Interview with Laura Lee

Today, I have an interview with Laura Lee, author of Identity Theft

  1. What inspired you to write Identity Theft?

There are really two answers to that. The first idea for the book came a decade or so ago. It was a time when celebrities were first building their own web pages and they were interacting directly with fans in a way they never had before. A lot of well-known people were initially a bit more accessible online than they are today because it took a while for them to figure out how to maintain the proper boundaries online, how responsive and involved they should be with their fan communities and so on. There was also a lot of anxiety about exactly who you were talking with online. This was before Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and all of that. So if you were talking to someone online, it was often just a screen name. Now you can check people out and research them a bit more. But people are also more immersed in the online world, so in some ways it is easier for someone to pretend to be someone he is not than it was then. So I imagined how it would feel for a person who thought she was building a relationship with a star who she admired, how magical it would seem to her. She would feel like Cinderella at the ball, like anything might be possible. Yet because it was all online, she might not be speaking to the person she believed she was at all. I thought about this along with a lot of other ideas and it became just one more unfinished idea until I saw Adam Ant in concert recently and the idea came back to me, and it seemed like the idea was actually quite modern and it could be used to examine a larger philosophical question of how people form their identities in the 21st Century.

  1. How did you get into writing? Did you always know you wanted to be an author?

My father was a writer, and he always said I was a natural writer. I actually wanted to be a performer. I got a degree in theater and worked in radio for a number of years. It turns out that I do have an ability in writing but I do not have much ability in performing. I admire people who do have that ability. Now, in addition to writing, I work with a dancer who has great stage presence. They’re complimentary but very different arts.

  1. If you could take over anyone’s identity for a day, whose would it be?

It might be interesting to be a painter. Maybe one of those Russian icon painters. They train for years and meditate and try to express a mystical relationship with the religious figure they have depicted. At the moment, that seems quite an appealing thing to try if I could have the painting skill along with the identity.

  1. What do you think it is about the internet that entices people to catfish someone else or assume someone else’s identity? Why do people do it?

I don’t think it is the internet that makes people do that. There have always been imposters. In fact, there is a long tradition in fiction of stories about people assuming different identities. People feel constrained by the social identities they have to maintain and often daydream about not having to be the person they have always been. A lot of kids at some point or another play the game of introducing themselves to a stranger using a different name. It’s limiting being the same person from day to day.

  1. Do you have a writing ritual, like music and coffee? Something else? Utter silence?

Not really. I write ideas down whenever I have them and at a certain point I feel I have gathered enough to start to see a big picture and then I sit down at the computer and work on it in earnest. The hardest part about writing anything is starting. This is especially true of novels. The scope of them is overwhelming. So I don’t write novels. I write bits and pieces until a novel appears.

  1. What book do you wish you could have written?

Harry Potter. I would like the royalties.

  1. What are you working on next?

I’m working on a non-fiction book that was assigned me at the moment. I have an article coming out in the July issue of The Wildean, the jornal of Oscar Wilde studies. I’m really excited about that.

Thanks, Laura for stopping by to talk about your book! Read on for links to buy!

 
Identity Theft :
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.

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ABOUT LAURA:

Laura-Lee-AuthorLaura is the author of 16 books with such publishers as Harper Collins, Reader’s Digest, Lyons Press and Running Press. She is best known for humorous reference such as The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation, which sold 85,000 copies for Black Dog and Leventhal. Her first novel was Angel published by Itineris Press and will soon be released in a second edition by DPS. The San Francisco Chronicle has said of her work: “Lee’s dry, humorous tone makes her a charming companion… She has a penchant for wordplay that is irresistible.”

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Adventures of the Dress: Kickstarter

My first Kickstarter is now live! I’m currently at $2500 the first day!! So amazing! Hopefully it keeps climbing! Please give the project a look, watch the video and consider donating! I appreciate the support! [ VIEW THIS PROJECT ON KICKSTARTER ]

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Adventures of the Dress: Cover and Kickstarter

I think that this beautiful disaster of a dress tells so many stories of countless beauties who doubted that they can be someones Muse, even if just for one day. ” -Karla (dress model)

For almost six years now, I’ve been developing a photography project that has turned into an inspirational journey. I’ve photographed over twenty women in the same dress- my cousin’s old wedding dress.

This is the story of that dress told through the imagination of women.

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Long ago, in a galaxy far away, I found my cousin’s old wedding dress in a box while cleaning out her garage. She gave it to me, thinking I could do something creative with it. This began the adventure. Over the next six years, I’ve shot various women in different cities in the same dress- allowing them to add their own flares to the shoot. I get to know them, their struggles and achievements and I pay attention to how they interact with the dress. What I’ve learned: people love playing dress up, it’s okay to be a bit of a princess and people can really go through hell and fight their way back.

I wanted to showcase the happy feelings that come with playing dress up as an adult- to wear the layers of tulle from a ball gown. These layers allow the women to be themselves while being something out of the ordinary.

