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Advice from IR Approved Author Laura Preble: “Be prepared to work much, much harder AFTER you’re finished writing the book. And don’t quit your day job. Yet.”

Anna Incognito received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Laura Preble.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

The book is Anna Incognito. It will be published February 4, 2020.

What’s the book’s first line? 

“On this germ-infested dirtball called Earth, creatures called humans eat, drink, shit, and otherwise play elaborate games of hide-and-seek.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

A heady cocktail of mental illness, obsessive love, hitchhiking and redemption, all wrapped in a powder-blue Cadillac El Dorado.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

Since I struggle with mental illness in my own family, this was a natural fit. It’s like a fish writing about the aquarium…seeing it from behind the glass is quite a bit different from seeing it from the viewing gallery. I also have a friend who struggles with trichotillomania and dermatillomania, a funny, intelligent woman with a wry sense of humor.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

It’s funny, sad, uplifting, gut-punching, and reminds us why being human is both a blessing and a curse. Plus, a road trip in a Cadillac El Dorado.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of? 

Anna’s most distinctive physical feature is her lack of hair, and her close personal relationship with her wig and wig-head, Annabelle. She is also hilarious and insightful. Anna, not the wig head. In real life, she reminds me of my friend who has these challenges.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Olivia Coleman as Anna and Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Denture. A brilliant unknown actor for Mellow.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I didn’t decide. It just happened, probably because my Irish grandfather gave me a large yellow legal pad and told me to go write him some stories. I think he just wanted to smoke his pipe without distraction, but it made me want to be a writer. Plus, I read nonstop as a kid.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

OH, no. I have many, many children. I’ve published five other novels— The Queen Geek Social Club series, as well as Lica’s Angel (voodoo teen fiction) and Out (dystopian LGBTQ fiction). I also have at least four other finished novels parked in my office.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I am a high school librarian. I used to be a high school English/drama/ journalism teacher. Before that I was a journalist, and I have been an actor, a pool monitor (swimming, not billiards), a curriculum writer, retail Indonesian clothing salesperson, and jazz singer.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

Whatever my two dogs, one cat, one teenaged son, husband, and job will allow. I carve out at least two hours a day for writing or writing-related activities (which, to be honest, could include watching Netflix because…it has writing in it! I’m studying!)

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie? 

The toughest thing is getting readers to notice you in the huge haystack that is indie publishing. There is so much out there…but I love the fact that readers get to see work that big publishers won’t touch because it’s not like everything else.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

Be prepared to work much, much harder AFTER you’re finished writing the book. And don’t quit your day job. Yet.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?  

I’ve published with Penguin, so I’ve had that experience. I would consider it again, if the terms were right. But unknown writers do not get great deals in general from big publishers. Indie publishers usually give you a better percentage of sales, but you usually end up spending money on marketing, and you put a lot of your own labor into getting the book out there. That being said, if a large publisher wanted to reprint ANNA INCOGNITO under the right circumstances, I’d be interested since it can get wider distribution and more attention.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

I just like to tell stories. I love to communicate with people. I love having readers tell me my story made a difference to them. We are all just stories in the end.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Living: Christopher Moore, Christopher Buckley, Caitlin Moran. Sarah Vowell.  Dead: C.S. Lewis and Ray Bradbury.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

Harry Potter because it made kids read again. Great Gatsby because I would start it totally differently and get to the really brilliant parts first.