Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blog Tour, Giveaway and Guest Post with Ella Bella Author Jennifer Gibbons!

Today I have a very special guest post with Jennifer Gibbons author of the YA novel Ella Bella.
When asked how Jennifer gets inspiration for her characters, this is how she replied.
Ella Bella
By Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons

Set in 2001, Ella Drake has just experienced two terrible losses: her father's death and her brother going overseas to fight the war against terrorism.

Just when things start to calm down in her life, her mother's job is outsourced to India.

Frightened, Ella tries to find security for herself and her mother. The search for security leads to a children's bookstore, a new friend, and her first kiss. And possibly, it paves the way for healing to begin.

From the bestselling author of I Woke Up In Love This Morning, Ella Bella explores loss and how lives can be changed.

About the Author:

Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons is the author of  the Smashwords bestseller I Woke Up In Love This Morning and  the essay collection I Woke Up In Love This Morning. She lives in Lafayette California and is working on a novel.

Red Room page:

blog page:

goodreads page:

My twitter name is: @jenniferkate

Guest Post:
I’m always trying to figure out my characters and what they love, what they obsess about. Sometimes though I need to see or figure out with my own eyes. So I tried something that has helped author Jennifer Crusie: I tried making a collage.

Here’s the catch: I’m really not a crafty person. I wish I were, but I’m not. When I was a kid I had problems with my motor skills so sometimes my art projects would be finished by someone else or look very lopsided, as if I was on a Tilt a Whirl when I was creating it. Yet I wanted to give it a go with my Young Adult novel Ella Bella. I tried several times but I always saw the collages with a critical eye; while Crusie’s collages looked beautiful and A plus worthy, mine always looked like I’d get a “Hey At Least She Tried” ribbon.
I heard about Polyvore through Francesca Lia Block, who uses it to create collages for her characters. Weezie Bat is one of my favorite books so I was amazed by her creativity and the effort she put in figuring out what Weetzie wore, what she liked. And then I thought why don’t I give it a go?

As I created the collage, I could “see” my characters and what they loved, what they were obsessed about. It wasn’t perfect, but what I loved was it didn’t have to be perfect. No one was looking over my shoulder tsking tsking I did it wrong. That itself is liberating.

To see the collage, go here:

For those of you who read Ella Bella and get inspired to make your own collage, I love to see them. Send them to when they are done.  

Thank you so much Jennifer for taking the time to stop by today to tell us a little bit about how you come up with such great characters and how you get your inspiration! 

Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win your very own copy of Ella Bella!  
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. thank you so much for giving me the chance to write for your blog!

  2. thanks for a great post and giveaway! Congrats on the release!

  3. Congrats of the release of your novel! Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Sounds Ella has a lot to deal with. 2001 was definitely tulmutlous! I haven't done a collage in years, what an interesting way to get your creative juices flowing!

  5. Hi all! Thank you so much for your comments! Heidi yes, try doing a collage if you write fiction; it really helps plus it's fun!

  6. The premise of this story seems very intense, that's a lot for a young girl to deal with.

  7. Hi Melissa,

    Yes, it is a lot for a young girl to deal with. In fact, I felt bad for doing it to her! I've been accused of what Salinger did to his characters: Not wanting anything bad to happen to them. Which is fine, but when you're writing a novel, that's not so great. So I tried to follow Jennifer Weiner's advice: give your characters the worst that can happen to them, then see how they get out of it.
    Hopefully this makes sense. It makes even more sense when you read it!


  8. Jennifer,

    What you said makes total sense, thanks for explaining the reasoning behind having so much happen to her, I really appreciate that. :)

  9. Melissa,

    You are so welcome. It's so funny talking about this; tomorrow I'm going to see Judy Blume-she and her son are showing the movie Tiger Eyes, which is based on her novel. I read it when I was ten and when I was telling someone about it they said "That sounds so depressing." Yet I didn't find it depressing. While a lot of the boy/girl stuff went over my head, what I related to was the fact that she just kept on going. Even when the worst happened, she kept on. And that's the key to a good book.