Author Louisa De Lange Answers all our Questions
- Latest Book: The Dream Wife
- Can you give us the ‘elevator pitch’ version of your latest book.
The Dream Wife tells the story of Annie, the perfect wife. She cooks, she cleans, she does everything a dream wife should do. But behind this façade is a darker reality: her husband David controls everything about her life. The only reason she survives her horrible existence is the love for her two-year-old son, Johnny, and at night, she discovers she can escape into a world where she can control her dreams.But I can’t say much more than that, because it will give too much away!
- Tell us something about yourself that we likely don’t know! The more obscure the better!
Umm… Obscure is hard! I can move my eyes independently, and can touch my nose with my tongue? Is that obscure enough?
- Do you write in silence, or with music? If you write to music, give us the top three songs on your writers’ playlist this week.
I can only write in silence, but I always have a playlist in mind that goes with the book and listen to the rest of the time when I’m out and about and thinking about the plot. At the moment, for my second book Double Take, this is basically anything written by Snow Patrol.
- Are you a Plotter or Pantser?
I always have a vague outline in mind but write the first draft without planning and just see where it goes. For the second draft I plan! I sit with post-it notes, pull it all apart, then rebuild meticulously sticking to that blueprint.
- Have your characters ever ‘gone off script’ – hijacked your story and taken it in a direction you didn’t expect?
Always! When I start out I never know how the characters are going to take shape, and it’s interesting to see where they take me.
- If you could spend time with any character from any of your books, who would it be and what would you do?
In my latest book (Double Take, due out autumn 2019) I am completely obsessed with one of the main characters, called Harry. I love him. (Is that a bit weird? Sorry, yes, it probably is…)
In The Dream Wife, I wouldn’t mind spending some time with Adam. For obvious reasons…
- Which of your characters can you say you would least get along with in real life
David. He is a nasty horrible man.
- Do you read your reviews?
I try not to. But yes. There is a self-destructive curiosity which pulls me to the one-star reviews on Amazon.
- What has been the toughest criticism you have been given since becoming a published author?
One-star Amazon reviews. They don’t sugar coat it, those guys! They’re harsh!
- What is the best compliment you have received?
That someone wanted to represent me (the wonderful Ed Wilson at Johnson & Alcock), and then that Orion wanted to publish my book. The biggest compliment must be that someone will spend their time making sure your writing is the best it can be, and then like it enough to push it out into the world.
- Do you have a day job when you are not writing? If so, what do you do?
When I’m not writing books, I work as a freelance editor and proofreader. But I try to spend as much time as possible writing novels, as that’s what I really love.
- Can you name three authors who have inspired your writing?
Stephen King was a huge inspiration growing up; I loved his books and the way he combines normal life with the supernatural. Also, Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding was one of the first books I read that I really related to.I’m struggling to narrow it down to a third! If I had to pick, I’d probably say Douglas Adams for the sheer brilliance of his turn of phrase
- What was your favourite book as a child?
Dogger, by Shirley Hughes. I felt the loss of that toy deep in my soul!
- What scene in your latest book was the hardest scene to write (without giving away too many spoilers!)
Without giving too much away, the turning point for Annie in chapter 23. I was very aware I needed to treat a scene like that with the seriousness and gravity it warranted.
- Do you have any other author friends? If so, can you name a few and have any of them given you a piece of advice you would consider invaluable on your publishing journey?
I’m new to this, so have only just met a few fellow authors. At a recent event, I met Elle Croft, Lucy Vine, Emma Rowley, Caroline Hulse and Niki Mackay and they were all lovely!
For Bonus Brownie Reader Points – Answer our four fabulous frivolous questions:
- What is your biggest fear?
Apart from the obvious (that any harm will come to my family and friends) I’m not good with heights and hate big fat black spiders.
- If you could have any superhero power, what would it be?
To fly at supersonic speeds. I hate the time wasted having to travel to get anywhere.
- If you could write one line to be etched into your tombstone, what would it read?
- If you could give your younger self ONE piece of advice, what would it be?
Spend less time worrying about boys, and more time travelling the world.
You can purchase Louisa’s latest book: The Dream Wife here on Amazon.
You can read our full review of The Dream Wife here.