My name is Patricia Laurie. From a proud working class background I travelled from (embryonic) theatre of drama to operating theatre to lecture theatre.
I have always felt compelled to write, sometimes in a grossly naive way but in its demand for thought and reflection.
I think just the attempt to understand that we are all part of this life with its love, tragedy, laughter and connections with other sentient beings in their own critical or merely quotidian efforts to survive... is the greatest empowerment.
And myself? To paraphrase Samuel Beckett: "I have to write. I cannot write. I'll write." Perhaps I belong to the theatre of the absurd.
She kindly argreed to participate in a brief Q&A
L: Hi Pat… First, thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Can you give us a brief precis of the story behind ‘Masked’ and what the factors were that led to your writing of this particular tale?
P: The story I think came from my experience of oppression to do with my own ambiguous sexuality.
L: I’d like to ask which character in ‘Masked’ you most identify with, and why.
P: I don't identify with one character but a little of each of them in a way. I hope not Eunice however.
L: I know you wrote this book 20/30 years ago. Had you made a conscious decision not to pursue publication when a major publishing house kept you dangling for so long? How did you react to finally seeing ‘Masked’ in print?
P: Today there has been a more positive swing toward difference and choice but sometimes when the guard dogs are sleeping that's when reactionaries strike. Even a time period of twenty years is as nothing in the ebb and flow of human attitudes.
I hope my novel is entertaining enough to interest everyone but I hope it helps those readers who may identify with the characters.
"Sexuality is one of the ways that we become enlightened, actually, because it leads us to self-knowledge."
First chapter of 'Masked' -
read by Pat Laurie
Extract from 'Rodders Granary School' -
read by Pat Laurie