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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > September 2017 > LAURA’S SOLO


A #1 smash and Richard and Judy Book Club winner, The Versions of Us was no one-hit wonder for Laura Barnett

Asucccesful journalist struggling to realise her lifelong ambition to become a novelist, Laura Barnett knew she had to make some hard decisions, writes Tina Jackson.

‘I wrote two novels before The Versions of Us – they still exist, on my hard drive, which is the modern equivalent of a drawer. And large segments of other books. It was always my dream and ambition to be a novelist, so I started writing when I was about five. I got a job in journalism and I guess a really difficult moment came when I got to thirty, and I’d shown my work to agents and they’d say, you write really well, but they’d have qualms about the whole book. And nothing was published. I’d had to accept the second novel wasn’t going anywhere. It was starting to feel more serious.’

Laura knew she had to think hard about what it was she really wanted to say. ‘I had this realisation that the novels I’d been writing had been written for readers instead of myself. But a novel that’s successful for the author’s intentions needs to say something from the author’s psyche. That sort of authenticity from the writer makes it more rewarding for the reader. So when I asked myself very harsh questions like, why do I want to do this? what do I want to say? the idea that came out of those big decisions was the way life draws us down these different pathways.’

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About Writing Magazine

What are the five secrets of writing a bestseller? And how do you grow your little seeds into big ideas? Find out how, in this month's issue of Writing Magazine. In our inspiring star interview, bestselling author Laura Barnett and leading singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams talk about their exciting creative collaboration, and describe how saying 'yes' to working outside your comfort zone can lead to extraordinary creative results. Keep up to date with the latest publishing opportunities and writing competitions in Writers' News!

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