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Jenny Bee’s interview

Blog Tour: An Interview with Joan Ellis, Author of I Am Ella, Buy Me
posted in Author Interview, Book Tour, October 2014 by lizzydreamer
Welcome to my stop on the Joan Ellis ‘I Am Ella, Buy Me’ blog tour! I have a wonderful interview for you with this fantastic author and I am extremely excited to share it with you

Becca’s Books is giving I am Ella. Buy Me. 4 cupcakes!

I am Ella. Buy me. by Joan Ellis ~ BLOG TOUR!
Be careful who you cross on the way up; you might meet them on the way down.

Huge thank you to the ever-lovely Leah from Girls Love To Read for getting me involved with Joan’s blog tour for I am Ella. Buy me. And of course, another huge thank you to the author herself Joan, for providing me with a very entertaining story that I absolutely loved.

VFringe – flushing loos and flashing lights

First night of the VFringe was a blast. Loved every minute. Big thanks to the friends who turned out and some strangers too, including the unsuspecting people I hijacked at the Ventnor Carnival and invited to my show: I am Ella. Buy me. One lady even came on crutches – quite a feat given the venue was up a hill in the Scout Hut at The Woodland Bar. It’s an idyllic setting. A place where magic happens.

I conjured up the ad industry in the 80s. I could smell the smoke in the bars in Soho and taste the one too many wines that got drunk in those heady, hazy days. I was an advertising copywriter and back then advertising was a showy, sexist but spectacular industry. It gave me the opportunity to work with advertising greats like Tony Kaye and Trevor Beattie as well as amazing talent like Penelope Keith and Harry Enfield. 

Absolut D&AD

absolut xray

absolut xray

You know what it’s like when you really want something – you work for it, strive for it and then it happens. Hurray! You’re thrilled. But it’s taken you so long to achieve your aim, the timing is all wrong.

My poster for Absolut vodka, ‘X-ray’ made it into the 1995 Design & Art Direction Annual.  As if being part of D&AD wasn’t reward enough, my work was included at the Private View of the 1995 Festival of Excellence Exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery.

When I turned up at the venue, awash with Adland legends, I was beyond excited.

I was pregnant.

Look what I got up to at work in the ’80’s

During the late ’80’sand early ’90’s, I worked at two London advertising agencies, Chetwynd Haddons and The Creative Business. Neither exists today. The fact both employed me is pure coincidence. Back then, working wasn’t work, it was going out to play with your mates, every day and getting paid for it. As one-half of a creative team, I did words (copywriter) and Dick Tyson did pictures (art-director). We turned our ideas into award-winning ads.

Peter Richard’s Little Black Book

[Peter is the chauvinistic Creative Director of CBA, the ’80’s ad agency in my novel: I am Ella. Buy me. To discover how his mind works, I took a sneaky peek into his Filofax.]

Spotted new little hottie in my department!!! A dark-eyed lovely fresh out of college. Just my type! Unfortunately, she appears to be shacked up with her copywriter, an ugly so-and-so with a penchant for raspberry-coloured trousers. Bumped into him in the gents – let’s just say he doesn’t measure up to yours truly! Lord knows what she sees in him. Assume his Father is loaded.

Why I loved working in Soho in the ‘80’s

So sordid. So sexy. So sassy. Soho was never so-so.

Working in one of London’s top advertising agencies just off Soho Square allowed me to get up close and personal with one of the most exciting places on earth.

Boy dressed as girls and women competing in a man’s world – everywhere I looked girls were ‘doing it for themselves’ to quote the lexicon of ‘80’s cool, Annie Lennox.