JENSEN WEEK DAY FIVE
Louise Jensen shot to fame last year following the release of her debut novel The Sister.
Selling just short of half a million copies within six weeks, Jensen’s psychological thriller was the book on everyone’s lips and kindles!
And now, just over a year later, Little, Brown imprint, Sphere have purchased the rights to the paperback and it hit the bookshops and supermarkets on Thursday! This is obviously VERY exciting for both Louise and the publisher. The Sister is available in Asda, Sainsbury’s, and WH Smith now and in Tesco from 7 September!
To celebrate this wonderful news, I will be posting an exclusive character spotlight or guest post every day for the next week, each one will focus on a different character from Jensen’s books, The Sister, The Gift, and her next novel, The Surrogate, which is out on 27 September.
On Thursday, Louise joined me to talk about Charlie Fisher, one of the lead characters in The Sister and you can read that here.
On Friday I was joined by Grace’s grandma from The Sister and you can read that post here.
Saturday saw us move to The Gift and Louise joined me to talk about main character, Jenna McCauley and you can read that here.
Yesterday Jenna joined me, you can read that here.
Today, we move to The Surrogate, Jensen’s new book which is out on 27 September and Louise joins me to talk about one of the main characters, Lisa …
Lisa Sullivan is the childhood best friend of Kat, the main character in The Surrogate. She’s single, thirty, and a nurse.
I was flicking through a magazine in a hospital waiting room when I stumbled across a story about surrogacy. In the article, there was a photo of the parents cradling their new-born while the surrogate stood to the side, smiling like a proud aunt. It immediately struck me how much faith you had to have in the woman carrying your child. When I was pregnant I was very disciplined about what I ate, the exercise I took and generally took very good care of myself.
Although in the magazine all had turned out well, my writer mind began to whirr and I started to think what if the person you trusted to be your surrogate was a friend and what if that trust was misplaced? Lisa sprang to mind, fully formed, and impossible to ignore.
I definitely wrote this story to accommodate Lisa. I’d recently finished The Gift and had actually started writing another book. That story was quite complex and I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with it. Lisa filled every waking thought and I put what I was writing to one side to write The Surrogate. I shall shortly be revisiting my abandoned manuscript and hope it will be my fourth book.
Lisa is so layered. I thought I knew her quite well before I even started writing but she cleverly kept things hidden even from me. Kat and Lisa are the most complex characters I’ve ever written and I was fascinated with the dynamics of their friendship right from chapter one.
Lisa finds it hard to talk about her feelings and express what she wants and needs so it’s a constant game of second guessing which can be frustrating.
Early readers thought Lisa came across as a bit cold in places at first so I did have to work on that.
Usually I avoid using character names if I know someone of the same name but Lisa had such a strong identify I felt I couldn’t change anything about her. I rang Lisa Hall (the author) quite early on in the process and said ‘look I have this character called Lisa and I don’t want to change her name but she definitely isn’t based on you.’ She said, ‘I do hope she’s going to be a bitch.’
I had a plan for Lisa and for the story in general. It’s the first time I started a book knowing the ending but Lisa and Kat were awkward and defiant and the story is not the one I thought it would be! It was such fun to write. Every day a new twist emerged and I gave up any control I thought I had and went with it. Some of the reveals in the book really shocked me and I really can’t wait for readers to get their hands on it.
Lisa’s complex and difficult but also funny and thoughtful. She’s an odd mix but a little too hard work for me I think! I’ve loved every minute I’ve spent with her though and I shall really miss her.
If you’d like to know more about Lisa and her story, you can pre-order The Surrogate now, here’s the blurb …
‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’
Be careful what you wish for…
Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.
But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.
And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.
As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…