Delighted to have the gorgeous Louise Ross as my Get To Know author on my blog today.
Hello! I write Northumbrian murder mysteries under the pen name ‘LJ Ross’. Before becoming a writer, I worked in the City of London as a regulatory barrister, including fighting cross-border financial crime. I spent time in London, Paris and Florence but after a number of years as a lawyer, I decided it was time for a change. I had a small surprise when, a few months after deciding to change career, I found out my husband and I were expecting our son! I was penning my first novel (‘Holy Island’, which went on to become a UK #1 bestseller) while I was caring for a newborn, during those snatched moments while he slept. When I had finished the first polished manuscript, I sent it off to a number of agents and publishers accepting direct submissions and even received a couple of offers. Ultimately, though, I decided to retain creative and economic control by publishing independently through Amazon KDP and – five bestsellers later – the rest is history! Nowadays, I always tell people to follow their dreams because you might just realise them.
You can keep up to date with LJ Ross and her books on the following sites:
Favourite book as a child?
I had several favourite books as a child, but the main contenders were Enid Blyton’s ‘The Secret of Moon Castle’ and J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. I remember being utterly transported into the fantasy world these authors created and I still remember the magic of it, as a grown adult!
Favourite book as a teenager?
As a young teenager, I first read M. M. Kaye’s ‘The Far Pavilions’ one summer while listening to Michael Jackson’s Thriller album – also a new discovery – on a Sony Walkman cassette player (yes, I am that old). I remember spending hours at a time working my way through the nine hundred-odd pages of adventure romance, captivated by her descriptions of the Indian landscape during the twilight days of the Raj. I have re-read the book several times now and it manages to enthrall me every time.
As a crime writer, it would be a toss-up between Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple. I have always admired the cold logic of Holmes’ mind and Conan-Doyle has a searing clarity to his writing, drawing out his characters without needing to be verbose. As for Miss Marple – the beauty lies in the element of surprise, because so many people underestimate her skills because they see only the frail exterior.
Favourite book to movie adaption?
I enjoyed Stephen King’s ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ very much, but it would have to be ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. Gregory Peck’s courtroom turn as Atticus Finch reduces me to tears every time.
Favourite drink or snack while reading?
I’m afraid I conform to the writer’s stereotype because I love a strong coffee and some chocolate to keep me going through a tricky chapter!
Favourite highlight of your writing career?
I’ve been very fortunate in my career so far and I never take that for granted, but I think I will always remember the feeling when my first book went to #1 in the UK Kindle chart. Magic!