A while ago now i had the chance to sit down with Laura Wood as she released her first YA novel. Three novels in, i’m still completely in love with Laura’s writing and characters. October saw the release of her third YA novel, A Snowfall Of Silver, which i adored.
I was lucky enough to have a little Q&A with Laura about her new book and catch up on some topics we talked about a while ago.
How do you feel now you’ve released your third book for a YA audience? Are you finding the writing process easier now?
I don’t think the writing process ever gets easier, unfortunately! I was working on this book while we went into lockdown so it had its own set of very unique challenges. Writing a book that was light, romantic escapism was complicated – at the beginning I really struggled to get into the right frame of mind, I was feeling – like everyone else – so anxious and overwhelmed that I couldn’t concentrate and it was hard to feel creative. On the other hand, when I did get going then the book became an escape for me and I loved spending time on it and in it, with those characters and in that setting. I think that even though it was a challenge, the book came out even better in the end because I just luxuriated in the act of writing it.
How in depth is your research in to the time periods of your novels and do you enjoy the research process?
I love doing the research. It’s one of my favourite things about writing historical fiction. With A Snowfall of Silver I had to do less research up front because it’s set in the same sort of period as A Sky Painted Gold and Under A Dancing Star, but I had to do quite a lot on the theatre, and there’s always plenty of funny things that come up when you’re writing – questions like, when did cars start having windscreen wipers? Or did people have electric kettles?
Who was your favourite character to write in A Snowfall Of Silver?
Definitely Freya. Maybe that’s inevitable because the book is written in first person from her perspective, but I just love her. She’s so funny and smart and confident. She has such a clear-eyed way of seeing the world, and her natural inclination toward the theatrical made he so much fun to write. I find I really miss her company now that the book is done.
What was the inspiration behind the theatre theme?
I’ve always loved the theatre, but I suppose I’ve always REALLY loved books about the theatre and stage life. From Ballet Shoes and The Swish of the Curtain to Eva Ibbotson’s A Company of Swans and Magic Flutes, some of my favourite, most magical books are set in the theatre and I felt like I wanted to write something like that myself.
Were there any theatres that inspired the theatres in your book?
The magical theatre that they get snowed in to in fictional Runleigh was inspired by the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond. If you look up pictures of it online you’ll instantly understand why. It’s the most beautiful, perfect, little chocolate box theatre and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. I knew I wanted to use it as the setting for my favourite section of the novel.
I want to say a huge thank you to Laura for letting me ask her questions and Harriett for setting this up! I love speaking with Laura and finding out about her creative processes.
Make sure to grab yourself a copy of A Snowfall Of Silver which is available online and in all good book shops!