About Laura Ann Dunks



Picture of Laura Ann Dunks



Picture of Laura Ann Dunks



I am 24 years old, and was born in St. Albans, England. I always enjoyed writing stories and poetry as a child. When I was eleven, my poem about a horse and rider in a jumping competition came second in a young writer's contest and was published in a regional anthology. That same year, I also received a student prize for my story about hamsters on a journey, and I plan to eventually rewrite this for publication.

As I grew older, I began to earnestly pursue my other interest, medicine, only pausing to record story ideas or write poems or short stories when the muse struck. At the end of 2008, half-way to becoming a doctor, I became bed-bound as a result of several chronic illnesses, which had gradually grown worse over the years. Since then, I have had numerous tests and treatments resulting in several more diagnoses. The complex puzzle that is my health is being solved slowly, and as a result, I am improving in incremental baby steps.

I have since rediscovered my passion for writing and in October 2009, I began writing a contemporary, young adult novel about a teenager with ME/CFS, a chronic, neurological illness. The novel, Butterfly with Broken Wings, is currently being revised. I hope to raise awareness of the plight of disabled teenagers, especially those with chronic illness as I feel their story is not being told, as well as provide hope.

Whilst in bed, I spent a year running WAMCARE, an American ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis AKA Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) charity I helped establish in May 2009. Since the charity closed, I have spent much of my time raising awareness and funds for research. ME/CFS is an underfunded and misunderstood illness, and one of my many diagnoses.

My other interests include learning Spanish, reading, horse riding, listening to music, and photography, (I have a professional digital SLR camera.) I also enjoy traveling/backpacking and volunteering, especially with children, including those with learning disabilities. Because of my health, I haven't been able to engage in physical activities for some time, but I look forward to resuming them in the future. Lately, in 2011, I have experienced periods of better health when I have ridden horses (gently) and swam.

I love to read most genres, and my favourite books include: Angela's Ashes, the Harry Potter series, Watership Down, The Secret Life of Bees, Curious Wine, the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman, the Anita Blake and Meredith Gentry series by Laurell K Hamilton, The Kite Runner, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Girl Interrupted, The Historian, The Earthsea series by Ursula K. le Guin, and Tipping the Velvet. When my Spanish comprehension is more advanced, I plan to conquer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, and Don Quijote in their native language.

I also enjoy watching movies and television, particularly medical dramas, my current favourites being House, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and Hospital Central, but my all-time favourite show is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Recently, I enjoy Glee, Doctor Who, and The Good Wife. My favourite movies include Girl Interrupted, Moulin Rouge, The Horse Whisperer, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Hours, Interview with a Vampire, Notting Hill, Cruel Intentions, Sex and the City, Practical Magic, WALL-E, and Mar Adentro.

Although my medical career is uncertain, along with the rest of my future, writing will always be a part of my life. I began a degree in Creative Writing and Spanish via distance learning in 2010.

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