6 July 2011

Author Interview: Louise Douglas

Today I am pleased to welcome the lovely Louise Douglas to the site for an author interview! Louise is the author of new release The Secrets Between Us, as well as two previous fantastic novels, one of which won the RNA People's Choice Award in 2010, and has been very successful. I adored Louise's new book, and was really pleased to be given the opportunity to interview Louise. So here we go, enjoy!

Q1. Please tell us about your new novel 'The Secrets Between Us'.

 It’s about a young woman called Sarah who meets, an enigmatic man, Alexander at a time when she’s vulnerable and low. He tells her that his wife, Genevieve has left him and that he’s struggling to cope with their young son alone, so, to the horror of her family and friends, she moves to the other side of the country to help him look after the house and child. As she effectively begins to live Genevieve’s life, she becomes fascinated with her, but at the same time doubts about Alexander emerge and she has to question if he’s telling the truth, and if she can trust him at all. 

Q2. I found Sarah to be a great narrator, and sympathised with her throughout the book. You wrote the book with her first person narrative, do you find this is easiest to get way to get into your character, and did you find it easy to build up the tension of the Alexander/Genevieve story as you wrote without giving anything away to your readers?

 Thanks Chloe, and yes, I definitely like writing first person best! I enjoyed seeing things through Sarah’s eyes and finding out about Genevieve with her. Because quite a lot depends on Sarah’s interpretation of the situation, it would have been far more difficult to write this story third person. 

Q3. You say that you were inspired by the classics when writing this book such as "Wuthering Heights" and Daphne Du Maurier's "Rebecca"... what is about these books which made you inspired, and why do you they are such long-lasting classics?

 They’re so good! Every time I read them I find things I’d missed before, and the writing is so beautiful and descriptive and the story-telling so fresh. I think that’s why so many people continue to love these books and always will do. Both are superficially love stories but with very dark undertones and I find that combination quite sexy! 

Q4. This book is very different to your previous two - much darker and grittier. Why did you decide to take a different direction with your third novel?

 I didn’t consciously decide, it just turned out that way, maybe because I’d been reading a lot of gothic novels at the time. I don’t plan my stories, when I started this one I thought it was going to turn out completely differently to how it did. 

Q5. Your second book 'Missing You' won the 'People's Choice Award' at the 2010 RNA Pure Passion Award as voted for by readers. What did that win mean to you?

 Everything! It was one of the best and most unexpected things that’s ever happened to me. I’m so grateful to everyone who voted and to the RNA. I feel privileged to be part of such a brilliant association.

 Q6. Your books all deal with the theme of loss of loved ones in some form - why is it you choose to write about this theme in your books?

 I always want to write about love as I think it’s the most precious and important thing in the world, not just romantic love but in all its different forms. The trouble is, when we love we make ourselves vulnerable and the more we love, the more vulnerable we become. I think I must be subliminally trying to work out how to cope with losing somebody you love, but I haven’t found the answer yet... 

Q7. What do you think of the term "chick lit" and do you mind your work sometimes be classified under this umbrella term?

It basically means books predominantly written for and read by young women and covers many different genres, so I think it’s a positive and useful term, except when it’s misused in a derogatory or patronising way. Some of the best writers in the world are chick lit authors so I’m flattered if my books are grouped with theirs! And I love this site, I read every review and interview so thank you for having me! 

Q8. What do you when you aren't writing books?

 I work for Airbus, walk the dog, read a lot, and enjoy being with my family and friends.

 Q9. What would be your three desert island reads?

 To Kill a Mocking Bird, Jane Eyre and anything by lovely Milly Johnson!

 Q10. Finally, are you working on a fourth novel?

 Yes, it’s nearly finished. It begins with a young woman being shocked when she sees - or thinks she sees -  her best friend, in a museum. While they were growing up, the girls were closer than sisters, almost like one person. The trouble is, the friend died 20 years earlier. Or did she?  It’s love and loss again.....

 Thank you so much, Louise!

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