The Lightning Queen Book Party Recap!


Hello everyone!

I had so much fun celebrating the release of The Lightning Queen with friends here in Fort Collins!


Lil Dude was the Master of Ceremonies, and did a great job introducing me, doing magic tricks, interviewing me, drawing names for prizes, playing his White Stripes song on his guitar, and generally ad-libbing jokes throughout.... He loves being onstage and has been looking forward to this for a long time.

Beautiful dancers were there doing beautiful dances!

(photo from Gloria)

My good friends Gloria Garcia Diaz and Julie Lee performed some gorgeous traditional Mexican dances with their troupe, Quetzalcoatl....

They were fantastic...

Gloria's rainbow dress was a thing of wonder!

And there were all ages in the troupe, which was really cool...

We're so grateful to everyone who showed up to celebrate-- what an amazing bunch of people!

There was a free-for-all dance on stage, too, and all who participated got to choose a bell as a prize.  (The bells had been in a box in our garage for thirteen years, and I figured it was time to let them go ring freely with new owners...)


And there was book-signing... (Thanks to Old Firehouse Books for doing such a great job with the book-selling!)


 photo from Gloria

Alma (right) was one of the girls who interviewed me *in Spanish* about The Queen of Water for the local Bookends TV show.  She came with her awesome friend Ivan, who's also a fan of The Queen of Water, and her sweet cousin Karen.

My heart still feels full from all the neighbors and friends-- old and new-- who came to celebrate with us!

 Dear writer friends Todd Mitchell and Teresa Funke

Longtime super-creative friend, Julie Lee 

 Fun-spirited artist neighbor Diane Findley and her wonderful husband Tommy 

Close friend, Spanish writing partner, talented writer and translator, and dancer 
Gloria Garcia Diaz with her adorable daughter

 My vivacious and big-hearted 6th-grade neighbor, who's the most avid reader I know!

 More awesome neighbors-- Beth and Dan!  (We are SO lucky to live where we do.)

 And Julie with her lovely family

Afterward, there was the clean-up, which Ian did, oh-so-graciously.  ;-) (And my generous writer group friends, Laura Pritchett and Kayre Cattrell were life-savers helping me set up, but somehow they escaped being photographed!)

Thank you to all of you who were there in body and spirit!

Lots of love,

 photo from Gloria

Book Release Events for THE LIGHTNING QUEEN!

 Hey guys,

I've finalized my schedule of events for this fall for THE LIGHTNING QUEEN.  I'd love to see you guys there!



Oct 28, 2015, Wed

THE LIGHTNING QUEEN Release Party! Everyday Joe’s Coffee House, Old Town, Fort Collins, CO. 5-7 pm. Food, music, Mexican dance, crafts, prizes, reading, signing! Books available to buy there. Come one, come all!


Nov 3, 2015, Tues

Osher Institute of CSU, Presentation on THE LIGHTNING QUEEN. 10:00 a.m. to noon. Drake Hall (CSU campus), 2545 Research Blvd., Fort Collins, CO 80526. Registration required here.


Nov 15, 2015, Sunday

Boulder Bookstore, Boulder, CO. 4:00 p.m. Reading and signing THE LIGHTNING QUEEN. A joint event with the amazing Melanie Crowder, author of A NEARER MOON. All welcome!


Nov 17, 2015, Tuesday

East Morgan County Library, Brush, CO. 6:00 p.m. Presentation on THE LIGHTNING QUEEN. Chatting and signing to follow. Everyone welcome!


Nov 21, 2015, Saturday

Denver BookBar, Denver, CO. 12:00-12:30 Signing and chatting about THE LIGHTNING QUEEN. Everyone welcome! (Also, from 10:30-12:00, I’ll be leading a discussion with the Mother-Daughter book club. If you’d like to participate in the book club discussion, call the store asap to register.)


Dec. 12, 2015, Saturday

Barnes and Noble, 2999 Pearl St., Boulder, CO. 2 pm. Signing and chatting about THE LIGHTNING QUEEN. All welcome!




Nov 6, 2015, Friday

Politics and Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, 10:30 a.m. Presentation, reading, and signing for THE LIGHTNING QUEEN. All welcome!


Nov 8, 2015, Sunday

Browseabouts Bookstore, Rehoboth, Delaware. 11:00 a.m. Informal signing and chatting about THE LIGHTNING QUEEN. All welcome!


Nov 9, 2015, Monday

The Children’s Bookstore, Baltimore, MD. 4:00 p.m.  Reading, chatting, and signing THE LIGHTNING QUEEN. Everyone welcome!




Nov 22, 2015, Sunday

NCTE Conference, Minneapolis. Scholastic Authors’ Breakfast and Readers’ Theatre. Registration required.

Hope you can make it to one of these events!!!


Feeling Thankful...

Hello dear readers,

 The older I get, the more convinced I am that the secret to happiness is gratitude.

I'm grateful for my wild-haired Lil Dude and his new little sister, Wilma the Mellow Beagle...

Always grateful for Ian...


and my creative, kind neighbors... some of whom now have this exuberant piano in their front yard. Lil Dude enjoys pausing to play some tunes on it while we're walking Wilma.  Another beloved neighbor, artist Diane Findley, had painted it as part of Pianos About Town.  Once this one was "retired," they let Diane decide what to do with it.  She decided to gift it to the family across the street... and voila!  The most awesome yard art ever, just around our corner.  

