Today I’m delighted to feature debut author Louise Gregory. Louise is co-author of It’s Not Never, written with her writing partner N.G.K. and it’s released today in paperback. Louise uses her extensive background in psychology, coaching and team dynamics to create multi-layered characters with deep rooted feelings and motivators.
Louise lives by the “three r’s” – reading, writing, and running, all of which she would do more of were it not for her addiction to social media. She lives in the Cotswolds with her husband, two daughters, and a cat called Alpus Dumblepaw, who is plotting to kill her.
Over to Louise:
Which piece of music/song would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen – I just love this idea of being an unstoppable force making a mark on the world. I’d love to be seen as someone who will just try anything. In reality I’m not quite that dynamic all of the time but I use this song when I need motivation.
Se A Vida E by The Pet Shop Boys – This song just reminds me of dancing around in the sun. I love dancing, I love a disco in my kitchen or in the car, sometimes I’ll even dance while listening to music when I run. This song never fails to cheer me up. I have a whole list of songs on a ‘pick me up’ playlist, but this is one of my favourites.
There She Goes by The La’s – I’m listening to this as I type this now. This is just a gorgeous song about watching someone and being so in love with them. How amazing to have a song like this written about you. I’d settle for someone just singing it to me.
Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer – This one is just full of nostalgia for me, it reminds me of being a teenager. It was a song on the soundtrack to a programme I loved as a teenager, Dawson’s Creek. It was about friends falling in love. Can you tell I’m just a sucker for a glorious love story and love song?
Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley – Mostly I listen to upbeat music, to cheer me up or to motivate me. But sometimes you just need a blooming good howl, and this song is as good as any to cry to. It reminds me of a sad scene in one of my favourite TV shows The West Wing.
What (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
My library card. I say MY card. I don’t even know where my card is anymore but my husband works for the library so I just order everything on his account and I get no late fees! But who could be without free books forever?
My iPhone. I know, I know, I’m not proud of my social media addiction but on the whole I believe technology is a force for good. I’ve learned so much and connected with people I wouldn’t have done without that ready access to the internet.
On the topic of technology I also wouldn’t be without my trusty Macbook. I spent years buying cheap, rubbish laptops that dated quickly and were really clunky. My Macbook is a thing of beauty and it makes me feel like a proper ‘writer’.
My running shoes. I’m not fast, but I can do pretty decent distances. It took 15 years of gritting my teeth but a few years ago I finally fell in love with running, and have been doing it regularly for years now. It’s great for my physical and mental health, plus I quite often solve plot problem on my runs.
Anti-depressants – Though technically I could live without them, I’d be pretty miserable. I have suffered from bouts of depression probably my whole adult life, but it wasn’t until after having my second daughter that I took it seriously. Honestly, they make the world a better place for me, and I think it is important that we talk about this stuff. Everything can be going great in your life and you can still feel terrible. It’s no one’s fault, and it’s not about not coping. We need to talk about mental illness the way we do about physical illnesses, and remove the stigma.
Can you offer a piece of advice for your younger self?
You’re capable of so much more than you think you are so dream big.
Save for a house sooner – you’ll regret not getting on the property ladder when it was vaguely affordable.
But also travel before you get tied down – I mean, you probably won’t be able to do that and save, but try and find a way.
Appreciate your siblings more, life was difficult when you were all kids and they are the only ones in your life who share that with you. They turn out nicer than you ever think they will!
Be braver and stop worrying about what everyone thinks of you – if people don’t like you it doesn’t matter, as long as you are a decent person, because the people who do like you think you’re brilliant. That first and last one are still probably things I need to tell myself today!
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you
I’m such an over sharer there are few things that people don’t know about me within 5 minutes of meeting me!
When I was a child (up till my late teens) I had a phobia of trains.
I have a tattoo of a blossom flower on my ankle that I got about 2 years ago.
I still occasionally reread my Sweet Valley High books. I like to secretly read them in the bath.
My eldest daughter is named after a character in Sweet Valley High – a mean one!
I’m the eldest of five siblings, 3 brothers and a sister. My youngest brother is about 17 years younger than me.
Tell us something you’d still like to do or achieve.
I’d love to speak at Cheltenham Literature Festival, it’s local to me and I’ve watched many authors on stage and wished it were me. I practise my interview while I’m running!
I’d love to properly learn a language, probably Italian. I picked up enough to get by on my two visits there, but I’d love to dedicate some time to learning it properly.
I’d love someone to create fan art of some of my characters – that will be the writer’s pinnacle for me
I’d love to run a marathon – I keep entering for London marathon but each time am secretly relieved when I haven’t got a spot!
I’d like to drive a mobile library when I retire. I love books and I love driving.
Thanks so much for joining me today Louise, never worry about oversharing here – I love it! Great music choices and I particularly enjoyed having the opportunity to play The Pet Shop Boys track as I love the drumming. That took me down a lovely drumming and Pet Shops Boys rabbit-hole on YouTube! Thanks for sharing about mental health, it’s an illness that sadly is still seen by some in society as a weakness, as if it was a choice. A comforting thought to know that the people who really know and like us think we are brilliant – why should we worry about the others (easier said than done though, even as an adult). Fingers crossed for those things on your wish list. Keep practising that interview speech while out running and hopefully both the Literature Festival and the London Marathon will happen one day – you’ll certainly be well prepared!
It’s Not Never by Louise Gregory and N.G.K.
A timeless love story.
Ambitious and hardworking, astronaut Jessica Gabriel refuses to let love get in the way of becoming the first person to walk on another planet. Or maybe she is just afraid of losing her best friend?
Fellow astronaut, John Eden, is determined to prove he is more than his family name. Yet his insecurities might cost him his place on the mission.
Neither of them are looking for love, and mission protocol forbids it. But love doesn’t follow the rules, and the two friends have to decide whether they want to risk everything they’ve worked for to be together.