Moral Fortitude is proud to interview Louise Lyons, author of Conflicted.
Welcome Louise, and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.
When did you first start writing LGBT books?
I only made more serious efforts to write them in the last three years, although I’ve written them for my own entertainment since my late teens.
What inspired you to write LGBT fiction?
A school friend showed me a gay romance movie called My Beautiful Laundrette, starring Daniel Day Lewis, when I was 15 or 16. I watched it over and over, and then got the idea to write my own M/M romance stories, featuring my favorite rock stars. Years later I discovered FanFiction, and after reading and eventually writing M/M fictions, there was no turning back for me.
Where do your ideas come from?
Sometimes from my own experiences, or from little things such as a person I see doing something in real life or on TV, or a scrap of conversation I hear, or the lyrics in a song. I’ve always had quite a fertile imagination, so the unlikeliest things can spark the idea for a story.
How much research do you do for your stories?
Quite a bit, but it depends on the theme of the story. For instance, Conflicted is centered around drag racing and exhibiting cars. This is a great love of mine, and I’ve been to many drag racing events, and also exhibit my own car in an owners’ club at various events, so I didn’t need to do a great deal of research for that. I study maps and read about places at length if I’m intending to set a story in a particular place that I haven’t been to.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?
I usually come up with a basic idea, such as the drag racing scene, with Conflicted. I think of what I want my main characters to be like, create their personalities and backgrounds, and make notes on a few important events to include in the story. Then I just start writing, and quite often, the story will run away with me and the characters will tell me where they want it go.
Do you have a special time of day to write or how do you structure your day?
My best time to write is when I first get up, between 5 & 7am. As I have a full time job at the moment, this is the only time I can write on week days. Evenings don’t work for me, because I need to unwind after a busy day at the office. Weekends, I will usually start around the same time, but keep going until about 9am.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
The last one I completed, took around 2 months. If only I could ditch the day job, I’m quite certain I could write one in a month.
Do you proofread/edit all your own work or do you get someone to assist?
I proofread myself. I find that reading the story out loud is a good way of picking up those annoying little errors that are so easy to miss – and the not so little errors too!
Do you think the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
I think it can do, in as much as, I’ve been encouraged to buy books myself, in a genre that wouldn’t normally interest me, on the strength of an intriguing cover.
How do you choose the right cover for your book?
There are particular styles that I like, and within that, I try to imagine what would look good and what would attract me if I was the reader.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
The good ones make me feel on top of the world, and often surprise me. I still find it difficult to believe that complete strangers around the world, read something I wrote and liked it enough to say so. The bad ones – yes, they hurt, but I give myself a talking to, and remind myself that everyone has different things that they like and don’t like. There are bound to be people who don’t like my work and I shouldn’t let myself take it to heart. If they give constructive criticism, then I’ll take it on board for the future.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
Well, I’m very new at this, with Conflicted being my first published novel, so no, not yet. I’m trying to learn as much as I can from the process, so that the next time (and hopefully there will be a next time) I will do it better.
Do you use social media and how has this worked best for you?
I use Twitter and Facebook, and I find that both are great for finding fellow authors and readers, and interacting with them. Hopefully some of these will translate into buyers of my book!
Do you have a favorite author / book?
Gosh, this is a tough one. There are so many! One of my favourite authors is Garrett Leigh. Her books, Slide and Rare, were amazing, and had me in floods of tears. I love books that can really move me emotionally. Another fairly new release that I’ve read recently, is No Sacrifice by Grace R. Duncan. I got through quite a few Kleenex with that one too, so it’s definitely up there with my favorites.
What is your next project and what should we expect?
I’m working on a variety of short stories for anthologies at the moment, and I’m waiting for a “yay or nay” on a manuscript I submitted, that has a supernatural element to it (vampires and a witch). My next completely new novel, which is just in the planning stages, is about a young man who has suffered, and escaped from, a situation involving domestic abuse. The story starts after he has left his abusive life behind, but the scars remain, and he eventually questions his behavior when he discovers he hasn’t really moved on and is still, essentially, a victim.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I would love to be a full time author, without the need for a day job. If I could achieve that in five years, it would be a dream come true.
How can readers discover more about you –
Blog : Facebook : Twitter :
Thank you Louise for taking the time to appear on Moral Fortitude. We wish you success with your new book Conflicted.