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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Author Q&A - Louise Jensen

I am delighted to welcome the lovely Louise Jensen, number one best selling author of THE SISTER to my blog today. Louise's hotly anticipated second novel, THE GIFT, is due for publication on the 16th December and is available for pre-order now

Here's the rather intriguing blurb:
Jenna is seriously ill. She’s lost all hope of getting the heart transplant she needs to live. But just as her life is ebbing away, she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie
Who was Callie and how did she die? Jenna is determined to find out. 
The closer Jenna gets to those who loved Callie, the more questions arise about her untimely death. Someone knows what happened to Callie. Why won’t they talk? 
Jenna is about to uncover the truth, but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life. 

Louise was kind enough to take some time out of her super-busy writing schedule to answer a few questions for me, so thank you!

Over to you -

1-    What’s it really like to have two books published in a year?

It has been an absolute whirlwind. This time last year I was submitting and receiving the inevitable rejections, and being published felt so far out of reach. To have two books published in a year is so surreal and it hasn't quite sunk in yet, but I feel incredibly fortunate.

   2-    How do you organise your writing time?

Working to tight deadlines I do have to be quite structured, but I am also working around my chronic health condition and my family, so at the same time I am very flexible. I find I am at my most creative in the mornings so if I want to write new words I generally start as soon as my youngest son has gone to school. In the afternoons I edit, blog, catch up on social media and answer emails. Writing involves far more than I initially thought.

   3-   How much research did you do for THE GIFT, and how did you go about it?

     I did so much research for The Gift. The story starts six months after Jenna, my main character, has had a heart transplant and I wanted to approach this as sensitively as I could. I spoke to many patients and found everybody's recovery was vastly different so I've had to find a middle ground. Having a health condition myself I wanted to write about the emotional impact suddenly feeling set apart from everyone else in your age group can have. This story is about cellular memory, the theory that a transplanted organ can retain memories from the donor. For this, I spent a lot of time on line and also on YouTube watching videos about this theory. Although Jenna finds out Callie, her donor, died in a car accident she starts to experience things that lead her to believe that Callie was actually murdered. I found cellular memory endlessly fascinating and got so absorbed in my research. I ended up having to cut a lot of words out of this book as I wanted to include everything! 

  4-    You have another amazing stand-out cover for THE GIFT, and it goes really well with THE SISTER – did you have any input in this part of the process? How important do you think creating a brand is?

Henry Steadman designs my covers and he is amazing. When I first caught sight of The Sister cover I cried! Marketing and creating a brand is something I never gave a thought to, I have always just wanted to write. Luckily my publishers come up with my cover ideas, titles and have created a brand for me. I don't have any input into this but I'm very happy to leave them to what they do best while I concentrate on the words.

  5-   Describe THE GIFT in one sentence.

     Perfect daughter, perfect girlfriend, perfect murder? 

  6-    How are you going to celebrate the release of THE GIFT?

     I think I am going back onto my local radio station, BBC Radio Northampton, and there will be lots of time spent on social media. I hope to squeeze a cream tea in somewhere in the day. In the evening it is my Women's Institute Christmas dinner so I shall be celebrating with my WI sisters.

  7-    Can you give us a hint about what Book 3 is going to be about?

     I am tentatively thinking about book 3, although I still have the copy edits and proof read of The Gift to go. I think this book will be a dual narrative woven with secrets and lies. I'm in the early stages of researching the subject I want to write about and if it comes together I am incredibly excited about this one. 

    Thank you so much, Louise, I'm really looking forward to reading your next best-seller! Good luck with the copy-edits, and happy writing for book 3!

The Gift and The Sister are available HERE (UK)
                                                         and HERE (USA)

Keep up-to-date with Louise on her website HERE 


  1. Thank you for a great interview, Loiuse and Sam. I found the idea of cellular memory fascinating and I can't wait to read 'The Gift'. I loved 'The Sister', by the way. :-)

    1. Thanks Jan! Louise certainly writes about some great topics doesn't she? Am particularly intrigued with the cellular memory aspect of The Gift - like you, I can't wait to read it!