One terrified writer, one HUGE literary festival, one big mistake?

 

Over the past year I’ve been asked to speak at several events, some big, some small, but all have one thing in common – I’ve said no. I think I can pinpoint exactly when and why my phobia of public speaking started, but knowing that, understanding that, hasn’t made it any easier to cope with. On the occasions I’ve tried, I’ve ended up in such a state I’ve not been able to sleep or eat in the weeks preceding and have been physically sick and unable to talk on the day. Shaking, dry mouth, fainting, you name it, I’ve suffered with it.

Althorp Literary Festival is in its 14th year and when an email dropped into my inbox I assumed it was asking me to buy tickets as I’ve attended most years as a guest. Instead, it was an invitation to take part in a panel event. I felt equally honoured and disappointed. There’s no way I could possibly take part, or could I?

Unusually, I didn’t rattle off a polite ‘thanks, but no thanks’ straight away. Althorp is a very dear place to me. I grew up 10 minutes down the road and have many happy childhood memories of our Sunday afternoon drives through the beautiful grounds after a roast lunch, my parents in the front of the car, me playing eye-spy in the back with my sister, ending with tea and cake and the more I let the memory cover me like a blanket, the more it grew – the urge to say yes. My fingers hovered over the keyboard before I quickly punched out an acceptance. And then I cried. And then I set about finding a solution, painfully aware I wouldn’t just be representing myself but also the festival, both my publishers and my agent. No pressure then. My google research resulted in me booking a course of hypnotherapy. I genuinely enjoyed every second of my talk and I’ve since signed up for various events and I honestly can’t wait. Next week I’ll be interviewing my hypnotherapist, Carmen, and she’ll share her thoughts on why public speaking is such a common phobia and give her tips on giving a great performance and I’ll be talking about the things that worked for me.

Today though I want to share my memories of what was an amazing weekend.

On arrival I was escorted to the Green Room, the library. The sight of all those books was instantly calming, admittedly so was the sight of the gin…

It felt so surreal at first and I had to remind myself to focus and pay attention to the other panellists as initially I was sitting there thinking ‘I’m on a stage at Althorp! How did this possibly happen to me?’

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There were books everywhere and at my first official signing I had a touch of anxiety I’d scratch the beautiful desk. I didn’t, and chatting to readers was one of the highlights of my weekend.

Umm there’s always one, lowering the tone, photographing the food. That would be me…

The grounds are absolutely stunning.

And no festival would be complete without a champagne bus. thankfully the sun shone and it became open top. 

I met some amazing people, caught up with old friends and made some new, and whether I’m invited back as a speaker or not, I can’t wait for next year’s event.

Huge thanks to everyone involved in putting together such an amazing festival and leaving me with memories I shall always treasure.

 

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Out Of Bad, Comes Good!

EVA JORDAN

The Sis Book Launch 1

The great thing about being a writer … is meeting other writers! Having met author, Louise Jensen, earlier this year, I was honoured when, in August, she kindly invited me to her book launch for the paperback version of her debut novel, The Sister, which took place at Waterstones, Market Harborough. Originally released as an ebook in July 2016 with digital publishers, Bookouture, The Sister has met with great success. However, when I first met Louise and we got chatting, I was both intrigued and surprised to find that the circumstances behind penning her first novel shared some similarities with my own journey. Louise, like me, always aspired to be an author and through no fault of her own, again like me, found herself victim to a set of circumstances that would forever affect her health. Finding she was less active and unable to do some of the things she…

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Careful What You Wish For: The Surrogate by Louise Jensen @Fab_fiction @bookouture

Also on today’s blog tour was this beautiful review via Meggy…

Chocolate'n'Waffles

IT IS THE DAY!!!

Happy release day to the wonderful and mind-blowingly talented Louise Jensen and her newest story, The Surrogate! Once again, I jumped on the book, forgot all plans, and immersed myself in what is a real Coup de Coeur!

Thank you so much to Bookouture for allowing me to kick off the tour with damppebbles and Emma the little bookworm and for providing me with a copy of this book!

the surrogateTitle: The Surrogate
Author: Louise Jensen
Publisher: Bookouture
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Date of publication: September 27th 2017
Format: eARC
Number of pages: 345
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐️⭐️

‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’ 

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives…

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#BlogTour #BookReview The Surrogate by Louise Jensen @Fab_Fiction @Bookouture

Kicking off The Surrogate’s blog tour is the amazing Emma Mitchell…

Emma The Little Bookworm

I have been waiting FOREVER to share my thoughts on Louise Jensen’s latest novel, The Surrogate and I am over the moon to be kicking off the blog tour so that I can finally share them with you.

