About Louise Lyndon:
Louise grew up in country Victoria, Australia, before moving to England, where for sixteen years she soaked up the vibrancy of London and the medieval history of England. She has since returned to Australia and now lives in Melbourne.
In 2013, Louise won first prize in the historical romance category of the Crested Butte Sandy Writing Contest for her story, The Promise, which has since been retitled and is now known as, Of Love & Vengeance.
When not writing, Louise can be found covered in mud, crawling under barbed wire and hoisting herself over twelve foot walls!
What inspires you to write?
I write because I find that I can’t not write! I know a lot of authors say that and hand on my heart, it’s true. It’s very hard to explain. My head is constantly full with snippets of dialogue or scenes and the longer I try to ignore them, the louder the voices get, the more vivid the scene becomes. And if I don’t write them down then I become extremely frustrated. It’s like I’m denying myself something. I get antsy if I don’t write. So really, I write so the voices in my head don’t get too loud! There are a lot of voices in there.
Tell us about your writing process.
Up until recently I swore I was a panster. Me, plan? Pah! No way. Well, actually I do plan. Kind of. I’m not one of these writers who know every single detail (including character details) before I write. I still like to be surprised along the way. However, I do always know the ending – because I need to know where I’m heading.
For my books, Of Love & Vengeance, Of Love & Betrayal, and my current untitled work in progress, I adopted the snowflake method of writing. In a nutshell the snowflake method is this:
Describe your story in one sentence.
Then, describe what happens in your story in five sentences. The first sentence should be the setup (where your story takes place). The second sentence is ‘the incident’ that happens end of act 1. The third sentence is the ‘incident’ that happens end of act 2. The forth sentence is the ‘incident’ the end of act 3. The fifth sentence is the ending.
You then write a paragraph for each of the above sentences.
And then you expand each of the paragraphs into a further paragraph and so forth. But save each version as a different document. There is a reason for doing this, I’ll tell you below!
There are a few advantages of taking the time to do this.
One, you avoid the sagging middle syndrome.
Two, you have a good plan to keep you on track – now, with the paragraphs you can be as detailed as you need be. So for absolute planners, go for it, this method is ideal for you. For pansters, you can still use this method – because it still allows enough room for those moments that take you by surprise.
And three – this is probably the best advantage of this method. You actually end up with several different synopsis’ of varying lengths. You have a five sentence synopsis. You then have a one page (5 paragraph) synopsis. A two page (10 paragraph) synopsis and so forth. Which is why I mentioned above to save each version as a separate document. There is no need to try to sum your story up after you have written it!
The snowflake method really is a win win situation.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh, I listen and watch. I can hear their conversations in my head – and I won’t write until I have heard that conversation over and over. That way, when I come to sit down to write, the words are basically there. I just need to transcribe them!
What advice would you give other writers?
I live by this mantra. Write. Just get the words out. Do not stop to edit. Do not stop to rewrite. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200! It’s much easier to edit a page of badly written words than a page with no words. You have to accept the fact that your first draft is going to be rubbish. And as soon as you accept that, the more freeing you become. You’ll have time to go back and fix it later. The first draft is just getting the words on to paper.
And write every day. I cringe when I think of how many days I would say I was a writer but didn’t actually write. I recently attended the Romance Writers of Australia Conference and I came away so motivated. So I would actually recommend attending a writer’s conference if you can. Put it this way – it usually takes me a good part of the year to write 80,000 words. I’m a slow writer. BUT, after attending the conference (21 to 23 August 2015) I have written 51,248 words (the date of writing this post is 27 September). That’s how motivated I became after attending the conference.
No matter how many stories or books you’ve written, you can always learn more about the craft!
Finally, and this was something I learned very early on. Write the book of your heart. I often hear author’s discussing what’s trending at the moment or which genre is selling the most books. They’ll then quickly go and write a book to take advantage of the current trend. I have nothing against authors who do that. Each to their own. I’m not here to judge. But, I think it kind of shows in your writing – if you’re writing from your heart, or simply writing to make a quick dollar. Some may find my words controversial, but as I said, this was something that has been drummed in to me early on and I’ve kind of stuck with it ever since.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I honestly think this is a personal decision and there is no right or wrong way to publish – there are just different routes you can take.
Personally, I’m with a publisher. And for now, it suits me to be with a publisher. I work full time and I have enough trouble fitting in time to write. I wouldn’t be doing my writing career justice if I self published now. Besides, I’m still learning about the industry – both the writing side, and the business side. And that’s one of the advantages of being with a publisher. I’ve learned so much from my editor. I’m only an email away from the marketing department who have helped me come up with and implement marketing campaigns. I’m learning about what makes a successful cover, and what doesn’t! I wouldn’t have had access to those things if I didn’t start off with a publisher. I’m still learning.
Does that mean I will never self publish? No. It just means I won’t be self publishing any time soon. But who knows what the future holds.
While I know a lot of authors who are putting out quality work and doing amazingly well with self publishing, I also know a lot of authors who are perhaps not ready to publish and have put something out there that perhaps isn’t the best product they can be showcasing. And their sales, or lack thereof, is reflecting that.
But, as I said, there is no right or wrong way to publish. There are just different routes and you’ve got to choose the route that best suites you.
And you don’t have to stick with one route either. There are a lot of hybrid authors out there too! Who says you have to choose one way or the other. Why not do a combination?
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I honestly don’t know. I know people won’t stop reading! I don’t see a situation ever arising when we don’t have publishers. We may have a reduced number of them, but I don’t think we’ll see the end of them. The traditional publishers now have digital first imprints, so I think perhaps we’ll see a lot more digital first imprints coming from the trads.
Self publishing is here to stay. And I personally think that’s a good thing.But, will that eventually level off? I’m thinking yes. It’s like everything. The bubble will eventually burst. When will that happen? I don’t know. But it will eventually happen.
Either way – in whatever form (print, digital, a platform that has yet to be invented) people will continue to read. That’s got to be a good thing. For both readers and writers!
What genres do you write?: I’m published in historical romance, and are currently writing a contemp. romance.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.