She has survived a difficult marriage and battled with depression to at last find her vocation as a children’s author.
“I am a single mum of three daughters and that is the most important thing to me: my children,” she said with pride.
When you talk to Laura you realise how true this is. Her daughters – Ellenor, Shannon and Alice – inspire her work and they are her first audience. She loves nothing more than sitting down with them and reading her tales together.
She is incredibly productive. She has recently published The Realm of the Purple Dragon, the first of a planned series of novels set in the same fantasy world.
This first book is dedicated to her eldest daughter, Ellenor, the main character in the book. It is Laura’s intention to dedicate a novel to each of her daughters, with each becoming the protagonist in her own story.
Laura has taken the increasingly popular route of publishing the book herself, through on-demand publisher Lulu.com.
She says she sent her work to mainstream publishers and agents years ago, received the standard rejection letters, picked herself up and decided to go it alone.
She took inspiration from the illustrious G P Taylor, author of Shadowmancer and the Mariah Mundi novels, who self-published his first book before Faber and Faber signed him up.
“I thought at the end of the day I want my books out there. I would like to sell as many books as I can, obviously, but it’s a swamped market out there and it’s hard.
|Laura's novel, the first in a planned series|
“I’m doing it for my kids. Of course it would be fantastic to sell lots of books. But I am mainly a mum at home having a bit of fun.”
Laura originally wanted to be a teacher but says she didn’t get high enough grades. Instead she trained to be a nursery nurse and she has also worked as a nanny.
“I guess this led me towards writing for children. We had to make little books as part of the course.
“But I have always written poetry and stories since I was a little girl. I’ve just started to bring them out now.”
Laura’s favourite authors are Enid Blyton, C S Lewis, Terry Pratchett, Tolkien and the Rupert Bear annuals.
This latter influence is definitely evident in her illustrations (take a look at her website and you’ll see what I mean).
Interestingly, Laura’s mum is an artist, proficient in oils and watercolours.
“I discovered painting only a few years ago when my marriage was breaking up and I discovered I could paint. I love it and I have been painting ever since.”
For Laura, storytelling and painting are a source of escape for her, as well as a way of connecting with her children.
“I have struggled with my identity as a single mum and being in a fantasy world really has helped me,” she said.
Inspiring words indeed.
Thanks to Laura for speaking to me.
Here's a link to her book on Amazon.
And a link to her Lulu page.
And her Facebook page.