Elizabeth Chats With…Jan Ellis

This month’s guest has travelled a path quite similar to my own. She is another northerner who has migrated to the south west, via a period of studying and living in London. She writes under a nom de plume, is based across the border from me in Somerset and is a new member of West of England Authors. She describes her novels as romantic comedy for grown ups. My guest this month is author Jan Ellis.

So, Jan, let’s start with a question about your pet hates. What would be in your personal Room 101?

Thanks for inviting me onto your blog, Elizabeth, and for asking such thought-provoking questions! My Room 101? Well. there are so many things to choose from when you’re a grumpy person like me. I think the world would be a much happier place if all the religious fundamentalists were locked away together to slug it out between themselves. If there’s still space, I’d add oysters and Stephen Fry. (Sorry, Fry fans.)

If you could meet one person from history, who would it be — and why?

A woman called Magdalena Ruiz who was a servant at the court of King Philip II of Spain for over 50 years. She was obviously quite a character and I’d be intrigued to know more about her.

Watch a film, go to the theatre, read a book or talk to friends — which would you prefer?

I enjoy theatre, but live screenings are quite a treat. Highlights last year included close-up shots of Richard Armitage in The Crucible and Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus. (Swoon.)

If you could take part in one television programme, which one would it be?

Last Tango in Halifax: the writing is so good and the older couple remind me of my characters Connie and Harold. (I wrote them before seeing the series.)

Upload a picture or a photo that best represents you, and tell us why (and it doesn’t have to be a portrait, although it can be).

Jan Ellis and yurtThis picture was taken by a good friend who gave me my first publishing job back in the 1980s. (Yes, I’m that old.) It was taken during the Mongolian leg of our journey from Beijing to St Petersburg on the Trans-Siberian Express. (Celia was on a ‘gap year’ between retirement and senility, as she put it.) It encapsulates friendship, my fondness of independent travel to far-flung destinations and of dogs.

What would you have printed on the front of your T-shirt?

I asked a friend what she thought I should put for this question and she came up with ‘Available’. Thank you Jo!

Would you describe yourself as left-brain (analytical), right-brain (intuitive) or a mix of both?

Definitely both.

Describe your ideal menu — and where would you like to eat it?

See below.

Where would you like to be in five years’ time?


Surrounded by family and friends at my villa in Mallorca, avoiding the paparazzi and fielding calls from Hollywood agents begging to buy film rights. I shall dictate my multi-award-winning books to a man-servant who will write everything down for me in between pan-frying the odd scallop and mixing martinis.

Thanks, Jan for a great interview. Readers, to see if Jan is where she hopes she’ll be in five years’ time, keep an eye on her website or her Amazon page, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Jan EllisAn Unexpected Affair, French Kisses and A Summer of Surprises are published in digital format by Endeavour Press. Jan’s brand-new e-novella, A London Affair, will be out this month, and paperback editions of her stories will be published by Waverley Books in July 2016.

By Elizabeth Ducie

Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.

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