest I was never a science fiction/fantasy person, but this summer I decided to just read her. Now I’m kicking myself that it took me so long! I would love for Mrs. Murry to serve me lunch in the kitchen with classical music playing in the background.
Maghon: `Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
Jennifer: With my first ebook a friend of a friend did it. The second and third I did it myself. All three of them I chose photos from royality free sites. With Ella I wanted a girl with red hair, plus I wanted her to look melancholy. Not sobbing crying, just melancholy. I was lucky to find the right picture.
Maghon: Have you ever bought a book based on the cover?
Jennifer: The first Luxe book by Anna Godbersen. The pink dress! The mysterious looking girl! I had to read more about her.
Maghon: Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
Jennifer: To always tell a good story, and to trust myself in the process.
Maghon: I think this is excellent advice! If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose?
Jennifer: I really love Ella’s grandmother Penny. She is someone that truly loves to sing, being in her garden, and name a musical, she’s seen it. She’s someone I wish I could be more like.
Maghon: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Jennifer: First off thank you for reading this! I hope you enjoy my work and it makes you forget your troubles for a while, and that you’re entertained. Also if you’re a writer you should read and write every day, don’t forget to revise, and never give up.
thank you so much for that wonderful interview! Now for the giveaway! The tour host is offering 3 ebook copies of Ella Bella, so head on over HERE and enter for your chance to win!! GOOD LUCK, and yes, it’s international!! 🙂
I would like to thank Ms. Jennifer, Bewitching Book Tours, and all of my readers for participating today! and as always, happy reading my gators!