Louise Forster is a well-traveled woman now living in New South Wales and concentrating on writing romance to warm the cockles of our hearts. And if you have read Finding Elizabeth (which I have and will get a review to you all soon) then you’ll need all the warmth you can get – Canadian winters gets seriously cold.
I was lucky enough to question Louise about her writing and I hope you enjoy learning more about her as much as I did.
Hi Michelle, and thank you for inviting me to be interviewed, it’s been interesting and fun.
What prompted you to pursue a writing career?
I enjoyed writing children’s stories and fun poems. I caught the writing bug. An editor suggested to me I’d make a good romance writer. I’d never considered writing a romance novel, but once I started, I knew I couldn’t do anything else. I was having so much fun getting my characters to behave and misbehave, depending on how you look at it. I love writing smart, bold, I-can-do-it, heroines, and strong Australian heroes who love their heroines for who they are and will protect them at all costs. Heroes who quietly watch and wait. Heroes who don’t want to wait and step in when needed. They all have a good sense of humour and are comfortable in their own skin. Yeah, I love writing.
Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?
It’s been a long apprenticeship. In 2000, with editor and co-writer, (Danielle Ellis) I won the Emma Darcy award for complete manuscript. In 2008, and writing solo, I came 3rd in a US competition, The Charter Oak Romance Writers’ Golden Acorn Excellence in Writing Award, in their mainstream category. I was thrilled. It was something I needed to help me flick the nasty negative bird off my shoulder. I kept writing because I enjoy getting my characters in and out of trouble, in and out of clinches, in and out of bed…and other places. I decided to self publish. My books were getting 4 and 5 stars for a while, but I was spending so much time marketing, and researching how to market, that my writing suffered. Through RWA, I heard Escape Publishing were looking for Australian authors. The lovely Kate Cuthbert sent me a wonderful email saying Finding Elizabeth had been accepted. I danced through the house, arms in the air, (don’t ask me why) singing, I did it, I did it—yesss—I did it!
Finding Elizabeth is your February release with Escape Publishing, can you tell us a little about it?
Canadian ballerina, Katherine Bell, would give anything for a mobile phone connection and an empty biscuit tin.
After a lifetime in the bright lights, Katherine must give up her career, she’s ready for a quiet life using her skills to help the community. But things aren’t as simple as she hoped. There’s a hot Australian, Jack Riley, who’s dealing with a freezing Canadian winter. He knows the perfect way to keep warm…Katherine. But, Jack will leave the moment his search is over, and Katherine is determined to keep him at arms length. Jack doesn’t agree, especially since something sinister has stalked Katherine to her snowy hideaway…
You are quite well traveled, do the places you’ve been show up in your writing?
Definitely, we spent a couple of years in Europe and experienced Holland’s worst or best winter, depending how you look at it. We were snow bound for days in a small country town. We learned the meaning of freezing when we couldn’t get the key in the lock to open the car, that type of freezing makes your face hurt. The experience was invaluable for Finding Elizabeth, which is set in the Canadian winter. I take something from all the places I’ve been to, whether it’s the people, the scenery, a town, or an empty Edwardian shop in that town, which is what inspired me to write Finding Veronica.
Where does your character inspiration come from?
I’m an avid people watcher, I peer over my latté in a café as people pass by. I’m also an avid listener. Friends, women in salons, anyone really, people want to relate their stories. Sometimes they’re just snippets. The person telling it often thinks it’s not that interesting, but to me they’re gold, they spark ideas. The last little story I heard was in a salon while having my hair trimmed. The hairdryers made it impossible to hear what was being said. Suddenly I hear raucous laughter. I wondered what it was about so I asked. I soon discovered it had to do with tattoos. I won’t say anymore, because that’s definitely going into a book. Perhaps the sequel to Finding Veronica. I love the characters in the small country town of Tumble Creak. Or the sequel to Finding Elizabeth when Dan goes after Lexie.
What is the first story you clearly remember writing?
Like many creative souls, I used to sit and stare out the classroom window while the teacher droned on, blah-blah-blah. Not her fault I wasn’t listening. Then one day she told the class to write a story. I thought, Okay, I can do that! So what if it was about a fairy who woke up one morning and flew to a buttercup filled with dew where she washed her face, and so on. My teacher enjoyed the story so much she read it out to the class. It was unusual praise for this dyslexic dreamer, and I savoured the moment.
Is there something new you’re working on that you can tell us about?
There are three in the Finding theme. (All the town names are fictitious.) The last two, Finding Butterflies and Finding Veronica, are going through their final edits. Finding Butterflies is set around the Whitsunday Islands on the Great Barrier Reef. The heroine, Belle Fabrini, is an ecologist with a past that still haunts her. The hero, Kabe Hunter, is a yachtsman who sails tourists around the islands. He has issues with the local press that goes back to when he was a teenager. Kabe and Belle knew each other in high school and 17 years later, they meet again under extraordinary circumstances. Finding Veronica is set in a small country town called, Tumble Creak, west of Sydney. Jennifer Dove is a London chef and has come home to attend her much loved uncle’s funeral. Her uncle had left her a cryptic message, and she was determined to find out what it meant. On arriving in town there’s an immediate connection when Jennifer meets local Calum McGregor on a dark night, through a rain splattered car window.
Who is your favourite author to read?
Oh no, that’s like telling a kid, you choose which lollies you want to spend your 50 cents on. I’d be looking at the range of colours and flavours while rubbing my forehead. But I’ll give it a shot, Jennifer Crusie, Ilona Andrews, Kristin Ashley, and a whole lot of great new authors I’m discovering through Escape Publishing.
What is on your TBR pile at the moment?
Lady Luck, and Motorcycle Man, by Kristin Ashley.
(Michelle – Wow, that’s the smallest TBR I’ve seen or heard about in a long time.)
What does being a woman mean to you?
For this woman, the inability to get a comfortable bra and a comfortable pair of shoes…it’s a long story.
Thanks for your time Louise.