How I Got That Story: Laura Fraser, memoir and journalism

Laura is a fantastic date. She writes about food for more major magazines than I read, so the meal is usually comped. Also, she lives half the time in Mexico and half in San Francisco, doubling my ability to crash on her couch.

My complaint about Laura is not that she a gracious host, nor that she has the most glamorous life imaginable; no. My only complaint is that she doesn’t work very hard. The New York Times, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit,, Vogue, Glamour, Self, Marie Claire, Mother Jones, the Daily Beast, San Francisco Examiner Magazine, O: the Oprah Magazine, etc. Is or has been a contributing editor at Health, Good Housekeeping, and More. Her memoir, An Italian Affair, was a NY Times best-seller. For heaven’s sake, when is this girl going to get serious about her career?

On Wednesday, June 9, Laura will be reading from her follow-up  memoir, All Over the Map:

Bellevue, WA Regional Library
1111 110th Avenue NE, Bellevue
7 pm

Ladies and germs, give it up for Laura Fraser!

What did you learn most, in the process of building toward then publishing your first book?

My first book was an investigation of the diet industry called Losing It: America’s Obsession with Weight and the Industry that Feeds on It. Prior to that book I had mainly written magazine articles, so aside from learning more than I ever wanted to know about dieting, I learned that a book is not a collection of magazine articles.

Given your current success, what would you say was your tipping point?

My second book, An Italian Affair, was an NYT bestseller and gave me a brief taste of success, if not a lot of money.

When you started writing, what were your top three DREAM PUBLICATIONS? How has the list changed?

Mother Jones, Gourmet, the New Yorker. I’ve still never written for the New Yorker, but a girl’s got to dream.

Can you talk a little about the transition from short pieces to books?

It’s important to think of creating a structure that is sustainable for an entire book and will keep the readers interested. While chapters need to have cohesion unto themselves, they need to all fit together into a larger framework. That said, to write a long book you have to break it up into short pieces.

RE: short work, how many do you have out for consideration at any given time?

I usually have 5-6 pieces in the works, from ideas to rewrites.


Author: allehall

I am a writer. I write to explore childhood: literary essays and short fiction, journalism, and three haiku. My published work expresses my belief that everything which did or did not happen to me as a child is manifesting in everything that is or is not happening to me today. More importantly, it is also manifesting for my children. I believe funny is the new navel-gazing, and that the best funny keeps a penny's worth of serious in an accessible pocket. Little-known fact: I have a completed novel decorating the inside of a desk drawer. Perhaps it is not funny enough.

2 thoughts on “How I Got That Story: Laura Fraser, memoir and journalism”

  1. Thanks for letting us know about Laura’s new book. On Cliff’s recommendation I read her first memoir, An Italian Affair, and really enjoyed it. I might bring it as one of my book club selections next time I present.

    1. Very exciting about the Book Club. BTY: “All Over The Map” was just named an Oprah summer reading pick. About Childhood: Ahead of the Curve!!!
      Let me know if your group does pick “Map.” I will check with Laura to see if she would do a phone chat with you. If she’s in the country; she spends half her time in San Francisco and half in Mexico.

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