One of the coolest thing, hands down, about being involved in the book blogging community is the chance to connect with authors. Thrilled to have Louise Mullins, author of What I Never Told You take over Clues and Reviews today!
Here is Louise to provide a bit of her bio and answer some questions! If you haven’t check out my review for What I Never Told You, you can do that HERE! Trust me, you’ll want to add this one to your TBR piles!
Without further ado, here’s Louise!
My name is Louise Mullins and I’m a wife, mother, author, psychological therapist and student, training as a forensic psychologist. My first love is historical fiction and my first novel, The House Of Secrets, published in 2013 was the result of two years of research into the lives of the residents of Oldbury Court, a historic mansion local to where I live in Bristol. I had the notes written up but didn’t begin to write the novel until my nan had passed away. She was a huge influence on my life and I channeled my grief through writing about it. Some aspects of the novel are based on events she shared with me, including meeting my grandfather at the bottom steps of a hotel she worked in. The book took me about five months to write and two months to edit. It wasn’t until it had been published that I sat back and realised I’d written a historical crime novel. My subsequent novel, Lavender Fields, followed suit, based partly in Cornwall where I lived for a while.
In 2015 I wrote my debut psychological crime thriller, Scream Quietly, based on my own experiences of domestic abuse, though the incidents in the novel were purely fictional. The book was an instant hit and was listed as one of the Goodreads books of the month and I later signed a contract with a US film producer for the novel to be adapted into a movie. It’s due out sometime in 2017.
Damaged, a serial killer thriller, later became an Amazon bestseller, followed by Why She Left, The Perfect Wife and One Night Only.
I never thought I’d end up a crime writer, it just kind of happened. For some reason that first novel resulted in a murder and despite my plans of writing a love story for my second novel, that too ended in murder. I guess you could say, I fell into it.
Working within mental health and studying forensic psychology I come across a lot of real life crime cases. I’ve written case studies on individuals who have addiction problems, and the majority of them have suffered some kind of childhood abuse. A lot of individuals who experience recurring depression and anxiety disorders, have histories of domestic abuse or rape. Both of which are silent crimes. I am an advocate for speaking out about these silent subjects and take part in lobbies and demonstrations.
My typical writing day includes a cup of coffee in one hand, my notebook beside me where I list plot ideas, timelines, or chapter notes and my laptop (that now has half the letters missing from the keys) on my lap. I begin writing as soon as I’ve dropped my two oldest children to school and write from 9:00am until 1:00pm when I stop for a lunch break, a cigarette and then return to my writing world for another two hours before leaving for the school-run once more.
I get off-days, but I always try to do something writing related even if it’s a bit of editing, marketing or book promotion. I’m also an avid social media procrastinator and I read- a lot.
I don’t really have a favorite book, so it’s hard for me to choose one book I wish I’d written, but the one person who I aspired to for my first novel, is Charlotte Bettes. She writes historical romance, but her books always include a darker edge. There is always something beautiful over-shadowed by something ugly or sad, and the way she writes sends you straight into the past convinced you never want to leave. One recent author who has blown me away with her gift in writing compelling fiction that you cannot put down has got to be Catherine Ryan Howard. Distress Signals has got to be my favorite read of 2016 so far. Each chapter left on a cliff-hanger and told you something new. The suspense left me turning the pages late into the night and I daresay she is an author to watch out for.
A lot of authors have inspired me, but off the top of my head, I’d say that Paula Daly, Luana Lewis, Kathryn Croft, and Thomas H. Cook’s unique originality and ability to portray their characters and the events they are forced to confront in a realistic way demonstrate the very best work in the genre.
Q&A with Louise Mullins
At school, were you good at English
I was absolutely terrible at spelling and punctuation but I loved to write and even won a poetry competition. I often got high marks for my storytelling despite only my teacher and I being able to read what I’d written.
What have you written to date?
My first two titles are historical crime fiction. I co-wrote a psychology text on Obsessive Compulsive Behaviours with Sue Mason, and I’ve written eight psychological thrillers.
What are you working on at the present?
I’m rewriting Lucky. It’s based on human trafficking and drug smuggling.
What genre do you write?
All of my titles delve into crime, the motivations of the offenders and the aftereffects on the victims- if they survive.
What draws you to this genre?
I get most of my ideas from case studies and professional experience working in psychological therapy. I’m training in forensic psychology so, and have a background in mental health so I have a lot of knowledge to draw upon. The initial ideas spring out at me and I try to fit my knowledge into the plot I’ve already thought up.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I can write a book in a month, but the rewrite could take me another four-eight weeks. The editing about the same though I have managed with a paid editor to publish a book every four-five months for the past three years.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or paper books?
For me, nothing can beat the smell of a crisp new paperback. I struggle to hold my concentration on eBooks, but I love the ease of a Kindle.
Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone else to do it?
I do it myself then send it off to a professional who tightens it up and makes minor punctuation alterations.
Do you think the cover plays an important part of the buying process?
Absolutely. Humans are fallible creatures. We judge within the first thirty seconds so it’s important to have a great, stand-out cover, and a good tagline to hook the potential reader into looking at the blurb, and then hopefully buying.
How are you publishing your book? Indie, traditional or both?
I’m a self-published author and have published two novels with Bloodhound Books. I feel I’ve got the best of both worlds, the independence and the support of a fantastic publisher.
What are your views on social media for marketing?
I take an active approach to marketing and promotion. I’m lucky I have the skills from running my own retailing business.
How do you select the names of your characters?
The characters always tell me their names. I don’t feel I have a choice.
What kind of research did you do?
I’ve gained a lot of knowledge concerning the basics of law, investigation, and psychology so I usually research what I’ve already written before editing to ensure I’ve got the facts right.
How long do you spend on research before starting your book?
The House Of Secrets was the only title that required a lot of research. I had to get the historical facts right. The names of areas of Bristol I knew had changed several times over the course of two hundred years which I had to match with the timeline. It took eight months of research.
What is your favourite under- appreciated novel?
Thomas H. Cook is a fantastic crime/suspense author, and I don’t feel he has the recognition he deserves. His poetic writing is unique and his books are brilliantly plotted. Sandrine is probably my favourite though they all do him justice.
What is the first book to make you cry?
I haven’t read one that’s made me cry with sadness, but one recent title that made me fall from my chair crying with laughter was Pain Killer. N. J. Fountain’s dark humour is highly original.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Steven King’s Misery. Having only recently begun reading his books, the film adaptation was what invited me to love the modern thriller. His exposition is genius.
What is the hardest thing about writing a book?
The middle slump. I’ve recently begun tricking myself into thinking I’m writing a novella (35,00 words) so that by the middle I have a fresh outlook on the ‘second part’. It’s made my middles a lot more exciting, and the endings more complex.
What is the easiest thing about writing a book?
The first pages. As you begin to fill the blank screen with words, even useless ones, and watch your word count slowly rise, ti gives me a sense of euphoria.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
You can buy all of my books direct from my website: http://www.louisemullins2010.wix.com/author
I have a Facebook Author Page where you can join in on discussions, take part in quizzes and read book reviews: