Laura Lee is the author of 14 books. She is best known for her non-fiction with such publishers as Reader's Digest, Harper Collins, Running Press and Broadway Books. Her first novel Angel was published in 2011, released in an audio edition last year and will be published in a second edition later this year. She has also written two collections of poetry, and a children’s book (A Child’s Introduction to Ballet). She brings to her writing a unique background as a radio announcer, improvisational comic and one-time professional mime and she divides her time between writing and organizing national ballet master class tours. The San Francisco Chronicle said of her work, “Lee’s dry, humorous tone makes her a charming companion… She has a penchant for wordplay that is irresistible.”
When the rock star she idolized responded to her e-mail, Candi was thrilled. When he started to flirt with her, she thought all her dreams could come true. The fantasy takes over her entire life, but none of it is true. The man of her dreams is not a rock star at all, but a bored office worker whose internet game quickly spins out of control.
Laura Lee’s second novel, Identity Theft, is now available. It is a humorous, thought-provoking examination of the state of the self in the 21st Century full of surprising plot twists.
It explores celebrity, online relationships, the loss of professional identity that comes with insecure employment and how inner reality is often at odds with outer image.
1. What was the hardest book for you to write?
I don't think any of them have been hard to write. Some of them take a while. They tend to be hard to sell.
2. Where do you stand on the indie-traditional publishing debate?
I'm not sure what the debate is. As it stands now, traditional publishers are most interested in publishing the types of authors who least need them. That is, people who are already famous. They already have an audience and can sell directly to them and not have to give up 70% of their royalties. I imagine that this will not be sustainable as a business model. Literature will always exist. Right now the indie publishing model doesn't work. Writers cannot make a living wage from it, with very few exceptions. There is very little quality control. What is really needed is some sort of farm system to develop talent, promote it, and share in the rewards of championing great literature.
3. Have you been 'tricked' by someone who presented a false online presence? (I only ask because I was ... many years ago.)
No, but I did have someone contact me who thought he was an alien and said he could tell by my writing that I was one of the aliens too.
4. You get to invite your favorite author of all time to a place where time has no meaning (so you can both be alive at the same time) for supper and conversation. What's on the menu and what would you talk about?
I would sit with Oscar Wilde and his friends at the Cafe Royal and listen to his stories.
5. Where in the world would you like to visit that you've never been before?
I have not yet been to Russia.
6. Your books cover as big a variety as I've ever seen from one author. Is there one (or more) that appeal to you more as a writer? A reader?
My books fall into two broad categories. The first is humorous reference and the second is fiction and creative writing. A lot of the topics of the non-fiction books were assigned to me. I enjoy writing those books and they do showcase my sense of humor and my voice as a writer. I had a lot of fun writing the Elvis Impersonation Kit. In general, I have less of an emotional attachment to those books even though I think they are fun. My first novel, Angel, is a book that I am particularly proud of. It was written in a very intuitive way over the course of a decade.
7. Describe your ideal writing day.
I don't have an ideal writing day. The most pleasant days are when the subconscious has done its work and delivered up something. Writing is a process of ebb and flow and all of the stages are necessary. There is a stage where an idea has not quite coalesced. All you can do is walk away from it for an hour, a day or a few years and let the subconscious work on it. When the subconscious is done and it delivers up the piece that makes everything fit together you generally want to have nothing else on your plate so you can work exclusively on getting it all down. At the moment I am trying to write a book proposal but I am on the road with my ballet project, so my writing time and attention are very fragmented.
8. Three students come to you: a grade-schooler, from jr high (middle school) and from high school, and tell you they want to be writers. What do you tell them and does it change from one age group to the other?
When anyone comes to me and wants me to read something they have written I try to figure out of they actually want constructive criticism or if they want praise. If they clearly just want praise, I don't offer constructive criticism because they will not listen to it.
9. What is your favorite color?
Do people really have favorite colors?
Be sure to check out my review of Identity Theft from yesterday!
Many thanks to Sage's Blog Tours for including me on the tour for this title!