Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Louise Jensen to the book review cafe. I’m a huge fan of this authors psychological thrillers including my Favourite The Surrogate if you haven’t read any of her books yet, where have you been? You need to buy them now! You won’t be disappointed I promise.
I so enjoy sharing these posts and I am so nosy that it’s a great opportunity to learn more about some of my favourite authors and what they get up to in their “typical” day 😂. Hope you enjoy reading Louise Jensen’s post as much as I did.
A day with author Louise Jensen
I wrote my first novel, The Sister, while I was working full-time. Each night, when my youngest son had independent reading time I would sit, perched on the edge of my bed, laptop balanced on my knee, bashing out as many words as I could in half an hour.
Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to write full-time, although even with the extra hours, it often feels I don’t achieve many more words than I used to in that 30 minutes.
Nowadays I write in the spare room. It was my eldest son’s bedroom, he now shares a lovely flat with his girlfriend, and although I was sad to see him go I soon stuck a desk in the corner of his room!
I’m generally quite structured with my days. I have a health condition which means I suffer with chronic pain and am easily fatigued. My most creative and alert times are in the morning so once I’m home after the school run I’m always at my desk by 8.30. By now, I have already caught up with social media and emails while eating breakfast so I’m ready to write. This is my time for new words. Often working on a novel, but sometimes, like today, I’m writing a short story for an anthology for one of my foreign publishers. I find writing a first draft of anything incredibly difficult, and I often find myself clock watching, my fingers twitching, desperate to check Twitter or browse Amazon.
Hopefully by lunchtime I will have got some words down. I don’t set word count targets for myself, that’s added pressure I don’t need, for me it’s always the quality of the words not the quantity. Often I fiddle with sentences for ages before I’m happy with them. I know not everything I write will survive this stage, I don’t plan my stories so if I go off track with my plot there will be many cuts, but taking my time, getting a real feel for the scene, enables me to get to know my characters really well. Eventually, they will be the ones leading the story not me.
Lunch is usually a quick sandwich or bowl of soup, usually eaten at my desk as I prefer to get as much done as I can in school hours. If I’m editing a manuscript I go back to it after lunch, but if I’m at first draft stage I won’t return to it in the afternoons as I know from experience my progress when I’m tired is slow and frustrating. Afternoons are often dedicated to blogging, social media, arranging events and interviews. My books have been translated into numerous languages and so I now have 18 publishers who can want various things publicity -wise. This can get incredibly busy and is a part of being a writer I had never considered before getting my book deal.
I’m on the school run again at four, and then unless there’s anything pressing to finish it’s time precious time spent with the kids and cooking dinner. After we’ve eaten I do my physio exercises, piano practice and meditate. The rest of my evenings are spent either reading, watching a movie, or out with friends or, frequently, falling asleep on the sofa!
I’m trying to cut down on working at weekends. As a new writer, this past year has been a real learning curve, but now I’m about to start writing book four I feel I’ve found my feet a little, and it’s all about finding a balance now. Sustaining a full-time career and spending quality time with my family. I absolutely adore what I do and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
My thanks to Louise Jensen for taking time out of her busy schedule to write this post and also for the photographs from her personal collection.
About Louise Jensen
Louise is a USA Today Bestselling Author, and lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat.
Louise’s first two novels, The Sister and The Gift, were both International No.1 Bestsellers, and have been sold for translation to sixteen countries. The Sister was nominated for The Goodreads Awards Debut of 2016. Louise’s third psychological thriller, The Surrogate, is out now.
Louise loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at www.louisejensen.co.uk, where she regularly blogs flash fiction.