Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Ah, Paris! A Chat with the Bestselling Author of PARIS TIME CAPSULE: A Whimsical Romance

Paris. The very word brings love to mind. How many movies and books have been set in lovely Paris? Something about this French city exudes a romanticism that captures the imagination of writers and filmmakers everywhere. 

Ella Carey is the author of Paris Time Capsule, a whimsical romance and drama. Her book has been a phenomenal bestseller. I stumbled across the book in an email from Book Buzz, and I was intrigued by two things: First, the cover. It was so pretty! And second: the synopsis. It sounded like a great read! 

Elle was kind enough to take the time to talk with me about her book, her writing and her life. I hope you enjoy the interview - I certainly did! But before you do, check out the synopsis for Paris Time Capsule - and maybe give it a try! 

Paris Time Capsule Synopsis: 
New York–based photographer Cat Jordan is ready to begin a new life with her successful, button-down boyfriend. But when she learns that she’s inherited the estate of a complete stranger—a woman named Isabelle de Florian—her life is turned upside down.
Cat arrives in Paris to find that she is now the owner of a perfectly preserved Belle Époque apartment in the ninth arrondissement, and that the Frenchwoman’s family knew nothing about this secret estate. Amid these strange developments, Cat is left with burning questions: Who was Isabelle de Florian? And why did she leave the inheritance to Cat instead of her own family?
As Cat travels France in search of answers, she feels her grasp on her New York life starting to slip. With long-buried secrets coming to light and an attraction to Isabelle de Florian’s grandson growing too intense to ignore, Cat will have to decide what to let go of, and what to claim as her own.

Interview with Ella Carey 

Hello, Ella! Welcome to Writing Belle. Tell us about yourself! 

Thank you for having me on your blog! I am an Australian writer with a weakness for anything to do with European Art or History. I love travelling there, especially in Paris. I always come home completely inspired each time I go! I also love to read, walk my two dogs (little Italian Greyhounds) along the beach, adore films and I have to admit- fashion!

What inspired you to write Paris Time Capsule? 

I found the article about the abandoned apartment in Paris on a blog. The images just hit me with such force that I kept returning to have another look. It was so uncanny- I had just finished working with an agency on a novel about a mystery surrounding a valuable artwork and a family that had been torn apart, but I was a little over that book. It still needed more work. I knew that the true story of the apartment was perfect for me- it had this magical blend of history, mystery and romance. And it was set in Paris! I speak French and am a real Francophile. The story of Marthe de Florian’s treasure filled apartment lured me in so much that I was captivated.

What do you think the best part about writing (and reading) romance is? 

I think the best part about writing and reading love stories is getting to know the characters and their individual challenges and problems. Seeing them overcome these situations and inner conflicts in their own unique ways is always more than rewarding. It’s inspiring. Romance deals with our emotions- and storytelling is an emotive art form.

By extension, why do you think romance is such a hotly popular genre - it's timeless! 

I think romantic stories are timeless because they give a shape to something that is perhaps, indefinable- the nature of love. Romance novels are primarily about character and like I said, emotion. Through this, an unusual connection is established between the author and the reader. And, love stories often bring out the best in characters… and people!

What is your favorite part of Paris? Have you ever been there? 

What a gorgeous question. I have a funny answer! There is a square in the Marais district called Place des Vosges. The buildings are particularly charming in this square because they pre-date the Haussman period in the nineteenth century when most of Paris was replaced with grand boulevards and elegant buildings. Victor Hugo lived in Place des Vosges. The buildings are very sweet and old fashioned. There is a park in the middle of the square and I always take a baguette or a croissant there when I’m in Paris. So that answers part two of your question!

What's the key to writing a perfect romantic story? 

I think the key to writing a perfect romantic story is just to put your own voice into the work. Every writer has something unique of their own that no-one else has to offer. It’s a matter of finding that uniqueness, trusting it, and putting it there. In terms of a romantic story, it could be circumstance, conflict, characters, setting, backstory, the style of writing…

Do you write with music? With snacks? What's your general writing method? 

I don’t write with music. I have a music degree, so if I have music going in the background I find I can’t ‘switch it off’ without a proper switch! I’m listening to it, taking it in, writing to its mood – you get the idea. I don’t tend to have snacks when I write, but I don’t mind a pot of tea! I do write seven days a week and I do try to find at least three to four hours just to write. I find the best time is first thing in the morning, but I write whenever and for however long that I can each day!

Where can readers connect with you online? (Facebook, Twitter, Website, etc) 

Readers can connect with me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/paristimecapsule

Twitter: @Ella_Carey

Website: www.paristimecapsule.com

Thank you so much for your time, Ella. Happy writing! 

Thank you again for having me, Summer. I am thrilled to let you know that my second novel will be released with Lake Union Publishing in Spring 2016. It is a follow up to Paris Time Capsule!

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Get fictional - it's fun! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon!