This afternoon I'd like to introduce you to author Louise Lindley who has just published her debut novel Bruises.
Louise Lindley grew up in the northeast of England. In 2004 she moved to Canada with her husband, for what was supposed to be one year. Ten years, two children, two cats and a dog later, she appears to be staying. She worked as a registered nurse until giving up her career to raise her family. When she was diagnosed with a chronic disease, she turned to writing, combining her knowledge of the medical world with personal life experiences. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and two boys. Bruises is her debut novel.
Dr. Frances Robertson is confident, beautiful, single, independent and going on 40.
When family circumstances beyond her control force her to temporarily suspend her career and her great lifestyle in Vancouver, to return to her childhood home in England, she finds herself resentful and apprehensive about spending 6 months in the city she had thought she'd left for good. Staying in her cousin's flat, Frankie takes on an interim position at the local hospital to make ends meet while she is occupied with clearing out the home of her father, a man who never showed her any love. The thankless task weighs heavily on her mind - until she is thrust into working with Jack at the hospital. Gorgeous, young, and virile, Jack harbours a painful past and insecurities under that handsome exterior. The sparks fly and Frankie soon finds herself teaching Jack a thing or two in the bedroom.
The intense sexual heat between Frankie and Jack soon turns into more, and both simultaneously worry about and pretend to ignore the looming date for her return to Vancouver. The seemingly perfect, steamy romance becomes strained as neither wants to admit their feelings or face reality. Hot and torrid, their passion flares and tensions mount as Frankie and Jack have to decide whether love will be enough to heal their bruises.
Can you tell us a little bit about your debut novel?
Bruises is a steamy romance in which two people find love when neither of them are looking for it, and then try to avoid it. The main female character, Frankie, takes a sabbatical from her well paid job as a doctor, and her idealistic lifestyle, in Vancouver, to return to her family home in England. Circumstances beyond her control require her to clear the family home, sell it, and leave behind her unhappy childhood for good. She still needs to make ends meet, and therefore takes a temporary locum position at the local hospital she’d previously worked at as a trainee… where she meets Jack.
The gorgeous exterior of Jack is all a cover up; he’s dealing with his own tragedy. When he first meets Frankie and finds himself assisting her, he avoids his feelings by being hostile. She’s a confident professional woman who’s 7 years his senior, she wouldn’t be interested in him…
What starts as an arrangement very quickly develops into much more. They spend the following six months together, having fun and soul searching, while Frankie uncovers all the secrets and lies that the family home has been hiding from her all her life. They have both found love, but neither will admit it, and time is running out because Frankie must return home…
What inspired you to write Bruises?
A number of things actually, mostly personal. A couple of years ago a number of things were going on in my life. I turned 40 for a start, which I had no problem with in itself, but I began to realise that I’d lost my identity. My kids were 3 & 5 at the time, I was having problems with my arthritis medication so I was a bit of a cripple, and my doctor was in the process of trying to retire me due to ill health. Like many women, I also like to read a good old fashioned romance, so I was going through all the trilogies – I don’t need to spell them out! It didn’t take many of them for me to start to get a little bored. They were all the same template: powerful male, vulnerable female, lots of steamy, raw sex and crude, bad language, then they all live happily ever after! Somebody needed to change things up a bit, write something that is tasteful but smouldering. It didn’t occur to me at that time that I could be that somebody.
The deeper personal inspiration came from not wanting to be seen as just a mum or a walking disease anymore. I’m a trained nurse, with two registered qualifications and a degree. I used to be an intensive care nurse and then a nurse specialist. As a homemaker I was quietly going brain dead. I needed some stimulation, something just to get my mind working again and cleanse it of Octonauts and Fireman Sam. So, while out walking the dog my little mind started to make a mental list of all the things I would change ‘if I wrote a book’ – HA! If I wrote a book, I would laugh to myself.
How long did it take you to write and publish your debut novel?
Approximately 18 months. I began secretly writing on my iPad, which, incidentally, I don’t recommend. I wrote the first 5 chapters on the touch screen over about 2 months, and they were shocking. So shocking that my husband refused to continue reading after the first couple and dismissed the whole thing as a waste of time. After a week of stomping around I bought a keyboard, determined to prove to him I could do this. I still had a very basic app so the grammar, punctuation and spelling left a lot to be desired (I failed my first attempt at GCSE English, and then just scraped through second time around). Once I was able to type more efficiently I couldn’t stop, and finished Bruises after about 8 months. My first publisher didn’t work out, their loss! It then took my current publisher six months to release it into the wild.
With young children when do you find the time to write?
I have two very active boys who are now almost 6 & 8, and they have a lot of energy that needs to go somewhere. Before they were both in full time school I found myself frequenting a local coffee shop for the odd hour or two when they attended art classes, tennis lessons or other activities. It often wasn’t worth going home to just turn around and drive back again. I would park myself in a discreet corner with my travel mug, and occasionally I was shamefully late picking them up! They crash around 7pm so evenings were my most protected and productive time, especially if I had a glass of wine - apparently it made me very bold, according to my beta readers. I was so clear of my story and where it was going that my head was always a couple of chapters ahead of my fingers. Not once did I sit and wonder what to write next, it flowed continuously even when I had to pick it up and put it down to deal with life. And of course there was always rainy Saturday afternoon movies when I could squeeze in a chapter or two!
Are you working on another book?
Sort of. Bruises has a sequel that is already complete, it just needs tidying up. I was keen not to produce a trilogy, which appears to be the current trend. I have just finished my third novel – completely different characters and story, but still keeping a medical aspect. I also wrote this one in the first person, which took a bit of getting used to, but was quite fun interesting to do. It too now needs to be edited.
Have you always wanted to write a book?
Never in a million! As I mentioned earlier, I failed English first time, I’ve never even studied English literature. So to actually write more than two lines that are readable is huge for me. I wasn’t even a big reader as a child; I discovered books in my early twenties. I’ve always struggled and hated anything that involved essays or any sort of writing – but I worked hard to achieve the nursing qualifications I eventually gained just to prove to myself I could do it. I can honestly say that writing a book had never ever occurred to me until I became bored with the current trends in this genre. If anyone had ever said that I would one day write a book I would have had them certified. I went to an all-girls Catholic Convent school, taught by nuns. I was not one of the ‘in’ crowd, a nobody really…I could never write ‘that’ kind of book! But, it would appear that when you’ve had two kids and turn 40, all your inhibitions get left behind in your 30s.
As part of this debut spotlight feature Louise has kindly offered a copy of Bruises as a giveaway prize, open to US/Can residents only. a Rafflecopter giveaway