Interview With Author Joan Ellis (Guilt, Psychological Thriller)




In your own words, please describe your book.

Susan is left alone with her younger brother Mark, when he dies. Her childhood is blighted by guilt. Even as an adult, it eats into every facet of her life. Unable to bond with her baby, she is forced to re-examine the past to find out what really happened that fateful day. Her parents are no help, so she talks to Mark in Heaven, using him as a sounding board. The ensuing emotional journey is complex and difficult but what she finds out, along the way, is invaluable.


What genre/genres does your book fall under?

GUILT is a psychological thriller.


Is this book part of a series?

No, the book is a complete story spanning Susan’s life from a child in the 60s to a mother in the late seventies.


What was the inspiration behind your book?

Real life. We all feel emotion. It’s what makes us human. Guilt is both insidious and damaging. I wrote the book to demonstrate its power to destroy lives yet it is often dubbed a ‘pointless’ emotion. I wanted to show no matter how bad the situation, there is always hope. Eventually, Susan is able to confront guilt with truth. That’s when things get really interesting.


What led you into writing? Was it a lifelong ambition, or the result of some type of turning point in your life?

I was a copywriter for thirty years in London agencies so have always earned my living from writing. Advertising in the 80s was an amazingly different world. When I tell people what went on in that sexy, sexist industry, they don’t believe me so I wrote ‘ very, very funny’, I AM ELLA. BUY ME, based on that time. I was all set to write another chick-lit when I met a murderer on a train. Three hours later, I was penning my first psychological thriller, THE KILLING OF MUMMY’S BOY. I enjoyed creating the terrifying twists and turns so much, I was compelled to write, GUILT.


So far, what has been the greatest moment in your writing career?

There have been some wonderful moments. I love literary festivals and spoken word events because they combine two of my passions, writing and performing. At one book-signing, a woman bought 11 copies of THE KILLING OF MUMMY’S BOY. That was pretty awesome! However, the best has got to be when someone is kind enough to stop me in the street to tell me how much they enjoyed one of my books. That makes all the months bashing away at the keyboard, worthwhile!


Are you self-published or published through a small-press? Can you tell our readers what led up to that and your publishing experience?

Self-published. I spent almost three years writing and wanted to get my books out there as soon as possible.


What are you working on now?

I am working on a memoir which sounds much grander than it is! THE THINGS YOU MISSED WHILE YOU WERE AWAY contrasts my childhood in the 60s with my daughter’s upbringing in the 90s. Neither of us knew what it was to have our fathers around. The book is written as a long letter to my Dad, describing the magical moments he missed both with me and his granddaughter. My aim is to give hope and show when we lose someone special, love comes from unexpected places to fill our hearts. You don’t have to be a parent to relate to the book. It is for anyone who has been a child.


In your own words, please tell us about yourself.

Someone who has read both I AM ELLA. BUY ME and THE KILLING OF MUMMY’S BOY said I was ‘giving away a lot about myself’. He seemed to think I was an uneasy mix of Ella and Sandra. That would make me an almond-croissant-loving woman on the edge! Come to think of it, he may have had a point!


What are some of your likes and dislikes?

Love: laughter, friendship, family, cake, chocolate, swimming in the sea and a special ice-cream shop on Capri.

Dislike: injustice, violence, bullying, cruelty.


How can readers connect with you?

I would love to hear from you – please leave a message on my website.


Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know?

I dedicated THE KILLING OF MUMMY’S BOY to the killer I met on the train. Without his insight into the workings of a criminal mind, I couldn’t have written the book.


If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?

Please read my books, then write to me. I’d love to know what you think.


Purchase Guilt at:


Amazon UK



Amazon UK




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