Leila’s charm bracelet tells a story of love, a story of loss, a story of hope.
This is the story of her … and the story of Jake.
When Leila Jones loses her precious charm bracelet and a stranger finds it, she has to tell the story of how she got the charms to prove she’s the owner. Each and every one is a precious memory of her life with Jake.
So Leila starts at the beginning, recounting the charms and experiences that have led her to the present. A present she never could have expected when she met Jake nearly twenty years ago…
Thanks so much for featuring me and my new book on your blog J
– When and where do you prefer to write?
When I have a Human Resources day job, I write over several evenings per week and at weekends, usually in our home office. Sometimes I write 500 words during my lunch hour too.
Between contracts I write every day, although I try to keep Sunday as a family day. Whenever it’s sunny I dive into the garden and set myself up on the patio table, complete with parasol, charging lead, iPad, and any research notes needed.
I’ve been known to write on buses, trains, cars, at the dining room table, in bed, and on the sofa J
– Do you have a certain ritual?
My brain needs space to think about the story before sitting down to write, so doing a puppy walk, having a shower or cleaning – basically anything that doesn’t require my brain – is a must. I also need either silence or white noise to be able to write effectively. If the TV’s on, or people are speaking to each other, or worse trying to talk to me, it drives me to distraction and I can’t settle.
– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
Tea or coffee, and cake J If I’m hungry I can’t think properly, so I need to make sure I have everything to hand first. On the other hand, I’ve been known to miss a meal when I’m so immersed in a WIP that I need to get it all down on the page…
– What is your favourite book?
This is so hard! There are so many incredible books out there, and I’ve read so many during my lifetime. However, if I had to pick, it would be To Kill A Mockingbird. I re-read it recently (the first time in circa 30 years) and love all the life lessons that Scout and Jem learn. The themes of justice, inequality and racism are handled so brilliantly, as well as the importance of having empathy for other people. The book is so relevant in today’s climate, over 60 years after it was first published.
– Would you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I’d love to write a psychological thriller. I already have a title, broad story outline and the opening chapter written. It’s hidden away at the moment though, because I’m working on another commercial women’s fiction novel.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Never in their entirety – I wouldn’t want to be sued! However, there are little bits of me and/or the people I know in my characters. It could be a quirk, behaviour, something about physical appearance, a like/dislike. Every character is a jigsaw puzzle, and a few of the pieces are made up of me and my friends/family.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I used to carry notebooks everywhere when I first started writing, and I’m an awful stationery addict, but nowadays most of my ideas get either typed into the Notes app or recorded in a Voice Memo, on my iPhone. Quite simply because my phone’s so much smaller than a notebook!
– Which genre do you not like at all?
There are no genres I actively dislike, but there are definitely some I don’t usually read, including autobiographies and army/war/religious novels/non-fiction books.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
This is a really great question! For a psychological thriller; B.A. Paris, Louise Jensen or Alice Feeney because I love their narrative voices. If it was commercial women’s fiction I’d have to ask Paige Toon or Catherine Isaac J They both have an incredible gift for storytelling, and the ability to create warm and likeable characters, while also writing vivid descriptions that transport you to far flung countries.
– If you could travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
As it happens, I went on a 5 day road trip around Italy with my fiancé a couple of years ago, and ended up using it for the basis of my next book. I’d love to go back, once all travel returns to normal. Otherwise, I’d love to set a book – or at least, part of one – in Japan, because I went as a seven year old and am aching to go back.
Thank you, Ella Allbright (also for the little note) and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
A self-confessed reading addict, Ella Allbright writes commercial women’s fiction set in her beautiful home county of Dorset. Her first novel in this genre, The Charm Bracelet will be published in August 2020 by One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins, and she’s currently hard at work on her next book. Ella is represented by agent Hattie Grünewald at The Blair Partnership, who represent J.K. Rowling.
Ella also writes as Nikki Moore, the author of the popular #LoveLondon romance series. A number of the novellas featured in the Top 100 short story charts on Kobo and the Top 20 in the Amazon UK bestsellers Holiday chart, and in 2018 the collection was released in Italy. Her first published work was the short story A Night to Remember in the best selling Mills & Boon / RNA anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply. Her debut romance Crazy, Undercover, Love was shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award 2015.
When not writing or reading, she can be found working in her HR day job, walking the family’s cute beagle puppy or watching a Netflix series!