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Archive for July 21st, 2020

Laura Preble is the award-winning author of the young adult series, Queen Geek Social Club (Penguin/Berkley Jam), which includes the novels Queen Geeks in Love and Prom Queen Geeks. Her novel, Out, dealt with the concept of LGBTQ rights within a young adult dystopia; Alex Sanchez, author of Rainbow Boys, says “Out explores an intriguing, mind-bending, and challenging portrait of an upside-down world that turns the tables on homophobia, acceptance, and love.” She has won a Kurt Vonnegut Fiction Prize, and has been published in North American Review, Writer’s Digest, Hysteria, and NEA Today.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website:  www.preblebooks.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/LauraPreble

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/laura.preble1  

Interview:

Would you call yourself a born writer?

I think so. I grew up with an Irish grandfather who told me stories all the time, and both sides of my family are Irish, so I think storytelling comes pretty naturally. There’s a photo of me when I was probably seven where I’m hunched over a yellow legal pad with a pencil, trying to cover up whatever story I was working on.

What was your inspiration for Anna Incognito?

The main character is based loosely on a friend how mine who has conditions similar to Anna’s in the book. My friend has dermatillomania and trichotillomania (skin and hair picking) which are both Obsessive-Compulsive disorders. Seeing those conditions through her eyes, and knowing how smart, funny, and wonderful she is gave me the inspiration to write a character who struggles with mental illness, but who is still a fully-formed person. She is NOT her disorders. They do not define her.

Life can be funny when you  have a mental illness. I don’t mean to imply that mental illness is funny, because it’s not. I have a couple of the conditions Anna has in the book, and I understand how serious it is. Still, it does color your reactions to things, and honestly, most of my favorite people have some kind of mental illness, and they’re really hilarious people. I also think it’s really important to portray people with mental illness in fiction. It’s been stigmatized a lot in American culture especially. I think if more people saw mental illness from the inside out, they’d understand more why there is a great need for more treatment options, for more sensitive law enforcement, and for greater resources in schools.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

Since I have kids and had a full-time job at a school, it took several summers to finish. I wrote it over about two years, but I didn’t write all that time. Summers are my writing time, and I kept coming back to this story over and over. Some books I start and don’t finish if they don’t fire me up. This one kept nagging at me to be told.

What do you feel is one of the most exciting parts of your book?

The most exciting part to me is the end, but I can’t tell you what happens. The story is basically a road trip where a person with severe OCD takes to the highway in order to travel several states away to stop the wedding of her former therapist. She is convinced they are supposed to be together. But the end…to me, it was perfect and satisfying, and I rewrote it several times to get it right.

What other genres have you thought about writing? What genres would you personally never consider writing?

My favorite thing to read is science fiction, and I’d love to write that. I have tried, but I just can’t seem to get it to work. I’d never write sports fiction because I am possibly the worst athlete on the planet.

What do you love most about being an author?

I love when a story I’ve written connects with someone. I’ve gotten emails from people telling me how my books have affected them, and that is the best feeling. I think all art — writing, music, visual art — is a way for us to reach out to other people, to be less alone. Being an author lets you share the contents of your mind and your soul to people you’ve never met.

What’s next for you?

I’ve been concentrating a lot on marketing Anna Incognito, so I haven’t started a new project yet. I also was a Runner-Up in the Screencraft Cinematic Book competition, so I’ve been reaching out to production companies that are interested in making Anna into a film.  I’m also trying to get some mileage out of winning a silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, which I just received a couple of weeks ago. I got a very chunky silver medal.  But my next book idea is probably going to be a fiction based on my best friend and myself moving to Paris and making all kinds of trouble for everyone we meet. Since I can’t really travel anywhere right now because of the plague, I figured I could write a vacation.

About the Book

Lots of narrative pull…wonderfully complicated. – Jincy Willett, author of The Writing Class, and anthologized by David Sedaris in Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules.

Anna Colin Beck knows all too well what can happen when things go wrong really wrong. So, she’s spent the last several years living an extremely regimented life at home, doing everything she can to avoid subjecting herself to the torments of a germ-infested world. Everything must be just so, and when things don’t go to plan, she punishes her own body…and that still hasn’t helped alleviate her pain.

After a chance meeting in a laundromat, she finds herself completely infatuated with another person, something that hasn’t happened to her in a long time. Dr. Edward Denture is seemingly brilliant and magnetic…and in the blink of an eye, she’s attending intense somatic therapy sessions as his newest client. The more he draws from her, the further their relationship grows, until it’s crossed countless lines and consumed Anna with a fierce toxicity. And before she knows it, she finds herself buckled into the driver’s seat of a powder-blue El Dorado for a solo cross-country road trip, determined to stop his wedding. It’s a trip that will test every limitation she’s ever set for herself, and though she’s planned extensively for all contingencies, there are some twists and turns you just can’t prepare for.

With wry observations on the intersection of luck, fate, and life, Anna Incognito is a searing, darkly witty exploration of what it means to be alive.

PRAISE FOR ANNA INCOGNITO

IndieReader.com: 5/5 “Rich with witticism in the face of painful realities and evoking lyrical truisms throughout, from of a rating scale of 1 – 5 this novel is so off-the-charts good, it deserves a 10.” LINK HERE

OnlineBookClub.com: 4/4 “The writing was captivating…This book would be great for readers who are struggling with mental health or for those trying to understand it better. Are you ready to go for a drive with Anna?. Buckle up, because you are in for the ride of your life!” LINK HERE

Kirkus Reviews:  “The protagonist’s acerbic wit and mordant tone work well in the difficult material in Preble’s unconventional road novel. A razor-sharp, oddly fun  romp through the American West.” LINK HERE

ORDER YOUR COPY

Mascot Books → https://mascotbooks.com/mascot-marketplace/buy-books/fiction/romance/anna-incognito/

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3gWo7wf

 Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/2MtLLSV

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