Author Confessions: Laura Marney
Laura Marney is the Scottish author of the best-selling novels No Wonder I Take a Drink, Nobody Loves a Ginger Baby, Only Strange People go to Church and My Best Friend has Issues. She has just released her latest novel, For Faughie’s Sake, the sequel to No Wonder I Take a Drink.
But what did she admit to when we gave her the Author Confessions Q&A? Quite a lot in fact - be warned that the following answers contain some adult humour!
What’s the most over-rated book of all time?
The Bible. Boring prose style, too many characters, at times overly descriptive, not enough plot development, need I go on?
Which book should every child read?
My favourite book as a child was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. It’s so funny and wise and thrilling and I had the serious hots for Tom (still do). In school the teacher asked my class to bring in and read out a passage from our favourite stories. I brought my dog-eared copy of Tom Sawyer and read out a rather racy passage where Tom attempts to kiss his girlfriend Becky. The class loved it and I realised, sad lonely child that I was, that writing and then reading out stories was a way to win approval. I’ve been attempting to do that ever since.
Have you ever been propositioned by a fan of your work?
Oh yeah, and not in a good way. Been stalked a few times, once by a guy who was keen to post links to where people could buy my books, so it wasn’t all bad.
How do you react to bad reviews?
The worst pasting I ever took was on Amazon because of the title of my second book, Nobody Loves a Ginger Baby.
I’ve had some corkers but the worst pasting I ever took was on Amazon because of the title of my second book, Nobody Loves a Ginger Baby. People started posting one star reviews with comments like, ‘I would never read a book with such an offensive title’. Luckily loads of people who did actually read the book entered the fray and explained that it wasn’t an attack on gingers. The stooshie made the papers along with a photo of me (red-haired) with my beautiful (red-haired) daughter and my cute wee (red-furred) dog.
Have you ever pretended to have read a book to impress someone?
I went on a four-month round the world trip with my husband who insisted on lugging Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace round with us, costing us a fortune in baggage excess fees. Neither of us ever got round to finishing it but our hosts were always impressed when we heaved it out of the suitcase and left it casually lying around.
Drugs and alcohol: do they help with writing?
If I write to the end of this chapter I’ll allow myself a small sweet sherry. And some hard drugs. And 10 fags.
When I was writing my latest novel, For Faughie’s Sake, drink and drugs served as a carrot, as in: ‘If I write to the end of this chapter I’ll allow myself a small sweet sherry. And some hard drugs. And 10 fags.’
Do you use your local library?
Someone told me recently that there has been research published that suggests time spent in a library make you happier than time spent in the gym. And that’s why I don’t go to the gym.
Have you ever said no to sex because you wanted to keep writing?
I can usually manage both simultaneously although my hand gets slippery on the keyboard. Oh, you mean sex with someone else?
Which author or fictional character would you most like to party with?
He’s a bit too much of a sobersides for partying with, but the moment he said, 'Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It's knowing you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do', I instantly fell in love with Atticus Finch: the dad out of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Is there a book by someone else that you wish you’d written?
Every time I’m asked this question I always give the same answer: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. In this era of fourth wave feminism, when women are being stripped, beaten, and raped in public on Tahira Square to keep them away from political involvement, The Handmaid’s Tale is more relevant today that it has ever been.