Today I have something extra special for you, I have just finished the fascinating historical fiction by Louise Fein, The Hidden Child, a story about Eugenics – shockingly informative as I had no idea of the prevalence of this movement in England and America in the post WW1 period. Sadly for you all, you will have to wait until Monday for my review, but today, Louise Fein has very kindly shared with us her typical day.
The Hidden Child is now available in paperback so you don’t have to wait for my review, you could just pick up your copy now!
A Typical Day as a Writer
Every writer and their journey or experience is different, and so in that sense there probably is no typical! I think what surprises many people is the amount of time writers spend doing tasks which aren’t writing. My days are very varied with time not only writing, but also researching, promoting the latest book, engaging with readers, bloggers, other authors and industry folk on social media, events, interviews and writing articles etc. Most writers also have jobs, children or other commitments, so everything has to be fitted in and around those.
In an ideal world, I would write in the mornings when I’m at my freshest and my brain is at its most creative, but that’s not always possible. When writing a first draft, I try to ensure I write each day, even if it is just a few hundred words. I find it difficult to get back into the ‘headspace’ of the book if I have big gaps. I also prefer to have a decent chunk of time in which to write, ideally two to three hours, so that I can get into something of a flow. When editing, this doesn’t matter so much as I find it can be done in a more ad-hoc manner. That said, where I have had quite large amounts of work to edit or re-write, to meet deadlines, I have been known to work long into the wee small hours!
The publishing schedule usually means that once a book is accepted for publication, there will be a gap when the editor is reading and writing up editing notes. Most writers will use that time to make a start on their next book. When the editing notes arrive, the author will need to break off from writing and/or researching for that first draft to begin structural edits on the previous book. This may also coincide with a publication of the book before that, so promotional work will also be taking place. This means a fair bit of juggling, not just with time, but also brain-power – remembering which book we need to be ‘in’ for each task.
Creativity for the actual writing doesn’t just take place at the desk. When I’m writing a book, I am always thinking about it. Walking the dog is a time when I come up with ideas or solve a plot hole. I also love running and cycling and I find this a great time for generating new ideas. Even when doing the housework or ironing the brain is ticking over and coming up with something. A handy notebook is essential for every writer – get those ideas written down before they float away!
About the Author
Louise Fein holds an MA in Creative Writing from St Mary’s University. Her debut novel, People Like Us (entitled Daughter of the Reich in the Us/Canada), has been published in thirteen territories, was shortlisted for the RSL Christopher Bland Prize 2021 and the RNA Goldsboro Books Historical Romantic Novel Award 2021. Her books are predominantly set during the twentieth century and all of her books seek to explore issues that continue to be of relevance today.
Thank you to the publisher for the gifted paperback copy of the book and to Graeme Williams for inviting me to be involved with this blog tour celebrating paperback publication of The Hidden Child.