Today’s guest is the lovely Louise Mumford from South Wales, a fellow member of Crime Cymru
When did you start writing, and why?
I’ve always written. When I was a child, I loved Anne of Green Gables and so all of my stories were of plucky young orphans and grumpy aunts! I completed a creative writing element as part of my English Literature degree and then wrote various novels whilst teaching full time. Why did I write? Because I loved it, because the characters and the worlds I thought up were a fun escape from my everyday life. They still are an escape. Most days I get to hang out with these fascinating people and try to tell their story in the best way possible.
What motivates you to write?
The characters who come to me and keep whispering in my ear until I write them down. I could be shopping, or doing the washing up, and they tap me on the shoulder and demand to know why they haven’t been included in a story yet. Though, I guess what motivated me to try and become published was something much different – my approaching fortieth birthday! I’d been teaching for fifteen years and knew it was a now or never moment to see if I could make my dream a reality. My own insomnia motivated me to write Sleepless – I knew I could describe the main character’s desperation because of her lack of sleep with some accuracy…
What do you like to do to relax when not writing?
Before the pandemic, I used to be a regular at all sorts of gym classes. Boxercise is good fun and it has made me feel like I could defend myself… as long as my attacker stayed still and I had a certain musical track playing! Obviously right now I don’t go to the gym so it’s all running and doing virtual online classes. Exercise is important to me. I think it’s vital to get out of my head and away from my desk, otherwise, on some days, I would never leave it!
Who is your favourite and least favourite of your characters?
Vivian is my favourite character in Sleepless. She is my main character’s mother and I wanted to write a woman in their late sixties who is vital and fun and fiercely independent. I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by a plethora of strong female role models in my mother and my battalion of aunts and I wanted to pay homage. I don’t have a least favourite, not really – all of the characters are fascinating to me… even the ones who are not that likeable.
Tell us about your last book…
Sleepless is my debut book and is a thriller inspired by my own insomnia. It is published by HQ Digital as ebook/audio and paperback.
Thea is an insomniac; she hasn’t slept more than three hours a night for years.
So when an ad for a sleep trial that promises to change her life pops up on her phone, Thea knows this is her last chance at finding any kind of normal life.
Soon Thea’s sleeping for longer than she has in a decade and awakes feeling transformed. So much so that at first, she’s willing to overlook the oddities of the trial – the lack of any phone signal; the way she can’t leave her bedroom without permission; the fact that all her personal possessions are locked away, even her shoes.
But it soon becomes clear that the trial doesn’t just want to help Thea sleep. It wants to control her sleep…
Sleepless has been in the Top 50 overall Kindle Store and a No:1 bestseller.
What’s coming next…
The paperback of Sleepless is to be reissued as a mass market publication in July and then I am already writing another book which will be published in 2022. Lots of authors say writing the second book is tough, but luckily, I pretty much had it written before Sleepless was published so it just needs tweaking and improving. I can’t wait for everyone to meet the new characters!
Anything else you want to share?
A Californian production company has snapped up the television rights to Sleepless which is very exciting and the marketing team at HQ have won a Book Marketing Society award for Guerrilla Campaign for their inventive work in the promotion of Sleepless.
Louise Mumford was born and lives in South Wales. From a young age she loved books and dancing, but hated having to go to sleep, convinced that she might miss out on something interesting happening in the world whilst she dozed. Insomnia has been a part of her life ever since.
In the summer of 2019 Louise was discovered as a new writer by her publisher at the Primadonna Festival. She lives in Cardiff with her husband and spends her time trying to get down on paper all the marvellous and frightening things that happen in her head.
Thank you, Louise, good to know I’m not the only one who get character nag! Best of luck with the production of Sleepless – thrilled for you.
Next up tomorrow will be Thorne Moore.