|Posted by Matt Posner on May 15, 2014 at 6:05 PM|
Welcoming back after a gap of roughly two years, the remarkable Louise Wise.
Note: please go to the end of this article to read some writing by Louise that is WAY better than anything by E.L. James.
Louise, you were last featured here in June 2012. What are the highlights writing-wise since that memorable visit?
Well, from thinking I’d found my ‘niche’ in the writing world with romcoms I’ve decided to go back to writing sci-fi romance.
I enjoy writing comedy though, and I’ll continue with the current book I’m working on, but the market is saturated with other fantastic chick lit writers and it’s hard to be noticed.
I’m seeing it as a positive because it is forcing me to concentrate on one genre, and the highlight is that I wrote Eden’s sequel and it was an immediate hit with the American market.
How do you define "sensual romance"? How did you decide to start writing it?
Eden and Hunted are my ‘sensual romance’ books. I’m too sweet and innocent to write erotica, so sensual romance is the next best thing. Seriously, sex sells but I didn’t want my sci-fi romances labelled as erotic because they aren’t (more adventure than sexy!) but on the same side of the coin I wanted them hot. Sensually hot. Not sleazy hot.
Last time you were here, you promoted a book called The Fall of The Misanthrope. I don't see it at amazon US. So what's the story behind that?
That is my ‘dark’ chick lit book but the title makes you think of literary works and it wasn’t working. The same book can be found under the title Oh no, I’ve Fallen in Love!
Do you really have a pink laptop? Can we see a picture of it?
Ha! Only the outside of her is pink. She’s an old girl now and it’s beginning to tell. Can’t take a picture of her because she’s camera shy.
Matt says: Here's someone else's pink laptop.
You said in your guest blog that you live an hour from the bright lights of London. Where, exactly? How do you like it there?
I’m from Northampton; the same place where the late Princess Diana grew up. I was born here so it holds a lot of nostalgia, and of course, my family are nearby. We’re a close family, but I long to leave. I want to live near to the sea. Cornwall, Devon or the Isle of Wight call to me!
I've been to London three times on vacation and have always gone to the tourist spots. Where should I go next time that welcomes Yanks but is a little less crowded?
Can I let you into a secret? I hate London! I don’t mind day trips and enjoy the hustle and bustle when I’m there, but for longer than a day? Nah. Get me out of there! If I were an American looking for English heritage I would give London a miss and head straight to somewhere like the City of York or Warwickshire, and the seaside towns here are beautiful. Then there is Scotland and Ireland (love Ireland. Belfast is amazing, although that part of the world is probably not good to visit at the moment).
What have you been reading recently?
It’s a book of short stories and one of my stories is featured. I hadn’t read the other entries until now and I’m really enjoying it.
I’m also working my way through Are You Still Submitting Your Work to a Traditional Publisher? By Edward C. Patterson, which is offering some amazing tips. Most of my books aren’t available as paperbacks so I’m finding this little gem great for that.
Self-publishing has a very friendly community (where we have been interacting over the years) but can still be lonely and frustrating at times. What are your greatest sources of motivation to stick with it?
The buzz of seeing your work read keeps me going, and I’m sure that’s the same for most writers. But ‘keeps me going’ sounds like I find writing a chore. I don’t. I love creating worlds and characters.
When did you first realize you wanted to write novels? What came of your early efforts?
I was always writing stories as a child, and my first full-length novel was written between the ages of 12 and 14. I don’t think I ever finished it! It was about animals able to turn into humans and become superheroes, over 100,000 words long, and all typed on an old Olivetti typewriter in my bedroom after school. Now, that’s dedication!
What are some important influences upon your style? Upon your choices of genre to write in?
I’m a positive, glass half full type of person and see humour in ordinary things. Even tragic lives can be funny! This is where I brought alive my romcoms. I mixed humour and the everyday mundane and it’s worked beautifully.
My sci-fi romances have an element of humour (as does life) but I’m more serous with these. I love reading about strong, domineering, confident men and helpless, or rather hapless, women and so incorporated what I love reading into Eden and Hunted. Basically, I wrote what I wanted to read.
How about an interesting story from your writing life?
