About the author

Laurie's childhood switched from the bomb sites of Birmingham to an extravagantly rural Buckinghamshire, and thence to the mild claustrophobia of small town life in Oxfordshire. After grammar school and art school in Oxford, he studied painting at the Royal Academy Schools and worked as an artist for ten years in North London.  He settled in Wood Green, where he married, raised children, earned money as a house painter, wrote poetry, and became a well-known community activist.  Laurie is now retired, divorced and living very happily in Worthing, where he completed his first novel, Kinch, in 2015.

He cites the following as direct or indirect influences on his writing:

  • The fiction of Dickens, Joyce, Beckett, Borges, Lewis Carroll and Mervyn Peake
  • The poetry of Emily Dickinson, Ezra Pound, Robert Browning and Wallace Stevens
  • The painting of Titian, Delacroix, Bacon and Auerbach (for whom he sat in the 1970s):
  • The music of J S Bach, Verdi, Vivaldi, Captain Beefheart, Charlie Parker and Bob Dylan:
  • The films of Welles, Fellini, Bergman, Lynch, Truffaut and Hitchcock:
  • The essays of Robert Louis Stevenson and Harold Bloom:
  • The plays and sonnets of Shakespeare.

He has also been the editor of a Worthing-based left-field arts zine called The Action, of which there have been three editions so far.

‘Head of Laurie Owen’ by Frank Auerbach (1972). Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
‘Head of Laurie Owen’ by Frank Auerbach (1972). Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester