Interview with Women's Fiction Author Laura Preble @laurapreble #interview #blogtour

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.



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 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 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


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Can you tell us what your new book is about?

Anna Incognito tells the story of Anna Colin Beck, a woman with severe OCD and significant trauma. When she is invited to her therapist’s wedding several states away, she decides to take a road trip to stop the wedding, since she is sure that she and the doctor belong together. A friend of mine actually inspired me to write it…she deals with trichotillomania and dermatillomania (hair and skin picking), but she is so much more than her conditions. She is highly intelligent, funny, and has a skewed look on life that I really love. The story isn’t at all about her, but I based the character on her.  I had her read the book to be sure I got everything right. I wanted to portray a character who dealt with a mental illness, but who was not defined by the illness.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Anna is, of course, the main character, and she’s funny, clever, smart, and challenging. She’s a person who has been handed something very traumatic in her life, and as humans do, she has found a way to live with it as best she can. As for supporting characters, Mellow is a teen she picks up as a hitchhiker, and she is a character that reminds me very much of wise-beyond-their-years students I’ve encountered in teaching high school. She acts tough, but she’s also found a way to form a protective shell around her damage.

Your book is set in California and Colorado.  Can you tell us why you chose this location in particular?

I live in California, so it was easy to describe, and I felt I could write it accurately. The story involves this woman, who has severe OCD and germaphobia, who is compelled to take a road trip to Colorado to stop the wedding of her former therapist, because she believes they should be together. There is a road trip that is a huge part of the story, so I did a lot of research to make it as real as possible, although I couldn’t do the actual road trip myself. Some of the locations, like Las Vegas, I’ve been to, and the rest I researched as thoroughly as I could.

How long did it take you to write your book?

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 has been the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Oddly, the pivotal moment in my writing life was probably the day I got a phone call from an editor at Penguin. I had been to a writing conference at San Diego State University, and had sent her some pages before we met (not of this book…actually, it was part of a book I never did finish.)  I expected her to be polite and brush me off, but she loved my writing. She LOVED it. She asked me to send her something, specifically Young Adult chick-lit, which was a genre I did not like. But I got an idea at 3 in the morning to write Queen Geek Social Club, wrote 20 pages, sent it to her, and got a two-book deal out of it, which eventually was three books. The morning I got the phone call from her telling me I had a two-book deal was probably the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me in my writing life.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

Don’t get discouraged by rejection. Rejection is probably the hardest thing about it — it can make you feel like you’re doing something pointless, or that nobody will ever hear your stories. I look at rejections as stones in a path. I am constructing a road to success, and each rejection is a stepping stone along the way to that destination. Every time I get a rejection, I think to myself, ‘Yes! Another stone!’ and realize I’m closer than I was before. That being said, rejection sucks. It hurts. You can feel both things about it, so cry, pound a pillow, take a walk, give yourself time to feel hurt if you want, but then put the rejection in its place as a part of your path to success. You never know what interaction will lead to something great, so believe in yourself whenever you talk about your writing, and listen to other people when they give advice (like this) but follow what you know to be true for you.