Tell me about your latest novel The Sudden Departure of the Frasers
It's a psychological mystery story set in the smart London suburb of Lime Park. Newcomers Joe and Christy Davenport can't believe their luck when they buy a perfect house at below market rate - only to find themselves in a street full of divisions and unsettling behaviour. Only by unpicking the story of the previous occupants, Jeremy and Amber Fraser, can they make sense of the bewildering, even menacing, mood of the place. There are elements of 'Rear Window' here...
What's your favourite part of the writing process?
I like the structural edit stage. You've reached the point of not being able to see the wood for the trees and a talented editor (or agent) steps in and makes the suggestions that will take the story to a higher level. It's very exciting.
How did your book change over successive drafts?
This one changed dramatically. There were several drafts. The structure became more chopped up at the end, the characters were fleshed out, subplots concocted, the mood deepened. The only thing that ever remains the same from start to finish is my writing style.
How important is an online presence to a writer?
It's vital, especially now ebooks are accounting for such a large slice of the market. With The Sudden Departure of the Frasers, all of the marketing was done online. It's a double-edged sword: there are endless opportunities, but it's also much easier to get lost in the clamour. Of the social media options, I like Twitter.
Any tips for aspiring writers?
Make sure your central premise is a gripping one, then build the story around that. If you get stuck, dig into another bit of the story, try a different structural approach or voice. In terms of publishing, develop a thick skin, because you will encounter lots of rejection and criticism and must be able to survive it to continue.
Visit Louise's website here!.
Paragraph Planet is a creative writing website which has been publishing one 75-word paragraph every day since November 2008. Famous authors, aspiring writers and occasional dabblers have all got involved, submitting a mixture of twist-in-the-tale flash fiction, evocative short, short fiction, openings of published novels or brief moments captured. Get involved here. You can read over 2000 examples in the archive section. There are also interviews with some of the published authors who have submitted to the site, as well as an authors page in which you can read an example paragraph from all authors who've submitted, and also link to dedicated pages with more info about regular contributors. There's also a Blog Directory of authors who've contributed to the site.