Friday 14 September 2012

Guest Author Interview - Laurie Brown

Today we welcome Laurie Brown to the guest author interview chair:

Introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Laurie Brown and I live in St. Louis, Missouri which is smack dab in the middle of the United States. I have had many, many occupations from waitress to lawyer and all of them ended up basically the same...I got bored and wandered off.

What inspired you to start writing?
I had planned on being a writer since childhood but a million things distracted me: play, love, work. Then quite by accident I met a former gangster from New York City and for some odd reason we hit it off. Long story short, he wanted to have the story of his life told and he wanted me to be the one to tell it. So every Tuesday for a year I second-hand smoked a pack of cigarettes while he recounted his life to me. This arrangement forced me to focus on writing and with some starts and stops we eventually got the job done.

Do you have an author you admire?
I love John Steinbeck because I grew up in Monterey, California where he lived and worked and I guess you could say he was always a presence. I admire the simpleness in the midst of the complexity of his stories and how kind he was to the seemingly misfits of society. But for pure enjoyment I always have a Barbara Pym novel on my bedside table.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, who would it be?
Maybe someone like Louis B. Mayer who ran MGM Studios in Hollywood and was a powerful star-maker in the 1930s and 40s. Old Hollywood is fabulously rich in history, a facade of glamour and fame and horribly corrupt and cruel. A million and one stories there.

What is the hardest thing you find about writing?
The discipline. Words float around in my mind all day and all night but I find it hard to sit down and actually get them organized in print.

If you could provide one piece of advice for new authors, what would it be?
Believe in yourself.

What are you working on at the moment?
Much to my own surprise I'm writing about sports, specifically American football, almost exclusively at the moment. It's very weird but that's where opportunities developed for me.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
Stand-Up Guy, the book about the gangster I mentioned above, is a fast-paced journey into and out of the days and nights of a street level gangster. From jacking the pumps at the local gas station to disappearing owing the mob money, this is a true story of twenty years on the streets of Brooklyn and Long Island selling drinks, women and drugs along the way. Not for the faint of heart.

It is available here:

Next week we interview Dennis Danielson.

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