I was researching A Proper Charlie and needed to know what it was like to work at a busy newspaper. I did all I could online, and that’s where I saw an advert asking for office clerks at the Chronicle (local newspaper). I applied, got an interview and researched the interviewer under the cover of being interviewed for a job that I didn’t want. But no, I didn’t get the job!
You often promote authors on your Wise Words blog. How do you get your ideas for those well-written entries?
Ha! Well, once I wanted advice on marketing so I asked writers to write in with their tips. Another time I wanted to know what they felt about authors writing their own reviews (nobody admitted they did it). I’m still getting a lot of hits on that topic.
Usually, though I whiz around other people’s blogs for ideas, or see what is trending on Twitter or the chats on FB and Google +. I like to encourage writers to be themselves on the blog, but I get many people who are so sugary sweet it’s nauseating. I have regulars who write for me and I encourage them because I know their writing is good, honest and they aren’t afraid of showing the world that they aren’t perfect.
Tell us about your book on blogging.
Ah, that. I keep meaning to update it and get it properly edited. Stop Press! Author puts out book not properly edited!!! It’s basically for the beginner who is starting out with social media, and it’s written in my ‘chick lit’ style (chatty).
What would you like to say to readers to close this interview?
Buy my books. Please?
Shop for Louise's books here:
See below for Louise's biography and some excerpts from her books.
Married,with four children, Louise Wise lives in England. She is a pharmacist technician by day and a writer by night. She was educated in an ordinary state school and left without achieving much in the way of qualifications; you could say she was the result of a crap school. Hungry for knowledge she enrolled in an Adult Education centre and studied English, maths and creative writing. Whereas other young girls asked for makeup and clothes for their birthdays, she asked for encyclopaedias!
Louise Wise used her general love of romantic fiction and interest in astronomy to write her first book. The book received many rejections stating the novel was too original for the current market, until finally, an agent took the book on but subsequently failed to find a publisher for it. Instead of becoming despondent, Louise realised that becoming a published writer WAS possible. She turned her back on traditionally publishing, threw herself into the indie world, and went on to publish her first chick lit book, A Proper Charlie and then Oh no, I’ve Fallen in Love!
As for the ‘too original’ Eden, it has been such a hit that Louise has nowfollowed it up with the sequel, Hunted. So far, they are both selling well.
I risked a look at the tall man sitting beside me. His golden eyes were on the road. I took a chance to observe his ruggedly textured face and noticed a small scar on his left eyebrow, and the laughter lines that fanned out from his eyes.
My eyes slid over his dark-coloured dinner jacket; his body contoured to it as though it’d melted over him. And, no matter how hard I tried to stop myself, my eyes dropped lower still towards his groin. I brought my head up, shocked at my actions, and stared straight ahead with my hands folded in my lap.
He looked askance. ‘Have I passed?’
‘At least you’ve combed your hair.’
I watched his hands as they managed the powerful car. He really was a magnificent looking man – if you liked the arrogant feral type. I sniffed, and looked away.
The restaurant was in the heart of London, close to the London Eye. The city was alive with people, music and laughter. Both manager of the restaurant and the maître d’ were there to meet us, and reminded me how influential Lex was. He was greeted with firm handshakes, and a few courteous words about Ladwick. Lex answered politely, but kept a possessive hand firmly on the small of my back. Instead of feeling annoyed, I felt cherished. It was a nice feeling.
The maître d’ showed us to a small table for two in an alcove. A bottle of champagne on ice was waiting for us, and my place was set with a red rose lying across a side plate. The maître d’ lit the candle in the centre of the table, and then uncorked the champagne bottle with a bang. My nerves evaporated - it was obvious that Lex was trying to impress me. I almost laughed; probably would have too had I not been trying not to throw up at all the over-the-top sweetness and ickiness of it all. I watched the vapour rise from the top of the green bottle, then the maître d’ filled our glasses and finally left us alone.
‘Dear God,’ I said, as a violinist serenaded a blushing woman while her partner looked on. Lex handed me my glass of champagne.
‘Just call me Lex,’ hesaid.
I looked back at him. He honestly thought I’d be impressed? ‘Lex, be serious, are you sure about this place?’
He looked puzzled, but then winked and said with a grin, ‘It’s where I bring the ladies.’
I remembered the kissing and the female voice on the telephone and the spear of jealousy to my stomach shocked me. Keep it light, I reminded myself.
