Wednesday, May 1, 2013

An interview with author Louise D. Gornall

Hi guys!

Last week, we announced the upcoming release of Louise D. Gornall's In Stone. Her YA Urban Fantasy is getting published by Entranced Publishing, and will be available in ebook format in July. 

Today, Louise joins us to talk a little bit more about In Stone, writing, getting published, and her work as an intern in the submissions department at Swoon Romance. I'm so happy to introduce her to you guys.

Louise is a 27-year-old British writer. She's lived in a small northern town her whole life; and, according to her, she often wears Wellies and her accent is more Sean Bean gritty than Keira Knightly chic. Other than writing amazing novels, Louise is an intern at Swoon Romance's submissions department, and is working on her B.A. (Hons) in English language & literature. She's so talented!

Thanks for joining us, Louise!

When did you start writing? Why?

I started writing when I was nineteen. I dabbled in stories, but my main focus back then was screenplays. Honestly, I only started writing stories because I got sick and needed an emotional outlet. I had a lot of free time and a ton of creative energy to burn off.  

When you started writing, did you know it would become your career? Why? Why not?

I hoped it would, but I knew how hard it was to get published. I kept an open mind and had to remind myself, on more than one occasion, that I love writing regardless of the querying outcome.      
  
Tell us a little about your writing habits:

Do you write every day? Do you plot?

Yes. Every single day. Even if it’s just to jot down a hundred words on my phone when I’m in bed. I’m not a plotter. I tried to be, once, but I’m so impatient. I just want to get the first draft down. I use revision time to plaster over plot holes and inconsistencies.      

Do you have any superstitions (only use a certain type of pen / only write at the same place / etc)?

No, which is weird because I never walk under ladders or step on cracks in the pavement and I always salute a magpie and pinch the nearest person when a mini drives by. But no, no writing superstitions at all.

Many writers, myself included, like to listen to music when writing. Does music help you write? Do you have favorite songs you listen on repeat when writing?

Yes!!! A thousand times yes. Anything by Queen, Bowie, The Smiths, Arctic Monkeys, Alanis Morissette, Joan As Police Woman, Kings of Leon, Mumford & Sons, Muse, Girl In A Coma...this list is limitless. Hell, I even have a Jonas Brother’s track on my playlist. Books, Music and Film are my favourite things.

Does reading influence your writing, too? What are your favorite books?

Absolutely. I couldn’t do this without the influence of other writers. The book list is as bad as the music list. Okay, my top five favourite books are (we’re counting trilogies/sagas as one): The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, This is not A Test by Courtney Summers, The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. (To be fair, I’d read John Green’s grocery list if he’d written it on toilet paper with crayon).  

Tell us a little about In Stone: is it your first book? How long did it take to write it? Did you query or did you try getting it published right away

In Stone is the first book I’ve ever written that I’m proud of. From first draft to querying it took me about seven months to write. I spent a couple of months querying and then a couple of months crying and eating my feelings in junk food. I was lucky enough to get some feedback from an agent on a full, which prompted a complete rewrite. The rewrite took me three months, solid. Life stopped. I managed to finish the day of Brenda Drake’s PitMad event on Twitter and thought why not pitch. I got three requests. Simultaneously, I sent out four queries and got two more requests, but by that time I was already talking to Entranced senior editor, Eden Plantz, and loving her enthusiasm over In Stone.    
   
How similar are you compared to your main character? What did you learn about yourself when writing this book?

Beau likes music...and Star Wars...and heavy eyeliner...and cute British boys with blue eyes, so you might say we’re similar, though she is much braver than I am.     

Are you represented? Currently seeking representation? Not exactly querying, but open to agents?

I’m not represented, but I have a list of my most favourite agents. Right now I’m just hoping I’ll get to work with Eden for a little longer on the In Stone series.   

You're getting published by Entranced Publishing in July. What do you like the most about working with them? Was getting your book ready for publication a long process? How did you react when they offered to publish it?

Entranced is like a second family. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Their enthusiasm and commitment bowls me over. Eden talks about my book like it’s her baby, which is what you want when you’re making this journey. You need someone in your corner that’s invested as much as you. I went crazy when Eden offered me a contract like, !!!!!!!!Really!!!!!!! and then I sent her an incoherent email loaded with exclamation marks. And then I phoned everyone in my phonebook and told them. Best. Day. Ever.

What audiences does In Stone appeal to? Where can they purchase it? And, can they expect a sequel? Are you working on a new project?

In Stone is a little dark, so it’s probably going to appeal more to the older YA audience. I’m hoping I’ve brought some new creatures, some kissing and some serious kick-ass to the table. Right now I’m working on the In Stone sequel, which I’m really excited about, but I’m also working on a YA horror which is an Exorcist meets Mean Girls mash-up.

Okay, I’m a 100% certain that In Stone will be available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I think there are more distributors, but we’re still a couple of months away from publication, so I’m not entirely sure on who that’ll be.

Tell us a little about your work as an intern. Does working in the publishing industry help you improve your writing? What do you like about your job as an intern?

I’m new to Swoon, but my time in the submission inbox has been very educational. It’s certainly improved my query writing skills. I love having a sneak peak at all the awesome appearing in the inbox. And it’s nice to know what editors find appealing and unappealing in submissions.   

Do you want to write full-time, or do you want to go deeper in the publishing industry as an editor or literary agent?

I want to be a full-time writer, for now. I’d be lying if I said editing didn’t interest me. I’ve got a thing for critical reading. Is that weird?

What advice do you have for writers out there who also would like to get published?
*Cliche alert* Don’t give up. Trust me. This will happen for you, whether it’s this book or the next, just don’t give up.  

Where can we find you?

Come and have a chat with anytime over at http://bookishblurb.com/ or you can find me on twitter or over on Facebook.

Thank you for having me, Becca. It’s been great chatting with you and I wish you all the best with everything right back. <3

Thank YOU!

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Beau Bailey is suffering from a post break-up meltdown when she happens across a knife in her local park and takes it home. Less than a week later the new boy in school has her trapped in an alley; he’s sprouted horns and is going to kill Beau unless she hands over the knife.

Until Eighteenth century gargoyle, Jack, shows up and saves her.

Jack has woken from a century long slumber to tell Beau that she’s accidentally been drafted into a power struggle between two immortal races; Demons and Gargoyles. The knife she picked up is the only one in existence capable of killing immortals and they’ll tear the world apart to get it back. To draw the warring immortals away from her home, Beau decides to go with Jack to Bulgaria in search of the mind-bending realm known as the Underworld, a place where they’ll hopefully be able to destroy the knife and prevent all hell from breaking loose. That is providing they can outrun the demons that are chasing them.
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Don't forget to add In Stone to your to-read Goodreads list, and to sign up for a chance to win an ebook copy of In Stone and a Kindle Fire.

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