Louise Katherine Chapman was born in Somerset, UK, in 1986. She studied psychology at the University of Southampton and has worked as a psychologist creating personality questionnaires for a consultancy company. She has also spent some time volunteering for mental health charity Mind.
Chapman loves to write because she loves learning about people and she loves stories. A major turning point in her life was the day she realised that no matter how strange, cruel or unfathomable the actions of other people can sometimes be, there is always a reason for it, some sequence of events to be unravelled. Since then she is always asking “why” and “what if” and she is fascinated by real life stories capturing the strength, peculiarities or extremes of human nature.
LK Chapman’s first novel, Networked, was a sci-fi thriller but now she’s turned her attention to writing psychological suspense. She lives in Hampshire with her husband and young family, and enjoys walks in the woods, video games, and spending time with family and friends.
How do you go about writing your novels? Do you do a lot of planning?
Because I don’t plan my novels much, they tend to go through numerous iterations of rewrites. I sometimes think I must be going about things in the most labour intensive way possible- but I enjoy watching my stories evolve. Networked and Anything for Him both took me around 18 months to write from start to finish, and The Stories She Tells about 16 months. Much of what I write in a first draft does not make it to the final book.
You can read a little more about my writing process by reading my interview on Jessica’s Reading Room, where I talk about how I write my books, how I choose names, what scenes I like writing best and more!
What do you think is the biggest influence on your writing?
I’ve always been interested in people, societies, emotions and relationships. I’m fascinated by why people do the things that they do, and writing is a way of exploring that. I think a big influence on me was studying Psychology- often my ideas for stories originate from a concept I learnt about that I find particularly fascinating.
What are your favourite books?
When I was a child I read and re-read Richard Adam’s ‘Watership Down’ over and over. There is something so special about that book for me- the way the rabbits have their own rich culture and mythology alongside the story adds so much depth and makes the story so meaningful.
For sheer beautifully written weirdness, ‘The Wasp Factory’ by Iain Banks has to feature in my list of favourites, but I think one of the books that has had the biggest impact on me of all was ‘Touching the Void’ by Joe Simpson – this miraculous story of survival is one of the most moving things I’ve ever read.
What will you write next?
I am currently working on my next psychological thriller – I’ll hopefully be announcing a bit more about it soon…