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Laura Marshall Books In Order

Publication Order of Friend Request Books

Friend Request (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Laura Marshall is a British writer known for the writing of the novel “Friend Request” that has gone on to attain much critical acclaim. Marshall was born and raised in Wiltshire, and attended the University of Sussex where she studied English. After finishing college, she worked for over two decades in conference production, before she decided to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a published author. Dusting off a manuscript she had been writing and never finished for twelve years, she enrolled for a three-month novel writing course at Curtis Brown Creative. “Friend Request” her first novel made the shortlist for the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize and the 2016 Bath Novel Award. She lives with her family composed of husband and two children in Kent, England.

Laura Marshall had always wanted to become a writer ever since she can remember. In fact, she has always wanted to make a name for herself as a professional fiction author but never got round to doing it. She got started on her first novel over a decade before publishing her first. She had come back to the novel several times over those twelve years, but had never actually finished the first draft. While it was a good learning experience, it never got her any closer to publication. The need to make a living always came first and when she got her first child in 2007, life became even more complicated. When she turned 41 in 2015, she thought that she had to do something about her dreams or else she would never fulfill them. Having wasted a lot of time writing and never finishing her drafts she had no idea about how to write or structure a novel and knew that she had to have help from professionals. She applied for the CB Creative training course and emerged the winner of the competition from out of over 3000 applications.

Laura had the general idea of “Friend Request” marinating inside her head for more than a year but without the proper training and guidance, she just could not start anything. She tried to find help by googling “Creative Writing Course” which threw up over a million search results that left her frustrated. Thankfully, she had a friend from her college days that had written a novel and been moderately successful with it. Her friend recommended the Curtis Brown Creative course as one of the most hands on course she could try out. Her initial reaction to the recommendation was to be flabbergasted. This was to be expected since she had to write a synopsis and a 3000 word excerpt, yet she had never gotten past 1000 word draft with any of her previous attempts. With the deadline a few weeks away, her friend suggested that she just needed to get down to work and submit whatever she was able to by the deadline. A few weeks later, and she got the news that she had got in and was over the moon. She never thought she would look for specific tutors in the course, but luck seemed to follow her into the course too. She was assigned to one of the best psychological thriller writers in Erin Kelly, who also turned out to be a brilliant teacher, perfect for the genre she was interested in. While the grip lit literature from female authors has been gathering steam in the past few years, Laura asserts that she has not been influenced by it. Having always been a voracious reader that wanted to write, she never did know that her writing was grip lit. Nonetheless, she had always admired the likes of Sophie Hannah and Nicci French that have been writing in the genre for years.

Laura Marshall’s debut novel “Friend Request” was inspired by real life experiences with bullying as a teenager though none of the characters are people in real life. While Laura does not use social media as much, she has received many friend requests on Facebook from people from the past. These are people that she may have otherwise lost touch with and wondered how it would be like if one received a fiend request from someone that brought up long buried memories. The Internet has over the years proved to be a scary place and reflecting on it, the novel explores the idea of online identity. Themes of what face people present to the world and how this may be radically different to reality are explored in detail through the life of the lead character. In an age when almost everyone has looked through, their Facebook feed and instantly felt depressed with the wonderful lives of their friends, the themes in the novel ring quite true. The fact that most of what is posted on social media is highly filtered to only portray the positive can contribute to much anxiety about one’s life, as they compare themselves unfavorably with their friends.

“Friend Request” Laura Marshall’s debut is about a 42-year-old woman that is forced to face up to her teenage wrong doings when an old friend sends her a friend request on Facebook. Maria Weston who is supposed to be dead sends her a friend request and she does not known what to make of it. In 1989, Louise had been in high school when Weston transferred into her school during their senior year. Maria was brash, funny, and authentic, which was the exact opposite of most of Louise’s best friends. Yet within a few weeks, Louise and Maria have become the best of friends. It is now 2016 and Louise gets a strange email from Facebook that Maria Weston has sent her a friend request on the social media site. The email brings to the surface long buried memories of the dark secrets, and cruel decisions that were borne of their budding friendship in senior year. Most of all, she remembers the night that would haunt and possibly change both their lives forever. Louise had always been fearful of the truth coming out and destroying her entire life. Maria’s sudden reappearance could take away her freedom and her son, and possibly reconnect her with everyone from her past she would rather keep in the past. Trying to piece together the events of the night, she learns that there may be more to the story than what she believed there was. But to keep the past in the past, she will need to uncover just how much Maria or the impostor pretending to be her knows about her secret.

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