Hi Louise, welcome to On The Page With . . ., please make yourself comfortable! Tell us a little about you and what you write:
I write chick lit and romantic suspense mixed with a bit of humour. I began writing full-time when my children were small. I started with short stories for women’s magazines such as My Weekly and Take a Break, and then wrote three books for Irish publisher Poolbeg. I’ve now self-published two more novels through Amazon, work as a tutor for Writing Magazine’s Home Study courses and occasionally ghostwrite.
You do sound very busy! I have read, and really enjoyed, your recent release "Nemesis". How do you spend your writing time? I like it to be quiet when I'm writing . . .
I write in chunks, three or four chapters at a time. I write them in rough draft and then polish until I’m happy. If I’m not happy, I leave them and move on to the next chunk - I can revise them when I’ve finished the entire thing. I always plan everything first - an outline, the characters and their backstory, and I always use a mood board to inspire me. When I’ve written a sizable chunk, I transfer it onto my Kindle to edit. I always listen to music while I write, partly to help inspire me, but mostly to drown out any background noise! I try to finish at 9.00 pm, so I can sit and watch TV with my long-suffering husband, otherwise we’d never see each other.
You are very organised! Using your Kindle to edit is a great tip. Now the important thing, where do you write! Oh, look at that view!
My desk doesn’t usually look this tidy! This is my study. It was once the dining room, so it’s right next to the kitchen - a little too handy for coffee and snacks! The mountains in the distance are part of Snowdonia National Park. Fortunately the window is quite high, so I don’t have the beautiful view to distract me while I’m working.
I can see how that would be distracting, it is wonderful. If you could write any place you could wish for, where would it be?
In the sunshine, in the garden.
I like writing in the garden, too, but I don't have such a great landscape to appreciate! Do you have a favourite tipple to consume while you write? I really like Green Tea, oh, and White Tea is nice.
Java Sumatra coffee in my Mickey Mouse mug. I once watched a documentary about a famous writer who drank wine while she worked. If I tried that, I’d fall asleep over my laptop!
As would I! I have a special mug I use, it was a present from my dearly departed mum so it's rather precious to me. It has a chip in it but I won't stop using it! What are you currently working on?
I have a novella due out in February 2014, and a short story for the Sunlounger 2 anthology, which will be available to buy in Summer 2014.
How huge is your TBR list and what are reading at the moment?
Pretty huge! The great thing about having a Kindle is that they are all stored in Amazon’s ‘Cloud’ so I’m not tripping over them! I love reading and I will read pretty much anything. I am currently working my way through Anne Stuart’s ‘Ice’ series (romantic suspense). As it draws nearer to Christmas, I shall be starting on all the festive ebooks I’ve been downloading, including Wish Upon a Star by Trisha Ashley and The Little Book of Lost Hearts by Valerie-Anne Baglietto.
I love festive reads. Tell us a little about your most recent release, "Nemesis", a murder mystery:
Fifteen years ago Natalie found her sister lying dead in a lily pond. Now she’s written a book based on the murder. In every interview she gives, she talks about the diary her sister kept, which lists her lovers under code names.
Natalie’s intention is to lure the murderer into the open but, as she’s about to find out, you can’t pick and choose which secrets are revealed - and which ones stay hidden.
Because when the first of her sister’s ex-lovers is killed, it doesn’t take Natalie long to realise she’s not the only one out for revenge.
So who will catch the murderer first? And who will end up being caught?
I have read this book and loved it, Louise, the cover is just beautiful. My review is here. You have been traditionally published and also self-published, why did you choose to self-publish, what's the biggest challenge you've encountered, and what do you like about it?
I didn’t choose to self-publish - it chose me! I’d had three books traditionally published and when the rights reverted back to me I self-published them. I didn’t expect them to be such a huge success!
I am completely rubbish at self-promotion. I’m just as likely to say, “Are you sure you want to read one of my books? It might not be your kind of thing. Perhaps you’d be happier reading x’s book instead?”
I can write whatever I like and publish it whenever I like. It works both ways though - if my books fail to sell, I only have myself to blame!
I completely understand about self-promotion, I'm not good at it! I agree, the freedom is a big pull into the world of self-publishing. Can you share a little of your experience of being traditionally published? What did you like about it?
I’d been taken on by an agent, who sent my book to all the London publishers - who promptly turned me down flat! So the agent and I parted company and I entered the book into a competition run by Irish publishers Poolbeg. It didn’t win but it was short-listed, and they offered me my first contact.
I enjoyed being part of a team. It’s good to have someone tell you when a scene isn’t working, or to be able to bounce ideas off them. Luckily I now have my friends the Novelistas for that!
Can you offer any nugget of advice for other writers?
When I was offered my first writing contract I thought that was my Happy Ever After right there. But publishing is a business, so when my books failed to sell in sufficient quantities I was not offered another contract. Of course everything turned out all right in the end - I went on to self-publish and have now had sales of well over 100,000 books. But my point is this: sometimes your career goes up and sometimes it goes down - you just have to ignore all that and keep writing.
That is good advice and, wow, congratulations on such great sales! That is fantastic! Are you running any special offers at the moment?
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is currently one of Amazon’s Countdown Deals and can be bought for the promotional price of 99p until 6th December.
I love the cover! Before we finish please share a snap of your pet!
This is a photo of my hamster, Honey.
Thanks, Louise, you've been a fab guest! As we say goodbye we'll share your links:
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