Wise words from the Big Red Chair…
Louise Wise is another writer who is reaping the benefits of the e-revolution. She and I ‘met’ at YouWriteOn.com as part of their print-published stable and I’ve always enjoyed her wit, not only in the forums but in her novels as well. I thought it was time she sat in the Big Red Chair, so here she is…
1. To begin with, Louise, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
I was born and bred in Northampton, England and I went to an ordinary school where I flunked big time. I just didn’t “get” school. I was a shy girl and was regularly overshadowed by bigger characters. Teachers wrote me off as a dreamer, and I let them.
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
At twelve, like most girls, I wanted to be a model or an actress. My idol was Golden Hawn and the Charlie’s Angels. At eighteen I badly wanted to be a writer, but I wasn’t encouraged. My dream was doused with scorn and I wrote secretly. At thirty I was a mother of two, held down a job and a mortgage and I was beginning to think everyone was right and my writing was a pipe dream.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
That I’d live forever, and I was invincible!
4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?
I suppose you could say the first was the birth of Internet and meeting other writers on the ‘net who taught me I had a right to be proud of my ambition. Suddenly I wasn’t the only struggling writer and it felt good to be able to talk and to discuss my writing with someone who understood.
The next big event was a rejection letter from Conville and Walsh. It was such a nice letter and full of enthusiasm for my work.
The next was the publication of my first novel, Eden. I’d finally got my book out there for people to read and the feeling was so intense I wanted more. And when the reviews began to trickle in… well, it’s a wonder I came down back to earth to be honest!
5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you- – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? Aren’t they obsolete?
My books are available online as well as paperback. But, no, I don’t think paper books will ever go out of fashion. We’re a nostalgic race after all.
6. Please tell us about your latest book…
While writing my first novel, Eden, I discovered comedy romance, or chick lit, and found the style had me hooked. Eden is a straight forward romance with a touch of sci-fi but my current novel, A Proper Charlie is a comedy romance. My character, Charlie (Charlotte) wants a career as a journalist, and when prostitutes begin to go missing she decides that dressing as a hooker is good research. But out on the streets there is more to “just prostitutes”; there are real women with real issues. But then one of her prostitute friends goes missing, and Charlie becomes worried for her safety. Ben Middleton is her boss, but Charlie wonders if there is more to him when he is arrested for the possible prostitute murders. So what happens to Charlie when puts herself out as bait and is picked up by Ben? Is she in love with a killer?
Basically, it’s a story of misconception and class divide.
7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?
That life shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Real life can, and is, very funny.
8. Whom do you most admire and why? Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
Melissa Nathan. She was the first chick lit author I read and I absolutely fell in love with the flavour of the genre. I have read all of her books, sadly she died in 2006 with cancer (she was only 36!!). Through her writing she has shown me that life is funny and delightful as well as scary and heart-breaking.
My ambition is simple: a publishing deal. Might not happen, but I’m content to remain a self-pubbed author if I fail.
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
Learn to take advice and criticism, and then apply it to your writing.
11.What are the last five websites you visited?
Probably Twitter and the Amazon forums – so addictive. Nicola Morgan’s Crabbit Old Bat website is so full of good advice and encouragement; Writers’ News Talk Back forum and finally You Write On.
12. What is your guiltiest pleasure that few know about?
It probably is writing, actually. Although most know I do it, I don’t think they realise how passionate I feel about it. I don’t like talking about it; it embarrasses me for some strange reason.
13. If music be the food of love, what do you think writing is and please explain your answer?
Oh my, such complicated questions! The food of imagination maybe, because words can be powerful enough to strike fear, passion and genuine happiness into someone.
Louise, thanks so much and good luck with your latest! See links below to be able to purchase Louise’s books or engage with her.
“My ambition is simple: a publishing deal. Might not happen, but I’m content to remain a self-pubbed author if I fail.”
Louise, pop across to MWi and see the comment by Alison Perry on today’s post: http://markwilliamsinternational.com/2011/08/30/a-cappuccino-a-latte-stephen-king-and-margaret-atwood-no-sprinkles-on-the-atwood/
Tomorrow Marion G Harmon will be discussing a similar theme. Neither are making a fortune, but neither are chasing the “deal” anymore.
You say, “I’m content to remain a self-pubbed author if I fail.”
Louise, it sounds to me like you’ve succeeded in ways most trad published writers could never dream of. You’re out there, published, selling and being read, with none of the professional resources of a Big Six publisher to help you.
Now that’s what I call success!
I agree with Mark, Louise. Possibly the only way I would turn to a publishing deal is for foreign rights. Better that I had an agent to find movie rights for my genre… otherwise I am happy with the status quo.