Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Louise Guy

Louise Guy has enjoyed working in marketing, recruitment and film production, all which have helped steer her towards her current, and most loved, role – writer.

Her passion for writing women's fiction is a result of her love of reading, writing and exploring women's emotions and relationships. Women succeeding through hard work, overcoming adversity or just by owning their choices and decisions is something to celebrate, and Guy loves the challenge of incorporating their strengths in these situations into fiction.

Originally from Melbourne, a trip around Australia led Guy and her husband to Queensland's stunning Sunshine Coast where they now live with their two sons, gorgeous fluff ball of a cat and an abundance of visiting wildlife - the kangaroos and wallabies the most welcome, the snakes the least.

Guy's latest novel is A Life Worth Living.

My Q&A with the author:

How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

The significance of the title, A Life Worth Living, becomes very clear in the novel’s opening pages when the reader is presented with identical twins who lead very different lives, but both desire something different – ideally what each other has. The question is raised by both as to what is worth living for and what they would change if they could. This question holds more meaning as the story progresses and one sister is forced to make a choice which will allow her to follow a different life path. A path that comes at a very high cost to her and everyone around her.

I had several titles before settling on A Life Worth Living. They included Identical Deception and The Twin Thief, but neither felt quite right. The final title was decided upon quite close to publication. With this book, the publisher did not push for an alternative title. I’m never concerned about a title at the outset of writing a book. I have a working title that usually changes as something meaningful hits me while writing. I’m also conscious that the publisher may change my titles, so don’t spend too much time deliberating over them.

Do you find it harder to write beginnings or endings? Which do you change more?

With A Life Worth Living, the ending was more challenging to write than the beginning. I reached a point where I knew the situation that unfolds after the twist couldn’t continue, but the fallout if the truth was to come out would be so devastating that I didn’t want to take my characters down that road either. As a result, I put the story aside for a few months while working on something else. Through that entire time the ‘what if’ scenarios ticked over in my mind until the lightbulb moment hit, and I knew how it needed to be resolved.

Do you see much of yourself in your characters? Do they have any connection to your personality, or are they a world apart?

There are bits of my personality in my characters and storylines. I’ve never based any character entirely on myself but know that certain traits, beliefs, and opinions come through. It’s lovely when you read a character voicing your opinion as their own when it is one you might not publicly attach yourself to in the real world!

In A Life Worth Living, I found I couldn’t help but inject some of my own beliefs into characters’ reactions to how Eve chooses to live her life. Her behaviour is divisive at times, depending on where your moral compass points, and my reaction is clearly shown through the words her mother shares with her.

I’d like to think that the characters in my books who are caring, compassionate, and relatable reflect parts of my personality but that might just be me applying a filter that I want to believe is true!

What non-literary inspirations have influenced your writing?

Family, friends, and eavesdropping are the biggest non-literary influences in my writing! I get so many ideas from a casual conversation when someone mentions something that has happened. People seem more inclined to share the difficulties they experience in life and relationships than the joyful moments, which is perfect book fodder! People also love to gossip, which is ideal for the types of family and friend driven stories I write. I don’t make a habit of eavesdropping, but the simplest of circumstances, such as sitting in a waiting room and listening to conversations, can deliver wonderful ideas for a story.
Visit Louise Guy's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Life Worth Living.

My Book, The Movie: A Life Worth Living.

--Marshal Zeringue