Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Interview with Ella Martin and Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?

I'm thrilled today to welcome author Ella Martin to the blog! Her debut comes out  July 1st with Astraea Press.

KB: Welcome to Publishing Hub, Ella! I'm so glad to have you here for an interview. I've heard great things about Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? Can you tell us a bit about your book?

EM: Hi, Kate! Thanks for having me. Wow, you come out swinging with the hard questions! This is always the toughest question for me to answer. I always end up giving too much information or too little, but I’ll do my best. Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? is told from the perspective of 15-year-old Bianca Sullivan as she enters into her first romantic relationship. She doesn’t think she’s all that outstanding despite her brother’s status as football captain and quarterback, but when her friends’ social experiment works better than anyone expected, she’s suddenly Westgate Prep’s latest It Girl. With this newfound popularity comes attention from the cutest boy in her class, but what’s a girl to do when Prince Charming turns out to be anything but?

KB: You've signed with an agent, signed a publishing deal, and written what sounds like a fabulous book. How did you get into writing?
EM: I started writing for fun when I was in fifth grade and Mrs. Dent handed me a blank notebook and suggested I fill it up with anything that came to mind. I don’t have that journal anymore, and I really have no recollection of the kinds of things I wrote back then, but I know that was when I’d realized for the first time how much I loved to write. It’s been a constant since then.

Now, if the question is how did I get into writing as a profession, that’s another story. I kind of fell into it, really. I decided to do NaNoWroMo in 2012 on a whim, and I (somewhat foolishly) posted a Twitter Pitch during Brenda Drake’s PitMad pitch party a few months later. Julia A. Weber (whom I had been studying and whom I had already decided was my top agent pick though she was still a fairly new agent herself) liked the pitch and loved Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? enough to offer me representation. I still pinch myself when I think about it because I know how atypical it is.

KB: It's great that you've been writing for so long. What draws you to the genres you write in?

EM: I write what I want to read, which is why all my stories and ideas so far have been realistic contemporary. I also love happy endings, which makes romance such an ideal genre for me to write. I like the YA category because it’s a unique time in a person's life, a time when you’re most trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in the world. I wouldn’t go back to high school for anything, but writing about it lets me relive certain moments and kind of rewrite history in my own way.

KB: Writing what you want to read is a great strategy. How do you keep yourself challenged as a writer?

EM: I read a lot. That challenges me to be a better writer more than anything else I do, I think. As I’ve grown as a writer, I’ve been a lot pickier about what I will read, and I’m not afraid to decide not to finish something anymore. I also surround myself with great minds, and that challenges me, too. I love talking to Nicole Brinkley (editor-in-chief of YA Interrobang) because she’s constantly asking me to stretch beyond the “norm” and create not just more but better.

KB: So, besides books, what else are you passionate about?

EM: Nothing can elicit an animated conversation with me the way a discussion about good books can, but music probably comes close. I don’t play any instruments, though. My son had been begging for a guitar since he was two, and I finally relented when he was five and signed him up for lessons. I’m enjoying it because I’m introducing him to an eclectic mix of music and rediscovering songs that got me through my childhood and adolescence. I really love being a mom, too, although the older my son gets (he's 7 now), the more I'm seeing him as his own person; I'm just there to guide him through childhood and adolescence. And to chauffeur him to and from school, myriad lessons, play dates, birthday parties, etc., of course.

KB: Why is WILL THE REAL PRINCE CHARMING PLEASE STAND UP? a story you chose to write? What made you think "this is the one I'm going to write"?

EM: In the months leading up to NaNoWriMo 2012, I had two concepts in my head, both offshoots of fairy tales. One, which ultimately became Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?, explored the character of the prince in the original Grimm story. It’s a shame most girls grow up only knowing the Disney version, because the prince bought Snow White while she was in the glass coffin as a piece of artwork. That’s pretty disturbing, so I had fun exploring who he was. I mean, what kind of a guy would buy an unconscious girl in a glass coffin? (Not one I’d call “Prince Charming,” that’s for sure!) The other story I had in mind had a Cinderella type as the main character, but the concept wasn’t nearly as well fleshed out as the Snow White story. Moreover, I was struggling with stripping out the magic from the story, so I figured it wasn’t ready to write yet. It’s still not, but maybe someday.

KB: It sounds like you've got a lot of inspiration and material for future books. It was great to have you here on Pub Hub, and to hear about your debut! Thank you so much, and congrats! :)

EM: Thank you again for having me! =)




Ella Martin is a prep school survivor and a Southern California native. She writes books about spunky teenagers who are way cooler than she ever was, and she totally believes in love and happy endings. She likes sunny places and is terrified of snowy winters, so she now lives in Florida with her husband and son. 

Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram.

3 comments:

  1. What a fun interview! Looking forward to reading this story so much. Congrats and best wishes for success to you!

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  2. Love the title. Congratulations and best of luck with the book.

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  3. Sounds like a great book! Wishing you the best of luck with it!

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