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Louise Wener was born and raised in Ilford, East London. In the mid nineties, after years of singing into hair brushes and working in dead end jobs, she found fame as lead singer with the pop band Sleeper and went on to record three top ten albums and eight top forty singles. She is now a full time author and mother of two.
Photograph © Debra Hurford Brown
Below is a Q & A with this author.
What's the first book you remember reading : The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson. I rented it from the library every week for months when I was about six. I remember finding it scary each time I read it but loving it just the same. The imagery is quite creepy and claustrophobic and for as long as I can remember, I've always hated the snow. I think it must be partly down to this fairy tale.
Where do you write? At home at the kitchen table, or on the sofa with laptop balanced on my knee. We have an attic room in our house that was meant to be a work room for me, but I'm married to a drummer who owns three drum kits. They take up all available work space.
What's your "writing day" like? It really varies. Before I had kids I used to be very relaxed about it. I'd wander down to the local coffee shop around ten, buy a latte and a paper, come back, open the computer, answer email, Google for a bit, then write for the afternoon as soon as I was into the flow. These days I start writing the minute I'm kid free and barely look up from the computer until they're back. Time is much more precious now and I have to be able to switch into work mode right away. I wrote a lot of Worldwide Adventures while my youngest was napping. The one rule I've always stuck to is to try and write 1000 words a day.
Writing songs and writing novels are very different, do you prefer one to the other? Songwriting comes in sharp bursts and can be incredibly quick from start to finish. We had hit songs that took less than an hour to write and I always felt that the best songs came when I didn't over think them. Writing a novel it's a much slower burn and the refinement process is very much longer. I can't pick between them. It's thrilling to write a good tune but coming to the end of a novel feels like you've climbed a small mountain.
Who do you most admire and why? Tyra Banks for giving America's Next Top Model to the world.
If your house was burning down what would you save? Apart from husband kids and cat, not much. Photos, perhaps, or the guitar I always played in Sleeper. I'm insanely sentimental, but more about places than mementos and material things. On reflection it would probably have to be my daughter's Peppa Pig tea set. It's her favourite toy.
May 2009 Book of the Month. A lovely book full of nostalgia and warmth. Jessie’s story is set in the 1970’s and finds her coping with a family life that is breaking down around her. In the letters she finds from Edith, a female explorer in the 1930’s we find another life, very different from Jessie’s, but still coping with the same worries and relationship problems. This will make you laugh and cry and laugh a bit more. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Louise Wener is a talented young novelist who will undoubtedly hit the big time sometime soon. She’s created some great characters and smart, unfussy one-liners that will make you laugh out loud, alongside parts that’ll make you want to cry. Moving and gripping by turns you won’t want to put it down.
Just For One Day takes you on Louise Wener's musical odyssey from awkward 80s suburban pop geek to 90s jet-set Britpop goddess. Of course, once she's living the dream at the height of Britpop's glory, things aren't quite how they appeared from the other side. With her band Sleeper, Louise goes from doing gigs in toilets to gigs in stadiums, and on to the big interviews, constant touring and endless excess via Top of the Pops. These are the hilarious adventures of a girl's journey through Britpop, from the embarrassments of growing up to trying to remember what on earth it was you really wanted while eating Twiglets backstage and enviously eyeing up Damon Albarn's plate of foreign cheeses. PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AS DIFFERENT FOR GIRLS
Audrey Unger hasn't seen her father since she was a child. A professional poker player and compulsive gambler, he left home when she was eleven years old and disappeared from her life for good. Now in her early thirties and poised on the edge of her own mid-life crisis, she makes the decision to try and find him. To discover what it was that made him gamble. To discover what drove him to give her up. Big Louie is the key to her father's world. An agoraphobic, card playing, Hans Christian Anderson sized giant, who hasn't left his flat in over three years. Fighting a battle with his own phobias, he takes Audrey on a journey of self discovery. He guides her through the subtleties of professional poker; the thrill of high stakes gambling; and on towards a final hand of cards that will change both of their lives for good.
Danny McQueen's day job in the local specialist video shop is only a way to pay the rent until the current incarnation of his band makes it big. Danny's been coasting along like this for years, and sees no reason to change. Until his girlfriend Alison is offered a job in Bruges and issues him with an ultimatum: he has six months to get a recording contract, get a proper job, or get a new girlfriend. Suddenly Danny needs to decide where his heart really lies.