Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments when her children are asleep. She has lived in Holland, Germany and Hong Kong, but now lives in land-locked central England and misses the sea. She started writing about ten years ago, first travel pieces while she was living abroad, then moving onto fiction. Her flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, was published in March 2020 by Dahlia Books.
Q: Do you have a lucky writing talisman? If so, what is it?
A: My eldest son bought me a stuffed lion for my birthday a couple of years ago and it sits on my desk when I’m writing. I even take it to cafés with me if I’m writing there.
Q: Is there a book that you keep going back to, and if so, how many times have you read it?
A: There are two:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which I first read while I was living in Germany. It’s such a powerful book with fantastic use of foreshadowing.
And One Day by David Nicholls. This is such an exquisite and beautifully told love story that I can read it again and again.
I’ve read both three or four times.
Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?
A: I’d love to go back to Hong Kong a hundred years ago. I lived there for eight years, from 2010–2018, and even though it remains a fascinating place, I bet it was even more so a century ago.
And then it’s time. The vicar asks Rachael first, because she lives here, I suppose. Or because she’s organised the funeral, or goes to church, or because she looks and acts older even though she’s not. I don’t mind. Not really. She crouches down, like she’s making eye contact with a toddler, picks up a …