I'm fine, thank you. Thank you for interviewing me!
First up, how many books have you published so far and which is your favourite out of them?
I've had seven books published, plus an online e-book. I can't choose a favourite - I'm really fond of each one for slightly different reasons! Maybe I'll say Split by a Kiss, because it was my first book, or Kiss Date Love Hate, because it's the most recent!
So Luisa, where did you first start? What was your inspiration?
I've been writing stories for as long as I can remember, and I was inspired by the books I read and loved when I was very little.
What was the first book you've published? How long did it take you to publish?
My first book to be published was Split by a Kiss. I started writing it in summer 2005. It was accepted for publication by Random House in 2006 and it came out two years later.
Does it cost much to publish? How much did you earn at first?
Authors get an 'advance' - a sum of money from the publisher for their work. It's not usually a very large amount.
How long have you wanted to be an author for?
I've always wanted to be an author, but I'd heard how hard it is to be published and I used to think it was an impossible dream. I'm very glad I was wrong!
How long on average does it take you to write a book? How long on average does it take you to get a good idea?
Ideas pop up constantly, so I'd say that takes no time at all! Writing takes much longer, especially because I write several drafts of each book and I always rewrite and edit a lot. I think I take six months to a year, on average, before I have a draft that's ready to submit. An exception to this was the online e-book I wrote for Fiction Express, where I had to produce a new chapter every week for eleven weeks until the book was complete. That was a fun challenge!
What is your favourite book written by somebody else?
I love so many books that it's impossible to narrow it down to just one. I can list some of my favourite authors, though: Sarra Manning, Meg Cabot, Rachel Vail, Hilary Freeman, Jaclyn Moriarty, Simmone Howell, Cath Crowley... and more!
Have you had any other jobs, or wanted to have another job?
Yes, I've had lots of jobs. I've mostly worked with words and language. I've edited dictionaries, subtitled television and films for people with hearing difficulties, and developed computer software for speech recognition.
Have you ever wanted to be somebody else?
Yes, I've had my moments! I used to love the story of Freaky Friday when I was growing up, but instead of wanting to swap places with my mother, I would daydream about what it would be like to live the lives of my friends.
How did you cope as a teenager, I mean, how did you do with spots and stuff?
I was an awkward teenager and I struggled with lots of things. I think reading and writing helped me to escape a bit from my life whenever I needed to.
Why did you want to become an author?
I love writing, and the thought of other people reading and enjoying my stories is amazing!
Have you ever got any fan-presents?
No, but I get lovely emails and I really appreciate every single one.
How many pets have you got? Have they influenced your writing in any way?
I had a goldfish when I was little, and my son has a tank full of small fish now. I don't think they've had any influence on me, but they're quite calming to look at when I'm stuck!
What do you do when you're stuck on what to write?
I try to relax (not always by looking at the fish!) and I try to take the pressure off myself, allowing myself to write anything at all. That usually gets the words flowing again.
Do people chase after you in the streets and beg you for autographs?
Do you have a special writing place?
No, I write anywhere and anytime I can.
Have you got any tips for young writers?
Enjoy stories! Read a lot, write a lot, watch films and drama, listen to song lyrics. Keep a lookout for story snippets whenever you can - overheard conversations on the bus, newspaper articles, your Great-Aunt Mona's tales about the troublesome neighbours... Anything! Jot ideas in a notebook and then, when you have a few, try combining them in interesting ways.