I did an interview with Diane for Fort Collins magazine, the Winter issue, coming out soon.  She's one of my role models for creativity, art, dance, play, and life... I can't wait to show you a glimpse of her world!

Speaking of writing, another thing I'm grateful for... my writers' group! We're having a free reading coming up soon: Wed, Dec 4, 7 pm, Bas Bleu Theatre, Ft Collins. (It's for grown-ups only-- sorry to any younger readers... but I'll be doing another kid-friendly event another time soon, I'm sure.)

And of course, I'm grateful for my other friends and family, 
and for the new manuscripts I just finished (more on that later), 
and for *you*, sweet reader!

May you have a Thanksgiving filled with real gratitude!


Upcoming Colorado Events (including one this week!)

Hi everyone, 

I hope those of you in Colorado stayed safe during the recent flooding.  My family and
home made it through fine, thankfully.
Just want to let you local people know about a few events I have coming up:
Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 (in a few days!)
6:30 pm, Boulder Bookstore, Boulder, CO. 
Fall Book Feast with Middle Grade Authors -- Join Melanie
Crowder, Jeannie Mobley, Jenny Goebel, and Laura Resau for a fun and
lively panel discussion about their novels for upper elementary and
early middle school readers. Free and everyone welcome!

And now, some introductions to these awesome Colorado writers, 
who also happen to be friends of mine!!
Here's Jenny.
 Here's her debut novel, which comes out this fall. I'm looking forward to reading it!
Here's Melanie Crowder and her beautiful debut novel, Parched, which came out this summer.

Here's Jeannie. 
Her charming debut novel, Katerina's Wish, came out last year.
 And I'll be focusing on my own debut novel from 2006, What the Moon Saw. 
 I get to talk about this a lot in school visits, but I haven't done a bookstore talk about this
for a while... I'm excited!

Other Event coming up:

Saturday Nov. 2, 2013
2:30 pm, Global Village Museum, 200 West Mountain Ave., Old Town,
Fort Collins, CO.
Presentation -- The Queen of Water: the True Story of an Andean
Girl's Journey. As part of the "Legacy of the Andes" exhibit, Laura
will discuss Maria Virginia's amazing story, their collaboration
process, and her research in Ecuador. You'll also get a glimpse into
Quichua culture and recent social issues. The presentation is
included with museum admission ($5 for non-members.) There will also
be live Andean music, played by Marie Louise Borak. You can read more
about the museum here.
Thanks, everyone! It would be fun to see you at one (or more) of these events! Please spread the word to anyone else who might be interested. xo, Laura

Chicago trip!

Hey guys,

It's a delightfully snowy day here, and a day off from school for Lil Dude.  Since he's currently occupied playing spy with his lil buddy, I thought I'd steal a minute and do a post.  Here are some pics from my recent trip to Chicago for Litworks, a teen book festival organized by some cool librarians-- one from the public library and one from the high school.

Loads of talent and fun...

Back row: Jennette Gonzales (librarian), awesome authors Brent Crawford and Matt de la Pena
Front row: me, and more awesome authors-- Mark Crilley, Alex Flinn, Jennifer Bradbury, and Penny Blubaugh (author *and* librarian)

My wonderful teen helper, Franny, who has written novels herself!


My other teen helper, Jessica, super sweet and organized...

(Audrey was my other fabulous teen helper, but alas, we didn't get a photo together.)

Note of interest: I discovered that most of the other authors featured had had either their books turned into a major motion picture (Alex-- Beastly, and Matt-- Ball Don't Lie), *or* had been in a major motion picture (Matt) *or* on a major TV network show (Brent-- Law and Order, Sex and the City, Jennifer-- Jeopardy winner).  Pretty cool, no?  (Meanwhile, the closest I am to TV-movie-land is trying to get a hold of MacGyver, aka Richard Dean Anderson, to give him a copy of The Queen of Water. Still! Sigh.)

I wish I'd scheduled in an extra day to see Chicago, a city I've only been to once before and really liked. The trip flew by way too fast...

I have a bunch of travel coming up, some for school visits, some pleasure, some a mix.... and one of the destinations is across the Atlantic.

Oh, so excited! You'll be seeing the photos and hearing more about that sometime soon. There shall be cliffs and castles and white-tipped waves and trolleys... see if you can guess!

In case you're curious about what's in the works, book-wise, I'm chugging away on my novel, maybe a month or so away from completing this revision.  Then, it'll go to my writers' group and mom, then another revision, then to my agent.  It's pretty intricate as far as plot and character, and it's branching out into some new (fantastical!) territory for me.  I'm actually really enjoying the process, even though it feels like a two steps forward, one step back kind of journey at times. But I can see it all coming together, and man oh man, does that feel delicious.  (As in, *chocolate* delicious... CHOCOLATE, you might remember, is the working title of this manuscript.)

Speaking of novel-writing journeys, I'm doing a workshop on the topic at Pikes Peak Writers Conference this weekend, down in Colorado Springs.  I'm also doing my Creating Dazzling Worlds workshop... plus I get to see old friends, and see Libba Bray do a keynote-- I've heard she's fantastically funny.  Perhaps I'll see you there?

Okay, now I'm thinking about chocolate... I'll go make some hot cocoa for the boys and me now.

Happy day to you!