Hanging highwaymen and driving carriages – there’s more to Louise Allen than meets the eye

Hanging highwaymen and driving carriages – there’s more to Louise Allen than meets the eye

With the release of ‘His Housekeeper’s Christmas Wish,’ we took some of Louise Allen’s well-deserved downtime to delve a little deeper into a writer’s life…

Can you share five things we’d probably never guess about you.  Fun, interesting or even embarrassing!

  • I’ve two hanged highwaymen in my ancestry
  • I once almost speared Sir John Betjeman with a carving knife. He was very nice about it!
  • I ‘m much more tempted by fudge than chocolate
  • I spent Christmas Day 2015 on a deserted coral island
  • I took carriage driving lessons so I knew what my heroes were talking about!

Tell us the best advice you were ever given as a writer.  How is this advice reflected in your writing?

Get on and write. However awful it is, you’ve got something to edit. If you don’t write you’ve got nothing. So I stick to my writing schedule even if I think what I’m doing is dire and then tackle it the next day.

What was the inspiration for your latest book?

I often get inspiration from places. When I started thinking about His Housekeeper’s Christmas Wish I was brooding about cold and snow and ice which made me think of Bruges, which is lovely but can get very cold indeed. And then I had a mental picture of Alex, my hero, (who I didn’t know yet) skidding on the ice and knocking over a nun. It didn’t seem like a very romantic beginning, but I let my imagination flow and discovered that she wasn’t a nun, of course. It all went from there.

Can we see where you write?

Here’s a photo! 

What a view! The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us what you love about yours?

I love how tenderly they are looking at each other and the gorgeous Christmassy green of her gown with just that touch of red in his waistcoat. It looks romantic and festive and warm.

Do you tend to read in the same genre you write in? Tell us about your faves regardless!

I read historical romance, historical crime and mystery, Golden Age crime and virtually everything else I can get my hands on, although I’m not keen on sci fi or violent crime novels. If I was taking a bookcase to a desert island it would have to have Terry Pratchett, Georgette Heyer, Lindsey Davis, Jennifer Crusie, Joanna Bourne and all my Harlequin Historical fellow authors.

What is you writing process? Talk us through your day!

I would lie in bed all day reading if I got half a chance, but I rarely do! The mornings are for doing ‘stuff’ whether it is gardening, paperwork, social media or even, if I can’t avoid it (and the carpet has vanished from sight), housework. In the afternoon I settle down and write at least the minimum number of words I have to do to hit my deadline, more if possible. Then I’m allowed out of the study.

What is in store for your readers next?

I’m working on the fourth of my Lords of Disgrace quartet, of which His Housekeeper’s Christmas Wish was the first. My hero has donned a disguise which I am certain has never been used by a Harlequin Historical hero before! The next book to come out after His Housekeeper’s Christmas Wish is His Christmas Countess which starts on Christmas Eve in a ruined bothy on the Scottish Borders. The third in the set, still without a title, begins in North Devon and at least it isn’t winter, although the hero is very cold indeed – luckily the heroine will be along to warm him up!

Let His Housekeeper’s Christmas Wish start warming you up right now! Thanks for talking to us, Louise.