Well today is a very exciting day! It’s the penultimate day on the blog tour for A Whole Lotta Love, and since I’ve already published my review on it, today I’ve got something special for you all… a Q&A with Louise!
Welcome Louise! For the readers out there that haven’t heard of the Florence Love series, can you try and explain it to them in one sentence?
The series follows the fast paced adventures of a shrewd, kooky and very funny private investigator, who – dogged by her mother’s mysterious disappearance – embarks on a personal journey that takes her the length and breadth of Italy.
Congratulations on the publication of A Whole Lotta Love; the third in the series! Fellow bookworms, you can read here my thoughts on the book. Louise, did you know from the very start that you wanted to create this as a series?
Florence knew it, before I did. Her voice and backstory were so strong, I realised quite quickly she wasn’t finished with me yet – she had far too much to say to fit into one book!
You’ve created a main character who is confident, packed full of sass and quick thinking – a woman with a big personality, who will remain highly memorable in my mind – so tell me, what made you decide to call her, Flo?
Despite Flo’s no-BS approach, beneath the surface she is vulnerable and overwhelmed by questions about the human condition. Flo’s job allows her to answer some of those questions, yet, like many women, she’s a far cry from her professional persona. So a girly name reminds us, she’s a girl, I suppose. One of us. It also provides a tangible link to her mother’s homeland; and such a pretty name has to be one a mother thought hard about – meaning that Florence’s mum loved her once.
Do you share any traits with Flo?
Too many. We’re both know-it-alls, spontaneous and excellent at acting brave, even when we’re not. We both have a need to know the answer to everything – whether that be why men are attracted to women who wear peach, or the mechanical workings of a lock pick gun. Essentially, Flo and I are geeks, who need to file life into neat boxes, which is totally impractical – but we’re focused on that end, nonetheless. Loyalty and family values are our driving force. We’re also secretly obsessed with star signs.
How much do you draw on your own Private Investigator experiences in your writing?
All the time. Not simply for the methods, but for the human stories behind the cases. Being a PI gives you access to all social echelons and, believe me, dirt underlies each of them. Narcissists, pathological liars and functioning sociopaths are frighteningly common. Their stories, along with the people they leave in their wake, provide a lot of creative fodder.
There’s a significant link to Italy throughout the series for Flo’s mother, is there a particular reason why you chose to set this aspect of the book there?
My mum’s friend lives near Trieste. I had the opportunity to get to know the region really well and it feels like home. It’s so enjoyable writing about places you love – the nostalgia and passion sneak through, I think, which adds authenticity.
What are you working on now – … or is it top secret?
I’ve sold the TV and film rights to the books so, when I haven’t got everything crossed on that front, I plan to write a murder mystery set in Sri Lanka, which I’m very excited to start.
As a reader rather than an author, what books have you been enjoying lately?
Little Deaths by Emma Flint – a classy, atmospheric thriller that keeps you guessing until the last innings. It’s a real page turner and I can’t recommend it enough. Home by Amanda Berriman is another beauty. Its narrator is just four-years-old and gives a compelling and poignant insight into life on the breadline. I’m also currently reading Raising Girls by Steve Biddulph, because I have a five-year-old daughter (going on eighteen), and I need all the help I can get!
Finally, let’s wrap up with some quick fire questions…
Are you a morning or night writer? Night. I’m rarely asleep before 2am.
Laptop or desktop? Laptop. On my lap. Bad habit.
A mug of coffee or tea? Tea (decaffeinated, or I pee all day).
Cuddles from a dog or a cat? My cockapoo puppy, Rosie. I LOVE her cuddles.
Do you like reading an eBook or hard copy? Hard copy. I like the smell.
And… so the readers really get to know you: Takeout – Chinese or Italian? Italiano, naturalmente!
What did you all think of Louise’s answers? Hasn’t she got an amazing personality, I love the warmth in her answers!
Check out the final day on the tour tomorrow!
Until next time, Chloé x