ANNOUNCEMENT: The winner of a signed copy if Louisa's latest release THE WAR HERO'S LOCKED AWAY HEART is Fiona Marsden. Congratulations Fiona.
Louisa George has just dropped in to talk about her latest novel, THE WAR HERO'S LOCKED AWAY HEART and she has a signed copy for one lucky commenter. She is one of my favourite novelists in the Mills and Boon Medical Romance imprint and I had a lot of questions up my sleeve to ask her. So here we go:
Louisa- Thanks so much for inviting me over to your blog! It's lovely to be here.
Maria- You're very welcome, Louisa. I've noticed that your characters, particularly the heroines are very well drawn and tend to come alive on the page. The heroines in your first two novels, Jessie and Mim, were very likeable. Both of them struck me as women who I'd lik e to have as a friend.
I loved Jessie in ONE MONTH TO BECOME A MUM for her
no-nonsense, get on with it attitude when her marriage broke up under such tragic circumstances, especially the way she just dedicated herself to helping others. I also admired Mim in WAKING UP WITH HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE for putting her passion for rural community medicine before her engagement to a man who back then was rather shallow and selfish. What I wanted to ask you was what is more important to you when writing your novels? The characters or the plot?
Louisa I'm so glad you like my characters! For me character is the most important thing. If you think about all the great books you've read, I'll bet it's the characters that stand out rather than the action: think Scarlett O'Hara, Heathcliff etc One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was to make the heroine sympathetic from the start, that way your readers will be rooting for her. So I try to get them in situations at the beginning that a reader can identify with.
Maria I'd also like to ask you where do you get the inspiration for your characters for your novels? From your imagination, or are they inspired by real life people you know? And are your plots inspired by real life or are they entirely inspired?
Maria When you sit down to actually write a novel, do you have the whole thing plotted out from start to finish? Do you go with a rough outline, being open to new developments as they occur to you in the writing? Or do you just start with a blank page and work it from there?
Maria It probably comes quite naturally to you to set your books in the medical world in New Zealand. Living as you do in New Zealand and having a medical background means that you know the world about which you're writing. Do you ever have to do additional research to help with a book you're working on?
Maria Are you good at spotting your own mistakes when you re-read your drafts? I know I'm not!
Maria I know you're a novelist. Could you share with us if you've dabbled in other types of writing too? Articles? Short stories? Anything else?
Maria Of the three books you've released so far, which is your absolute favourite and why?
Louisa Oh, gosh- that's a toughie! I've loved all of them; they've all brought their own challenges and were all fun to write at various stages. Possibly, Waking Up With His Runaway Bride is my absolute favourite- not because I love the story so much as it was my second medical and after the long revision process for the first one I thought Mills and Boon had signed me up by mistake, or that me writing a publishable book was a fluke. I absolutely didn't know if I could do another one (there is an affliction that all writers want to avoid, called 'second book syndrome'). So, finishing it and getting only minor revisions gave me much more self belief
as an author. It was my 'rite of passage' book (plus it has dancing/ballet/salsa in it, which I adore).
Thanks for such interesting questions. I'd love to give away a copy of The War Hero's Locked-Away Heart to one commenter!
Maria Thank you for coming Louisa and thank you for the giveaway.
LOUISA ON THE WEB
THE WAR HERO'S LOCKED AWAY HEART
Mills & Boon UK