Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight – Louisa Mae

Born and bred in the vibrant city of Leeds in the North of the UK, I’ve always loved reading, and one of my fondest memories from childhood was the weekly visits to the library with my dad. It always seemed such a magical place to escape into through the books I read on a weekly basis.

I’d not really thought about writing in my adult life until I was introduced to the world of Fanfiction, and after reading so many, I found myself making friends through this new media. That took on a life of its own and opened my eyes to the possibilities while allowing me to get used to plotting a story while making the characters my own

Making the move to write M/M, took me a little longer. After becoming good friends with Angela from Illinois who told me (repeatedly), “You should write M/M, I think you’d be good at it.” I shied away from the idea for so long, but the seed was firmly sown in my mind.

In 2013, fate intervened and I lost my job. Through my new one, I met Nicole Colville. This marked the start of a beautiful friendship. She encouraged me to switch to writing original fiction. I completed Nano Wri Mo 2014, smashing the 50K word goal in 30 days with a story I love and am proud of.

So, what have you written?

My debut was part of the Confidential Encounters anthology, which raised money for the kaleidoscope trust. That was called Below The Line, I also have series of shorts called Voyuer with two volumes out, and a third to be released. I also have my first full length novel called, Destined to Fall. I am also working on another full length called Innocent Man which will be released this year.

How many books to your series? (if it is a series)

Voyeur has three books so far, and book four is taunting me. I have no idea how many there will be in total, depends how chatty the men get.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

I think it’s a good way for people to find you, to try your work. I know from experience, having taken advantage of a free book, that you don’t always read them straight away which is a shame.

What do you love most about the writing process?

It’s a way to put the outside world and any issues to one side. I literally climb inside the characters world and live in it with them.

How has your writing evolved since your first book?

I’ve been writing for a while, so technically my first book published, wasn’t the first original fiction I wrote. Looking back at that now, as I’m editing it, I can see how my style has developed and changed. The feel for the characters is deeper, the emotions stronger. I am showing and not telling a lot more.

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than any others? Love? Action? Romance? Tragedy?

Action. It’s hard to keep track of who is where and doing what. Everything else seems to come easier.

What do you think makes your book stand out from the crowd?

Honestly? I don’t know. There are so many books out there it’s difficult to stand out. I’d hope that people find my books interesting and engaging.

What’s the one thing that has really surprised you since you started writing?

How long the process takes. You don’t realise until you sit down and start just how much they will take over your life. You get no peace, and they don’t always co-operate. You don’t just write, you then have to be ruthless, then come to edits. I don’t know anyone who enjoys edits.

Is there message in your novel that you hope readers grasp?

Love is love. It doesn’t matter who you love as long as you do it with all your heart.

One food you don’t care if you never eat it again.

Spam. YAK! Colleagues at work have Spam sandwiches on a Friday morning. Reminds me of school dinners.

Would you describe your humour as hilariously funny, oddly quirky, diabolically macabre, or non existent

Depends on my mood, but it can be a mixture of all those at any given time.

5 Things people wouldn’t know about Louisa Mae?

Hmmm, this is a tough one. To my friends I am an open book.

I tend to judge people on first meeting them. I’ve done this from being a child and haven’t normally been far wrong on that initial gut instinct.

I believe that there is something beyond this world. We don’t just cease to exist.

I used to play the Clarinet

I am word perfect on Rocky Horror Picture Show and a huge fan. I’ve even travelled on the London Underground dressed in full fishnets, basque etc… That was a fun afternoon!

I only have one tattoo. It’s a personal one and is my dad’s name in Arabic. It’s on the inside of my left wrist, and I love it.

What is your very favourite holiday destination?

Greek Islands. Very laid back.

Are there misconceptions people have about your genre?

YES! That I write porn. It’s my major bug bear and people who haven’t read what I write, call it ‘gay porn’.

Do you have a Bucket List? If so top 5 things on it

Nope. I supposed I should start one…

What are some jobs you’ve held? Have any of them impacted your writing? How?

Shop assistant (Saturday job), cleaner, travel agent, Customer Service in Bank call centre, New Account Administrator for a Brewery, Customer Service Advisor, Credit Risk Controller. I used the office I worked in, in Leeds City Centre as the office in Below The Line. The biggest impact was when I worked with Nicole Colville and got talking about writing. She was one of the few people I told about my writing. She demanded to read some, and then told me I had to publish. The rest as they say, is history!

Have you ever gone to a convention? If so, how was it? If not, do you think it’s something you’d like to do in the future? Yes, I am a HUGE Rocky Horror fan and attended ‘Transylvanian 92 & 94 (shows my age) and it was amazing! So many like minded people in one place. I also went to the UK meet up in 2015 and it was fantastic, made some great friends there.

