I am delighted and thrilled to welcome the gracious Elli Lewis to my blog today.
Recently Elli contacted me to see whether I would be interested in reading and reviewing her debut novel, Trophy Life, and I have to say, as a lover of unique, fun, contemporary romance stories, once I read the synopsis I was sold.
Elli is a lawyer, turned novelist, who drew on her experiences as a lawyer to the stars to write an intelligent, heartwarming tale about high society, happiness, family, fulfillment, and love. It is an entertaining, captivating story that’s got a great mix of drama, humour, and romance. I can’t say enough about this novel. It’s definitely one of my favourite reads so far this year. And if you haven’t had a chance already, please check out my full review HERE.
And now it is a great honour to introduce you to Elli Lewis and her debut novel, Trophy Life, through a little Q&A.
ELLI, DESCRIBE TROPHY LIFE IN A NUTSHELL?
Amy is an accidental trophy wife who must survive the very peak of London high society. It’s tongue in cheek, unapologetically glamorous chick lit choc full of strong characters, but it’s also about lost love and learning to cope with whatever life throws at you.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE A STORY SET IN LONDON’S ARISTOCRACY?
Quite frankly, I couldn’t resist. To me, reading is an escape and I wanted to create a world filled with luxury and glamour. It’s something I’ve thought about ever since my time as a lawyer in the City, when my clients had the kind of wealth and fame that’s usually restricted to films or magazines. Having seen that world, having been on the inside of it, I wanted to bring the reader down the rabbit hole with me.
TALK ABOUT YOUR MAIN CHARACTER, AMY. HOW DOES SHE BECOME AN ACCIDENTAL TROPHY WIFE?
Amy has so much potential, but she allows life to happen to her. She doesn’t take control or make decisions. I think we can all be guilty of that sometimes, just falling into this or that. I wanted to explore what could happen if you took that to an extreme and poor Amy was my guinea pig.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHARACTER IN THE BOOK?
It has to be Amy’s sister-in-law, Giselle. She’s beautiful and enviable, but she’s also smart, funny and kind. I like that she’s not what she seems, nor what society wants her to be.
DO YOU BASE YOUR CHARACTERS ON REAL PEOPLE AND ARE ANY OF THEM YOU?
I would be absolutely terrified of basing the casts of my stories on real people. I even avoid using the names of people I know. But I definitely mash up elements of friends, family and celebrity personas in bringing characters to life. As for me, I use my characters to voice a lot of my thoughts and there are echoes of my story in Amy’s, but we are very different. The only exception to any of this is that my husband always makes an appearance in my books and he can always tell where.
THE BOOK DOESN’T TAKE A LINEAR CHRONOLOGICAL APPROACH. WHAT INSPIRED THE STRUCTURE?
One of my favourite authors is Paul Torday and his works, particularly The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce, taught me that we mustn’t take the structure of a book for granted. Without giving too much away, I felt that writing the book in this way allowed the reader to see what led Amy to make the decisions she did and that it didn’t happen overnight.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A WRITER?
I have always loved writing and I am an avid reader so I think the answer has to be yes; being an author was always my dream job. But for a long time it seemed out of my reach; something akin to being a popstar or a premiership footballer. What’s more, it definitely didn’t happen overnight. After my time in law, I worked as a copywriter and ran my own agency for a while, writing marketing copy and occasionally ghost or feature writing. The books were a natural progression. I already wrote for a living, but I started writing creatively, for myself, in my own time.
Lots and lots more books. I’ve written another two and I’m working on getting the next one – The Lottery Club – ready for publication.
AND NOW MORE ABOUT ELLI LEWIS, HERSELF!
Elli grew up in North London, the second of three sisters and, consequently, in a home that was bursting at the seams with shoes. As a teenager in the 90s, she experimented with Sun In, wore a standard uniform of combat trousers and vest top and shed tears over the breakup of Take That.
She soon recovered and went on to study law at university and qualify as a solicitor. In the course of her career, Elli has worked for some of the UK’s most prestigious law firms, representing a host of A-list clients. Her time in the City gave her a unique insight into the depths of high society, the height of fame and the biggest of fortunes. It was a world where multi-million pound mansions housed pampered pooches and ruthless spouses determined to wreak revenge, experiences that would later inspire her literary career.
In 2008, she went on to found a successful copywriting agency, with clients including national newspapers and media brands, including the BBC.
The books came later. If you ask Elli why she started writing novels, she will glaze over and look thoughtfully into the middle distance. This is not because she doesn’t like you – well, probably – but because Elli has literally no clue how it happened. Suffice to say that, one day she started typing and then never stopped. In fact, Elli wrote Trophy Life, The Lottery Club and The Anti-Natals in the same year and published the first of them in 2016.
Elli can now be found back in North London in the house she shares with one tired husband, two boisterous boys and a colossal Siberian cat. She relies on coffee and chocolate to keep her awake and has a mild addiction to pitta chips.
Thank you, Elli Lewis. It has been a real pleasure. And I can honestly say I am now a huge fan and I can’t wait to read your next novel, The Lottery Club, once it’s ready for publication.
For those of you looking for a great summer read, pick up a copy of Trophy Life, available July 26, 2016, from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links. I guarantee you’ll love it!
For more information on Elli Lewis, visit her website at: http://www.ellilewis.com
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