This blog was featured on 09/17/2018
Louise Candlish: A Q&A
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
September 2018
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
September 2018

Our September guest editor, Louise Candlish, answered some of our most pressing questions during this new Q&A. Find out more about the author of Our House and get to know the woman behind the book. 

She Writes: Describe your writing routine. 

Louise Candlish: Assuming I’ve done the research needed to write a scene, I’ll settle on the sofa with coffee and cat and start bashing away at my laptop. If I’m so absorbed I don’t check my email or social media for an hour, I’ll know it’s going well and it’s likely to absorb the reader too. I aim to write 1,000 words a day of a first draft, but I’m not strict. I think more in terms of a weekly word count.

SW: What was your first/worst job before you became an author?

LC: There’ve been many bad ones. I worked once in an amusement park manning a ride. That in itself was fine, but the ride was themed as a rocket and I had to dress in a spacesuit costume. It was so hot and claustrophobic.

SW: When was the moment you started to feel like a writer?

LC: Everyone talks about imposter syndrome and it’s so true, though for me it was switching from being a writer to being a novelist that was odd. I’d been a copywriter so I knew I was a writer, but saying ‘novelist’ felt like I was a Brontë or something. Either way, you feel like one when you realize you see the world in terms of how you might use it or describe it in your writing. In that respect, you are condemned to being a spectator, an outsider.

SW: What is the number one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring authors?

LC: I feel very strongly that it’s not a good idea to chase trends. Chase your own passion for an idea instead. If something really excites you and obsesses you, that’s what you should be writing about.

SW: Who inspires you?

LC: A long list of authors, living and dead. Favorites include Margaret Atwood, Anne Tyler, Agatha Christie, Anita Shreve, Donna Tartt, Rachel Cusk. Also, elite tennis players as I’m a big tennis fan. To play so hard you’re in hospital on a drip afterward and yet you still lost. Someone who loses but comes back to win inspires me.

SW: Why is it important for women to tell their stories?

LC: For the same reasons it’s important for men to: to make sense of the human condition, to record experience, to share ideas with peers and future generations. To provoke thought and entertain. To order chaos. Or at least to try.

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