Good evening folks, I don’t know about you lot but I’m made up it’s nearly the weekend! Thank God!!
This evening I’m delighted to welcome psychological thriller writer Louise Jensen to my blog. Here, she chats how she was discovered by the WoMentoring Project, the writing processes for her novels The Sister and The Gift and whether she shares my love of Rod Stewart.
1) As a child, did you have a favourite author and do you have a favourite author now?
Enid Blyton was my favourite author and I’m currently reading the Famous Five series with my youngest son (I read them to his older brothers too) so I guess she still is!
2) Did you enjoy English at school?
I loved English although I found some of the reading quite heavy going. I’ve re-read the classics as an adult and have a whole new admiration for them now.
3) How did you come up with the idea behind The Sister?
I visited a writing group and was given three words and was given three words and a ten-minute time limit to come up with something. That something was the bare bones of chapter one.
4) How did winning a mentor in WoMentoring feel?
I was SO scared applying. I’d read the website about a million times and decided it was for ‘real writers’ not someone like me with no experience and no qualifications in writing. It took a good half a bottle of wine before I had the courage to apply. I was delighted when Louise Walters agreed to be my mentor. Letting someone read your words is huge and she was very kind.
5) How did meeting your agent feel?
A bit like a job interview! I was hugely nervous and took along my husband for support. Thankfully we both felt really at ease when we met him and we all got on really well. You put your career in your agent’s hands to a degree so there has to be mutual trust and respect.
6) When you were an aspiring author, what was the best piece of advice you were given?
Write the book you want to read. (And incidentally I don’t particularly like the term ‘aspiring’ writer. If you write you ARE a writer. Be proud of it, published or not.
7) How’s best for you to work – music or silence?
Music. I listen to piano music when I write a first draft so I’m not distracted and then when I edit I can listen to songs with lyrics. Music is a huge part of my life and I make sure my characters listen to songs to suit them. Every book has a playlist.
8) How was the writing process for The Sister different to the writing process for The Gift?
The Sister was very much a ‘Yay I get to spend time with Grace and Charlie again – how lovely’ process. The Gift was ‘OMG I’ve a book deal, a deadline and I have to write and I haven’t a clue what I’m doing’ period. I found it quite stressful and was very much finding my feet as a new writer while The Sister was hugely successful worldwide and there was pressure to deliver something that equalled, if not bettered it.
9) Did you grow up listening to a genre of music and how has it changed?
I love music and go to gigs whenever I can. When I was younger I was a huge heavy metal/rock fan and although I still listen to rock my taste is a little mellower these days. The Counting Crows have been my favourite band for the past 25 years. Adam Duritz is such an emotive writer. His lyrics really move me.
10) Have you heard of Rod Stewart and if so, do you like any of his songs?
I took my husband to see Rod Stewart for his birthday a couple of years ago at the O2. My mum was a huge fan and although I’d grown up with his music I didn’t think I’d remember many of his songs. I did and I felt quite emotional listening to them. Rod was amazing, we’ve seen younger artists do shorter sets and run out of stamina but he was full of energy, charming and utterly professional. I do hope to see him again one day.
Thanks for your time, Louise.