Monday, 11 September 2017

Louise Beech's Writing Toolkit

I am delighted to be today's stop on the blog tour for Maria in the Moon by Louise Beech. Louise is taking part in my new blog feature, sharing her essential writing toolkit. Maria in the Moon is being published by Orenda Books on 30 September 2017.

I am delighted to welcome 




An early hour
Yes, I am insane. I work best earlier on rather than later in the day. Many writers I know do it late into the night. That’s not for me. Aside from the fact that I work evenings in a theatre, my brain is mush once you get me past about six pm. I get up at about seven am, even if I’ve worked late the night before, and am at my desk by eight am. This is when my ideas and thoughts are the freshest. I’m usually good until about three pm (with lunch and a walk or work-out in between).

I am totally OCD. I cannot work in chaos. My head is a complete mess most of the time, so I need my surroundings to be spotless and in order. I’m the first to admit that I need serious help. But when my environment is immaculate I feel I can go wild and let rip with the words. Makes no sense, but it’s true. Don’t tell anyone, but I can’t go to bed and leave messy cushions. There I’ve said it. Come and cart me away.

Oh, I need that music. It inspires me. Certain songs get me in a certain mood. There are entire albums that remind me now of the time I wrote particular novels. I’ll listen to just about anything. At the moment I’m loving everything by The Weeknd. His gritty, dark lyrics match the mood of novel five at times.

I’m terrible for swearing. I’m not a very good typist (two fingers, one from each hand, haha) and so there’s quite a bit of cursing when my brain goes faster than my hands can! Sometimes, if I forget someone else is on the house, they come downstairs to ask who the heck I’m shouting at. So perhaps solitude should be another essential, though it’s not likely to ever happen...

My desk
I only write ‘properly’ at my desk. I scribble notes on physical bits of paper while out and about, which I then import into my work. Now that I travel a lot more with my writing, and all the events, I’m thinking of investing in a laptop. But until then, my computer and my desk is the place I am for writing.

I often cry when writing. I do - I’m a big, fat wuss! If I’m writing an emotional scene, I feel every part of it. Just as if I write a funny scene, I tend to laugh out loud. These are even more reasons why no one should be near me when I write. It really isn’t pretty. I’m an OCD tidy, sweary, sobby mess.

When sitting to write for long periods you can end up with your mind going in circles. So I usually take an hour out mid-write to either go fo a long hike or do a work-out at home. Boxercise is great! You find that the ideas flood in when you’re physical! Plus there is of course the danger of eating too much while sitting and I need to try and compensate for that. Of this I am also guilty. Especially with Twirls... and chochip cookies... and lattes... and... oh, I’d best stop now...


About Louise Beech
Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both books have been number one on Kindle, Audible and Kobo in USA/UK/AU. She regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012. She is also part of the Mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show.

Find Louise on her website and on Twitter - @LouiseWriter

About Maria in the Moon

Published by Orenda Books (30 September 2017)

Publisher's description
Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped calling me it. I try now to remember why, but I just can't.' Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can't remember everything. She can't remember her ninth year. She can't remember when her insomnia started. And she can't remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria. With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges ... and changes everything. Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide...

Here's a snippet of my review
Maria in the Moon is yet another stunner from Louise Beech... The writing is simply stunning, so vivid and descriptive that it takes you right into the heart of the story and into the lives of her diverse, larger-than-life and highly realistic characters. I couldn't help but be transported into Hull at a time of crisis.

To read the rest of my review of Maria in the Moon, click here.

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  1. Love it! I'm an early bird too & I like a tidy desk. And I'm sweary... And I love Louise's books - very much. xXx

    1. They're fab books. Reading yours at the moment. Amazing writing. I'm an owl not a lark. I'd love a tidy desk but don't even have a desk! I work at my dining table!

  2. Great feature!!! What a fab idea! Love it!

    1. Thanks Katherine. Appreciate all your support. X