An Interview with Louise
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
Growing up in Eastwood, the only pilgrimage I have been on is the DH Lawrence tours of his old home. Though I would really love to visit the home of Roald Dahl… I have been past his old school in Repton, but I'm not sure that counts.
What is the first book that made you cry?
I suppose for me, like many I imagine, it was Charlotte’s Web. I still have a soft spot for spiders…
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I’m dyslexic so the very act of reading and writing does physically tire me more than it would someone without dyslexia, that said, mentally I always feel energized and excited while writing.
Have you ever suffered reader’s block?
Yes, I keep trying to read We Need To Talk About Kevin, but I just can’t, it’s still sat on my nightstand.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No, I am happy to be known as a writer, especially as a woman I feel it is important that more women are seen to be writers.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Possibly, but I think that empathy is extremely important, especially when you are writing characters as it gives you an insight as to how they would feel in a particular circumstance.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I know a few writers and poets, peer review is a very handy way of knowing if you are going in the right direction, or if you have indeed lost the plot a little. It’s always helpful to get an outside opinion and to take on board constructive criticism and use it to help improve your writing.
Where do you write?
Mainly at my desk in my lunch breaks, or on the dining table in an evening once all the household chores have been done and my little boy is finally asleep.
What is the most important aspect of building a great character?
For me I think it’s really understanding their motivation, why do they get out of bed each morning, what do they really want. If you start with this then the character can grow naturally with the story arc.
Name two writers that have inspired you and why?
Firstly, Roald Dahl, he was my first love and the reason that I love to read, because “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it”. Secondly, Terry Pratchett, he taught me that just because I write fantasy it doesn’t have to be stale, it can be funny, poignant and very relevant to the real world.
Name two TV shows that have inspired you and why?
M*A*S*H, this was my favourite TV show of all time, possibly still is today, it was heartfelt and honest and downright sad. But they inspired something in me that made me want to be a doctor, the characters were perfect and flawed and relatable. And well Alan Alda…
And Doctor Who for sheer unadulterated escapism, I think any screenwriter aspires to write for a show as loved like this.
Was there a specific moment that made you start writing?
Yes, in 2013 I was officially diagnosed with dyslexia, something I have always known myself. While undergoing coping strategies training I was informed that my spelling was bad – shock – and told that the best way for me to remedy this was to write, I did, and I haven’t stopped. And it has improved my spelling if only a little…