Louise Lyndon 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 Crested Butte Sandy Writing contest – Historical category for her story, The Promise, which is now called, Of Love and Vengeance. When not writing, she can be found covered in mud, crawling under barbed wire and hoisting herself over twelve foot walls!
So I asked Featured Author Louise Lyndon a few questions about her debut novel and you’ll be surprised at her answers below.
How long did it take you to write your book?
That’s kind of a trick question! You see, I started it a few years ago but really only had written three or so chapters and then sort of put it to one side. I entered it into a competition because I wanted feedback. Well, not only did end up winning but the final round judge requested the first 100 pages. Yikes, I hadn’t written that many! So, I quickly wrote 100 pages and sent it off. And waited. And waited. Didn’t hear anything. So I submitted it to The Wild Rose Press who said yes, we’d like to see more. Send 150 pages. So I quickly wrote 150 pages. I have to be honest and say I was really expecting a rejection. In the meantime I carried on writing the story as I had fallen back in love with it. The Wild Rose Press requested a full manuscript and so it was another mad rush to write the final pages. I do not recommend doing it that way!
How did you come up with the title?
Originally it was called The Promise and my editor asked me to rename it. I’m hopeless up coming up with titles so I was playing around on one of those title generator sites. They came back with a few silly suggestions and so I took a word from one, two from another…
Have you had writer’s block and if so how did you overcome it?
Yeah, all the time – it’s mainly when I am either trying to make my characters do something they do not want to do. Or it’s when I cannot “see” clearly the scene in my head. So I take a step back and try to be true to my characters – they’ll let you know if you’re heading in the right direction. As for trying to ‘see’ the scene, I spend a lot of time in bed just dreaming. All in the name of research!
Who’s writing influences you?
I’ve always said Diana Gabaldon has been a huge influence on me. But also Lori Foster and Jodi Piccoult are another two who have been hugely influential.
How did you come up with your story idea?
Random scenes just pop into my head – usually at the most inconvenient of times, like when I am in a meeting and I should be concentrating on what is going on! From a scene I then start to work either backward or forward. What happened prior to this scene to get character x to this point? Who are these people talking to me? Why are these characters together? It takes on a life of its own from there!