Today I’m chatting to Louise Walters, author of Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase and A Life Between Us. Her third novel, The Road to California, is due out next year. In addition to writing, Louise has also set up her own imprint and she’s very excited about publishing her first author!
Hi Louise. Tell us a little about your writing to date.
My debut novel, Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase, was published by Hodder in 2014. I self-published my second novel, A Life Between Us, in 2017, and in 2018 I will publish my third novel under my own imprint, Louise Walters Books.
Where did your inspiration for The Road to California come from?
It was the first novel I wrote, over ten years ago now, and it was inspired by my oldest son; my experiences with home educating him; and my love of quilts and crafting. It all came together in this project and it’s my favourite of my novels.
During the writing process, have you ever been surprised by the choices and decisions your characters arrive at?
Not really. I tend to get to know my characters inside out before I get stuck into the actual writing, so they don’t often surprise me!
Personal writing choice: pen or keyboard?
Pen and notebook for notes, keyboard for the writing.
When do you know a novel is complete?
I don’t always. There just comes a point where you have to let a project go, and turn to the final stage where you line edit, then copy edit, and work hard on getting rid of all errors. Once it’s “out there”, that’s it, and sometimes it’s a wrench. But it can be tempting to hang onto a project for too long.
What is the best part of being an author?
The editing. I don’t like first drafts as I can run out of steam. But once I have a reasonable length draft (around 30-40k words or more) I then start the editing process and that’s always easier and, for me, more enjoyable. I love fine-tuning.
And the worst?
First drafts! And rejection.
Who are your writing heroes?
I love the Bronte sisters. They were amazing. And Jane Austen. Women then had such a hard time getting published, and having their work taken seriously.
If you had to be stranded on a desert island with three fictional characters, who would you choose, and why?
Oh, that’s difficult! Somebody practical would be useful, so maybe Robinson Crusoe? He’d know what to do wouldn’t he?! And for good talk and company, the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. I wouldn’t be bored.
I’m working hard on my imprint, and currently editing my first author’s novel. Her name is Laura Laakso and she writes paranormal detective fiction. She’s a talented author and I can’t wait to publish her first novel in 2018.
Louise Walters is a novelist, editor and publisher. She lives in Northamptonshire with her husband and children.