Have you ever written a scene where it has reduced you to tears?

Yes, more than one. In Destined, I put a very personal experience into the story. My dad died when I was young, and the day I found out I accidentally dropped a tray of mugs, only his mug smashed. I wrote that in as it worked perfectly. In Innocent Man, the story is about a man on death row. There is one scene that reduced me to tears.

Is there a character you feel especially connected to? Why?

All of them in one way or another. They all leave a mark on you as you spend so much time getting to know them, and living with them while you tell their story.

Destined to Fall

There are parts of our lives which are predestined, and no matter how hard we try, we can’t change what will happen — what must happen. Andrew Manners understood that better than most, but it didn’t change how he felt about his past or his desire to change it.

Even angels have regrets, and after living two mortal lifetimes in his angelic form, and with countless other years ahead, he would give it all up to be with the man he’d loved and lost for just one short lifetime together.

“Everything has a price. Every journey has an end.”

The price Andrew paid when his journey ended was immortality.  A gift, some would say. A curse, others would whisper.

He’s walked the earth for almost one hundred years, putting aside all selfish needs while caring and offering comfort to others. When he finds a dying man on the streets of London, he’s unprepared for how it will change his life.

“I never knew how my life could change in such a short space of time, or how one decision would affect the outcome in such a monumental way.”

Josh is inconsolable after losing his partner, and as Andrew guides the grief-stricken man through his pain, he’s forced to recall his own mortal life and the lover he left behind. Looking back allows him to see what he could find with Josh, but such a strong bond shouldn’t exist between a mortal and an angel, and Andrew struggles with the demands of his angelic duties and what his heart needs.

“I found out it was possible to love, and be loved in return, only to face losing it all.”

Knowing a relationship can only bring them both heartache, and unable to explain his angelic form, Andrew believes he will spend an eternity mourning what could have been.

“The true measure of love is what you’re willing to give up for it.”

With the terrifying prospect of living forever without the man he loves weighing heavily on his soul, Andrew seeks out a different path, one which could lead him into the hands of the demonic creatures which now hide in the shadows around him, or lead him into the arms of his soulmate. The risks are great. Andrew’s very soul is in danger. But what good is a soul without its mate?

Falling in love was easy. Falling for love would be the hard part.

Excerpt

Josh wanted to know everything Simon had said to me. I passed on his message about how much he loved him, how he regretted not getting the chance to say it. I could feel how much hearing those words meant, even though they were being passed on through a complete stranger. I knew how important those final messages were, and I was the one to deliver it. It never got any easier to do this, knowing you were the one who sometimes was ripping their world apart. But at the same time, you could be the one they turned to for support; it was all part of my existence.

Tears fell down his cheeks as he heard what’d happened. There wasn’t much to tell him really, but he seemed to cling to every word. Simon’s soul/spirit was there the whole time. He stood next to him, hand floating gently just above his shoulder. It was like Josh could feel his presence as several times he looked to where he was.

“I love him, I really do,” Josh whispered before getting closer to Simon’s prone form. He placed a gentle kiss on his bruised cheek and spoke softly to him. “You hear me? I love you, so you can’t leave me. Not again.”

“I wouldn’t leave you if I could help it,” Simon replied, his spirit now standing at the side of the bed, looking down at the man he loved. The smile on his face was what could only be described as a look of pure love. I found myself smiling at him. Simon narrowed his eyes at me. “You can see and hear me, can’t you?” He stepped away from Josh for the first time, standing between us. I pretended I hadn’t heard him, but it was no use. “Who are you? Are you one of those psychics who can talk to spirits?”

I couldn’t answer. If I did, I was afraid of how he’d react; I didn’t think he’d understood what his words meant. I looked at him and, in a split second, I saw he knew.

“I’m not stupid, Andrew, I know I’m already dead. That’s why I’m here, looking down at the shell I’ll leave behind when I go wherever it is I’m heading.” He turned to look back at Josh. “He’s the only thing I care about. I don’t know how he’ll cope without me.”

I took a deep breath, knowing he needed confirmation. I couldn’t physically answer him without alerting Josh. Instead, I sent calming waves into the room. Simon seemed to react; his anger receding slightly. The reverie was broken when a doctor opened the door and spoke to Josh, asking him to step outside so they could talk.

Once the door closed, Simon turned to me. “So, are you going to tell me who and what you are?”

Taking a deep breath, I spoke. “I’m an angel. I didn’t know this would happen to you, that’s not why I was there. It was…”  I struggled for the right word. “Fate.”

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