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  • Writer's pictureKate Muddiman

It's Not Never - Author Spotlight with Louise Gregory

I've been neglecting my blog. Because Instagram is my go-to social media...

I LOVE the bookstagram community (even if it is responsible for a mile high TBR stack that never seems to diminish). It was visa vie this community I ran into Louise, who has been working to launch her first novel the same time as Nearly Wed. It's been so fun having someone to talk to about this process - heightened by the fact that she also has kids! I decided an interview was in order. See below!

Name: It's Not Never Author: Louise Gregory and N.G.K. Genre: Contemporary Fiction Publisher: NGK Media Latest Book: Upcoming Book:

Katie: What made you decide to become and indie author?

Louise: I was really lucky, my writing partner was already an experienced and successful indie author, so I haven't had to start from scratch. He has build a great relationship with Amazon and Ingram Spark, so I'm probably skipping a whole bunch of rookie errors. But this is the first full length adult novel for both of us. He said that he was happy for us to query traditional publishers if I would prefer that, but he also pointed out the finance differentials between indie authors and published authors, and they were hard to argue with. I felt finally vindicated in my decision when I saw a tweet the other day saying how many traditionally published authors aren't even getting assigned PRs any more and are having do do a lot of their own publicity anyway. Unless you are a top mainstream author it is becoming tougher to see the returns in traditional publishing.

Katie: As a mom with two girls and a day job, how do you find the time to write?

Louise: My daughters are 10 and 13 and actually I am lucky as they are at an age where they both just hibernate in their rooms or disappear outside with friends at the weekend. I do work full time in a Corporate Communications team but I love my job, and while it is mentally tough sometimes, it's not physically taxing. The key factors that give me the time to write are having a patient husband who does more than his fair share of domestics, and I don't watch TV. I don't mean that in a snobby way! I'd get so much more done if I didn't have an addiction to social media, but I can justify that with "book stuff".

Writing is just the thing I do in the evening.

Katie: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors who have children?

Louise: Anything I say will be easy for me to say but not as easy to do. Plus, I should point out my house is dusty and my children are semi feral with an aversion to personal hygiene! If you are ok with that here are my tips... 1. Get them independent at a young age. Mine have made their breakfast and lunches for years. The 13 year old even does her own laundry now. Don't get me wrong, they complain about ALL other chores, but as long as they can feed themselves you're golden. 2. It's ok to prioritise yourself sometimes. You deserve the time. 3. Don't wait for the perfect writing situation. I spent every Saturday for an hour in the year before before lockdown writing in a pitch black, freezing car in a car park on an industrial estate while my daughter did gymnastics. Oh and invest in some noise cancelling headphones for writing at home. They block out a lot of the chaos. 4. You can be a great worker, a great mum, a great wife, a great writer, a great runner/knitter/gardener, whatever you want to be. You just might not always be able to be all those things at once. If one week you spend all your time writing and the house goes to ruin and the kids live on Cheerios, that's ok. If the next week you are busy being the best mum in the world but your writing takes a dive, that's ok too. You CAN do everything, just not all at once.

Katie: What has been your favourite part of the self publishing process so far?

Louise: I just really love writing. I love bashing out a first draft, when everything still has so much potential and the story is still coming together. The best thing about self publishing, though, has been KNOWING this book will be published. it's incredibly motivating. The alternative is spending 18 months on a project that goes nowhere. For some people that doesn't matter, the process is enough, but I think most writers secretly long for the day they have their book in their hands.

Katie edit: For me, it's the coffee. I drink so much coffee now, and because I'm being 'hyper productive' somehow it's ok...

Katie: How do you address balance in your life as a working mom?

Louise: I try (not always successfully) to not have unrealistic expectations. My house isn't a show home, I don't iron any clothes, and in our house everyone knows they have to play a part. I don't get it right all the time. A few weeks ago I rang up my mum crying because I was struggling with one of the kids. My husband would probably like it if I was around more sometimes. I don't think anyone finds the balance all the time, just as long as the good stuff outweighs the challenges. Oh, and as soon as I turn a profit I'm buying a robot vacuum cleaner!

Katie: Chris Hadfield is from my hometown - how did you stumble on him?

Louise: Oh, I love Chris so much!! I'd seen him on social media, playing his guitar on the ISS but then came across his book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth. It's part memoir, part guide to leadership. Chris is so humble and down to earth. It's just a great guide to being a good person. And though I've no desire to go into space myself, I love the psychology of space travel, and how astronauts have to work with each other and with technology. I've fangirlled Chris ever since and have bought multiple copies of his book for people. He did a show on the BBC recently called So You Want to Be an Astronaut, a sort of astronaut reality show. In the first task they had participants fly helicopters and as I watched it I could see it was filmed at the airport a mile or two from my house! He was so close and I never knew it!! There was a quote of his that was so perfect for the book. I emailed his 'people' and they were so lovely and said I could use it. He has his own fiction novel coming out in October, so if you need a writing buddy, Chris...

Katie: Anything else you would like to share? Louise: Working with a writing partner is awesome. It's not always easy but you're never alone, and you can share the load. Even if you don't like the idea of writing with someone, try and find a critique partner or just a partner in crime who can hold your hand, feed you wine and high five you at milestones that no one else would understand. Follow Louise on her journey HERE: @lougregorybooks (twitter) @louisegregoryauthor (Insta)

Curious about her writing partner? NGK is on Amazon here:

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