Laura B. Edge

Why I Started Writing:

I did not set out to be a writer. I was a teacher, initially for middle grade students and then young adults at a community college near my home. I taught Reading and Writing and enjoyed helping my students discover the joy of literature and of finding the best combination of words to precisely express an idea. Heart disease altered my plans. It invaded my life when I was a thirty-nine-year-old mom traipsing around Disney World with my husband and two young sons and changed not only my career path, but every aspect of my life.

Doctors advised me to live a sedentary lifestyle. Anything that elevated my heart rate was off limits. When my children were old enough to attend school, I combined my two great loves, children and books, and launched a career writing children’s books. I joined writers’ groups, took classes, attended conferences, and wrote and wrote and wrote. Eventually, one of my books sold to an educational publisher, and a new career was launched.

As heart diseased hovered in the background, I discovered writing was the perfect job for me. I doubt I would have attempted it if heart disease hadn’t chained me to a desk. But since it was a chain God designed for me, I fell in love with my new career and felt blessed to have found a sedentary occupation with beauty and purpose.

Authors Who Have Influenced Me:

Many, many authors have influenced me. Some of my favorite books include To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Beneath a Scarlett Sky by Mark Sullivan, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. My nonfiction favorites include, Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell, Love Does by Bob Goff, and On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. As a former teacher, I have lots of favorite children’s books, including, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery, The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, and Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.

Books I Have Written:

Apollo 13: A Successful Failure, Twenty-First Century Books, 2020. Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2021 and Spirit of Texas Reading List Nominee, 2021.

Tad Lucas: Trick-Riding Rodeo Cowgirl, Pelican Publishing Company, 2017. Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction, Winner, 2018.

The Alabama-Coushatta, State Standards Publishing, 2016.

The Karankawa, State Standards Publishing, 2016.

The Lipan Apache, State Standards Publishing, 2016.

We Stand As One: The International Ladies Garment Workers Strike, New York, 1909, Twenty-First Century Books, 2011. Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2012, Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Young Adult Top Forty, Winner, 2011.

From Jazz Babies to Generation Next: The History of the American Teenager, Twenty-First Century Books, 2011.

Hilary Duff: Celebrity With Heart, Enslow Publishers, 2011.

Locked Up: A History of the U.S. Prison System, Twenty-First Century Books, 2009.

Steven Spielberg: Director of Blockbuster Films, Enslow Publishers, 2008.

William McKinley, Twenty-First Century Books, 2007.

Laura Bush: Portrait of a First Lady, Enslow Publishers, 2006.

Andrew Carnegie: Industrial Philanthropist, Lerner Publications, 2004.

A Personal Tour of Hull-House, Lerner Publications, 2001.

Macro Magic in WordPerfect 6.1 & 7, Rhache Publishers, Ltd., 1998.

Macro Magic in Microsoft Word 6 & 7, Rhache Publishers, Ltd., 1998.

What I'm Working On Now:

I am working on A Cowgirl Story, a young adult novel about a trick-riding cowgirl named Victoria, or Tory as she likes to be called, who wants to perform in the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. Her mother, a schoolteacher from New York, thinks riding horses is a scandalous and dangerous activity for young girls and is determined to turn Victoria into a lady. Tory struggles between her love for her mother and pursuing her dream.

I am also working on Lofty and Patches: A Giraffe Journey, a picture book about two African giraffes who survived a shipwreck and a cross country trip across the United States to find a new home at the San Diego Zoo.

I am working on The Race Across America, a picture book about the 1928 transcontinental footrace to promote newly constructed Route 66. Andy Payne, the young Cherokee Indian who won the race and the other athletes, ran an average of forty miles a day for eighty-four days and traveled from Los Angeles, California, to New York City.

I am also working on The Merchant Queen, a young adult novel set in 1902 about the sweatshop workers in New York and the rise of the women’s ready-to-wear fashion industry.


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