Perple Loves is a profile series of amazing individuals that we are lucky to come across with. This is Laura.
Laura's debut novel, CHERRY BEACH, was published in February 2020. It was shortlisted for the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and the winner of the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing, as part of the 2021 NSW Premier's Literary Awards.
Perple had a chat with Laura about her writing and you can follow her journey here.
Laura McPhee-Browne wears her Børge Top.
1. What is your name and what do you do?
Laura McPhee-Browne. I’m a writer and a supervisor at a perinatal counselling service.
2. What do you usually write about?
I usually end up writing about women, and love and art and loneliness. Mental illness, too. I enjoy writing characters who watch, and who are a little bit confused by the world.
3. What inspires you in your writing?
My relationships, the natural world, and buildings and art.
'Sometimes I wish that all life expected of me was one walk each day, to admire the things that grow without our encouragement.'
4. How do you deal with writer’s block?
I read poetry, or take the day off! I try not to worry about it too much, and just make sure I write again soon, even if I feel like I have nothing to say.
5. Tell us a little bit about Cherry Beach.
I wrote Cherry Beach a few years ago. I was very fond of the characters, and it was a bit of a love letter to Toronto, and to queer women, and to our vulnerable selves.
Laura's first novel, Cherry Beach.
6. When is your second novel going to come out?
I don’t know yet! I’m working on the second draft, but books take a long time from final draft to publication. I hope it won’t be too far away.
7. What has writing taught you about life?
Writing has taught me that having faith in a process can only be a good thing, and that creativity is magic and slog.
8. Other than writing, what else do you enjoy?
I love to read, mostly fiction, and I enjoy cooking and walking and eating and sleeping, and seeing my family and friends (and their children)! I also do a lot of kundalini yoga, which I think is an incredible practice that addresses all our needs as humans and bodies. And I enjoy attending AA meetings, for my alcoholism and for the beautiful community and radical honesty.
Laura wears her Second Skin Bodysuit in Black.
9. In fashion, what are the important factors for you when choosing what and who you buy from?
I love to support makers if I can. I love unique clothes that make me feel special, vintage or new.
10. What are you wearing in the pictures? And tell us what do you like about it?
I love all my Perple pieces so much. They are so sexy and classy and bold and easy, and beautifully made. I’m wearing the Amygdala Dress, the Børge Top and the Second Skin Bodysuit in these photos.
Laura wears her Amygdala Dress.
11. Lastly, Can you please list some of your favourite books for us to read in lockdown?
I recently read Detransition, Baby and loved it. I think everyone should read it. I’ve also been devouring the Vigdis Hjorth novels that have been translated into English, as I’ve become addicted to her voice! Re-reading Little Labours by Rivka Galchen this past week has been very inspiring. It’s such a unique and poetic little book of vignettes about early motherhood.
Read Laura's latest short story Self-Portrait After Panic (Kill Your Darlings).
You can find Laura here x