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Oct 25

The Business of Books: Millions of Thrills – Jane Cable meets USA Today bestselling author Louise Jensen

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Louise’s first two novels, The Sister and The Gift, were both No.1 bestsellers, and have been sold for translation in sixteen territories. The Sister was nominated for The Goodreads Awards Debut of 2016. The Surrogate is out now.

1) How much of your working life does the business of books take up?

I’m quite structured and tend to work 9-3.15 every day to fit in with school hours. If I’m taking a book through the editing process I come back to my desk after the school run and work through until about 5.30 and I generally work for a part of most weekends too. Writing full time is busier than I’d anticipated. Writing new words is only a fraction of my day. There’s admin, interviews, events not to mention social media and blogging. In all honesty it’s taken me about a year to find my feet and settle into a good routine.

 

2) What’s your business model to earn a living from writing?

I didn’t have one! I started writing as a hobby but after completing the first draft of The Sister I read it back and realised I had something really special. I sat down with my husband and told him I’d love to work part-time for six months to give me a chance to really polish it and submit to agents and publishers. We went through our finances and realised it would be tight and sat down with the kids and discussed it as a family. Everyone agreed I should at least try. Within six months I’d signed a three book deal and six months after that I was fortunate enough to be in the position to be able to write full time.

3) What do you write and what do you consider to be your major successes?

I write psychological thrillers that also have an emotional thread running through the story line. I adore commercial fiction and thrillers and like to blend genres where I can. I love the feeling of being unnerved one second and then having a lump in my throat the next. I want to take readers through a whole spectrum of emotions when they read my stories.

Both my first two novels, The Sister and The Gift were No. 1 International Bestsellers and USA Today Bestsellers and have been sold for translation to sixteen territories. It really was a dreams come true year. The Sister sold half a million copies within the first six months and I was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 and also for the CWA Daggers New Blood 2017. The Sister spent over a year and a half in the psychological thriller top 100 so far.

Initially I published with Bookouture, a digital imprint of Hachette, but Sphere (Little, Brown) have since acquired paperback rights to my first three books, and a fourth to come next year, and I can’t tell you how exciting it is to walk into a bookshop or supermarket and see my stories on a shelf.

 

4) Tell me about your latest project.

The Surrogate is newly released and is the story of Kat and Nick who are desperate to be parents. They’ve almost given up hope when Kat runs into Lisa, her childhood best friend, who offers to act as a surrogate.

Kat’s longing to be a mother makes this book an emotional read, but the layers to all the characters also make this the darkest book I’ve ever written. Everyone has a secret!

I had such fun writing this story. There was no planning involved and there were so many twists and turns each day was an adventure. The ending completely took me by surprise and made me gasp out loud and so far, no reader has figured it out either, despite the clues I went back and planted.

 

At the time of publication The Surrogate is featured in a special promotion where the eBook is £0.99/$1.31 across all digital platforms for the next week. You can buy from Amazon here.

You can also find Louise at www.louisejensen.co.uk where she regularly blogs flash fiction and writing tips, and she also spends far too much time over on Twitter.