‘Your conquests,’ I said. I’d forgotten how nice champagne was as the bubbles hit the back of my throat.‘Tell me, Lex, do you win them all?’
He frowned. ‘Not all,no.’
It wasn’t the answer I was expecting. To hide my confusion I picked up the menu. It was one of those restaurants where there were only a few choice dishes with the prices absent. I put it down again.
‘How was Dublin?’ I asked.
He pushed the candle to one side and the shadows danced against the wall. ‘Irish. How was your day?’
‘Fine. How’d the plans go for another Ladwick there?’
‘Do we have to talk about business? I’ve been talking about Ladwick nonstop for four days now. I want to talk about you.’
‘Short conversation,’ I said and he chuckled.
‘How do you like the champagne?’
‘I can take it or leave it,’ I said.
‘You’re a hard lady to impress.’
‘Why’d you want to impress me? We’re having a casual dinner, that’s all.’
He stared at me a moment. ‘What if I don’t want it to be casual?’
‘I wouldn’t believe you.You’re the country’s latest famous bachelor and enjoying every moment.’ I picked up the menu, but then put it down again. ‘There’s a little Greekrestaurant around the corner. Fancy it?’
‘I thought women liked these types of places.’
I pushed back my chair. ‘Oh, you so need to be educated!’
Lex peeled off some notes and laid them on the table, and then, giggling like kids, we dashed from the restaurant. Leaving the car where it was, we walked across the road towards a sedate little taverna. It was quiet and the gentle music of Greek ancestry played. A dark-haired waitress escorted us to a small table at the rear, and gave us both a menu.
‘This is better,’ I said.
‘You always surprise me,’ Lex said. ‘I really thought you’d have liked the Coral.’
‘Did you now?’ I peeked over the top of my menu at him. ‘You don’t know me at all, Mr Kendal. You just assume you do; like you assume you understand women.’ I dropped my gaze to the words on the menu, not paying them much attention, but feeling his burning gaze on the top of my head.
‘You’re right. I’ve underestimated you. I apologise.’
I raised my eyes. His hands were clasped in front of him on the table and he was actually looking contrite. ‘I was going to wine and dine you. Impress you with my fluent French–’
He smiled but said, ‘Oui.’
My face remained passive as I said, ‘Dites-moi quevous avez toujours été un idiot?’
He looked shocked, but then laughed. ‘Yes, I’ve always been an idiot, I guess. So you speak French too?’
‘A little,’ I said. I was smiling too, only my smile was hidden behind the menu. I didn’t want him to see me thawing – not yet. ‘So, supposing you’d impressed me by speaking French, then what?’
‘The French and champagne not enough?’
I shook my head.
‘Well, after dinner we’d have gone for a drive. It’s a nice starry evening, and what could be better than cruising along listening to Van Morrison? ’
‘You made up a CD especially, didn’t you?’
He pulled a rueful face, and I laughed.
‘So where would you have taken me on the drive?’
‘A place where we could walk along the Thames just by ourselves; it’d be beautiful watching the silver moon dance on the surface. I’d have taken your hand…’
‘Yes?’ My heart was thumping; the menu – my guard - was lowering from my face.
‘Kissed each one of your fingers, and told you how beautiful you looked.’ His honey-coloured eyes were watching me intently. ‘I’d lean in, you’d lean in and we’d kiss. Gently. Softly. You’d look shocked, maybe embarrassed, and then I’d say, let’s walk. And we’d walk along the river bank. My coat around your shoulders. We’d hold hands, you’d relax. Then, beneath the moon, I’d stop, pull you against me and kiss you again. This time you wouldn’t be embarrassed.’
I couldn’t believe this.He was doing it again!
‘Did you have lessons?’ Iasked, breathless.
His mouth twitched. He sat back, and picked up the menu. ‘Admit it, Velvet, you were falling for it.’
Insufferable, but correct, man. He was good, I’d give him that. Playboy at his best. I’d have to stay alert. Maybe I shouldn’t drink anything alcoholic tonight. Just in case.
Ooh, they had cocktails!I love cocktails. I snatched up the cocktail menu and, yep, they had myfavourite – Fuzzy Navel.
One wouldn’t hurt.