Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Welcome to Romance Author - Ella Matthews

I’m delighted to welcome Ella Matthews to the blog.

Ella Matthews - Author

Hello Ella – It’s lovely to have you on the blog, and I’m sure your Medieval romance readers are looking forward to reading what you have to share with them. But before we discover more about you latest Mills & Boon historical romance - The Warrior Knight and the Widow - here are a few questions which will hopefully give your followers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.

Arabella: How did you manage to get your first novel published and what did you learn from the experience?
Ella: My first novel was published with D. C. Thomson and was part of their My Weekly Pocket Novel series. The editor, Maggie, is extremely helpful and supportive and I would recommend writing for her as she really helped me develop my craft. The first novella I wrote for her had way too many characters. I also hadn’t really thought through the ending other than wanting the hero and the heroine to get together. It turned into a real jumble of words and made me realise how important plotting was for me as part of my writing process. I wrote another and that wasn’t ideal either (too many horrible characters!) but Maggie pointed me in the right direction and the third one I wrote for her was published as The Locket of Logan Hall. I wrote, and had published, another four Pocket Novels after that and I learned something different every time.
My first full length novel was published by Mills and Boon and came out in March. That was an all together different experience. Again, I’m lucky to have a supportive editor but it was eye-opening learning how a big publisher works.

Arabella: Where do you read? Sofa or bed or ____?
Ella: My favourite reading space is curled up on my bed but I will read absolutely anywhere. I always have a novel to hand, wherever I go, so that if I have a spare few seconds I can whip it out and start reading, much to my husband’s annoyance.

Arabella: Who or what inspired you to write your latest release, The Warrior Knight and the Widow?
Ella: I saw a tweet from a Mills and Boon editor asking for medieval romances. I’d had an idea in my head for a while but I wasn’t really sure what direction to take it until I went to the 2018 RNA conference. I was at a brilliant talk on pacing and the characters and plot suddenly seemed to come together in my mind. I developed the outline in my room after that talk and then started writing it as soon as I got home. I loved spending time with my hero and heroine and I miss them quite a bit even though I’ve written another novel since.

Arabella: If you could choose, which would it be: A walk in the woods, a walk along a beachfront to dip your toes in the sea, or a day shopping for clothes?
Ella: It would 100% be a walk along the beach, although to get to my nearest one I do have to walk in the woods too so I’m cheating a little. I live on the fringes of the beautiful Gower coastline and I’m lucky enough to have several beaches all within walking distance.

Gower Coast - Wales

Arabella: Some authors write at first light, others need a mug of coffee or a glass of wine before putting pen to paper. When writing, are there any “essentials” you need to help the words flow?
Ella: I love the idea of having a glass of wine before writing. I could definitely get on board with that! The only problem is that I have to write all over the place. I write during my lunch break, huddled in a corner with sheets of paper on my knee or at my children’s swimming lessons while trying to catch a glimpse of them too. I rarely have the luxury of writing in my study but when I do I’m just grateful to have the space and the quietness to get some writing done that I don’t really need anything else.

Arabella: You’re halfway through the work-in-progress, you’re about to kill off the hero and there is going to be no happy-ever-after. In other words, you’re stuck! If you had to contact an “author/publisher/editor friend” for guidance, who would it be?
Ella: Whenever I’m stuck with a novel I talk to my husband. He stands there nodding every so often (probably thinking about fixing stuff while pretending to give me his attention). Occasionally, he’ll say, ‘OK’ or, ‘Hmm,’ but oddly at the end of this one-sided conversation I’ve worked out where to go next. I always thank him and he always says he hasn’t done anything, but using him as a sounding board seems to work for me.

Arabella: The T.V. is on and you’re in control of the remote. Which is it to be: A quiz programme…An afternoon of sport…A family soap…A romantic film you always wanted to see but missed when it was shown at the cinema?
Ella: It’s always going to be a romantic film. My favourites are Strictly Ballroom, Dirty Dancing and The Proposal. I really want to watch Crazy, Stupid Love but sadly in my house I am the very last person, out of four, to have control of the remote.

Crazy Stupid Love

Arabella: Do you have any great writing, publishing, or marketing tips you’d like to share to “want-to-be” authors starting out on their writing journey?
Ella: My writing advice is to persevere even in the face of rejections. When I started out there were several times I could have given up (when I found out how hard it was to actually finish a novel being one of them) but I kept going because I really wanted to be published and I’m so glad I did.
I used to work in publishing and I’ve written countless rejection letters. The thought always makes me cringe now but at least I know from the publisher’s side of things that rejection letters aren’t personal. Often it is true that the book just doesn’t fit the publisher rather than there being anything wrong with the book itself.
My marketing expertise is woeful but if you are an RNA member look out for the new marketing series appearing in the next three Romance Matters. I’m really looking forward to that and I’m hoping we can all learn something.

Ella - It was great having you on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, and I hope your readers enjoyed discovering a few of your writing secrets.
Also, thank you for the timely reminder about the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s new marketing series that’s coming soon. And for anyone not yet a member of the RNA, there are also online Learning courses/tutorials via their official website that can help soon-to-be-authors begin their writing journey.
Ella, wishing you all the best for your latest Medieval romance - The Warrior Knight and the Widow

About Ella Matthews

Ella Matthews - Author 

Ella Matthews lives and works in beautiful South Wales. When not thinking about handsome heroes she can be found walking along the coast with her husband and their two children (probably still thinking about heroes but at least pretending to be interested in everyone else).

Website and Social Media Links
Twitter @ellamattauthor
Facebook @ellamatthews

Book Blurb    The Warrior Knight and the Widow

Racing cross-country pursued by danger, widow Lady Ellena Swein isn’t pleased to be taken back to her father’s castle. But with his knight Sir Braedan Leofric, also known as The Beast, as her captor, she has little choice! Ellena is surprised by his honourable and protective nature, even if she shouldn’t trust him. And when all seems to conspire against them, Braedan’s secret could either extinguish the spark between them or make it burn brighter.

Release Date: March 2020

Buy Links:


  1. A great interview. Thank you, Ella and Arabella. It was good to read about your journey to publication as well as more about you as a person, Ella.

    1. Thank you, Jan. I love hosting guest interviews. I find I can learn a lot from the things my guest authors share with their followers.
      Arabella xxx

  2. Hi Ella - Thank you for being an amazing guest on Arabella's Blog and Chit-Chat yesterday. I hope you had fun sharing...  
    Best wishes for your latest release - The Warrior Knight and the Widow.


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