Interview with Ella Ardent

What's the story behind your latest book?
The Phoenix series evolved out of my Plume series. The Plume was a private BDSM club and I wrote 9 stories set there, following a group of characters on their erotic and amorous adventures. We started by meeting Joanna (in Submission) when she entered the club for the first time, and ended with Joanna getting her HEA with Mike (in Celebration). Joanna's journey framed the story, but along the way, there were other characters with their own stories - the owners of the club, Rex and Athena, for example - along with the rise and fall of the club itself. At the end of Celebration (spoiler alert!), the Plume was no more.

BUT Athena and Rex were still only happy-for-now, and I wasn't done with the games people played at the Plume. Athena suggested in Celebration that she and Rex should establish a new club called the Phoenix. The Phoenix would continue the business of fulfilling client fantasies, but do so at multiple locations around the globe. The party in Celebration occurs when the new plans are unveiled to all the Plume clients. The Phoenix begins with Revealed, then continues with the current release, Harnessed. Next up is Hunted, and then Haunted. I'm enjoying the challenge of building a new organization and network of characters, as well as exploring different fantasies. The books all are erotic, but include romantic elements. Some of them are romances.
What is your writing process?
I write daily. I begin by editing what I wrote the day before. That refreshes the story in my mind. Then I write more new scenes, as many as I can. Repeat, repeat, repeat, until the story is done. Once in a while, I'll write the ending before getting to it, but usually I write from beginning to end, one scene at a time.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I choose books by their covers. A strong image, good type, usually some red, and I'm in.
How do you approach cover design?
I have strong opinions about cover design. Generally, I prefer graphic images, so will cruise stock photos until I find some good candidates. Once my designer has a good idea of my vision, she'll often suggest alternatives (usually images that have been used less often). She sees a lot more of what's popular than I do! We work together to make the cover be distinct, but still carry the branding of that series and of all my books. It's funny but it either comes together quickly and easily, or is a long painful process.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read everything. Fiction, non-fiction, every genre. I think it's important for authors to read within their genre of choice to understand the market, and also outside their genre to learn more skills and cultivate new ideas.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I really think that publishing is currently a business that works best for prolific authors. Frequent publication is the key - if I could publish a new book every week, that would be awesome!
Describe your desk
It's a mess. Seriously. You could get hurt. I stack everyone on it - only my laptop gets a solid perch - and avalanches are common. I can find anything in five seconds though.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I believe it's important for an author's work to be published well, and right now, I think the publisher most inclined to publish my work well is me. I like the control of indie publishing and the flexibility. It's more work for me to be publisher as well as writer, but it's good work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love hearing from readers. It's so exciting when I publish a new book and a reader leaves a review (or a message on my blog or Facebook) saying how much he or she liked it. It feels like a seal of approval and always makes me smile.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Yes. I like how Smashwords has made the various portals available to authors, and how easy it is to make my work available in multiple places for readers.
Published 2014-07-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

