find something to read by:

 Laura Solomon 


Website: LauraSolomon.com

Laura Solomon was born in New Zealand, where she has published two novels. Her second play, Sprout, based on a short story in the collection reviewed here, was part of the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

Short Story Collections

Alternative Medicine
Flame Books, 2008

Reviewed by Sarah Hilary

 Interview with Laura Solomon 

The Short Review: How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?

Laura Solomon: Four years. I wrote the stories between 2003 and 2007 while working full-time in IT.

TSR: Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

LS: No. I was simply entering competitions and sending stories away to magazines. By 2007 I had enough for a collection, so thought I should shop it round the Independent Publishers in the UK.

TSR: How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?

LS: I had twice as many stories written as are in Alternative Medicine. I picked what I thought were the strongest to include in the collection. I wanted to start with the story Alternative Medicine'as it is the title of the collection and one of the stronger stories. I wanted to end with Halloween in the Antipodes, as I feel that the image of the Jack O'Lantern trying to find his way home is a good/vaguely haunting way to end.

TSR: What does the word "story" mean to you?

LS:  A decent story should hook the reader in, deliver something new, and hopefully deliver some "truth" (disguised as a lie). And be well written, of course.

TSR: Do you have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?

LS:  When writing AM, I was writing the kind of stories that I would like to read. Now, however, I am working on a book for young adults, so I am bearing a young adult audience in mind.

TSR: Is there anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?

LS: Did you enjoy the stories? What did you like/dislike? Which was your favourite story?

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

LS: Good. I hope they're selling. It took me 10 years to get a book published in the UK. I hope people are enjoying it.

TSR: What are you working on now?

LS: A novel for young adults, set in Peckham.

TSR: What are the three most recent short story collections you've read?

LSInstruction Manual for Swallowing by Adam Marek, Words from a Glass Bubble by Vanessa Gebbie and The Blue by Maggie Gee. All brilliant.