ShortBookandScribes – Q&As with Joy Ellis, Author of The Patient Man and Jasper Joffe of Joffe Books, Ahead of the British Book Awards

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I’m delighted to welcome Joy Ellis and Jasper Joffe to my blog today. Jasper is the founder of Joffe Books which has been shortlisted for the British Book Awards 2021 in the Independent Publisher of the Year category. Joffe Books are also the publisher of Joy Ellis whose book, The Patient Man, has been shortlisted in the Book of the Year: Crime and Thriller category. Congratulations to them both.

I’ve always loved reading and books in general. When I was a teenager I used to collect modern first editions and I’ve read every night of my life since I was about six. My mum was also a proofreader for a while. So it seems obvious now. But actually one of the first books we published was an unsuccessful Mills & Boon that she and my sister Emily had written. I love the way that new publishing models are so open and democratic in that anyone can publish a book. Because I’d been an artist and had also done a bit of marketing, when we first started, I could handle all aspects of publishing a book. And this DIY/can-do attitude became our holistic approach as we grew to be one of the largest indy publishers in the UK. Everyone seeing the whole book, from editorial to marketing to getting it in the hands of the reader, means everything about a book can be got right (or as good as possible). And that thinking means we are all committed to getting a book in the hands of as many happy readers as possible. I also think this way is more fun. We all see what we’re making!
In 2018, Jasper was named one of the Bookseller’s rising stars in the publishing world, and now, three years later, the publisher has made the shortlist for the British Book Awards.
Thank you for your interest, it’s much appreciated.
Now everyone Jackman cares about is in danger. Yet for all Ashcroft’s taunts, he is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, a seemingly routine break-in at the home of gun-club owner Kenneth Harcourt becomes complicated when the man long held responsible for killing Harcourt’s young daughter is shot dead in a car park by a sniper.
A killer is on the loose in the quiet streets of Saltern-le-Fen, and he isn’t going to stop. And the sniper, like Ashcroft, takes to taunting the police: they’ll never catch him, they need to respect him, they shouldn’t be sidetracked looking for their old adversary.

And so, Joffe Books was born.

And so, Joffe Books was born.

With Jasper Joffe

6. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

5. The Patient Man is book six in your popular Jackman & Evans series. Do you find it easy or difficult to write a series and to continue to think up stories for your returning characters?
(c) Luke Cole 3. I understand that you were so keen to sign Joy Ellis that you had to go to some lengths to track her down. What was it about her writing that made you want to sign her up?
Joffe Books is a publisher of commercial fiction, specialising in crime, mystery and psychological thrillers. They are open to submissions from authors and literary agents but also look for overlooked, forgotten or out-of-print authors, such as Faith Martin and Joy Ellis 4. Could you tell me a little about The Patient Man and where the idea for the book came from?
4. How has Joffe Books fared during the Covid-19 pandemic? Has being a primarily digital publisher helped you to weather the storm? I understand sales are up by 28% on the previous year, which is fantastic. 6. Joffe Books is going from strength to strength with each passing year. What do you think the future holds for you and the publishing house?
2. Could you tell me a little about why you decided to set up Joffe Books? What was your vision when you started out and why did you decide to take the self-described “holistic” approach to publishing? I’m halfway through Book 25 at present. A DI Nikki Galena in the Fen Series. I’ve already written another Matt Ballard, and another Jackman and Evans, and they are in the editing process at present… so yes, more to come!
Thank you very much. I’m very, very proud for Joy and our whole company. It feels amazing to see her brilliant books in that stellar company. She and Joffe Books have come so far together and we just want to keep going. Joy is so talented and works so hard and is such a very nice person, so I am beaming every time I think of her being recognised like this.

Simple answer here, I’m an organic writer… I sow seeds and watch to see what comes up, or as you put it, I wing it! If I plan it meticulously, the characters always hijack my plans and go their own sweet way, so I just start with a basic idea and run with it.

I’m best at writing very early in the morning. I like to be at my desk around 6am-7am as I can think clearly then. Sadly life gets in the way of that, especially when you have four energetic dogs. Mornings are by far the best for me, but as we get to early afternoon my brain turns to porridge, and many times I’ve been found head first, fast asleep in the keyboard! Oddly I come alive again around nine at night and often start again. I have an office upstairs in our house, and an overflow home office pod in the garden, as writing can generate a whole lot of paperwork, research and books.
1. First of all, congratulations on being shortlisted for the British Book Awards under the Crime/Thriller Book of the Year category for The Patient Man. How does it feel?
9. Do you have time to read and if so what kind of books do you enjoy?
Thank you so much! Frankly I feel overwhelmed! The line-up is breath-taking and to find myself in the company of such icons of the crime writing world is simply surreal. It’s a dream come true and it’s hard to put feelings like that into words.

8. Tell me about your writing day. Where do you write and do you have a daily routine?

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