Louise always read.
“I read anything going. I started with Judy Blume and went on to Marian Keyes.”
During college holidays Louise worked in a travel agency, and when she graduated the company gave her a fulltime job.
“I worked until my third baby was born, when we moved to Malahide.”
In 2008, when Louise’s sister died, suddenly, her attitude to life changed. Aware of her own mortality, she decided to stop putting things off.
“Writing was a huge part of that. I wrote six chapters of a novel. It was a comfort and release.”
Agent Tracey Brennan asked for the full manuscript, so Louise completed the novel. Tracey sent it out, but it didn’t garner any positive response.
“I wrote two more historical novels. The third almost sold two years ago, but in the end the publisher didn’t go for it. It was really frustrating.”
Alonsgside the novels, Louise wrote two non-fiction books which were published by Columba Press. Medjugorje – What it Means to Me, and Medjugorje and Me. She also wrote short stories, and articles for newspapers.
“My sister suggested I try a novel based on Medjugorje. There was interest in America, but then nobody offered. Mercier Press gave me a contract in December last year.”
Who is Louise Hall
Date of birth: June 1976 in Dublin.
Education: Santa Sabina in Sutton. LSB, Tourism
Family: Husband Darragh; Lauren, 19; Kirsten, 16; Darragh, 12, and a cockapoo, Riley.
The Day Job: “I’m running the family tyre business.”
In Another Life: “I would love to be a really good singer or musician.”
Favourite Writers: Sebastian Barry; Donal Ryan; Carmel Harrington; Kate Summerscale.
Second Novel: “I haven’t decided whether to go back to an old novel or start something new.”
Top Tip: “Write short stories to perfect your craft; and keep going after rejection.”
Website: www.louisehall.ie Twitter: @louisehallwriter
The Debut: Pilgrim. The Mercier Press: €18.99. Kindle: €12.84.
When Sarah Carthy dies after a hit and run, the widowed Charlie turns to drink. Hoping to cure him, Sarah’s sister books him, and his teenage daughter, Jen, on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Jen embraces the experience, but Charlie is resistant; will the experience have the required effect?
The Verdict: A touching novel about faith, grief, friendship and addiction
Published in The Irish Examiner on 29th September, 2018.
© Sue Leonard. 2018