Today I’d like to welcome Louise Wise. So sit back, pour out a cup of tea and let’s talk about you and your books. What drew you to write in your current genre?
My “current” genre isn’t the book I have out now. That was science fiction cross over to romance. My current now is comedy romance. I’ve found my niche with this genre.
I think it’s good to try out different genres as writers, but eventually we all seem to find a niche. How many novels have you written?
I have written about nine novels. Five of them are utter dire, and I only read them to show myself how well I’ve come on since!
LOL I hear you there. I’ve written a few stinkers in my lifetime to!
My first novels were straight romance, then I went to science fiction because I have an interest in astronomy. My current book (not out yet) is a chicklit.
Wow, astronomy. Do you incorporate your knowledge into your books?
I did with Eden, and another novel that isn’t published. I’m only interested in it though, I’ve no concrete knowledge. Eden took a lot of research and false starts before the plot line began to take shape.
I try not to plot too much, so tell me, how much time do you spent on it?
I tend to think about the plot and characters in my head before I put down anything on paper, but only about a day or two. I then write and play about with the characters and expand on the plot.
I think a lot of writers do that. I like to be out when I can, and find a place to write with my faithful laptop. Where do you do most of your writing?
Does that work?
Oh yes. In the summer I am always at the beach with my handbag size laptop, or in the park. Anywhere but at home. lol
I had thought about taking off in my car and finding a nice place to sit and write. But we’ve converted the garage into an office and I tend to go in there. It’s quiet, but used to get really cold in the winter. I bought a little fire for it now, and it’s nice and cosy – sometimes I don’t want to leave! I’ve recently bought a laptop and tend to sit with that on my lap whilst watching Coronation Street (an English past time!), trouble is though the kids now think the old computer is theirs!
I have an office, but my husband calls it my winter ‘fallout’ shelter. I’m only there when its cold and wet. It's a shame you don't live near me. We could be writing buddies on the beach!! I happen to be a Corrie fan to. Don't you just hate Tony and his mad arsonist mind lol
I know we touched on some of our writing disasters, but looking back, what’s the worst thing you’ve ever written? You can tell me, I won’t tell a soul!
Oh my, is was called The Haunts of Hannington House, says it all, doesn’t it? I think it started: It was a sunny day and Lucy was strolling through the meadow, her hair was the colour of corn, her eyes as blue as bluebells... ahhhh
LOL Oh dear. There was quite a lot of H’s in that title!!! So moving on, tell me about your latest release.
Eden was an experimental novel; I enjoy writing romance but wanted to add something different to the mix. It’s about three astronauts who explore a newly discovered planet. Their shuttle malfunctions and allows one of them, Jenny, to become left behind. But she isn’t alone. An alien man is there also, and doesn’t take too kindly to Jenny. It’s a sort of Robinson Crusoe and Cast Away type of book, only on a extraterrestrial planet inside of a desert island.
Mmm, I like the sound of Eden. What a great experiment. Here's a snippet. I'm hooked already.
Jenny plodded along, stupefied. The fingers circling her nape were biting and painful, but she barely noticed. The echo of the wolves’ howling was still too strongly embedded in her mind. Part of her knew Fly was leading her to her rape, and that part of her was going to allow it to happen because the other side was lying dormant through fear and exhaustion.
The corridor was laden with dirt and grime. Animal excrement, electronic debris lay in her path, but she continued to walk where she was urged. His cabin door was open, and he nudged her towards the bed.
While she sat nervously on the edge, he heated a metal canteen over a crudely assembled grill, wired haphazardly to a small accumulator. She watched as he stirred in the same beverage that she had yesterday morning. When it was steaming, he filled a cup and gave it to her.
He sat on a chair opposite, and observed her with his usual disconcerting stare.
She stared back, confused, until her fingers began to burn from holding the cracked cup. She pressed it against her lips, and it was only then that she realised her teeth were chattering.
‘You are not going to survive,’ he said finally using one of the small computers he had taken from the shelf.
She gulped a mouthful of the liquid, and tried to disguise the unwelcome tears that pooled in her eyes. Already he thought her a weak, pathetic female and, for some strange reason, she didn’t want to give him further evidence to think any worse of her.
