My name is… four different last names, one after the other! I added on my husband’s last name when we got married, but I didn’t want to get rid of any of my own. So now my full name is Laurie Latzer Morrison Fabius. Laurie is a Scottish last name from my dad’s side of the family, and Latzer was my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. I go by Laurie Morrison for everything writing-related but am called Laurie Fabius or Laurie Morrison Fabius in other circumstances. Sometimes I can’t remember which name someone has on file for me, so when I call to schedule a haircut or make a dentist’s appointment and get asked for a name, I have to say, “Good question. There are a few possibilities…”
I am a… mom, wife, writer, friend, teacher, sister, and daughter. Right now, with two very small children, I’m a mom, first and foremost. There’s nothing I would rather be…but sometimes it’s hard to have a book coming out and another (only partly written) book under contract and find that writing has to take a backseat to parenting so much of the time. And sometimes I miss being able to spend as much time with friends as I used to. But I trust that there are different points in our lives when different roles become the primary ones…and even now, I can occasionally have a day here or there where another role like writer, wife, or friend gets to rise to that primary level, too.
As a kid, I was… a fan of stories. I loved reading stories, listening to stories, and telling stories. My youngest brother’s first memory turns out to be a far-fetched tale I once told in which I, his heroic big sister, was bouncing around our basement on my blue Hop 66 ball when an elderly visitor dropped him down the basement stairs. I rushed over to catch him, thereby saving his life. I told it enough times, I guess, that he remembered it as if it had really happened. Even though I loved stories so much, it didn’t occur to me that I might attempt to write stories of my own until I was in my mid-twenties.
Writing is… an act of trust. To write a book, you have to think strategically about things like plot and character arcs and pacing, but you also have to be open to revelations you can’t plan for, and you have to believe that they’ll happen if you do the work and pay close attention. I got an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where Tim Wynne Jones gave a really wonderful lecture about honoring your inner genius by looking out for the seeds you subconsciously plant in your work and can find and nurture. I don’t know if it’s my subconscious or luck or what, but I often find glimmering, important details that sneak into a draft, completely unplanned, and end up being central to my characters and their stories.
Reading is… what helps me understand other people and myself. It’s what comforts me and pushes me out of my comfort zone. It’s my favorite solitary activity and something that helps me connect with others. It’s the best!
Books are… incredible works of collaboration. I’m so amazed by how many different people contribute their talents and efforts to making a published book. The author, editor, copyeditor, proofreader, art designer, and cover artist, plus all the publicity and marketing people working to get books into readers’ hands! I cried when I saw the first-pass pages for my first book, Every Shiny Thing, because the internal design was so beautiful and thoughtful, with lovely fonts and details that fit the book perfectly. It was such an honor to realize people had worked that lovingly on a book with my words in it.
Did you know… that juvenile great white sharks can’t prey on mammals like seals because their jaws aren’t developed enough? In my new book Up for Air, the main character Annabelle and her friend Jeremy know a lot about white sharks and that’s one of the facts Annabelle shares.
You can find me… at my website, lauriemorrisonwrites.com, or on Twitter and Instgram @LaurieLMorrison.