Louise: I do like it silent, maybe the radio on in the background and I HATE being watched. If someone comes into the room where I’m working I stop what I’m doing — and I can get quite stroppy if I’m interrupted too much! But that’s my prerogative, right?
Paul: If someone had the power to step into your creative mind what would they see?
Louise: Projects half finished, a jumble of ideas, characters devolving and evolving, sound tracks running through my mind, craziness and then suddenly a spark, and a project/character is rounded and centralized. I love that moment. Unfortunately, it comes at an impromptu time of day!
Paul: What is a typical day for you?
Louise: I work as a pharmacist technician, so I juggle that with kids and housework and then of course my writing. I squeeze in my writing between it all, but as I’ve become more successful I have decided to cut my hours at the pharmacy and concentrate more on my writing.
Paul: Do you have a favorite character in each of your series, aside from the lead? If so, which one and why?
Louise: Fly from Eden has always been a fantasy character for me. Every girl needs a fantasy man! He’s big, dark, and dangerous. From A Proper Charlie I loved writing about Melvin, a gay man who was slightly over obsessive about his best friend Charlie, I loved the campiness of him but he was also very loyal and brave. In The Fall of the Misanthrope it was Ellen Semple. She is everyone’s ‘jolly hockey sticks’ type of woman. She is eternally happy; a fantastic contrast to Valerie.
Paul: In all the years you’ve been publishing your work, what is the biggest mistake you made that you could share so others can avoid making it?
Louise: Don’t be in a rush to have your work edited. I wasted a lot of money paying someone to edit a manuscript that was really just a draft. Rest your work first, send it out to beta readers, rewrite, rest again. Get it to the absolute BEST you can before hiring an editor.
Paul: How do you find the time to write?
Louise: If you love something, you’re going to find the time. If time isn’t there maybe you don’t love it enough?
Paul: What is one thing you hope I do not tell the readers?
Louise: I battle with depression, something which was covered in The Fall of the Misanthrope, although I never had it as bad and my character Valerie. That lady had problems!
Paul: If you are self-published, what led to you going your own way?
Louise: I was writing long before the Internet, and sending submissions to agents and playing the waiting game. I have kept every single rejection letter. I thought I’d never be published, especially as, to my utter delight, I found an agent for Eden. I thought this is it! Success! But, no, getting an agent doesn’t mean she can find a publisher for your book. All publishers thought Eden was too niche, funny that Eden is my biggest seller! Anyway the ePublishing boom started and I haven’t looked back.
Paul: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Louise: I get an idea and run with it — for a while. I play with the characters in my head, write a chapter or two and see if it has staying power. Once I’ve written the first or second draft I begin another story. When that second story is drafted up I go back to the first. Seems to work so far. At least is stops me from editing too soon.
Paul: Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Louise: I think it’s a mistake to edit as you go along. By the time you get to the end, the beginning could have changed. Correct the odd spelling error or do a little research if that’s what you need to move on to the next scene, but don’t go crazy. I don’t even put chapters in, and I’ve highlights all over (yellow mean might want to delete [never delete for real. Keep all deletes in another file just in case], red means needs expanding/research) etc.
Paul: Do you have to do much research for your stories?
Louise: Even a simple romance needs research. With my chick lit A Proper Charlie my central character worked as an office assistant for a newspaper (she longed to be a journalist), but I hadn’t a clue as to how a newspaper is run. I researched it and even ended up going to a job interview just so I could get a tour of the building (asking would’ve probably got me a visit a little easier, but I didn’t think of that at the time). The Internet is a good resource, especially Google Earth. You can go anywhere with that.
Louise: The Fall of the Misanthrope: I bitch, therefore I am is a comedy romance whose central protagonist is suffering from depression. It’s essentially a dark and modern Cinderella with Valerie Anthrope playing Cinderella, busy-body Ellen as the fairy godmother, Lex as the dashing prince, Boots the cat as the slipper (don’t ask!) and Valerie’s depression the ugly sisters. The end is a huge twist though. It doesn’t end as you’d think.
Paul: What inspired you to write this book?
Louise: I love chick lit, books that make me smile. But some of them, I found, were too silly. I wanted to write a grownup one, and so dreamed up a flawed character who was not only unfunny, but bitchy and miserable too. She was so bitchy and miserable she ended up being funny anyway!
Paul: What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or party tricks?
Louise: My job as a pharmacist assistant can be very stressful job, but I love it. Meeting different people every day can enrich your life and help dream up new characters. I like doing ‘girly’ things like meeting up with friends and going shopping, having dinner or going to see a film or a theater production. No party tricks though. Oh, I can hula hoop, doesn’t that count?
Paul: Thanks, Louis. That was really interesting. I wish you every success for the future.
Louise's Blog: Louise Wise
Louise on Twitter: @louise_wise
Louise on Facebook: Wise Words BookBlogger
Louise's latest book: The Fall of the Misanthrope: I Bitch Therefore I Am (Amazon)