Laura Marshall grew up in Wiltshire and studied English at the University of Sussex. In 2015 she decided it was time to fulfil a lifetime’s ambition to write a novel, and enrolled on the Curtis Brown Creative three month novel writing course. Her first novel, Friend Request, was runner-up in the Bath Novel Award 2016 and shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize 2016. Friend Request was published by Little, Brown in the UK in 2017 and became a number one Kindle bestseller. Laura lives in Kent with her husband and two children.
1) We read your book in the beginning of Oct. I remember us talking about your book, wanting to get it so bad! Once we had it we couldn’t stop talking about it and we couldn’t put it down. What was the last book you read that was like that for you?
Exquisite by Sarah Stovell. I read it whilst on holiday with my family this summer and it was torture having to put it down and talk to them, play with my kids etc. I read it in about two days – it would have been hours if I’d had my way! Totally gripping.
2) How did publishing your first book change your writing process?
I am lucky enough that I’ve been able to give up my day job (I was a conference producer), so I no longer have to get up at 5 oclock in the morning to fit writing in before work, kids etc. Writing my second book has been in some ways more difficult as there is a certain weight of expectation because the first one has been successful (I’m not complaining! It’s just a different experience to writing Friend Request, which I didn’t know anyone would read).
3) Having my book bestie/blog parter has taken my love of reading and made it even more enjoyable. Do you have anyone you love sharing your book love with?
My two dear friends Claire and Natasha, who I met eleven years ago when we had our first babies. They love reading and we often share recommendations. It’s interesting that although often our tastes do diverge, sometimes I’ll recommend a book that I’ve absolutely loved and they’ll be lukewarm to it, or vice versa.
4) What is a book everyone else loves but you just can’t get through?
Honestly, I can’t think of anything. There are certainly books I haven’t enjoyed as much as others, but it’s very rare for me not to finish a book.
5) What would be your job of choice if you couldn’t write?
I’d be in the chorus of a West End musical!
6) How do you pick the names of people in your book?
They seem to arrive in my mind with their names already attached. In Friend Request I had to change a couple because I had too many characters whose names began with the same letter, which was hard because I was used to their original names.
7) How many unpublished or half finished books do you have?
Just one. I started writing it around thirteen years ago. I got about 30,000 words in and then life got in the way and I never got any further. One of the characters from it did make their way into Friend Request.
8) If you could live in any book world what world would you choose and why?
Two words: Jilly Cooper.
9) Do you read your reviews? Do you respond?
I’m so sad, I have read all the Amazon reviews (there are over 600 now). I check pretty much every day to see if there are any new ones. There are loads on Goodreads too but I haven’t read all those, although I did at the beginning. I would NEVER respond to a bad review. Not everyone is going to like my book and that’s fine. There are plenty of books that I’ve loved and friends haven’t, and the other way around.
10) What did you edit out of Friend Request?
I did three rounds of edits with my agent and then lots more with my editor when I got the deal. The main change was to the book’s ending. I didn’t change the basic plot, ie the baddie is still the same, but the way it all unfolds is completely different.
To purchase Laura Marshall book Friend Request click Here
Thank you to Laura Marshall for being apart of our author Q&A. Looking forward to your next book.