WITH our first bout of snow in seven years, north Essex author Laurie Ellingham has chosen just the right time to launch her latest novel.

Ours is the Winter is Laurie’s second women’s fiction novel with Harper Collins imprint HQ following her hugely successful debut with the giant publisher earlier this year.

That also had a seasonal title, One Endless Summer, which told the story of three friends who go round the world, paid for by a television company, because one of them is dying.

The new book also has three people on a journey of love, loss and adventure as Erica, Molly and Noah sled with Siberian Huskies across the Arctic Wilderness on a week long trek.

While Erica is trying to hide her double life, Noah is dealing with the nightmares from his past, and then there’s Molly still trying to deal with the death of her brother which dashed her dreams of sporting glory.

“The characters came first,” explains Laurie. “These three people who on the surface were getting on with their lives and seemed fine, but underneath were each struggling with different problems. I wanted to take them on a journey out of their comfort zones where they would be forced to confront their pasts, and where better than the sub-zero temperatures of the Arctic where they will be pushed to their physical and emotional limits.”

As well as juggling the descriptive skills required to do justice to the frozen wastelands of the Artic wilderness and the stories of each individual characters one of the most enjoyable aspects of this book was the introduction of dogs into the narrative.

She adds: “That was the bit I loved the most, writing about the different personalities of the huskies, and the relationships they formed with the main characters in the book.”

Now living in a village north of Colchester, Laurie was born in Rochford but grew up in Rayleigh, going to Love Lane and FitzWimarc schools before studying at the Greensward Sixth Form in Hockley.

After dabbling with medicine and working in PR for the healthcare industry, Laurie first began writing when she was 23 but didn’t publish her first book many years later after going on a course.

The self-released The Reluctant Celebrity came out in 2014 but it was so popular online it was eventually picked up by a London publisher. She went back to self-publishing for her second novel How To Throw Your Life Away, which in turn led to her book deal with Harper Collins.

Now working on her new book Laurie says: “If I find myself with a spare moment then the first thing I’ll want to do is write. I’ve written two books this year, and had two books published so 2017 has been busy and amazing in equal measure. I’m hopeful 2018 will continue in the same way and feel so grateful for all the support and reviews I’ve received.”

Ours is the Winter is out now published by the Harper Collins imprint HQ. For more information go to laurie-ellingham.com