Louise's latest novel, The Road to California, is an achingly emotional book about a mother and son's relationship, and the various problems and difficulties that come in between. Check out the blurb here...
Proud single parent Joanna is accustomed to school phoning to tell her that her fourteen year old son Ryan is in trouble. But when Ryan hits a girl and is excluded from school, Joanna knows she must take drastic action to help him. Ryan's dad Lex left home when Ryan was two years old. Ryan doesn t remember him - but more than anything he wants a dad in his life. Isolated, a loner, and angry, Ryan finds solace in books and wildlife. Joanna, against all her instincts, invites Lex to return and help their son. But Lex is a drifter who runs from commitment, and both Joanna and Ryan find their mutual trust and love is put to the test when Lex returns, and vows to be part of the family again.
And today I am lucky enough to have Louise on my blog, where we will be chatting about The Road to California, the long writing process that accompanied it, and what book she was facinated by as a child...
What is the inspiration behind The Road to California?
It’s the first novel I attempted to write, over ten years ago, and much of it was based on my life at that time.
Tell us a bit more about Joanna. Do you have anything in common with her?
She is a much more attractive and assertive version of me! I love sewing and I home educate some of my children, so we do have a few things in common.
What made you want to write about parenthood and the various problems that family life can throw up?
It was my first novel and “write what you know” is the standard advice. I’ve now written three novels, and parenthood, family life and relationships of all kinds do seem to be my natural subject matter.
Do you normally come up with plot or characters first?
The characters tend to come first and I think about them for quite a long time, trying to get to know them, and from there I work out the kinds of things they might get up to.
What was the writing process like for The Road to California?
Long! I abandoned it for a few years in favour of my second novel (Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase) and again for my third novel (A Life Between Us). I also tried to change the story dramatically but I couldn’t do it. My original story and characters seemed to insist on staying put and being written.
What was your favourite book as a child?
I read lots of books growing up, so I have several favourites. I do re-read a book called Come Back, Lucy by Pamela Sykes as it fascinated me as a child, and it still does.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read more than you write. It serves me well, and I still regard myself as a reader first, writer second.
Sum up The Road to California in three words…
Sad, simple, and hopeful.
Thank you so much for appearing on my blog, Louise!
Buy The Road to California here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Road-California-Louise-Walters/dp/1999780906
Check out Louise Walters here: https://www.louisewaltersbooks.co.uk
Until next time :)