An interview with Louise West, author of Strange Ideas: Death, destiny and decisions

This week it’s my pleasure to welcome Louise West to the Thursday Throng hot seat.  Louise is a reader, a teacher, a music-lover and a teller of ghost stories; not the ordinary kind mind you, more the ones that intrigue and fascinate. She confesses to having strange ideas and sometimes she writes them down.

strange ideasThe Review

You may not be old enough to remember Roald Dahl’s tales of the unexpected on television, but I am and you can find the first episode here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaUkUAfrZ3E. The reason I mention these delightful, if somewhat bizarre and often macabre little stories is that Louise catapulted me right back to the 1970’s. Her stories are bizarre, intriguing and not a little spooky. They captured the feeling that there is something more going on just out of the line of sight. It is the perfect read for a short flight or train journey, just enough for you to whet your appetite and and an encouragement to read more of Louise’s work.

The Louise West Interview

louise westWhat is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?

I’m face blind. I literally do not recognise people if their clothes and hair are different. I only found out it was real thing last year – up to then, I was always amazed that people knew who I was if I’d met them the night before and then saw them again the next day. I discovered I’d developed some quite remarkable coping strategies, so a lot of the time, people don’t cotton on that it takes me a few minutes of conversation to know who they are. I’m better with recognising posture, gait, voice, mannerisms etc. I recognise people better from behind!

What did the worst review you ever had say about you and your work?

That my short story was too short (11,500 words) and there was little back story. I wailed; I raged; I despaired; I moved on.

Are the names of your characters important to you?

Absolutely. Names evoke such a strong emotional reaction in me that I could not write a character with the “wrong” name. Even my possessions have names: my SatNav is called Gladys, because she means well, is sometimes mistaken and has a slightly superior tone.

How did you choose a title for your book?

Names again… I played with a lot of ideas but nothing was perfect until Strange Ideas popped into my head. It sums up how all the stories were created, and that they’re not “horror”, yet are still disturbing. We all have strange ideas – I just followed them through and wrote them down.

Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?

Appearing distracted when people are talking. And taking notes. I think people don’t notice me scribbling as I ask seemingly random questions about the details of the life-event they’re sharing, but they do. I gather it’s a little unnerving.

Have you ever written naked?

No, but I might try it one day!

What is the single biggest challenge you faced when writing your book?

Getting dressed and going to work. I love my day job, but sometimes I’d definitely rather be writing! Thank gods for holibobs!

Tea, Coffee, Water, Juice, Wine or Beer … which do you prefer when writing?

Tea! I’m an absolute junkie for builders’ tea, and get quite grumpy when my caffeine levels run low. It keeps me mobile when I’m writing too, otherwise I’d sit for too long. Making tea (and disposing of it – ahem) on a regular basis means I have to leave the computer at least twice every hour.

If you could commit the perfect murder where would you hide the body?

I dreamt I killed an ex-boyfriend once. In my dream, he was already dead, but I knew I’d done it and needed to get rid of the evidence. I cut him into bits and buried him in different places all around the countryside, carrying limbs in a rucksack while I walked my dogs. I kept the rest in the freezer while I waited to dispose of it. When I woke up, I was more than a little shocked at how easily it had come to me and how calm I’d been. Worrying…

Even more worrying, it’s just occurred to me that I should have let the dogs eat him and saved the petrol!

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Where can you find out more about Louise and buy her book?

Strange Ideas: Death, Destiny and Decisions is available in Kindle and Paperback formats from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

You can also meet Louise online in various locations including:

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Why ‘The Thursday Throng’?

These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.

If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here: womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/06/17/the-thursday-throng/

2 thoughts on “An interview with Louise West, author of Strange Ideas: Death, destiny and decisions

I'm always interested in what people think and love having a debate so why don't we have a chat :-)

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