Laura, thank you for joining us. Can you tell us about who you are and also about your writing: for example, what genres and themes do you write in and about, and is there anything that has influenced your choices?
I’ve been writing stories since I was seven years old, and the vast majority of the jobs I’ve held over the decades have either involved or been focused entirely on writing and editing. But I only started pursuing creative writing in my 40s. Why did I wait so long? Some of it was due to the need to focus on earning money, raising a child, volunteering in ways that were very important to me. But eventually I just couldn’t hold it off any longer. I predominantly write fantasy and science fiction as both prose and drama, because that’s what I love to read and/or see the most, and if you were going to stick me into a subgenre, it would have to be hopepunk: stories of courage, cooperation, love, and desperation, stories of the struggle against evil and the glorious power and beauty of the human spirit (happy endings not guaranteed, unfortunately). When I’m not writing or earning a living, I’m fencing, taking care of my geriatric racehorse, or ringing tower bells and handbells. I live in Melbourne, although I’m still homesick for America, despite all its many flaws.
Can you tell us a bit about your publications and writerly highlights, and what else we can look forward to seeing from you ?
My first writerly highlight was attending the 2007 Clarion South workshop, where I arrived a tentative wannabee, and from which I emerged a Real Writer. There was also my first published story (in Antipodean SF); my first paid sale (in the Canterbury 2100 anthology); the publication of my first novel (After the Bloodwood Staff, available from Odyssey Books), which was accompanied by a three-city massive book-launch tour); working with composer Houston Dunleavy to adapt my short story “The Dancing Mice and the Giants of Flanders” into an opera and hearing it workshopped; spending six months as the poet-in-residence at a café in Wollongong (where I used to live); and receiving my PhD in creative writing from the University of Western Australia. I’m also thrilled whenever anyone performs one of my scripts, and whenever I get to teach writing. I’m currently working on the next book in my Purple Bay University series, as well as a radio script (or maybe a series; I haven’t decided yet) involving bellringing, infernal troublemakers, and mayhem.
Thanks, Laura, for chatting. What a fabulous writing journey. Thanks for sharing it with us. Looking forward to seeing what you pen next.
You can find out more about Laura here:
Laura's story "Jimmy's Boys" appears in Trickster's Treats 4: Coming, Buried or Not! , a charity anthology in support of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.