Thursday, June 17, 2010

A New Kind of Eden with Author Louise Wise

Say hello to Louise Wise who hails from Northampton, United Kingdom. Louise is guest number 12 on my Virtual Book Tour.

Louise, tell us a bit about yourself: I am the author of Eden, my first published novel. It's a sci-fi romance—Beauty and the Beast for grownups. My second novel, A Proper Charlie, is going through its paces with my editor, and I'm busily working on my third, which I haven't named at the moment. I have written many short stories for People's Friend, Best, Take a Break etc and enjoy entering short story competitions where I can. I am a mum of four boys, happily married to Dave and live in damp England.

JOURNEY TO THE PAST... A tale of romance and survival as three people travel from 2236 to the beginning of time. Jennifer Daykin joins the three-man crew to explore the newly discovered planet, Eden. All was going well until Jenny found herself deserted...She listened for an answering shout - there was nothing. In the distance, Jenny was transfixed with horror as the space shuttle rose into the blue sky of Eden. 'No...Don't leave me here!' Only the pounding of her heart answered her...but not alone The instant she hit the floor she curled into the foetal position. Finally, the bare feet walked away. A Native American warrior, had been her first thought, but it was his eyes that had alerted her he wasn't an Indian or even human. They were completely black; black, dry orbs in a battered face. Ordinary people with ordinary emotions, fears and insecurities. Only this isn't Earth, and he isn't human. A modern day Adam and Eve.

It sounds fantastic! What inspired you to write Eden?
I had a dream, cliché, I know. I was stranded on the moon as my fellow travelers left me (I think I was Buzz Aldrin in the dream), such an odd dream and it stuck with me. I “romanced” it and turned the moon into a habitual planet, added an alien and crazy co-travelers. I started writing it about six or seven years ago, but the manuscript has been in my bottom drawer for several years.

How did you find the publisher?
I received many rejections, which stated that the novel was just too original for the current market. An agent took it on but failed to find a publisher for it. This urged me into believing in the novel and myself as a writer. Again, I put the manuscript away and concentrated on other things. Then I heard about (a review website) and uploaded Eden to the site. It received brilliant reviews, and then YWO offered a fantastic publishing deal I just couldn’t say no to, and it went from there.

Your second novel, A Proper Charlie, can you tell us a bit about it?
This is a chick lit. I loved writing sci-fi/romance with Eden but it’s almost impossible to find a publisher for cross-over genres. I like comedy (there’s a bit of comedy in Eden), and really love reading chick lit myself and so I thought I’d give it a bash. I think I’ve found my niche.

Now that you have one novel under your belt, was the second easier to write? Did you make the same mistakes?
Because I took my time with Eden it seemed easy to write. Charlie (I’m editing it now) has taken 18 months, and it seems harder. It’s frustrating because chick lit is something people think is easy, almost badly written, but jokes have to be strategically placed, people have to be realistic yet still be “characters” and there has to be a plot. I made mistakes with Eden, and hopefully I haven’t repeated them with Charlie.

How do you juggle a writing schedule with a husband, four boys, and the English weather?
I write when the kids are at school and after my housewifey jobs, and again at night when they are in bed. The weather doesn’t bother me—I don’t like the heat so I’m suffering at the moment because it’s hot here. Love it cold and the sound of rain—guess I’m in the right country! I don’t think my husband understands my need to write. He’s proud of Eden, but thinks a book is something you “knock up” in between supermarket shopping and collecting the kids from school. It’s frustrating when I’m trying to concentrate and he keeps coming over to me to talk, then he gets all hurt when I’m snappy! Men!

What do you look for in a novel when reading for pleasure? Your Desert Island books? I'll let you choose three.
1) False Memory by Dean Koontz has stayed in my mind. It was really interesting, but as with all his books, they end a bit too abruptly.
2) Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella which is a chick lit but was sort of a cross-over to a ghost story. I thought it was very well written, and the author really knew her 1920s!
3) A Spring Affair by Milly Johnson, another chick lit. This had a multi viewpoint, and as writers we’re always told to avoid that, so it was interesting for that aspect. It had a good storyline and a nice “feel good” feel to it.

Who has/does inspire you with their writing? Anyone you've learned a lot from by reading their works?
I suppose Dean Koontz has inspired me the most. Even though he’s a thriller/horror writer and I’m a comedy/romance I love the way his novels are fast paced and hope that I have imposed some of that tension in my books. When I was a child I read a lot of Enid Blyton, and in hindsight now, think maybe the trigger for writing was then.

What made you decide to become a writer instead of a world-famous, filthy rich tennis player or a reality show star?
I think being famous would freak me out. I wouldn’t turn down filthy rich though. I generally think writers are born. Then they either hone their craft or fail.

What's the best/worst part of being a writer?
The best is for me is meeting other writers and be able to talk about my passion and them understanding. I used to write before the Internet on a little battered Amstrad and thought I was the only writer in the world struggling.

The worse is editing or rewriting when you thought you’d finished! You send it off to the editor, and get on with something new. But then it comes back with this, this and this that needs to be changed and you don’t want to do it because your mind is full of new characters and plots.

Do you eat chocolate to break writer's block or do you eat chocolate anyway?
I love chocolate, especially Cadbury, but I’m on a diet at the moment. Have you heard of the Ducan Diet? It’s a carb free diet and unfortunately chocolate is full of carbs. I’m excited though, I found a website that sells low carb chocolate (probably tastes disgusting!), and I’ve ordered a box! I shall stay in that day when it arrives.

If you'd like to read more about Louise and her books, please visit her blog. You can purchase her fascinating debut novel Eden on Amazon.


Unknown said...

This is my introduction and I'm very impressed. I enjoyed reading about another author, the struggles, the challenges and the victories. Well done article Fiona. And I'll be looking for your chick lit when it's completed Louise!

Louise Wise said...

Thank you Duchess, it's been a long walk full of challenges but I've enjoyed every minute of it.

Thanks again Fiona for having me here.