‘How do you stand it,’ she asked quietly, ‘the endless howling, night after night?’
‘There is a worse sound, and that is no sound at all.’
She fell silent, acknowledging this and feeling her own loneliness magnify. A lone wolf from outside, or even inside the ship, howled. She closed her eyes knowing she would never be able to forget how close she was to being eaten alive.
‘Th-the wolves,’ she said, shuddering, ‘what are they?’
‘Wolves?’ He looked at her in confusion when the translator offered no other information other than describing the canine creature that lived on Earth.
‘It’s what I call the howling creatures,’ she explained. ‘Their noise is similar to the animals back home.’
‘The wolves dominate over every animal here, and I regard them as the natives. To you they may seem savage, but they have shown me intelligence not normally found in animals.’
How can your readers keep up with your news?
My blog is: http://louisewise.blogspot.com/
I’m also on Twitter wisebird2009
I’ll be sure to check that out. So tell me, how do you deal with rejection letters?
I’ve no time for them anymore. If you want a publishing deal these days you have to be in the right place at the right time and have the right agent (if you can get an agent). It’s both a matter of luck and catching the imagination of an agent, which after they’ve looked at their thirtieth ms in a day is going to be rare, let’s face it.
I was once told that agents look for reasons to reject because it is so much work to take on a new writer and they’d rather concentrate on their current list of authors. I go it alone now, and I haven’t regretted it!
Oh right, maybe that’s why it’s so hard to snag one! What's your advice about getting an agent?
Be professional, treat your proposal as if you’re selling yourself rather than a book. Search inside the dedications of books for authors thanking their agents to names, compliment them (they love it), DON’T criticise other writers or agents, but most of all be prepared to be turned down.
Yes, that’s good advice. If you start criticising a publisher you run the risk of getting blackballed. Most authors rely on critique partners for an extra eye on when they are writing. Who rely on and why?
I use a fantastic review site called youwriteon.com (it’s where I published Eden). It’s full of writers like myself, but their criticism can be harsh and also very valuable. I also use Cornerstone Literary Consultancy.
Can anyone join these sites?
Here’s a link for YWO: http://youwriteon.com/
It’s free registration, and yes anyone can join. I whole heartedly recommend it.
Cornerstones Literary Consultancy is different, they chose you. They don’t take on anybody, which when you realise that, gives you a boost. Agents, who were frustrated in rejecting work that was almost there, set it up. They are editing my latest novel (wished I knew about them before Eden!) They contacted me sometime before Christmas when I was sending out A Proper Charlie and getting nowhere – you do have to pay though, but I like to call it an investment.
Thanks for those. It's nice that we can help each other out with all this sort of information. My favourite part of writing is when the editing is over. What’s yours?
When I’ve the house to myself, and I’ve the radio on and I’m tapping away and it’s all coming out through my fingers without me having to think – bliss. That and typing The End at the bottom!
How do you get past all the frustrations that come with trying to be a successful writer?
I was frustrated before YWO took on Eden. It was so demoralising getting rejection after rejection from every agency. Even if you get an agent, there is no guarantee that they will find a publisher! That’s what happened to Eden. An agent had faith in the book, but nobody would take it on.
So did you use that agent to publish it then?
No, the agent did say she’d be interested in something else but I had nothing else to offer at the time. I’ve contacted her since I wrote Proper Charlie, but she’s moved on. It’s a shame, but no use in grumbling. YWO as well as being a forum and a review site became a publisher two years ago. They published Eden, did the art work and put it on Amazon, B&N etc. I have to do my own marketing so I suppose it is a little like self-publishing.
So, forgetting writing for a minute, what do you like to read?
A mixture. From Dean Koontz, James Herbert, to anything chicklit.
And now to my favourite part, what actor/actress gets your pulses racing?
Jonny Depp as Captain Jack.
And Hugh Grant.
Great choices there. I rather like Hugh myself. Thanks Louise for popping in. It was nice to virtually meet you.
For new followers leave your email and you could win a gift from me. Also, I'll randomly choose the best comment of the week, EVERY week, and they will also win a unique gift from me. As well as author free gifts and prizes, you'll be in for a treat. Follow the blog and don't miss out.