Author interview: Louise Jensen

Louise Jensen is a best selling author of psychological thrillers. Her debut novel The Sister, reached №1 in the UK and Canadian Amazon chart within 3 weeks of release, №1 in Apple’s iBooks and is listed as a USA Today Bestseller.

 ​The Sister is a book about a grieving girl who thought there was nothing as frightening as being alone — she was wrong.

The Gift is Louise’s second book, due for publication on the 16th December 2016.

Louise also writes flash fiction, and features and articles for both magazines and online publications. Louise specialises in writing about mindfulness, chronic pain and mental health.

As some of your fans may be aware, you were involved in a car accident that left you with serious health conditions. How do you think these circumstances have impacted your writing?
My lack of mobility and chronic pain does keep me still long enough to write so without my accident I might never have written a novel. My life was pretty busy before. I was always active and my spare time taken up with gym visits, horse riding and running, and as much as I loved reading and writing it always took a back seat. My change in health definitely gave me an opportunity to try a new direction.

That said it can be hard sitting for long periods and my body is so sensitive to inflammation now I have problems with my hands and arms making writing painful, but not impossible. The joy I get from creating stories far outweighs the negatives and I can’t imagine a time where I don’t write now, in one form or another.

​Which parts of the writing and/or publishing process did you find most challenging as a new author? How did you work through them?
Producing a second book to a deadline is very challenging. The Sister took 18 months to write and now I have less than half that time to produce book two. The Sister has been so well received it’s a lot to live up to. My next book will also be a psychological thriller with an emotional element to it but it does have a different feel to The Sister. I’m finding my feet as a new writer. Settling into my style as I go. It’s so helpful readers are taking the time to contact me with their feedback which is a huge help, discovering what people loved about the characters, the story, even the bits they didn’t.

​Your publisher Bookouture refers to themselves as a “digital publisher”. What factors did you consider when deciding what route to take for publishing your debut novel?
I finished writing The Sister at the tail end of last year and had submitted to a handful of agents when I met a Bookouture author who was so enthusiastic about them she encouraged me to think about submitting. Digital publishing wasn’t something I was keen on exploring as I wanted a physical copy, something I could hand to my mum who doesn’t own any technology and wouldn’t know what to do with it if she did. Learning Bookouture did produce both paperbacks and audio books did persuade me to check them out and the speed they could release my book was very tempting. Before I signed I spoke to them at length about their vision for my book and unlike the agents I had met with they loved the story as it was and didn’t want any drastic structural changes or rewriting. Although I was very happy to be guided I felt Grace’s story was complete and didn’t want to chop it about too much. The biggest factor for me in deciding to sign with them was definitely their other authors though. I spoke to several of them after being offered a deal and they were all so friendly and welcoming and happy with Bookouture. I’m so glad I took the leap. Writing can be so isolating but we do really feel like a family and we chat and support each other every day.

What’s your favorite line from a book, TV show or movie that you wish you’d written?
My favourite movie lines have to be either: “It’s a hundred and six miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.” (The Blues Brothers) Or you can’t beat “go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over.” (Sean of the Dead)

The line I wish I’d written from a book — ah so many. But I do particularly love this one from Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. “We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.”

What are you reading right now?
I collect vintage books and I recently bought An Episode of Sparrows by Rumer Godden which I haven’t read before so I’ve just started that.

The zombie apocalypse has hit (as we all knew it would one day). Which TV or movie characters do you want as part of your team? (no superheroes…that’s cheating)
Idris Elba as Luther, Bruce Willis as John McClane and Lara Croft.

Thanks for inviting my onto your blog. I really enjoyed answering your questions. Louise.

Originally published on Knockin Books​ — Blog

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