I am absolutely delighted to interview publishing sensation Louise Jensen on my blog today.
Louise is a USA Today Bestselling author who always wanted to be a writer when she grew up, and when that didn’t happen she got a ‘proper’ job instead. Several years ago an accident left Louise with a disability and she began writing again, to distract her from her pain and compromised mobility. But
writing turned out to be more than just a good distraction. Louise's first two novels, The Sister and The Gift, were both International No.1 Bestsellers, and have been sold for translation to sixteen countries. The Sister was nominated for The Goodreads Awards Debut of 2016.
Many thanks for agreeing to be interviewed for my website blog, Louise. Your first novel, The Sister, was an amazing success. How much work went into publicising that book?
The Sister was a complete phenomena and it’s one of those books that seemed to fly. My publishers didn’t do anything different to their usual Facebook Ads and tweets. From the time it went on pre-order it stormed the charts and now, even after a year and a half, it is still in the Top 100 in the Psychological Fiction Chart. The cover helped, definitely, it’s stunning, and once reviews came in word of mouth spread as thankfully people were very kind. It’s a blend of psychological thriller and an emotional tale of friendship. I think perhaps readers were ready for something a little different genre wise.
Are you a Plotter or a Pantser? (a seat of your pants writer)
Definitely a pantser. I’d love to be able to plot because I have moments of high anxiety as I write, not knowing where the story is going, if there’ll be a satisfactory end. That said I like the feeling of adventure every day brings. Book Four is a difficult write and I sat for a couple of weeks before I started with a whiteboard and a ‘how to plot a crime novel book’ but in the end I became frustrated, despondent and dove right in. Thankfully, it’s going well so far.
Do you consider yourself to be part of the new ‘Domestic Noir’ movement in the publishing world?
I completely understand why publishers and readers like genre based fiction and I don’t mind being tagged as Domestic Noir but I let the story be what it wants to be without worrying too much where it fits.
What is your favourite part of writing?
Without a doubt the editing. Sometimes I find the first draft a bit of a slog. Having a complete story in front of you, however bad, is exhilarating. To be able to develop the characters, draw out the plot. I love that part.
Are you working on a new novel?
Yes my fourth psychological thriller will be out next summer. It’s my paciest book so far and my main character, Ali, is really going through it!
Do you read when writing something new, or do you switch off from books during that period?
I can’t imagine even a day without reading! I don’t always read fiction, and don’t often read in my genre, but I’ve always a book on the go.
Which new author has impressed you this year?
Fiona Mitchell is releasing a debut called The Maid’s Room this year. I’ve read an advanced copy and it’s such a beautiful story. She’s definitely a talent to watch.
How are you taking to your celebrity status, and particularly doing readings, signings, etc?
Haha, I had to break halfway through writing this to clean up cat sick! There’s no glamour here. I do love getting out and meeting readers though. Writing can be quite isolating so to interact with the people reading my stories is hugely rewarding.
So – how did you come to write fiction?
I’d longed to be an author growing up but the careers advisor at school told me I should get a ‘proper’ job, so I did. Fast forward a few years and I lost much of my mobility in my 30’s and became clinically depressed. I started writing again for mental health reasons and as a way to escape my chronic pain, to live for a while in my characters’ world. I never dreamed my hobby would turn into a career.
Your accident is widely acknowledged – how did that end up changing things for you, career-wise?
I’m never grateful for what happened. I could sell millions of books but I’d trade that in a heartbeat to be able to run around in a field with my children again, but that said it afforded me an opportunity, a chance to sit still and create. If it weren’t for my change in health I probably wouldn’t be doing what I do at this stage in my life. Every cloud has a silver lining!
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this, Louise. You can find out more about Louise at the usual places: