LAURIE PETROU is an associate professor at the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University in Toronto. Her first book, a collection of short stories titled Between, was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. She was the inaugural winner of the Half the World Global Literati Award in 2016 for her unpublished novel, Sister of Mine. Visit https://lauriepetrou.wordpress.com
BIGGEST LITERARY INFLUENCERS ON YOUR WORK:
LAST BOOK READ AND WHY:
I just finished Circe by Madeline Miller, and I loved it. I took Classics and Latin all through high school with the wonderful late Mr. Maybee (and I competed in the Classics Conference every year!). The Secret History by Donna Tartt is still one of my favourite books because of the themes of antiquity. Circe satisfied my thirst for stories from that world in spades. I’m currently reading Son of Achilles, also by Miller. There is something about the ferocity of the ancient world that I just love.
THE BOOK THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY:
It’s cliché, I know, but it was Catcher in the Rye, which I read in my second last year of high school. No book until that point spoke to me as a young person in the same way. I remember the style striking me as so frank and honest. It made me think that the sentiments of a young person – and one who wasn’t situated in a historical period but just here and now – could be compelling and relatable. It hit me in the gut, and I think that is when I really started writing in earnest.
CURRENTLY WORKING ON:
Something exciting, with strong characters who happen to be women; tension; a twist. And I love it.
WORDS TO LIVE BY:
Writing is the art of applying the ass to the seat: Dorothy Parker.
ADVICE TO NEW AND ASPIRING AUTHORS:
And when in doubt, read.
“Engrossing. . . . An unputdownable page‑turner.”
– A. J. Banner, USA Today–bestselling author of The Twilight Wife
“Sharply conceived and skillfully accomplished, Sister of Mineis a stylishly suspenseful, vividly-told family saga thriller that’s as swiftly compelling as it is dark.”
– Iain Reid, bestselling author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things
“By turns taut and lyrical, often startling, always unpredictable, Laurie Petrou writes about the thorny challenges and gauzy longings of sisterhood and parenthood with brash immediacy and perilous insight. This book is a cracked mirror—sharp, disquieting, impossible to look away, refracting our worst fears and best hopes back at us.”
– Elan Mastai, author of All Our Wrong Todays
“I devoured Laurie Petrou’s wonderful novel in a single sitting. Laurie’s prose is stunning but it was the complicated relationship between the two sisters, and the secret that threatens to destroy them that had me furiously turning the pages. A fantastic debut novel.”
– Hollie Overton, bestselling author of Baby Dolland The Walls
“As mesmerizing and powerful as the fire at its centre. Dark and riveting, flirting with a hint of the gothic, Sister of Mineis a pageturner that plunges deep into the wild and uncharted territory of family, need, and loyalty, and the strange, mirror-link of love and hatred.”
– Grace O’Connell, author of Be Ready for the Lightning
“A unique and complex story of sisterhood and secrets that ends with a twist you won’t see coming. . . . A fabulous read from start to finish.” – Wendy Walker, bestselling author of Emma in the Night
“An addictive portrait of a fascinating, complicated, and, in the end, shocking relationship between two sisters. . . . A thrilling read.”
– Cecilia Ekbäck, bestselling author of Wolf Winterand The Midnight Sun