Dec 24 2012 by Jeff Holmes, Paisley Daily Express
A budding writer, who cut her teeth at the Paisley Daily Express, has been surprised by the reaction to her first book.
Louise Whitehill has just released The Shadows, a collection of dark and grizzly short stories.
She started on the project in January of this year – and published the ebook just five months later with sales on the up.
Louise, 26, told the Express: “I have always had an interest in writing and managed to secure work experience at the PDE while I was still at St Cuthbert’s High, in Johnstone.
“I spent a week at the paper in New Street and thoroughly enjoyed it. It definitely gave me a focus and helped make up my mind on what I wanted to do with my life.
“I was then accepted into Napier University, in Edinburgh, and achieved my Honours in Journalism.”
But despite having all the tools necessary to carry on with her chosen profession, Louise, who is set to marry fiancé Andrew Smith next year, struggled to get a job in journalism.
Since graduating, she has had several jobs in admin, and has also tried her hand at public relations work – but she continually returns to her first love.
She said: “I did a creative writing course through the Open University, and that released my ‘artistic’ side, even though it was somewhat sombre.
“I submitted a short story, The Girl, as part of my course and when my tutor admitted to loving it, I decided to press on and see what I could achieve.
“I started writing some short stories and found that the words came easy, which was a welcome surprise.
“Before I knew it, I had written seven short stories and decided to release them as an ebook, so I uploaded them into a version for the Kindle”
And since being released, The Shadows has clocked up hundreds of sales, something that Louise admitted has given her great pleasure.
“At first, I couldn’t believe that someone would want to buy something I had written,” said Louise.
“Once over that shock, it was a real buzz to see the sales clicker rising and when it got to 100 I was so proud – and it has kept on rising since. It does give you confidence when you realise your work has a following, and offers the motivation to get started on something else.”
And that’s exactly what Louise has done. She is 20,000 words into what she hopes will be her debut print novel – but has had to overcome two very big hurdles in the process.
She explained: “I’ve developed carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that forces pressure onto the wrist nerve, and makes it difficult to type.
“I also have Fibromyalgia but haven’t allowed either condition to halt my progress. I wake up tingling in the night but it’s something I’m battling through.”
She added: “My book is about what happens after you die. Apparently your brain continues to work for seven minutes before fizzling out. I’m definitely going to be a writer who focuses on the dark side. It’s something I’ve encouraged and I hope it can be the making of me.”
The Shadows is available from Amazon at a cost of £1.53.