I’m very excited to welcome the lovely Louise Jensen to Bloomin’ Brilliant Books today to talk about her author influences. Want to know which books and authors have had the biggest impact on her? Read on to find out…
Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
As I child I was a huge fan of mysteries and an avid Enid Blyton reader. I’d read under my covers by torchlight long after I should have been asleep. The Famous Five were my absolute favourites and I spent hours trying to get our dog to bark out yes’s and no’s like Timmy could.
Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
I adored English at school. I did quite well but I love learning, something I used to feel horribly embarrassed about as a teenager. Even now, as an adult I am usually booked in to one workshop or another, or have an on-line course on the go.
What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I like to read commercial fiction and some literary fiction, stories that make you really feel. Writing The Sister I was in blissful ignorance about the fact my novel would need to be slotted into a genre to be marketed. I thought I was just writing a story, and I was a little surprised to be classed as a crime writer. In essence The Sister is a story about friendship and grief, although it does get quite dark, the thought of it being a psychological thriller never crossed my mind. My book deal was for 3 psychological thrillers, with The Gift being the second, so my next book will be another thriller.
If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I have loved the two thrillers I have written and am endlessly fascinated by the psychology behind people’s actions but I would also love to write something epic and heart-breaking because ultimately, that’s what I enjoy reading.
Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
As a child I was obsessed with mysteries and although I wrote my own ‘books’ tacked together with sellotape and illustrated (badly) by me I never really seriously had the burning desire to become a writer until I read Little Women. I was of quite a young age when I found my mum’s old copy in our garage and I devoured it in a day. With Enid Blyton I was used to feeling suspense. Louisa M. Alcott made me feel a whole range of emotions. I laughed, I cried, I rooted for the March sisters and I remember feeling utterly enthralled. After I’d finished it I thought wouldn’t it be amazing to have the gift to make readers really feel the story rather than just reading it, and that’s what I try to do with my books. The Sister and The Gift are both a blend of love, hope, friendship, unease and fear.
Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
There are so many authors I love, and I buy a ridiculous amount of books but there is nothing quite like reading a debut for me. They are such heart and soul books and the joy of discovering a new author makes me feel all warm and happy inside.
Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
The book that always springs to mind, although I haven’t read it for many years, is The Stand by Stephen King. It’s probably the heaviest, longest book I have ever read but I so desperately didn’t want the story to end.
Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people?
In The Gift Jenna is based, in part, on me. I drew upon my own experiences with my health. Although I have never come close to death I had an accident in my 30’s which left me with a disability and I know the bewilderment a change in health can bring, particularly at a young age, where you don’t quite know where you fit anymore. I have felt the guilt Jenna feels when she believes she is letting those around her down, by not being able to do the things she could before. It was quite a healing process for me, in a strange way, writing this story.
A huge thank you Louise for taking part!
About Louise Jensen
Louise is a USA Today Bestselling Author and lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, children, mad-cap spaniel and a rather naughty cat.
Louise’s first two novels, The Sister and The Gift, were both No.1 Bestsellers, and have been sold for translation to ten countries. The Sister was nominated for The Goodreads Awards Debut for 2016. Louise is currently writing her third psychological thriller.
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