About Me

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Queensland, Australia
I'm an Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. I live in Queensland, Australia. www.noelleclark.net

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A day in the life of: Author Louise Forster

This is first in a series of author showcases. I'm interested in seeing the 'writing workspace' of other authors, of seeing how their environment can influence their writing, or inspire them.

Today, we chat to Louise Forster, Australian author of ‘Finding Elizabeth’ (out now with Harlequin Escape). Louise takes us through her writing day, showing us the environment where she is so inspired. Louise lives in an idyllic place – the north coast of New South Wales (Australia). She has rainforests, mountains, and pristine beaches surrounding her.

Louise Forster
Hi Noelle, thank you for inviting me to your very first “A Day in the Life” author interview.

You're welcome, Louise. Are you a full time writer?
Yes, but in saying that I wouldn’t be able to support myself writing novels. I’m in awe of authors who hold down a job and write.

Do you to write to a set routine?
I have a loose routine. We live on a dual occupancy with other members of our family and my own space to where the door has never been closed. Kids walk in to say hello, or to have a chat after school. My sister in-law pops over for coffee. Our daughters and sons in-law do the same. I’m not an early starter, although we’re up early taking the dogs for a walk, after that we have breakfast, then I’ll answer my e-mails, then I’ll make coffee and read while sipping my one and only caffeine hit. After that I get to work on my latest story, unless my mailbox is winking, I can’t help myself I have to have a look, which is such a bad habit. But if I’m on a roll or there’s a deadline, I can work till quite late.
The view from Louise's verandah

What percentage of your writing time is allocated to promotion and marketing, for example, on social media such as Facebook and Twitter?
I have no idea, but far too much time, I’m sure. I keep trying to stick to about and hour each morning, but sometimes the social media networks is screaming to be attended to NOW, which I mentioned earlier I find hard to ignore. Perhaps someone has a remedy, or a way to detox :-)

Are you a ‘plotter’ or a ‘pantster’? Or do you just start typing and go from there?

Inspirational views from Louise's property

I’m half and half … Hmm, hang on a minute … I’m more a pantser. I’m writing a short fantasy at the moment and have pantsed my way so far, but I’ve come to a sticky end, or rather middle. And a real plotter probably doesn’t come across that very often, if ever. But while waking very early this morning I plotted out of the sticky middle.

How much research do you do on the setting for your books?
I do a lot of research. My next book, Finding Butterflies is set in the Whitsunday Islands. For non Australians, it’s part of the Great Barrier Reef. I have been there, so that wasn’t a problem. I have sailed and that wasn’t a problem either. But I had to research how a yacht behaved under certain conditions like a wild storm. Luckily, I was in touch with a yachtsman who lived at Airlee Beach and he was a lot of help. Anything I feel unsure about I’ll research it immediately.

Many authors like to keep a blog - do you have one? How often do you post in it?
I don’t have a blog and I’m not sure that I’ll ever start one ;-)

Now, when you are writing, where do you like to write? The kitchen bench? In front of the TV? In your own office?
I have my own space, which I don’t have a name for yet, office sounds too much like I should be answering the phones in a tall building with lots of people doing stuff. Den sounds like I should be a fox or bear. Computer room nah. There are lots of books up there, maybe I’ll call it the library, but that sounds really posh :-) and not me at all … so it’s my room. :-)

Why do you write?
I enjoy putting a story together, manipulating the characters, getting them to do things out of their comfort zone and see how they react. For example: In Finding Elizabeth, Jack is dealing with finding love in freezing Canada. Katherine is giving up her ballet career. In Finding Butterflies, Kabe discovers he can deal with the news media, by being smart and not lose his cool. Belle can spend time alone with a hot bloke she had a crush on all through high school without jumping him. I love it, it’s so much fun.
Nearby pristine beaches

I’m very interested in locations for stories. Why did you choose chilly Canada for the setting of Finding Elizabeth?
I love Christmas. Being a romantic, Christmas with snow and cold and log fires and pretty lights twinkling on a cold night just felt right for the story, especially since I was bringing an Aussie in from the heat of Sydney’s summer to the bitter cold of Canada. It deepened Jack’s character, brought out his Aussie humour. Helped him stoically carry on even though some of his favourite body parts were feeling it; it didn’t deter him from going after someone who had made him feel warm, or rather…hot.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Louise's garden
Other than going places, I like to be creative, making things. I’m not a great gardener. I’ve tried it and I don’t have it in me. I absolutely appreciate a beautiful garden because I know the amount of work that has gone into making it look fantastic. But I’ll stick to sewing, knitting, while plotting the next book…in my head. I wonder if we ever stop writing. Even when I’m out, I’m people watching and questioning, what if those two meeting up were….

