Q & A with Louisa Isaac

Why did you decide to write your book?

I have always wanted to write a book. I have three unpublished manuscripts, many short stories and poems sitting in a bottom draw somewhere, so writing is a natural extension of who I am. I wrote this book as a tribute to my children. It started off as a novel eight years ago, however after numerous drafts and professional assessments, I decided that hiding the core of my story under a cloak of fiction wasn’t working for me. This final draft is a more authentic reflection of what I wanted to write. It is true to life and is far more meaningful to me. I am very happy and proud of the final result.

Who/what inspired you to write?

I have always enjoyed writing. I guess it’s a natural extension of loving to read. Writing allows me to be most true to myself.

What was the most rewarding part of the writing process?

Expressing myself using my authentic voice.

What are your top tips for writing a book?

Get the technical things right. It’s amazing how good grammar and punctuation can bolster the appeal of a read.

Establish a framework first and then fill it with your story. To write a book, it really is a process.

Write your story, not what you think someone else or the market might want.

Allocate dedicated time to writing, i.e. specific days and times of the week and stick to it. Make the time.

In the case of self-publishing, get a good editor. One that you trust and who is excited about your story.

Make at least one character likeable.

Which books/authors have inspired you?

Two of my favourite books are true stories written by Australians.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

A Fortunate Life by Albert Facey

Why did you decide to self publish?

I wanted control the process and see my book in print my way. To be honest, I was not overly confident that my style of book would appeal to a mainstream publisher.

What do you hope your readers get out of your book?

I hope that they might relate to some of the themes in the book. Many of them are universal: divorce, death and family. I also hope they are entertained. Humour is an important part of story telling.

Would you consider writing another book?

Absolutely. Just not right at the minute!

Do you have any other tips for new authors (i.e. book launch, research, marketing, etc.)?

I have a marketing background so I was fortunate in that I have been able to make the most of my experience (hence participating in this opportunity!). However, where I have not leveraged well is using social media. This is due to writing under a pseudonym. If you are self publishing then social media can give you a huge leg-up in terms of getting your book out and about. I would recommend writing a marketing plan specifically for a book – just Google, you will find something to help you. Include a book launch because you deserve it and your friends and family will want to celebrate with you. If you can afford it, commission a publicist. If you are fortunate to secure a publishing deal you won’t need to worry about any of it!