But first, here’s the blurb …

‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her…

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The Sister Paperback Launch – Magic & Mayhem

Last week was the Sphere (Little, Brown Book Group) paperback publication day for my debut novel, The Sister. After a busy day including a radio interview (you can listen to that here) it was time to head over to Waterstone’s in Market Harborough for my launch party. We arrived half an hour early with a boot full of booze (there were a lot of writers coming) and as I burst through the doors, carrying far too many snacks (writer’s arse really is a ‘thing’) I skidded to a halt. There in front of me was a table full of books. My books. And inexplicably the excitement I had been feeling turned to blind panic as a hot flush crept through me. This was really happening. My story was in the shops and soon, my friends and family would arrive, including both my publishers and I’d have to stand up and do a speech. Only then did I remember I have a fear of public speaking. No pressure.

Instantly my legs felt like jelly and I had to sit down while my husband and sons set up the refreshments. So much for revelling in my big moment. The manager of the store, Tash, took one look at me and held my hand as she kindly (lied) told me that often writers get overwhelmed when they see their books for the first time and reassured me it would all be ok and my speech would be fabulous. Those few kind words (lies) made a huge difference and I was so grateful for her reassuring presence throughout the evening.

First to arrive was The Great Adamos. I ADORE magic and I wanted to indulge myself with my favourite things (cake, wine, books, magic and the people I love). Adam was a great icebreaker and enthralled my guests as they trickled in while I mingled/tried not to fall apart.

It was when Cath Burke from Sphere (my paperback publisher) and Kim Nash from Bookouture (my digital/audio publisher) arrived with hugs and congratulations I began to relax. They believed in me and my writing, it was time I started to believe in me too. Cath stood on the stairs and did a wonderful introduction on why Sphere picked up The Sister and then Kim Nash led a fabulous Q & A and despite my initial nerves I had a great time answering her questions (and yes I enjoyed it so much I’ve since agreed to take part in some author panel events.) It was really emotional chatting to Kim about how I felt when Lydia, my lovely Bookouture editor offered me my first book deal and how kind she was on the phone when I tried to explain I wasn’t a ‘real’ writer and didn’t know if I’d be able to write another book (can’t believe I’m now writing book 4!)

It was only when we’d finished our chat and I rejoined my guests with a rush of relief, I realised I hadn’t thanked my family for their support and this was my only regret of the night – I LOVE YOU GUYS.

The evening flew past quickly after that, chatting to old and new friends, signing books and eating cake.

So many friends and family turned up to support me, some coming from a great distance, and throughout the evening I felt proud, excited, grateful, but most of all I felt love.

And later, as we headed for the local pub after we left Waterstones, I felt slightly drunk, but that’s another story…

Thanks so much everyone. It really was an amazing evening X

 

The rest of the photos can be viewed over on Facebook

Photographer – Antony Woolmer

Magician – The Great Adamos

 

 

#Review #TheSister by Louise Jensen @Fab_Fiction @Bookouture @LittleBookCafe @LittleBrownUK

It’s the final day of ‘Jensen Week’ over on Emma’s blog and she’s sharing her beautifully written review of The Sister. The review is printed out and hanging on my wall above my desk and on days I’m really struggling making sense of my wip I reread it and it encourages me to never give up.

Emma The Little Bookworm

JENSEN WEEK DAY SEVEN

Louise Jensen shot to fame last year following the release of her debut novel The Sister.

Selling just short of half a million copies within six weeks, Jensen’s psychological thriller was the book on everyone’s lips and kindles!

And now, just over a year later, Little, Brown imprint, Sphere have purchased the rights to the paperback and it hit the bookshops and supermarkets on Thursday! This is obviously VERY exciting for both Louise and the publisher. The Sister is available in Asda, Sainsbury’s, and WH Smith now and in Tesco from 7 September!

To celebrate this wonderful news, I will be posting an exclusive character spotlight or guest post every day for the next week, each one will focus on a different character from Jensen’s books, The Sister, The Gift, and her next novel, The Surrogate, which is out on 27 September.

On…

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#CharacterGuestPost Kat #TheSurrogate #SleepStealer #JensenWeek @Fab_Fiction @LittleBookCafe @Bookouture @LittleBrownUK

Today, a post from Kat’s POV, from The Surrogate. Kat is the most multi-layered character I’ve written. She surprised me MANY times during the course of writing this book. Let’s meet her….

Emma The Little Bookworm

JENSEN WEEK DAY SIX

Louise Jensen shot to fame last year following the release of her debut novel The Sister.

Selling just short of half a million copies within six weeks, Jensen’s psychological thriller was the book on everyone’s lips and kindles!

And now, just over a year later, Little, Brown imprint, Sphere have purchased the rights to the paperback and it hit the bookshops and supermarkets on Thursday! This is obviously VERY exciting for both Louise and the publisher. The Sister is available in Asda, Sainsbury’s, and WH Smith now and in Tesco from 7 September!

To celebrate this wonderful news, I will be posting an exclusive character spotlight or guest post every day for the next week, each one will focus on a different character from Jensen’s books, The Sister, The Gift, and her next novel, The Surrogate, which is out on 27 September.

On…

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