Today I am delighted to welcome wonderful Ella Allbright to the blog to tell us all about the inspiration behind her beautiful new book, THE LAST CHARM.
Hi Heidi, thanks so much for inviting me on your blog again, and for your support for The Last Charm. It’s been an exciting couple of months since the ebook was released in August - with it hitting several Top 10 Amazons charts both here in the UK and in the US - and I’m super excited that paperback publication is this Thursday.
Over the last few months, I’ve been delighted to be contacted by readers to tell me they’ve read and loved The Last Charm, and to chat about the characters and themes. There’s no greater privilege as an author to know you’ve created characters people care about, and have been so touched by your book that they reach out to you.
One of the recurring questions I’m asked is where the inspiration for the book, and writing generally, comes from. In essence, it’s from the world around me. I see a book as being a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, made up of little pieces of myself, my friends and family but also strangers, films, songs, stories, places and experiences. I start off with a ‘what if?’ question to establish the core of a story, before creating the characters and building a world for them as I plan out the main events to get from beginning to end.
The inspiration for The Last Charm came from my lovely editor Charlotte Ledger at One More Chapter. She commissioned me to write an epic love story set around a charm bracelet, which I was immediately excited about as thought it was a great concept. When we first met to discuss the idea, I was very passionate about my home county of Dorset being the setting as it’s so beautiful, and I don’t feel it gets the exposure it deserves in terms of books and films etc. Quite a bit of The Last Charm is inspired by my favourite places on the coast, including Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, and the secondary school in the book is based on the one I attended in Bournemouth.
Deciding the two main characters would move in and out of each other’s lives in a will-they, won’t-they plot, I used the charms to choose on the significant events that would bring them together, push them apart or bookmark their love story. After a few weeks I’d written a twenty chapter outline which I sent to Charlotte, and we tweaked that slightly before I got my head down and put fingers to keyboard. Even though it took me longer to write than planned, it was a brilliant project to work on and very collaborative, and I still miss Leila and Jake, even though I’ve since written another book!
Amazon - https://amzn.to/3a1kroG
Kobo – https://bit.ly/2w0e32r
Google Play - http://bit.ly/3a4wjpQ
Bookshop UK - https://uk.bookshop.org/books/the-last-charm (Supporting independent bookshops)
Amazon - https://amzn.to/340NXLz
Waterstones - https://bit.ly/3lcBwSr