Author interview: Ella Griffin

19 Jun

Today I’m delighted to welcome Ella Griffin to One More Page to chat about her beautiful new novel, The Flower Arrangement. Ella was born and grew up in Dublin. She always wanted to be a writer, but before she got around to it she was a waitress, an extra, a pickle-factory worker, an award-winning advertising copywriter and travel writer. Ella lives in County Wicklow, Ireland, with her husband, Neil, and an incredibly large dog called Haggis. Her debut novel Postcards from the Heart was published in 2011. Welcome Ella!

Ella Griffin-detailYour new novel, The Flower Arrangement was released yesterday; please could you tell us a little about it and the inspiration behind it?

Flowers are woven into all the happiest and saddest moments in my own life.  From falling in love with my husband, to finishing my first book, to saying a last goodbye to my mother. And I realised that it’s the same for everybody.

We might text and tweet and email a dozen times a day. But we still turn to flowers when we want to express our deepest emotions. They are part of every love affair and celebration. Of every birthdays and wedding day and funerals.

I wanted to write all those stories and to weave them through the life of a florist who is as lovely as her flowers.


The story focuses on Lara, Katy and Ciara – please could you introduce each lady?

Lara’s marriage is empty so she pours all her love into her flower shop.  She can heal her customers through the flower arrangements she makes for them, but she doesn’t seem to realise that she needs healing too.

Katy has escaped her high maintenance mother and she’s ready to start a family with her long-term boyfriend. But there’s one small problem. He doesn’t want to sleep with her.

Ciara is feisty and smart. But not so smart that she could see the end of her marriage coming. Her husband is gone but she can’t seem to let him go.

Readers may have met these characters before as they all feature in your summer short story collection A Little Bit of Summer; what made you decide to give them a full novel to themselves?

Once I opened that flower shop in my head, it was hard to close it. I kept thinking about those three characters and imagining all the other characters that might walk through the door of Lara’s flower shop!

 Lara owns a flower shop, the wonderfully named, Blossom and Grow; how did you come up with the name?flower arrangement

I spent a long time finding the right name and when this one came up, it just felt absolutely right.  It’s the perfect name for a flower shop but it says something about life too.  All of us hope that we can blossom and grow through all the things that life brings to our door. The love, the sadness, the challenges.

Each chapter of the book has a different flower and its meaning as a title; how did you go about your research into floristry and what was the most surprising fact that you found?

I loved researching the book. I spent time in my some of my favourite Dublin flower shops. I actually worked behind the counter for a day in one! There were lots of things that surprised me.  Believe it or not, some men openly buy flowers for their wives and mistresses in the same shop! The most useful tip I picked up was that even the limpest roses will perk up if you stand them overnight in a mug of boiling water.


If you were a flower, what would you be?

I soaked up flower meanings like a sponge when I was writing The Flower Arrangement. So I’d like to be jasmine. It’s a symbol of cheerfulness, grace and elegance and it has huge significance in my life. I met my husband in Greece. We were strangers on a writing course together and he showed up at my door with a bowl of water filled with jasmine. It only takes one tiny flower to change a whole life.

And finally … what can we expect next from Ella Griffin.

I’m working on book four right now.  Watch this space!

Thanks Ella!

Follow Ella on @EllaGriffin1 and https://www.facebook.com/EllaGriffinAuthor

 

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