Friday, February 27, 2015

Ellie Cahill Author Interview

Photo Credit: Shannon Wucherer

Liz Czukas is the author of Ask Again Later, and Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless. And as her not-at-all-secret pen name Ellie Cahill, she is the author of When Joss Met Matt, Call Me Maybe, and Just a Girl (June, 2016). Liz’s books are often compared to John Hughes movies, while Ellie usually gets compared to Nora Ephron. Either way, if you like a good 80s rom-com, you’ve found the right place. When they’re not writing fun, funny romances full of shenanigans and awkward kisses, Liz and Ellie are at home with her/their family and a golden retriever with different ideas about the definition of “dog bed.”

You’ll find Liz/Ellie in lots of social media places. On Sunday, you’ll find her parked in front of the TV getting their fill of Zombies, Westeros, The Doctor, or any other place where cute English guys fight evil.

Speed round: sweet tea, Hufflepuff, dark chocolate, cheese is the perfect food, Go Badgers, and Han shot first.


Can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about When Joss Met Matt?
When Joss Met Matt is a story about two friends who meet in college. After an ugly break-up with the boyfriend she thought was The One, Joss and Matt create a strange agreement: they will provide each other with palate-cleansing “Sorbet Sex” after any and all break-ups. The relationship, and the book, span seven years as the two characters fumble their way through a lot of very bad dating experiences, coming to rely on each other more and more along the way. It’s a little different than the classic friends-with-benefits arrangement, and a lot more complicated for our would-be lovers.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Storytelling is the greatest expression of what makes us human. Not only do we have language and the ability to use tools (like pens and computers) to put our language down in a permanent form, we have these incredible creative minds that can imagine whole worlds that don’t exist. We can literally make something from nothing. That is just the coolest trick in the universe.

But apart from the neurochemical and biomechanical wonder that is the physical act of storytelling, it has such important social and emotional functions, too. We can create and imaginary world where it is physically safe to explore incredibly dangerous or even impossible scenarios. We use characters as a representation of ourselves to try on new lives and new experiences. Even different genders, races, species. We can do and be anything within a story and that gives us the opportunity to empathize with people, animals, and even inanimate objects in intense, real ways. Think about watching Toy Story. Not only were the characters in that story fictional, but if they had been real, they would have been made of plastic, wood, and cloth. Yet the moment that Woody and Buzz realize they’ve been left behind at the gas station, doesn’t your heart lurch? Don’t you desperately want them to be back in the safety of Mom’s car? You can’t rest until they get back to Andy. That’s going outside yourself. Letting go of selfish impulses long enough to invest in another person’s (or toy’s) safety and happiness. That’s the power of storytelling.

And we can’t stop ourselves from finding stories in everything. I think it’s why TV has become such an important fixture in our lives. We want more stories. We’ll take them in any form. Maybe as a writer I have an overdeveloped need to create a backstory for everything, but I bet no one is able to pass a shoe abandoned on the side of the road without wondering how it came to be there. Conjuring up the owner in your mind and imagining a scenario in which he or she came to lose just one shoe in the middle of no where. It’s human. In intrinsic to who we are. The amazing Terry Prachett goes so far as to create an unseen element in the universe called Narrativium to describe our deep need for story in all things. I think he might be onto something.

When was the last time you cried?
Yesterday, watching Downton Abbey. Why does Isis have to have cancer?! Why?! <sob> I cry pretty easily, I have to confess. Even a coffee commercial can tug at my heartstrings without too much trouble. But I’d have to say most of my crying is due to storytelling. Movies, books, commercials…I’m rarely crying for myself. It’s mostly fictional people!

What if after every bad breakup, there was someone to help “cleanse your palate”—someone who wouldn’t judge you, who was great in bed, someone you were sure not to fall in love with? “Sorbet sex” could solve everything—as long as it never got too sweet.

Joss and Matt have been friends since freshman year of college, meeting one night after Joss is dumped by her boyfriend. After a few drinks, Matt humors her with a proposition: that he’ll become her go-to guy whenever she needs to heal a broken heart. In return, she’ll do the same for him. The #1 Rule: They’ll never fall in love with each other. People scoff at the arrangement. But six years later, Joss and Matt are still the best of friends . . . with benefits.

Through a string of boyfriends and girlfriends—some almost perfect, some downright wrong—Joss and Matt are always there for each other when the going gets tough. No strings. No attachments. Piece of cake. No problem. After all, since they wrote the rules, surely they can play by them. Or can they?

In the tradition of New Adult superstar Jessica Sorensen, Ellie Cahill's debut novel, WHEN JOSS MET MATT (Ballantine Trade Paperback Original; On Sale 2/24/15) is a charming friends-with-benefits story with a twist, about two friends in college and just beyond, falling in and out of love with the wrong people while trying figure out who they are and what they really want.


“WHEN JOSS MET MATT hooked me with humor, then proceeded to break my heart and make me fall in love over and over again. Brilliantly crafted and achingly realistic—this is hands down one of my favorite New Adult reads. Ellie Cahill is definitely one to watch!"  ―New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack 

"This is one of those books that makes you forget everything around you. Prepare to be consumed by this story. I felt like I was living in the world of Joss and Matt—and I never wanted it to end!"  ―New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan 

"Fun, sexy, and full of amazing chemistry. Anyone craving romantic comedy in New Adult should pick this one up!" ―Cassie Mae, author of The Real Thing 

“The classic story line of friends turned lovers gets a fun twist… a delightful new adult read told in flashbacks and full of witty banter. Readers will root for this unconventional couple and enjoy tracing their six-year relationship from start to finish.” ―Booklist
You can purchase When Joss Met Matt at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ELLIE CAHILL for making this giveaway possible.
3 Winners will receive a Copy of When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill.


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