Spotlight and Interview: Awake in Hell by Helen Downing
Posted by Amy -N- Jess
Meet Louise Patterson. She’s dead.
She’s also in Hell: A place where everyone must face the challenges of being damned. This includes below code living arrangements, a supernatural closet that makes getting dressed every day punitive, and absolutely horrible coffee.
When Louise was alive, she was one of those “Go Big or Go Home” kinda people. As an underworld dweller, she’s getting used to the fact that living “larger than life” may have had some not-so-great consequences in the afterlife.
That is until she loses her job in Hell. In her search for gainful employment in Central City, Hades, she finds a post-it note that gives her something to look forward to for the first time since arriving down below.
Louise discovers the “Second Chance Temp Agency” along with its enigmatic CEO Mr. Deedy, who gives her so much more than a job.
Foul-mouthed and seemingly unlucky, Louise gets pulled into a truly Hellacious adventure–filled with demons, ghosts, angels, magic, temp jobs, wardrobe malfunctions, and quite possibly…redemption.
~What are you currently working on?
I’m working on Book 3 of my Hell Series. It is currently unnamed, but I’m leaning towards “Hell and Back” or “Way to Hell”.
~What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I would say to write every day. Write something, even if it’s just a paragraph. I’ve actually just sat down and written a series of words that don’t even constitute sentences some days, but it’s getting ideas down on paper that is important.
~Are you an organized author or scattered?
Scattered! Scatter-brained. Scattered as in organization. Scattered style of writing. Surrounded by the scatter of my home. LOL
~Do you plot out your story or write as it goes?
There is a very loose plot, but I am always surprised too. My characters just kind of show me parts of themselves as we go along. For instance, the angels in my stories all have superpowers. Some are the same, but each one has their own special ability too. One of my angels in Book 3 just showed me her power as I was writing it on the page. I had not thought of it before, it just came out. I love it when that happensl
~Do you have any strange writing habits?
Some people like music. Others require silence. I need to feel like I’m surrounded by people, so I turn on the tv and put on something I’ve seen a thousand times. That way I’m not sucked in by the plot, but the noise of people talking is comforting to me.
~Do you have writers block and how do you work around it?
Sure, we all get blocked at times. I get through it sometimes by writing something else, like a guest blog or a fun little story. Other times I can just change HOW I write, like go from typing to longhand. I’ve also gotten through a block by going for a drive with a voice recorder and talking out a scene while I drive. When I get home I’m ready to write.
~Do you work on 1 story at a time or multiples?
Mostly one story at a time. I have tried to write more than one but I find that I hear the voice of a project, and if I try to write in multiple voices they get confused in my head.
~What is your favorite genre to read?
I read everything from Chick Lit to Science Fiction. Right now I’m reading “The Book of Strange New Things” by Michel Faber. It’s right down my ally. It’s about a missionary whose sent to another planet to preach to another race. I find that idea fascinating.
~What is the most wacky/crazy weird thing you received from a fan?
My fans are the best in the world. They give me wonderful cards and letters and lovely gifts. As far as “wacky” I’d say my friend Gabrielle Mappone who is a fabulous photographer photoshopped this great picture of me with an angel version of me on one shoulder and a devil version of me on the other shoulder. It was absolutely perfect!! I still love it!
~What are your favorite hobbies?
I love traveling and spending time with my husband on road trips or camping in the woods.
~If you had a warning label what would it say?
My husband says it should say “No Danger! Thoughts within may be Inspirational.”
Isn’t he the best????
It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. – Tom Robbins
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