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, Salon.com, 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
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.