Monday, 21 September 2015

Author Interview: Louise Marley

One of the things I love about our community of bloggers, authors and publishers is that we are all incredibly supportive of each other. I can honestly say that I have not witnessed any hint of a competitive nature, other than an author competing with themselves to be better than there last book. This support I have witnessed is also extended lovingly to those of us, like myself who aren't published authors but aspiring ones. The reason I am talking about the people who support and encourage others, is because the lady who I am interviewing today is one of the most supportive people I have been lucky to have interacted with. Louise Marley is not only a talented other, but she is an absolute gem as well. 

Hello Louise, thank you so much for agreeing to an interview. I am pleased to welcome you to my blog

Thank you for inviting me!

So tell me a little bit about yourself. Where are you from and what do you write?

I was born in Southampton but I now live in North Wales. I used to work as an Admin Officer for Hampshire Constabulary, which is why the characters in my books are often police officers. I love visiting old houses and castles (which usually end up in my books) and researching my family history (which also ends up in my books). Apparently I had a lot of nefarious ancestors! I write romantic suspense and romantic comedy.

Where did you find your inspiration for Something Wicked?

Most of my books are set during summer. I write romances and it’s easier to get your characters out of their clothes when the weather is hot; you have to be a lot more creative when the temperature plummets! But I’d always wanted to write a book set in winter – with frost and ice and lots of snow. I expect this is because of the kind of books I liked to read as a child, such as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Can there be anything more magical than stepping through an old wardrobe and into a world where it’s always winter?

I'm also a huge fan of fairy tales. There is one part of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe that always reminds me of Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen. In The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Edmund meets The White Witch in her sleigh and she enchants him with Turkish delight. Whereas in The Snow Queen, Kai falls under the witch’s spell when she kisses him after he’s hitched his sled to her sleigh (that’s not an euphemism!). There’s probably a moral in there somewhere, about keeping well clear of women in sleighs, but what struck me about both stories was how snow is considered to be A Bad Thing. In Narnia it is ‘Always winter and never Christmas’, and in The Snow Queen Kai becomes obsessed with snowflakes. And this contributed to my inspiration for Something Wicked.
What can you tell me about your typical writing day and what your process is?

I roll out of bed at about 7.00 am and spend an hour doing admin and social media. I do the school run and my chores before going back to work. ‘Work’ consists of writing a novel, short story or blog post, for my own blog or as a guest for someone else. I have a notebook for every book I write, in which I scribble down my original idea before expanding it with character detail or lines of dialogue. I work out how long the book is going to be, and how many chapters I need, and I write a line of plot for each chapter. I expand on that until I have about twenty pages of synopsis and then I begin writing. If I get stuck at any time, I jump ahead to another chapter and write that instead. Once I even wrote a whole book backwards, starting with the final chapter and working my way back to the part where I’d become stuck. I find working like this is more time-efficient than staring at a blank page and fretting that I might have developed writer’s block!

Do you have your own special Writer’s Room? I want one someday.

I have a ‘study’. It sounds far more glamorous than ‘office’! My husband and I both work from home and have a study/office each, but the Wi-Fi signal comes and goes, depending which room we’re in, so we swap back and forth. Sometimes I even end up in the kitchen! I can write anywhere, and frequently do, although my favourite place is in the garden – when the sun is shining, obviously! And I have to have music!
Can you tell me about your journey to publication? How did that all happen?

I started off writing short stories for women’s magazines about twenty years ago. I then wrote a novel called Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, which was taken on by an agent, but he failed to sell it and we parted company. I then entered Smoke into a competition run by Poolbeg Press. It didn’t win but I was offered a three book contract.

Once the three books had been published, I wasn’t offered a new contract. Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, this was very good for me! I had the idea, like most new writers, that having an agent and a publisher was the writer’s equivalent of their own happy ever after. The reality is writing is just another kind of job – a brilliant one, that I love doing, but still a job. I had the choice between going back to being an Admin Officer or becoming more business-like about writing – and more proactive about publication. I obtained the rights to my out-of-print novels and re-published them myself. I’ve now sold over 130,000 books and hit the Amazon Top 100 three times. I no longer rely on anyone else for my happy ever after!

What can you tell me about Novelistas Ink?

The Novelistas are a writing group, founded about fifteen years ago by the bestselling romcom author Trisha Ashley. Novelistas Ink is our blog. We’re not a traditional writers’ group; we don’t critique each other’s work. We’re friends who happen to write. We give each other advice, commiserate with bad news and celebrate our successes.

What do your family and loved ones think of your success?


“Hey kids, I’m #1 in romance!”

“That’s nice, Mum. What’s for dinner?”

You seem to have a great circle of author friends. How important is it to build a support network?

It’s very important! No one understands a writer like another writer! You can track us down at writers’ conferences or by joining organisations such as The Romantic Novelists’ Association. (You don’t have to be published; they have a new writers’ scheme.) You can also find writers on Twitter or Facebook – usually when they’re supposed to be working!

So what’s next for Louise Marley? Do you have a release planned for this year?

I’ve just finished my latest novel, Trust Me I Lie, but I don’t have a release date just yet.

The Fun Stuff:

What is your favourite TV show right now?

If we’re talking right now, I love Once Upon a Time, The Vampire Diaries and Sleepy Hollow, even though I don’t write fantasy, or even read it! My all-time favourite, however, would have to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the combination of a kick-ass heroine (literally), a bad boy hero (er, also literally) and the clever dialogue, chock-full of brilliant one-liners. I love it!

Who is your ultimate celebrity crush?

Johnny Depp. Which has nothing at all to do with the part he played in Pirates of the Caribbean and me having a thing for pirates. It’s a total coincidence.

Who are your favourite authors?

How long have you got? Since I bought my Kindle, I read 2 or 3 books a week. I’ll read pretty much anything, in a variety of genres, but I prefer to find the books myself and rarely read current bestsellers. Once I find an author I love, I go to great lengths to read their entire backlist – even tracking down second-hand copies on eBay! This is another reason I love my Kindle. I can find and download a book in seconds! My favourite authors include Kathy Reichs and Harlan Coben (crime), Jilly Cooper and Trisha Ashley (romantic comedy), Charlaine Harris (paranormal romance), Susan Hill (paranormal), Anne Stuart (romantic suspense), Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Tessa Dare (historical romance), Kate Morton and Philippa Gregory (historical).

Which book from another author do you wish you had written?

Fifty Shades of Grey! EL James has a huge, loyal fanbase and enough clout to make executive decisions on the Hollywood movie adaptations of her books. And I’d quite like the money too!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Louise.

You’re welcome!

About Louise

Louise Marley writes romantic comedy and romantic suspense, and sometimes she mixes the two. She lives in Wales, surrounded by fields of sheep, and has a beautiful view of Snowdon from her window.
Her first published novel was Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, which was a finalist in Poolbeg’s ‘Write a Bestseller’ competition. She has also written articles for the Irish press and short stories for UK women’s magazines such as Take a Break and My Weekly.


Twitter: @LouiseMarley

To Buy Louise's Books: