Today I am delighted to welcome Louise Walters! 🙂
Happy Publication Day, Louise!
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
OK! I’m a mother and wife from Northamptonshire and I have five kids. I home educate the younger two. I’m a big reader (have been for most of my life… apart from a brief spell in my 20s when I found other interests)! I’m also a novelist and my first novel, Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase, was published by Hodder in 2014. My second novel, A Life Between Us will be published by me, with lots of help from Troubadour Publishing.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
I’m not entirely sure. Anywhere and everywhere… a conversation, a relationship, a memory? Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase began with a real suitcase with a label inside bearing the name Mrs D E Sinclair. I found myself wondering who she might have been. I think really as a storyteller, you have to be open to all your experiences, be prepared for inspiration, seek it out. I think it’s just a different way of perceiving the world, being permanently open to ideas.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
They are usually extensions of me. I take traits… an expression that somebody uses; something they are terrified of, or find funny… and I will borrow those traits for some of my characters. For instance, my character Tina in A Life Between Us loves coffee with cream. I got that from my mum. (But there is nothing else of my mum in Tina)! I don’t base a character wholesale on a living human being. Mostly they are figments of my imagination.
How do you pick your characters names?
Often the name will come first for me, or it will be the name I pick for them to go by until I can think of something better, which often I don’t, so the name sticks. Sometimes I will change a character’s name if I’m not quite “inside” them yet. A new name can sometimes have a dramatic effect on character development, and on my story.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
Initial ideas. Notes (not too many). Start writing in order to “hear” the characters. Plan a bit. Research a bit. Write. Keep going in that way until I have a very rough first draft. Then it’s months, if not years, of editing, and a bit more research. Edit, edit, edit, cut, cut, cut, write new stuff. Eventually something publishable emerges!
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
Ooh, that’s tricky. It would probably be a different list in a year’s time, and yet another a year after that. But some of my enduring favourites, who delight and inspire me, are Charlotte Bronte, Joyce Carol Oates, Penelope Lively, Jane Austen and Rumer Godden.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would love to meet Joyce Carol Oates and ask her how she manages to write so many novels. She is so prolific, yet consistently brilliant, which is incredible.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes. It was my thing, no doubt. I read a lot of classic children’s authors and I think early reading gave me quite an instinctive feel for how a story works, the elements needed.
When did you start to write?
As a child I wrote stories. I was good at English at school and one of my teachers said I would be “a professional” one day. I wrote poetry a bit when I was in my thirties, but didn’t attempt a novel until I had turned 40.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
I wouldn’t want to do this at all! I’ve never felt dissatisfied by a novel’s ending… dismayed, maybe, sad, angry, ecstatic, even confused… but I’ve never wanted to change an ending. However, short stories often annoy me with so many “non-endings”. Too many fizzle out, in my opinion, with nothing explained, nothing made clear. That irritates me.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
There are loads, but my current favourite novel is Penelope Lively’s Moon Tiger which is a tour de force in how to write a sharp, funny, poignant, sensitive, deep, classic novel. The central character Claudia is so real I find myself thinking about her quite frequently, as though she were somebody I had met. There is not one spare word, not a flabby sentence in this awesome book. It’s my dream to produce a novel like that. So if I had written Moon Tiger I would be very, very pleased with myself.
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
I would invite Claudia Hampton from Moon Tiger, and take her somewhere flashy like The Ritz. But I think she would terrify me, and I would bore her. It wouldn’t be a great coffee. But I would still invite her.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a third novel, fingers crossed. It’s actually my first, which has remained unpublished. It’s been revamped, rebooted, abandoned, rebooted again… no idea if it will see the light of day, but I’d love it to. It’s a very special novel to me, inspired by my eldest child, and I love the characters, and it would be great to introduce them to the world. We’ll see.
Do you have a new release due?
My second novel, A Life Between Us, is published on 28 March 2017.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
I am on Twitter @LouiseWalters12 and I have a new website, louisewaltersbooks.co.uk
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I think I’ve waffled on long enough 😉
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Louise 🙂
You’re welcome, thank you for inviting me onto your blog.
A Life Between Us
Publisher: Matador (28th March 2017)
Tina Thornton’s twin sister Meg died in a childhood accident, but for almost forty years Tina has secretly blamed herself for her sister’s death. During a visit to her aging Uncle Edward and his sister Lucia, who both harbour dark secrets of their own, Tina makes a discovery that forces her to finally question her memories of the day her sister died. Who, if anyone, did kill Meg? As Tina finds the courage to face the past, she unravels the tangled family mysteries of her estranged parents, her beautiful French Aunt Simone, the fading, compassionate Uncle Edward, and above all, the cold, bitter Aunt Lucia, whose spectral presence casts a long shadow over them all. A Life Between Us is a beautifully evocative story of a family torn apart at the seams, which will appeal to readers who enjoy family sagas and modern-day mysteries.
Buy your copy HERE
Check out Louise’s Amazon author page