Share this
Like us on facebook
For the latest news and reviews.




For the latest additions to the Usual Questions project, and other posts about writing see the Facebook page:


Lauren B. Davis

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, Lauren B. Davis, courtesy of the author; 220x304

Lauren B. Davis

Canadian-born writer Lauren B. Davis writes long and short fiction.

She has taught creative writing in Geneva, Paris and Ireland, as well as in the USA and Canada, she is also a past Mentor with the Humber College Creative Writing by Correspondence Program, and past Writer-in-Residence at Trinity Church, Princeton.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

It doesn't affect the content, which is driven solely by my obsessions and demons and quirks, but meeting people who are interested in my work is encouraging and gives me a little hope that writing, or at least publishing, isn't pointless.

This is especially true when a reader tells me they have found themselves in my work, or been inspired, or even found something spiritually or psychologically meaningful in one of my books or stories. That's a humbling experience.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

My latest novel, The Empty Room, is about a woman alcoholic at the end of her tether. The letters I've received from people who said they recognized themselves and were going to do something about their drinking, or from family members of alcoholics who said they now understood what was going on in the alcoholic's head, have been incredibly moving. But the one from the woman who said she never thought anyone had felt the way she did and that finding herself in the book gave her the courage to call Alcoholics Anonymous, well, that one made me cry. And there were a fair number of those... but that first one, the one that made me think this book might actually be meaningful to someone -- that meant the world to me.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

There are too many to list, really -- but Alistair MacLeod's No Great Mischief certainly ranks up there, as does Gabrielle Roy's The Tin Flute, Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping, Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance, anything by Kent Haruf, Graham Greene or Balzac or Dostoyevsky or Muriel Spark.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

My husband. If there was any other answer, I wouldn't be married to him.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Apart from someone like Jeffrey Dahmers? My adopted mother. Sorry, but it's the truth. She's passed on now, and I'm sure she's no longer the woman she once was, but while alive she was mentally ill and although it wasn't her fault she was so dangerous it took me years to recover.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

I would take as many books as could fit into all the overhead bins, and I would take my dog, not necessarily in that order.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

I hope it means something to readers, and I hope it does what it has always done, which is to make me saner when I'm writing than when I'm not.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

I'm one of those writers who feels satisfaction when the work is done at day's end. The actual writing can be agony, but if I don't write daily, the incessant nagging sensation to get ON with it is even more excruciating.

submitted by Lauren B. Davis

31 July 2014

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: Yes, I'm told I was. In Montreal, Canada, on a Monday in September, in a home for unwed mothers.
Resides: In Princeton, New Jersey at the moment; I've also lived in Montreal; Toronto; Bible Hill and Halifax, Nova Scotia; Annecy and Paris and Normandy, France.
Short Story Collections:
Longlisted for the ScotiaBank Giller Award (OUR DAILY BREAD)
Finalist for the Roger's Writers' Trust Award (THE RADIANT CITY)
Longlisted for the Re-Lit Award (AN UNREHEARSED DESIRE)

Web site:


For posts about Melbourne events, places, news, reviews, giveaways, see our Facebook Page: