Sunday, 5 January 2014

Meet...Laura Farr (was Ziepe)


I am thrilled to welcome newly married Laura Farr previously Ziepe to the Novel Cafe! Fellow Essex girl Laura tells us all about her journey to becoming a published author and her new novel due for release next month. Big thanks to Laura & congratulations :-)

Interview took place December 2013.

1.Can you tell us a little about your journey to becoming a Published Author

I've always loved writing since I was a little girl.  I used to love reading Judy Blume books and I remember always being so excited when the book fayre came to my primary school.  I always loved writing and English was always my strongest subject at school and in sixth form.  I remember leaving sixth form and getting a job in a bank in London doing general admin which I hated.  I was complaining to my friend one day and she suggested I went to university to get a degree in something that would help my career.  I remember not knowing which courses to take and she asked me what my dream job would be.  I told her I'd love to be an author more than anything and she then helped me apply to creative writing courses (I know, she’s a very good friend!)  I loved uni, but when I left it was hard to just start writing a book.  I always started, but never finished because I'd be too busy with work (I worked at a media company and then for a law firm).  Once again, I'd found myself doing jobs that bored me.  That’s when I decided to create my own business (  I’ve always been entrepreneurial and was overwhelmed with how much interest I had in my website, which was featured in newspapers, magazines and even ITV’s This Morning a few times.  I was soon busy enough with my business to leave my law firm job and it was through my business that I heard about a new programme about to start (TOWIE).  I was originally supposed to be on the programme as a character, as I thought it would be a great way to promote my business, however, after filming a few scenes I just knew it wasn’t for me, so I called the producers and pulled out of filming.  I knew the show was going to be really popular though, so that’s when the idea came to me about writing a fun book about Essex Girls.  I did a bit of research and couldn’t find much out there, so I believed there was a gap in the market for my book.

2.      If you could describe yourself in three words what would they be?

Creative, confident and fun.

3.      Are you a big reader yourself? If so, what are you currently reading and what's your favourite Novel of all time?

I love reading so much.  I read three books on my honeymoon which I've recently come back from; What Alice Forgot by Lianne Moriarty, Dishonour by Jacqui Rose and Forgive Me by Lesley Pearce.  Favourite novel of all time?  I honestly couldn't say!  Such a hard questions to answer.  I love Sophie Kinsella, Kimberley Chambers, Lesley Pearce and Lianne Moriarty; quite a mixed bag!

4.      What was your main inspiration for your debut Novel 'Essex Girls'?

I’d been a single girl on a holiday to Marbella a few years before I wrote the novel.  Almost being a part of Towie inspired me to write about Essex Girls in particular, but the fact it was set in Marbella was because I’ve been there several times.  I’ve worked in Greece when I was in my early twenties, so I know what it’s like to work abroad, which is why I decided that this was what my characters should do. 

5.      Which character most reminds you of yourself? Jade, Kelly or Lisa?

I would most probably say Jade, though there are parts of me in Kelly and Lisa too. I'm ambitious like Lisa, creative like Jade and a shopaholic like Kelly!

6.      Did you go out to Marbella for research when writing the book?

No, I’ve been there lots of times when I was younger and also with friends more recently. 

7.      The sequel 'Made in Essex' is due for release early next year. Did you enjoy writing this as much as 'Essex Girls?

I probably enjoyed writing this one even more.  I learnt a lot after writing the first book and I seemed to write the second one really quickly.  It’s a follow on because I wasn't finished with the characters and I wanted to develop them further.  I planned this novel a lot more too, which helped.

8.      Without giving to much away can you tell us a little about it?

Its light hearted and fun like Essex Girls, but there is a twist in the storyline this time and the readers will see much more of Adele.  It has some new characters too such as Chloe Sam’s sister and Adele’s friend, Donna.  Jade and Sam face some problems in their relationship, as do Kelly and Billy.  The question is, will their relationships survive? 

9. If you could be stranded on a dessert island with any fictional book character who would it be and why?
            Noah Calhoun in The Notebook…of course it would actually be Ryan Gosling just like the film. I'm not sure I'd need to explain why J

10. My first blog was all about 'Chick Lit's turned Chick Flick's' What is your favourite?

            Apart from The Notebook, which I've just mentioned, I think it would be good old Bridget Jones because both these films always make me smile no matter what mood I'm in.  I always love The Devil Wears Prada too.

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