His Lost Princess
Series: Tales from Euphoria. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 54,930. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
Can Charming win his Bride? Royce discovers his legacy and falls in love with a mysterious maiden at his coming-of-age ball. When morning comes, the lady has vanished, and he learns that his newfound status as crown prince will be secured with an arranged marriage. But Royce wants only his mysterious maiden as his bride. Can he find her before all that was found is lost again?
Haunted
Series: The Phoenix, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 39,420. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Will the ghosts of the past keep Caitlyn and Zach from happily-ever-after? Amy has to prove herself to Rex and Athena by figuring out how to fulfill some fantasies that appear to be impossible: she starts with Caitlyn’s desire to have one last night with her dead lover, Luke. Amy has it all planned out, but she’s not counting on Luke’s buddy, Zach, much less his fantasies that feature Caitlyn.
Claimed
Series: The Phoenix, Book 6. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 55,930. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Reid knows the perfect way to celebrate his anniversary with Kendra, by making her dream come true as well as that of her best friend, Stevie. As Stevie explores secret fantasies with Hunter, the bad boy rock star she’s adored for years, Kendra’s spark of defiance finds opportunity for expression at The Phoenix.
Sold
Series: The Phoenix, Book 5. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 41,970. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Athena offers Steele a night of her undivided attention, only to have him startle her with a confession of love. There’s no place for such tender emotions in Athena’s life—or so she thinks until she learns that Steele has chosen to pose as a slave at a rival club’s notorious auction. Athena knows she has to intervene and buy Steele herself, but how much will she risk to ensure his safety?
Hunted
Series: The Phoenix, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 37,400. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Shara has always dreamed of being hunted—by three men of her choice, and used by the captor for his pleasure. As a birthday present to herself, she arranges to have her fantasy fulfilled on the private Caribbean island run by The Phoenix. But Shara isn’t counting on the fantasies of the men she’s selected, much less that each will interpret the rules in his own way.
Harnessed
Series: The Phoenix, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 33,770. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Josh is a successful musician who has lost his ability to compose. In search of the music he used to hear, he decides to be a human pony for a week at the Phoenix’s new private island, Windswept. His hope is that the captivity and routine, as well as being inaccessible to others, will still the chaos of his thoughts. He’s not expecting to find his muse in Elise...
Revealed
Series: The Phoenix, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 25,880. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
From the ashes of the Plume rises a new temptation… Athena and Rex are prepared to launch the first two locations of their new club, The Phoenix, when an audacious computer science student insists their systems have been hacked. When Rex learns Amy wants to trade her expertise for special training at The Phoenix, Rex recognizes an offer he can’t refuse.
Satisfied
Series: Dangerous, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,890. Language: English. Published: January 28, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Kendra and Reid recover their trust in each other, only to be challenged again. The body of Reid’s estranged wife is found and he becomes a suspect in her murder. Kendra believes in Reid’s innocence—and is determined to prove it—even as the true villain’s carefully-laid plans come to fruition. Even if they solve the puzzle in time to save Kendra, will their love survive the ordeal?
Shattered
Series: Dangerous, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 57,790. Language: English. Published: January 28, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Reid has never been so enthralled with a woman as he is with Kendra. He’s sure nothing will convince him to let her go—until he discovers that she’s deliberately broken his rules. Releasing her nearly kills Reid, though he knows her choice means their game has no future. What he doesn’t realize is that his choice will leave Kendra undefended. Will Reid discover his mistake in time?
Seduced
Series: Dangerous, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 55,900. Language: English. Published: January 28, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Kendra can’t believe her luck when her sexy new boss offers her the job as his very personal assistant. Reid believes it won’t take long to teach beautiful Kendra Jones a lesson, but her enthusiasm is both unexpected and seductive. As Reid and Kendra explore private passions together, neither is aware that they’re being watched—by a killer determined to have his revenge upon Reid.
Her Dark Prince
Series: Tales from Euphoria. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 51,040. Language: English. Published: June 21, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Romance » Historical
A defiant beauty is claimed for the annual village tithe to the ruling family of Euphoria, whose crown prince desires only the satisfaction of his own dark desires. He gets far more from his captive lover, whose talent for unveiling his secrets leaves them both wondering who is master and who is slave.
The Plume: The Complete Collection
Series: The Plume Collections. Price: $14.99 USD. Words: 284,110. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
This digital bundle includes all nine novellas in the Plume Series, following Joanna's adventure from her first visit to the private club to her happily-ever-after.
Dangerous: The Complete Romance
Series: Dangerous. Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 172,120. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Sometimes fantasy is the most deadly game of all... When a woman with a hunger for risk challenges a man who needs to possess, nothing can quench the passion that sparks between them—except a secret from the past, one that will seal their fates together forever or destroy them both. Dangerous was previously serialized and now is available in a single volume.
The Plume: The Third Collection
Series: The Plume Collections. Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 107,820. Language: English. Published: May 24, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
In this culmination of Joanna's romantic and sensual adventure, she takes a chance to put her relationship with Mike on solid ground and captures his heart all over again. They independently plan one final surprise for each other, which just proves to them both that their match is made in heaven. Included are the three novellas Flashback, Switch and Celebration.
The Wedding Collection
Series: The Wedding, Book 4. Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 89,740. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
You are invited to a wedding… • where a mysterious lover fulfills a secret fantasy – and makes his own dream come true… • where a heartbroken woman discovers true love – in the most unlikely of places… • where the bride and groom have second thoughts – but find an HEA beyond their wildest dreams. Includes the three linked romance novellas: The Best Man, Always A Bridesmaid, and Forever Bound.
Forever Bound
Series: The Wedding, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 31,300. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Jessica and Ryan's engagement seems like a match made in heaven and their island wedding a dream come true. But will Jess's desire for the perfect wedding - and the stress of everything going wrong - drive them apart? Or can Ryan's determination to marry the woman he loves save the day?
The Plume: The Second Collection
Series: The Plume Collections. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 88,810. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Welcome to the Plume – where members are bound by desire and fantasies come true… This volume includes the second three novellas in Joanna's adventure of sensual awakening and her journey to happily-ever-after. After her relationship with Mike becomes richer and more fulfilling, the pursuit of a fantasy puts their romantic future in jeopardy. Included are Deception, Exhibition and Exposure.
Always A Bridesmaid
Series: The Wedding, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 30,580. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Fiona has been happy to always be a bridesmaid: she loves short term relationships and too much variety to commit to one man. Kade is as different from her usual boy toys as a man can be, but there’s something about him that excites Fiona. Can she satisfy her attraction to him without him changing her mind about commitment? Or will one taste of Kade just leave Fiona hungry for more?
The Best Man
Series: The Wedding, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 28,750. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
You are invited to a wedding... • where a mysterious lover fulfills a secret fantasy - and finds his own dream come true. • where a disappointed woman finds true love - in the most unlikely of places. • where the bride and groom have second thoughts - but discover a happy-ever-after beyond their wildest dreams. Book #1 is The Best Man
The Plume: The First Collection
Series: The Plume Collections. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 88,460. Language: English. Published: May 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(5.00 from 1 review)
Welcome to The Plume, where members are bound by their desires — and their fantasies come true. In this first third of Joanna's sensual and romantic adventure, she finds temptation under the tutelage of Master Rex and unexpected love with Mike. Which will she chose, and which will ensure her future happiness - and satisfaction? Included are Submission, Surrender and Seduction.
Submission
Series: The Plume, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 29,890. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
A hot romance in nine installments... Lifestyle reporter Joanna is prepared to do whatever is necessary to learn what happens inside the notorious private club known as the Plume - even join. She doesn't expect to be excited by the sensual games played by Master Rex, to have her own desires awakened - or to have her fantasies about her gorgeous co-worker Mike become much hotter.