Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Elle Amberley; A Pinterest addict comes clean!

Too many of my friends live too many time zones away.  One of those, is the talented Elle Amberley.  Elle released her latest novel, Lost in Your Time, this spring and was so gracious to stop by and chat with me today.  I could write a thesis on the reasons I admire and love her.  Instead, I will let her do the talking.  Enjoy!  

Look at Elle and one of her sweet babies... adorable!

Jen:  Tell me a little about your inspiration that led to your latest novel, “Lost in Your Time?”  I think it is so poignant with how globally connected our planet has become with social media.  At any time, any one of us could be “one click away” from making defining choices in our lives.

Elle: You've done your homework Jen, love that. Yes, Lost in your time is all about that moment when Natasha clicks on that link. It happened to me. One moment I was just about surviving and the next I jolted back into life. The power of a memory, something that had happened more than twenty years ago. Another country, another life, a little girl who was a fighter.

I’d like to think I would have regained my “joie de vivre” eventually but I got a massive kick that day. I just stared at the screen transfixed. What I saw was familiar, in the way I’d heard this song before, but it also confused me as the last time I’d heard it was “that” summer back in Corsica. I must have been 10 years old. Yet, more than 26 years later, there it was. I’d never liked French music, yet, I remembered the words. It was such a recent setting too, but very exotic, in a place that didn’t make any sense.

The beauty of it completely floored me, provoked this intense reaction. I recently read a quote about how you never experience music as powerfully as you do in your teens. A few years ago I would have agreed with this, that no band can recreate that intense gut grabbing feeling you get in your teenage years. Life can be full of surprises, especially if you’re open to them.

Pick up a copy here

Jen: Memories can be so powerful!  Especially when they find us after so many moons pass us by.  It always amazes me how a place, a song, and even a scent can send my thoughts into the past.  The mind is an amazing time machine. 
What book is on your nightstand right now?

Elle: Groan. I have no room on my nightstand. I get so many books sent to me, friends, publishers... It’s lucky I’m a fast reader. Let’s have a look.
Night by Elie Wiesel, the new Murakami, Magic Hour by K. Hannah, The Life you’ve Imagined, A Mother’s Wish, The Last Boyfriend... Are you still with me? 

Jen: Girl, I am totally with you!  This past weekend I finished reading three books and a short story.  On my desk, right this very minute, I have Far From Here, Don't You Forget About Me, and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry waiting on me to spend time with them; just to name a few!  Receiving books is fabulous, and has introduced me to authors that I might not have read without the little gifts in the mail.  Right now I am reading Contents May have Shifted by Pam Houston.  I am so thankful it was sent to me, otherwise I might have missed out on a memoir with these beautiful little vignettes of her life and travels.    

Do you have a new project in the works?

Elle: A new project, me? I have so many new projects I'm running around like a mad woman and can't sleep at night. No change there then. I often work on two or three projects at the same time. I know nothing about writer's block. I've come to the conclusion that rather than being slightly schitzo I'm just creative. At least that’s what everybody has been telling me. I’ll take it.

Jen: I love that you take on multiple projects, stories in your mind/on the pages at the same time.  I think so many times, as authors and manic writers, we feel like we have to backburner ideas and finish works in progress first.  I am so glad to see you embrace the manic writer in you!

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or deceased, whether they are important to you personally or someone you find fascinating, who would it be and why?  

Elle: Well, now you’ve done it! Made me go all emotional :)
I would love to have a good chat with my grandfather; he passed away on my eighth birthday. I adored him; he's the only person in my family who never did me any harm.  Over the years I've made my peace with what happened in my childhood and put the ghosts to rest while writing Nowhere Left to Hide. Still I wish somebody could enlighten me about my mother and the rest of our family. So many questions will never have an answer. I wonder how things would have turned out if he had been in better health.

That said, I don't live in the past so I'd love to have you around for a good old chat and also many of the wonderful friends I've connected with thanks to the Internet.
Notice Elle's glass is empty... 

Jen: I didn’t mean to make you tear up; so sorry.  I try not to go Barbara Walters on people and open the floodgates.  *Jen sends hugs across the miles* And I KNEW it was me all along that you wanted to dine with!  Ha!  I think that we would be escorted out of the joint, at closing time, for loud and boisterous behavior that lasted over an 8 hour lunch.
You and I are alone, and have the entire ice cream shop to ourselves.  Can you imagine the joy?  Tell me what the ingredients would be in your favorite sundae, and don’t forget the cherry on top!

Elle: Yum, I picture Italian ice-cream. In France you can order a Dame Blanche, I love that, it's vanilla with hot chocolate sauce and cream. Café Liégeois is also a favourite, coffee ice-cream with hot chocolate sauce. 
How about apricot, rhum raisin and white chocolate? I do love to try lots of different flavours.
Look!  Baby raisins! 

Jen: Because it’s you, I will try a bite of the raisin ice cream.  Just for you.  Only you!  My general rule for raisins is that they should always fly solo.  For some reason, they creep me out in cookies, breads; you name it.  When eaten alone, they make me smile!  Maybe that’s a childhood phobia from a raisin incident gone badly.  Hmm…

Little known secret; you and I are both gluten free girls.  If you came over to my house for dinner, I would make you my fabulous pizza from scratch.  What would you cook for me?

Elle: You know, I’d love that. Don’t keep tempting me, I’ll end up on the next plane.
I must confess I used to cook a lot but these days I'm spoiled, my husband does much of the cooking. I love fish and I never eat meat. Eating is still very much a struggle for me because of my health problems. My husband was horrified when I was diagnosed with coeliac. What was I going to eat? Well, of course, the coeliac thingy is the last of my problems. Some days I’m able to eat one food, the next not. How are you with humus and avocados?

Jen: I love humus and avocados!  I think if that was all you and I had to eat on a deserted island, we would be just fine.  Speaking of things we love, I know you love Pinterest!  Tell us your favorite things to pin!

Elle: I love pinning. Isn't it so much fun? Mostly I pin pretty pictures of my favourite places and especially the ones featured in my novels. I also pin cute animals, arty and crafty stuff. Often one of my children will peer at the screen and coo 'pin it, pin it...' which is why I now have boards for them.  So addictive!

My love, hugs and sincere gratitude to Elle for stopping by Princess With a Pen today.  Elle, you are one in a million, and I am so thankful to call you friend.   

If you would like to find out more about Elle, you can visit her website here.  You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest.    

Have a wonderful day!


  1. What a lovely interview! I was moved by Elle wanting to speak to her grandfather and find out more about her life.

    Thank you both for sharing, and enjoy the raisins! :)

    1. I teared up when Elle talked about her grandfather too, Glynis. What a beautiful name you have. Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you will visit again soon! XOXO

  2. Fabulous interview, ladies, it was wonderful to 'see'/hear you chat like... well like you were in the same room. Bless blogosphere! Great questions and fantastically honest answers, thanks Elle. Love your coffee and ice cream choices, and am in awe that you can work on multiple projects at once: creative indeed. Rock on!

    1. Nicky, thank you so much for stopping by! I have to come clean about something. I made Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast for brunch yesterday and used... gluten free cinnamon raisin bread! It was on sale, and drenched in strawberry syrup so I never tasted a raisin! Ha!