Appearing on TV was an incredible experience – Talking writing, mindfulness & chronic pain.

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Last Thursday I was at a 50th birthday party in Yorkshire when my mobile rang.

‘Is that Louise Jensen?’ asked an unfamiliar voice.

‘Yes.’ I said, one hand clamped over my ear, as I headed for somewhere quieter.

‘This is ITV. Congratulations on your second novel, The Gift,  reaching No.1 in the UK. We know your debut, The Sister also reached the top spot. It’s quite unusual for an author to have two number ones in a year. We would like to come and talk to you. Is that ok?’

My mouth dried as I looked around the kitchen searching for hidden cameras. It had to be a joke. Next door I could hear laughter from the party, or were they laughing at me? Paranoia kicked in and I tripped over my words.

‘’You want to interview…..me?’ I refrained from laughing hysterically or telling them I’m the least remotely interesting person they could choose.

‘Yes. Tomorrow morning.’

img_0369Cue a frantic three-hour drive back to our Christmas chaos house where my husband ran the hoover round at 2 am, and rationalised that at least if it was a joke, we’d have tinsel-free carpets.

The next morning we waited anxiously. I’d already made my teenage son get showered and dressed ‘just in case’.’ He’d recently completed a Level 3 BTEC in Media and I thought he’d find the process interesting, if they turned up of course, but none of us really thought they would, until there was a knock at the door.

The morning passed by in a flash. Claire McGlasson who conducted the interview couldn’t have been nicer and put everyone at ease. My son was allowed to help with the filming and lighting and I felt incredibly relaxed as I chatted about writing, mindfulness and chronic pain. I found it fascinating that it took two hours of filming for a three-minute segment. No wonder movies take so long to make!

There were sound bites of my clip throughout yesterday and the full segment was shown in the evening and I watched it while clutching a large glass of wine. It’s something my family will always remember and I’m so grateful we got the chance to do this. It was a fabulous way to kick off 2017.

You can view the clip here.

2016 – The year my story found a home

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I am absolutely delighted that within a week of its release my second novel, The Gift has reached No.1 on Amazon both in the UK and Canada, is No.2 on iBooks and is in the top 10 for psychological thrillers in the US. I want to thank everyone so much for all their support. the blogging community is phenomenal and I feel so privileged to be part of it.

It hasn’t been an easy journey to publication. This time last year I was constantly refreshing my emails, waiting for responses to my submissions, and I had that sinking ‘it will never happen for me’ feeling in the pit of my stomach as I read yet another ‘thanks but no thanks’ response. Each and every rejection knocked my confidence further and there were many times I questioned whether I should send out another query. Whether I was wasting my time. I was now in my 40’s and I still hadn’t managed any success at all. Was it too late?

img_0369Receiving an offer last January was such an incredible feeling, My story, The Sister, had found a home. I never dreamed that within a year I would have published two novels, both would reach No.1 around the world, I would sell over half a million books in my first five months as a published author and 10 countries would buy the translation rights. I had to pinch myself again when The Sister was nominated for The Goodreads Debut of 2016 Award.

It’s so easy, as a writer, to let the doubts creep in, to wonder if it is worth it, to wonder whether to keep on going. For years I have championed other authors, celebrated their successes, been a shoulder during their lows and pretty much resigned myself to never seeing my name on a cover but still I wrote. I just couldn’t stop.

Whatever stage you are at with your manuscript, never give up. You never know what is just around the corner.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2017,