…the lonely route each of we scribblers take to find our literary grail is fascinatingly familiar… here’s the path Authoress Louise Mullins trudged…
As a child, I used to make up stories in my head. As I grew older I began to write them down in a notebook. By the time I left home, I had several notebooks full of story ideas, short stories, and poems. I didn’t take it seriously until I began writing a memoir at the age of twenty-one as part of a writing course I signed up for with an adult education course.
I’ve always been an avid reader. I devoured everything from history, psychology texts (unrelated to my studies), autobiographies, true crime, and of course, psychological thrillers. I fell in love with historical fiction after reading several of Charlotte Bettes’ novels.
I’ve always been fascinated with history and crime so it was no surprise that after the death of my grandmother, who I was exceptionally close to, I decided to write through my grief by researching and fictionalising areas of interest in my home city of Bristol.
My first published title The House Of Secrets was the first novel I’d ever completed, and from there I believed I’d found my niche. After the publication of Lavender Fields, my second historical novel, I realised – though I’d never intended to – I’d become a crime writer.
I subscribed to Writing Magazine and began to scour the internet for tips on how to plot a crime thriller, and in 2015 I published my first psychological thriller, Scream Quietly, drawing on my professional experience working as a psychological therapist. I began training to work with survivors and offenders of serious crimes in the same year, and my second book, Damaged, was the result. From there I’ve gone on to publish four titles under the imprint of Dark Path Publishing, and Dark Edge Press. My latest, What I Never Told You, is available to pre-order from Amazon now. It’s a dark, pacy thriller which delves into the aftereffects of child abuse on both the survivor and the accused. It’s a story of forgiveness and retribution.
You can pre-order your copy here:
I’ve feel blessed to have a loyal following of readers and last year this gave me the courage to submit to Bloodhound Books, a fast growing Indie publisher who offer their author’s a lot of support. The Woman in the Woods was published by Bloodhound in July, and Beautiful Liar is due to be published in the New Year.
I’ve kept the day job – a retailing business I’ve owned since 2007. I’m still practising as a Psychological Therapist. And I’m training as a clinical forensic psychologist. Writing fits nicely in between. I have three children (four if you count my husband) and a house to run so I try to spend at least three-four hours every weekday writing, editing, or promoting. It’s as important as ever to market your own work these days, and I’m rather lucky to have the skills since managing my own business.
I get a lot of my plot ideas from real life experiences (either personal or professional). I also read and watch a lot of crime fiction. I’ve studied a lot of true crime case studies for uni. I also have a background in mental health support work so I have a lot of information to draw upon. Most of my ideas, though, tend to leap out at me from nowhere, and I despite writing on a laptop I keep the pen and notebook handy to jot down ideas, sometimes at three in the morning.
I write at home on the sofa, with a view from the living room window to the Welsh hills and valleys. We’ve recently moved to a quiet neighbourhood a short walk away from the river, and the backdrop is swimming with plot lines and stirring my imagination all the time.
I have tried to take a break from writing, but find I become restless. Being a mum is my highest priority, but writing acts as a form of therapy for me. We have a son with special needs, and I find writing much easier than meditation. It calms my mind in a way that nothing else can.
I’m currently rewriting a novel I began eighteen months ago, titled Lucky. It has resulted in the ideas and publication of three titles so far, but I’m returning to the original theme of human trafficking and drug smuggling to rewrite the story. It’s something that has stuck with me for a long time, and I’ve seen the story unfold and remould several times. I’m not giving up on her. She wants her voice heard.
I owe it to my characters to tell the story they want me too. I find I always begin with a plot, the themes evolve of their own accord. The characters jump straight into the scene, and then I have the basis for a novel. Editing is my least favourite part so I always do a content, line and copy edit before sending it off to a professional. Holding a crisp paperback copy of my latest ‘baby’ will never grow tiresome.
…thank you, m’Lady, Louise... see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!
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