I can’t remember how I first discovered Louise Jones. It was on Twitter, I know, but apart from that… not a clue. But I’ve been following her for a while, we’ve emailed a few times, I read her blog and she’s just fabulous. She’s going to be a star. Seriously. So I nabbed her for an interview.
So who are you and what do you do?
HELLO KERIS! I’m Louise Jones, I’m the terrifying age of 18, and I’m blundering my way through A Levels. I also have a blog. It’s a nice blog. I quite like it.
I’ve been so impressed with your blog posts – how long have you been writing and how did you get started with blogging?
Thank you! I started the blog in November 2009, but I can’t tell you why, because I don’t remember. I knew I wanted to write though, thanks to my GCSE English teacher. I wasn’t doing that well, but after handing in my Creative Writing coursework, she kept me behind and told me I could do this writing thing. Someone had told me I was actually good at something, and it genuinely changed my life. I think then I wanted to be a celebrity magazine journalist, and had possibly seen others blogging (I really need to work on the memory thing), so decided to have a crack myself. At first it started as an online diary, but has turn into something quite unexpectedly mental.
You deservedly won Channel 4 Young Blogger of the Year. Without wanting to sound like a Miss World presenter: how did it change your life?
My life changed within hours. I went from a standard unknown 17 year old, to having thousands of people following me and wanting to know me. It was weird. I was always the unstable girl, going from social group to social group, not really having her heart set on anything, but suddenly I was being congratulated by bloody Jon Snow on national TV [watch the interview here], and ferried around for interviews. Since then, I’ve worked for Heat magazine, Channel 4, various journalists, HarperCollins book publishers, Big Brother, and other little projects. I think it was then that I realised I was a proper individual, who had an odd ability of making people laugh and cry simultaneously with my writing. I could play with people’s emotions – BRILLIANT. I still have some secret ACE things lined up, and I could not be more grateful for all the help, support, and readers. I’m a very lucky girl.
I know you’re going to study English at university, what do you hope to do after graduation?
I don’t want to have set plans now, because I know I’ll focus too much on them and not allow for surprises. Taking life as it comes, and expecting the unexpected, has worked for me so far so I’ll stick with that notion. I just want to write, be creative, make people laugh, make people cry, make people think. I do not want an office job. Even being a journalist in an office is not for me. Structure is rubbish, so I want to work from home and write and have time to do random STUFF. Easier said than done, but we’ll see eh.
What advice would you give to teenagers interested in journalism?
For journalism specifically, I would say to write and write and write, and promote yourself with it. I sent my blog to a load of writers on Twitter who I’m now friends with (in my head we’re proper friends, anyway), all because I persisted in getting my writing out there. Get work experience too and NAG for it. If no one replies, email again! Be passionate and eager if you want it enough. But if you’re interested in ANYTHING, don’t let it go. If you’re interested in something that none of your friends are then DON’T CARE. Go for it. Hold onto that thing that makes you happy and worth it.
What’s been the best advice you’ve ever been given?
To not grow up fast. One of my teachers kept me behind last year (happens a lot, can you tell?) and scared me by telling me that, because I realised I was trying to. So caught up in trying to be famous with writing, that I was forgetting there was a whole world out there, with brilliant humans, and lots of time. I’ve also given myself stern advice to know I’m doing perfectly fine being me, and would do even better to remember it.
What one book would you take with you to a desert island?
I hate this question. I hate it so much. I remember loving Let’s Get Lost, by Sarra Manning years ago, but haven’t read it again in a while, so would probably take that…and my diaries. Normal diary and Wreck My Journal. They don’t count as books.
If you could live inside a book – but still be you – which book would you choose?
Harry Potter, obviously.
And finally… Russell Brand or David Mitchell?