Laura moved around a lot while she was growing up. She's lived in the United States, Switzerland, and Japan, but she says she's from Oklahoma, where she went to eighth grade and high school. She's the oldest of three children. Her dad is a doctor and scientist and her mom is a birdwatcher and an amateur naturalist. Below is a photo of Laura's parents, and then one of Laura, in the middle, with her sister Rachel on the left, and her sister-in-law Judith on the right.
Even though Laura thought about being a doctor like her father, her love of words and books won out pretty early on. She was about ten when she decided she definitely wanted to have a job that had to do with books and writing. As a grown-up, she was a professor of English Literature for eight years, and now she is a literary agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency and an author. A literary agent is someone who works with authors to help them write the best books possible, and then sells the books to publishers. Laura's job doesn't end there. She tries to turn the books she sells into movies and to sell them in foreign countries, and she helps manage her authors' careers. (Click on her agency's logo to learn more about what a literary agency does.)
If Laura weren't in the book business, she would probably be a paleontologist. Laura went through a dinosaur phase when she was about six and still hasn't grown out of it. The dinosaur she would most like to own is a triceratops, but she's not sure how well triceratops would get along with her pet Chihuahua Lola or with... the furniture. Plus triceratops are herd animals, so like potato chips, it's might be hard to stop at just one.
Laura has also always had secret fantasies of living in one of her favorite novels. Since there was no job description that matched this, she decided the closest she could come is to write a story in which her daughter Emma gets to live in a castle and attend the royal princess academy. Emma has all the experiences you have at school but also gets to deal with dragons, sorceresses, fairy godmothers, gnomes, princes who turn into frogs (oops... guess it's mostly the other way around) and other fun stuff. Now, Emma is both IN a book and always has her nose in a book.
When she was younger, Laura always had her nose in a book, too. (Don't tellbut she used to hide a flashlight in her bed and read in the middle of the night. Since she shared a room with her sister, sometimes this didn't make her too popular.) Laura still has her nose in books as a grown-up, and one of her favorite things to do is read in the bathtub. In fact, her whole family lives in a house full of books.
When she was in college, Laura met this smart, funny, and wonderful guy named Barry Eisler, and he eventually became her husband. Barry has had several interesting jobshe was a lawyer and even a spyand he's been a full-time author for the last eight years. He writes thrillers for adult readers, and his eighth book INSIDE OUT (Ballantine/Random House) was published in June 2010. Here's an exciting secret: Barry's first novel RAIN FALL (Putnam/Penguin) was just made into a movie in Japan. The movie poster is behind Barryhe came across it while riding his bike in Tokyo, and asked someone to take the picture.
Just like the rest of the family, even Lola, Laura's Chihuahua, has her head in a book.
As an author, Laura is inspired by real thingslike dinosaurs, Chihuahuas, her daughter Emma, Emma's friends and her cousins Sarah and Ben, real world problems with the environmentand then she let's her imagination loose and creates a world in which the real meets the fanciful, magical, mysterious, and mythical.
Her first book, BUYING, TRAINING, AND CARING FOR YOUR DINOSAUR (Knopf, Oct. 2009) is a guide to the most wonderful pet a kid can have: a pet dinosaur!
Laura's second book is a highly illustrated chapter book, ROYAL PRINCESS ACADEMY, DRAGON DREAMS (Dial, Sept. 2012), about a rather reluctant princess. Princess Emma comes from a long line of princesses. Her great-great-grandmother Snow White and grandmother Beauty both won the All-School Princess Contest when they were students. Emma's in her first year at the Academy, and, with the contest looming, she doesn't have a lot of faith in herself. Her classmates don't have much faith in her either, because Emma is not your typical princess. For starters, Emma has a secret: she really wants to be a Dragon Rider!
And we'll have to see what comes next. This is what Laura loves about being an author. You get to create the worlds in which your feelings, experiences, adventures and dreams can come alive.