Where can readers get a copy of your books?
The links for Finding Elizabeth are all on the Escape Publishing website below, just click on the link, Amazon, iBookstore, Nook, E-books.com, Google Play, Kobo, All About Romance.
Then click on 'buy' and the online sellers will come up: http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9780857990235

Contact Louise:

Louise, thanks so much for joining me here, and for sharing with us all, the beautiful place you call home. - Noelle.


  1. What stunning photographs for this post Louise & Noelle! Particularly that balloon rising up out of the forest.
    I'm all about having inspiration in the place where I write, but I think I'd really struggle to stop looking out your windows Louise!
    Lily M

    1. I agree Lily. I'd neve write a word. I have to thank Louise for the stunning photos. And if course the great insights from Louise..

    2. Hi Lily, the first time we heard a balloon we all rushed out in our underwear wondering what the weird noise was. We discovered it was the pilot turning on the enormous gas things. The dogs were very excited too. I appreciate where we live every morning when we take the dogs for a walk, especially since the rains have finally stopped and the sun's out.

    3. PS: Lily, I know everyone is busy with their lives and I forgot to say thank you for dropping by. So thank you :-)

  2. Wow! Amazing insight and brilliant pics. Well done Noelle and Louise. Jenn (waving from Coffs hinterland.)

    1. Thanks Jenn. Well, you're just down the road from Louise!! I can take no credit for the photos, I'm afraid. Cheers, Noelle.

    2. Hi Jenn, waving back from up here. Coffs and hinterland are a beautiful part of the country. Thanks for dropping by :-)

  3. oooh. SOunds awfully good and what great pics. Noelle..did I spot a hot air balloon though....don't tell me you escaped in it!!

    1. Thanks Shey. They are wonderful photos that Louise supplied of her property. Gorgeous aren't they. Well, certain members of my family would say I probably had something to do with ensuring the balloon flew well ...

    2. Hi Shey, I love watching hot air balloons, but you'd have to pay me to go up in one :-)
      Planes are scary enough, I can't get my head around how they stay up no matter how many times DH explains.
      Thanks for dropping by :-)

  4. What a great set of questions Noelle. Love the title and the implication/thoughts that go with it: where do we write? Louise, I wholeheartedly stand alongside you with pantsering and I agree that our 'space' should not be given a name if we don't want to name it. ☺ Lastly, I LOVE the cover to Finding Elizabeth, it's beautiful. Thank you ladies, really enjoyed reading through this interview.

    1. Thanks Jennie. Louise gave a wonderful insight into her world, and her photos are stunning. Yes, agree with the cover of Finding Elizabeth. And it's a great read as well! :-) Cheers Jennie.

    2. Hi Jennie, so glad you enjoyed the interview. I agree the cover for Finding Elizabeth is lovely. I've added procrastinating to pantsering...I should put a sticker up on my screen FOCUS! Thanks for dropping by :-)

  5. What a lovely blog post - and a lovely garden (I am a gardener!). Finding Elizabeth is in my TBR pile - I will get to it immediately!

    1. Hi Tea, glad you like the garden, since the rains have stopped and the sun is out again the plants have exploded, but so have the weeds :( I think you'll enjoy Finding Elizabeth. Thanks for dropping by. :-)

  6. Thanks Tea. Lovely comments. I wish I could take some credit for all this. Ha ha. Louise is an amazing author and you're gonna love Finding Elizabeth.

  7. Terrific interview. Lovely lifestyle and exciting books. Thanks for sharing. (Love the pics)

  8. Hi Janine, so glad you enjoyed the pics and my books, thank you for dropping by. Noelle's done a terrific job on the interview. :-)