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My First Time...with Laura Purcell

Laura Purcell worked in local government, the financial industry and a bookshop before becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Colchester, the oldest recorded town in England, with her husband and pet guinea pigs. Fascinated by the darker side of royal history, Laura has also written two historical fiction novels about the Hanoverian dynasty.

Laura Purcell cr Charlotte Graham

Credit: Charlotte Graham

Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book.

It was at the Historical Novel Conference in September 2014. I’d been toying with the idea since my friend sent me a picture of a silent companion. My husband had urged me to write a scary story about one and I drew up a vague plot, but I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to embark upon the project. However, while at the conference I mentioned the premise to other delegates and an agent. The response was so enthusiastic, I decided I would definitely give it a try.

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting to write it?

I wish I’d planned better and had a much clearer outline to start with. The first draft was just a jumble of random spooky things taking place, it took a lot of work to kick it into something more coherent.

What’s your go-to procrastination method?

Reading other people’s books and doing research. Because, you know, it’s ‘technically’ work.

What was the biggest tantrum you had while writing your book?

At one point I was asked to change some things, but then in the next draft told to put them back the way they were originally. There was some swearing involved.