Today we’re rounding off July with another author spotlight from the amazing British author Louisa Mae who’s here to talk about her upcoming release, starting in fanfiction and being a total pantser.
So take it away Louisa…
First things first, please introduce yourself!
Hi I’m Louisa Mae and I live in Leeds in the North of the UK and I write Gay Romance. Wow, that sounds like a cheesy intro on Blind Date!
Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
Unorganised chaos, herding cats, total pantser. Those all describe me, I will only write a book I’d want to read, and I love throwing angst into the mix and well as hopefully some scorching hot sex scenes.
Describe your books in only three words.
Sexy, angsty, British
What’s your next book about and when is it coming out?
I’m literally days away from finalising Voyeur Vol V for release which interestingly, I never intended to write, but these men (rolls eyes). The Voyeur series follows the lives and loves of the owner of The V Lounge which is a Voyeur club in Leeds. We get more than voyeurism, we get to know the men and follow their lives inside and outside of the walls of the club the series centres around. Vol V is different from the other books in the series as this isn’t about any of the men readers have met before, but rather a bit of a curve ball and was a challenge to write that’s for sure.
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of?
Oh that’s a toughie! It would have to be Innocent Man, it was the first book I wrote and I did it for NaNoWriMo and got 65K down in the month, and continued writing until January when I ended up with 110K. It was an unedited beast, so I walked away from it for over a year. The reason I love it is even now there are parts which can still make me cry, and readers really seem to connect with the characters and love the angst I wove into the words.
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
I’d say I’d always had a love of reading. I was taken to the public library as a young child and it was something I did with my dad, and is a precious memory.
I take inspiration from all over, music is a big one. The song Nights in White Satin was an earworm for two(ish) years until I found a way to use the emotion and feelings in a book.
What inspired you to start writing?
I started writing in the FanFiction world, but only made the change to Original Fiction when Nicole Colville came into my life. She read one, which was Innocent Man, and demanded more. She encouraged, supported, cajoled and inspired me to do it. I can’t thank her enough.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”?
Unorganised chaos, herding cats as I said before haha! I actually work full time, my day job is handling complaints as a Senior Complaints Advisor, so 9 – 5.30, Monday to Friday, I’m investigating complaints and writing responses and helping colleagues with their responses. Sometimes I can grab 20 – 30 mins over lunch, but it depends on the characters and how chatty they are. I tend to write on an evening after the day job has been “put away”. It’s a juggling act at times.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters?
They tend to come together, I get the plot whispered in my ear or sometimes smacked around my head and it’s usually by the character. I end up listening to them and they are usually pretty well formed by the time they speak to me.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written?
The Don’t series by Jack L. Pyke. She knows how hard I adore her books and I’d love to be able to write like Jack does, it’s dark, intense and absorbing.
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
I’m really not good with tropes to be honest, I tend to write what they want to talk to me about, but I’d say hurt/comfort.
What would be your three desert island books?
Don’t by Jack L. Pyke, Hidden Pain by Nicole Colville and The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast?
Oooh hard one… It’d have to be Innocent Man and I know my cast! I had these people in my mind when I was writing. Hayden Soames would be Alex Pettyfer and Theo Winters would be Mark Ricketson. I saw a photo of him in glasses with a book in his hands and MY WORD, that scene was written into the book purely from that picture alone.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about?
I like to make my own swag, keyring and badges and I do it for others. I love baking, that’s a big thing for me, and I also beta read for other authors.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
HAHA! What a question, it would have to be the Baby from Dinosaurs, that counts right, “Not the Mama!”
Born and bred in the the vibrant city of Leeds in the North of the UK. I’ve always loved reading, and one of my fondest memories from childhood was the weekly visits to the library with my beloved dad. It always seemed such a magical place to escape into through the books I read on a weekly basis. I’d not really thought about writing in my adult life until I was introduced to the world of Fanfiction and after reading so many I found myself making friends through this new media. My friend, Lori, told me to have a go at writing one, and I did. That work took on a life of its own and opened my eyes to the possibilities. This allowed me to get used to plotting a story and while making the characters my own. I also started to beta/pre read for others and discovered, that much to my surprise, they valued my opinion and input. Making the move to write M/M or slash as it’s known, took me a little longer. After becoming good friends with a wonderful lady from Illinois who told me (repeatedly), “You should write slash, I think you’d be good at it.” I shied away from the idea for so long, but the seed was firmly sown in my mind and soon took root and a life of its own. I decided to write a short piece as a surprise gift for Angela’s birthday that year. Emailing it to her, given the time difference between the UK and US this meant I was desperately waiting for her to see in and I think I heard her delighted scream. Thanks to this, and working on writing group competition, I soon found that I preferred writing M/M to M/F. In 2013 fate intervened and I lost my job. Through my new one, I met Nicole Colville, and the rest, as they say, is history. This marked the start of a beautiful friendship. She encouraged me to make the switch to writing original fiction, and I signed up to Nano Wri Mo 2013, but due to changing jobs I couldn’t commit the time needed. In 2014 I signed up again, and smashed the 50K word goal in 30 days, with a story I love and am proud of. I’ve been beta/pre reading for Nicole over 17 books now (including the 10 shorts in Knights) and the confidence she inspires in me has been invaluable in my joining this anthology and publishing my first work.