Profile Piece: meet Louise Nealon
October 19th 2021
With LoveMyReaders falling head over heels for debut novel, Snowflake this month, here’s your chance to get to know the author.
Just over a year after she has a short story published in The Irish Times, Louise Nealon takes a call to hear that her debut novel and its follow-up has been acquired by Bonnier Books in a six-figure deal. It’s the stuff every writer dreams of – and the frosting on the cake is that the film and TV rights have been sold to the team who made hit TV series Normal People, adapted from fellow Irish writer Sally Rooney’s bestselling novel. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Louise lives on her family farm in Co Kildare, Ireland. She divides her time between reading, writing and milking cows. We can't help but think it sounds idyllic.
Fascinated in the idea of premonition, of mental illness and by the failure of psychiatry, Louise has written a gorgeous book which enacts that rather strange but wonderful thing that only literature seems able to do: to lift out the wisdom buried deep within us and explore the endless possibilities of the mind’s eye.
Hello there! I can’t tell you how surreal and lovely it feels to know that Snowflake, will be among the May selection of books for LoveMyRead. Publishing a debut novel during a pandemic is a strange experience. I am currently living at home with my family on a dairy farm in Ireland, and we are unable to travel outside our five-kilometre radius. The thought that copies of Snowflake will be wrapped up and delivered to doorsteps of booklovers far beyond the limits of our travel restrictions makes me quite emotional.
It took me nearly ten years to write Snowflake. During that time, I got to know the characters in the novel pretty well. They made me laugh and kept me company when the going got tough. I am really excited for you to meet them. I can only hope that they make you laugh too, and keep you company during these tough times.
What type of person do you hope reads your book?
I hope that all types of people read my book. I feel very lucky that anyone at all would want to read my work. When I began writing Snowflake, I wanted to create something that my eighteen-year-old self would read and feel comforted by. I was quite lonely and vulnerable at that time. So I suppose, I would like my words to reach a similar person – someone who feels like they don’t quite fit into the idea of whatever the world expects of them.
What’s the most unexpected thing that you learned while writing the book?
Honestly, the most unexpected thing that I learned was that I was able to write a book. I doubted myself every step of the way. I will never forget the moment that I finished the last sentence of the first draft. It came as such a surprise to me. It was the best moment of my life.
What’s your favourite first line in literature?
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Is there one book that you wished you had written? Why?
No. There are many, many books that I adore, but I probably would have ruined them if I’d written them.
What are you working on next?
I am working on my second novel. I feel like a woman who is yet to announce her pregnancy. I’m excited about it, but I’m not past the literary equivalent of the first trimester.
Intrigued? Grab the book with a LoveMyRead subscription now!
Vicki & The LoveMyRead Team x