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Interview With Author Louise Mangos

Louise is the author of psychological thrillers and gripping suspense novels. When you meet her, you would never know that inside that mind is a maelstrom of brilliant and scary ideas. But they say still waters run deep, and Louise has just completed her Masters in Crime Writing at the University of East Anglia, so she knows what she’s doing when she's trying to make you feel uneasy and making sure you don’t stop turning her pages.

Below is an interview I recently did with Louise.

You have two books published with HQ Digital, an imprint of Harper Collins. What made you choose them, or them you?

After I’d posted a 140-character tweet during a Twitter pitch session three years ago, I was offered a contract with HQDigital within 48 hours. Digital first publishing is much faster-moving than traditional publishing and I was impatient to publish my debut when it hadn’t found a home after several months on submission to traditional publishers.

Can you tell us a little about your route to publication with your first two novels?

I initially had an agent who was unable to find a traditional publishing deal for my debut Strangers on a Bridge. I had almost finished my second novel when I pitched my debut in that tweet to HQDigital. Digital first publishers don’t offer advances, but do offer high royalties. My agent at the time wasn’t keen for me to sign a contract without an advance. But I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity, so that agent and I parted ways. Strangers on a Bridge was published in July 2018 and The Art of Deception was published in June 2019. The second novel was later re-titled Her Husband’s Secrets.

You are writing a third.  Will it be in the same vein?

I’ve completed my third novel, a psychological thriller about a disturbed man who stalks a backpacker around the world. I wrote it as part of the MA in Crime Writing at UEA and it is currently on submission to publishers through my brilliant and experienced agent Lisa Moylett at the CMM Agency who took me on earlier this year. She’s working hard to find the novel a home.

What is your preferred genre?

Psychological suspense.

Are you still writing short stories and flash?

Yes, my favourite fiction output is still the short form. I love writing any short form, from one-hundred-word micros to short stories of up to three thousand words.

What is the highlight of your writing calendar (pandemic aside)?

The highlight of each year for me is attending a handful of writing festivals. This year I would have been on a panel at CrimeFest in Bristol and fingers crossed, if Iceland Noir goes ahead in November, I should be on a panel there too. These festivals are the only opportunity for many authors to meet up. Being a full-time writer is a lonely profession. Another favourite festival is the Flash Fiction Festival. I’m hopeful all these festivals will be able to take place next year.

Who are your favourite writers in your genre?

Teresa Driscoll, Cath Staincliffe, Kate Riordan

And writers not of your genre?

Haruki Murakami, Ian McEwan, Tim Winton, Kate Atkinson, Barbara Kingsolver

How important is it that readers leave reviews, and where can they leave them?

Reviews help new readers to decide whether a book is for them or not, so it’s really important and appreciated when readers take the time to write them. The most useful reviews are those on the same platforms where the books are sold, Waterstones, for example and Amazon, as that the sales giant is where most novels, both physical and digital, are sold. There are other sites, such as Goodreads which is a kind of global book club group.

Any advice to give to anyone seeking agent representation and publication?

First and foremost, don’t give up. Don’t give up writing – your craft will continue to improve with time. Make your manuscript the very best you can before pressing send. Don’t give up pitching your book to agents – writing is so subjective and no matter how many rejections you receive, someone out there will love your work. Don’t give up reading – plotlines, styles, dialogue, character interaction, trends; this is how you gather your ideas for the next project, and you can learn a lot from other bestselling authors.

What’s next for you?  What are you working on?

I’ve recently finished a psychological suspense about a post-trauma self-help group that goes awry. I’m currently working on a memoir. I also have a couple of unfinished short stories and some flash fiction that needs editing. I always have several projects growing and forming.

Can you give us one recommendation to read right now?

Sarah Vaughan – Anatomy of A Scandal

It was released more than a year ago, but is still one of the best novels I’ve read in my genre. The writing is sublime with a gripping plot – in my opinion it’s a literary crime masterpiece.

Thanks to Louise for giving her time so we can get to know her better. Please visit her website here for more information, and to buy her books you can click here for Strangers on a Bridge and here for Her Husband's Secrets

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