The Writing Life of: Louise Jensen
This week on ‘The Writing Life of:‘ I am thrilled to be interviewing author Louise Jensen. Louise will be sharing with us detail of her writing life, telling us all about her latest book ‘The Surrogate‘, which was released on 27th September 2017, and answering a few fun questions too.
So without further ado I’ll hand you over to Louise
Louise Jensen is an International No. 1 Bestselling author of The Sister, The Gift and The Surrogate. Her books have been translated into fifteen different languages. Louise was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author Award in 2016 and the CWA Dagger New Blood Award for 2017.
1) As a child what did you want to do when you grew up?
Be a writer but my careers adviser told me no-one earned a living from writing and I should get a ‘proper’ job.
2) Who were your favourite childhood authors?
I was completely obsessed with Enid Blyton.
3) At what point in your life did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
At primary school I read Little Women and realised the power words could have and I wanted to be able to make readers feel the emotions I felt reading that story.
4) How did you go about following that dream?
I didn’t! I followed the advise of the career’s adviser and became a secretary. It wasn’t until years later when I lost much of my mobility in an accident I started writing again.
5) What is your writing day like? Do you aim for a certain amount of pages or words before you stop for the day?
I’m usually at my desk by nine and other than nipping out for the school run at three I stay there until five.
I never put pressure on myself by setting a word count. Every day is different. Some days I’m so busy with admin and marketing I don’t get time to actually write.
6) Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Never because I didn’t actually consider anyone would ever buy my books!
7) Do you have any strange habits before starting, or whilst in the midst of writing?
During a first draft I tend to always burn a Black Cherry Yankee Candle and play Einaudi piano music.
8) Do you write longhand, typewriter, or on a computer?
A computer. My handwriting is illegible.
9) How many books have you written? Do you have any unpublished work?
I’ve published three and am currently working on my fourth. I don’t have anything unfinished (yet).
10) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Oh I’d love to be able to plot but despite many attempts I can’t get my mind to work that way. I make it up as I go I’m afraid.
11) Do you read all the reviews left for your book(s)?
I don’t read them all. I’m not thick skinned enough to cope so I don’t want to know that after a year of putting my heart and soul into a story someone thinks it’s fine to leave a one star, one (rude) word review.
That said the 3 and 4 star reviews can be incredibly helpful in terms of what readers like and don’t like and I’ve learned a lot from them. The 5 star reviews are a lovely boost on days it’s hard to get words down.
Concerning your latest book:
Publisher – Sphere
Pages – 336
Release Date – 27th September 2017
ISBN 13 – 978-0751570601
Format – ebook, paperback, audio
Be careful what you wish for . . .
Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.
But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.
And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.
As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family . . .
12) How long did it take you to get from the idea’s stage to your date of publication?
The Surrogate was the quickest book so far but I expect the process to be vastly different each time. From the first idea to publication was around 11 months.
13) How did you come up with the names for your characters?
The main characters pop into my head fully formed with names already. For other characters either my 11 year old son names them or I have the Penguin book of baby names on my desk.
14) Can you give us an insight into your main character(s) life?, What makes them tick?
Kat is infertile and desperate for a baby. She’s in quite a dark place and we don’t know initially how fragile her mental state is. She believes someone is out for revenge for an incident that happened 10 years before and she turns to Lisa, her surrogate, and childhood friend for support but Lisa isn’t all she seems either.
Kat’s paranoia made the book fun to write. It’s darker than The Sister and The Gift but still has the emotional thread running through it. Both Kat and Lisa took me on a journey I really wasn’t expecting.
15) Which was your hardest scene to write?
The last paragraph was deleted, reinserted and reworded about twenty-five times. In the end I left the final decision up to my editor.
16) How did you come up with the title of your book?
My publisher names my books.
17) Did you get a family member/friend to read your work before sending to the publishers?
I have a few trusted readers and my agent reads everything before my editor.
18) What process did you go through to get your book published?
As with most writers I had the usual angst of submitting to agents and being rejected before I finally got picked up.
19) What did you do once you had written the final word in your book?
I have fish and chips and a glass of wine when I finish a first draft. I know the hard work is to come with the rewriting.
20) What’s next for you, writing-wise?
Another psychological thriller which will be released next year.
1) What’s your favourite food?
I love ALL the food. Cadbury’s chocolate I think.
2) If you had a box of crayons and you could only choose one, which colour would you choose?
Yellow – it’s such a happy colour.
3) What movie could you watch over and over again?
4) What would be the top song on your playlist?
Counting Crows – Possibility Days.
5) If you won millions on the lottery, what would be your first purchase?
I’d do something to help the homeless.
6) A talking duck walks into your room wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, whats the first thing he says to you?
“Did you eat all the hob nobs?”
You can find out more about Louise Jensen by visiting the website/social media sites below.
I would like to say a big thank you to Louise for sharing with us details of her writing life, and for a wonderful interview.