Now, the dress’ and the women’s stories are getting told through photos…and I’d like to turn that into a coffee table photo book.

SO…I’m doing just that. May 7th – June 7th I’ll be running a Kickstarter to raise money to get a mass print order of photo books.

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Cover Model: Lyndsey Doolen of The Next Steps

I never expect anyone to support my crazy dreams, projects and life…but I know I have so many amazing people who will, and I’m hoping that this project will reach out and touch a few of you. Okay, more than a few. I have a pretty heavy goal to get the best possible product. I will need everyone’s help.

Come May 7th, please consider donating… $45 to the project will get you a hardcover copy of the book if successfully funded. There are other reward levels, but I’ll reveal those on Kickstarter on the 7th.

Don’t know what Kickstarter is? Go to www.kickstarter.com and get to know the site. It’s a great place to see people’s ideas come to life. Sign up for an account- it’s super safe and connects to your Amazon account if you have one.

I am still wrapping up a few shoots- including a few in New Jersey- and once they’re all done, edited and formatted by my graphic designer, Erin… I will ship them off to the printer and have them out in late autumn to early winter (again, assuming this project gets funded). I have some fun rewards planned as well, and if you know one of the models, your rewards circulate around them. It’s very personalized while getting to know the other women who have participated.

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It’s very important to get donations in the first few days of the project going live. So, keep that in mind come May 7th! If you have any questions, please visit my FACEBOOK PAGE or TWITTER and send me a personal message!!

This project wouldn’t have been possible without the help of these amazing women. They have really taken this to heart- and it has been such a phenomenal experience for me. Close friends, family, acquaintances and some women who just approached me and asked to do it- the range is wide and the stories are a journey.

72803On top of that- model (and fellow author) Rebekah Crane has put me in touch with the perfect author for the foreword. So, I’m happy to announce that I have a super amazing foreword being written by none other than the super amazing Jessica Park. I wanted Jessica in the project, but since schedules and distance prohibit that, she’s agreed to start this book off right with some words of her own. I’ll be blogging more about her in the coming days as well as talking about her books and how they’ve inspired some of the work done here. Overall, I am thrilled (and any word you can find in the thesaurus that’s with thrilled) she’s a part of this!

SO, set your alarms… May 7th for Adventures of the Dress on Kickstarter! I’m excited, scared, emotional…all the things!

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Blanket Forts.

Sure, I suck at blogging. I can’t stick to a blog schedule…but that’s because I’m revising my third  (and longest) book while managing a table top game store part time. I am also putting together a kickstarter campaign for my dress project…AND doing freelance photography. In the words of Ruby Rhod: BUT WHO CARES? Because…

Blanket Forts.

They’re a necessity, even in grownupville. One of my editors created the most epic of blanket forts for herself a few months back, and since then I have been wanting to do it. Problem is, I’m in the middle of moving my office and so my much needed space is IMG_9114chaos right now. So…I went to my friend, Loopy, and asked her to host a sleepover so I could just relax and not adult for the night. What commenced was awesome. I’ll share the process with you.

First: pour yourself some fucking Sangria. Nothing says adult-blanket-fort-building like Sangria…there are a lot of different recipes for this. Easiest route- and you’ll thank me later- go get some Mangria from the store (or any pre-prepared Sangria) and just add a shit-ton of fruit. I liked Loopy’s choice of Mangria because it was technically a girl’s night, so, the humor wasn’t lost on me.

Okay, building the fort: get a dude to help you. This shouldn’t turn into a feminism debate- I just like being bossy and it’s more fun to boss my friend Mario around.

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Your bottom layer is the most important because COMFORT. Foam mats work great- they aren’t as complicated as pulling a whole mattress out and they add a good amount of cushion so you won’t wake up feeling like Thor punched you in your kidney.

Also give your slave boy other tasks like hanging the higher fabrics and un-fucking the christmas lights that you just wadded into a ball and threw in storage:

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Pay him with Mexican food and cookies. Don’t be a dick.

Ambiance is also important. Fake candles, small lights, and LOTS of sheets to hang create a quaint environment. You can use all kinds of items to achieve your wanted level of fort awesomeness… tall furniture, PVC pipe, tacks, nails, whatever get to Home Depot and go nuts.

We stuck with using the ceiling vents, tacks, and furniture.

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Sure, it’s a little messy. Sorry, we were already drunk.

Now, you can start to relax in your fort and break out the food and activities. We classed up the joint with coloring books, Oreos, more wine, and Mexican food. Kudos to Loopy for ordering the adult coloring books. It’s also good to have some movie ideas. We were a little indecisive, but ended up with a playlist of Constantine (movie), Assault on Arkham, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

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And… of course… there’s your choice of apparel- WHICH IS IMPORTANT. It’s fun to put some effort into your PJs. We didn’t have a set theme- I went with Shakespeare and everyone else went DC.

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So, remember… you’re never too old for sleepovers and blanket forts. Make your own space- whether it’s for writing or watching movies with friends. Be creative!

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