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May 25, 2023

It was a great conversation today with Laura Elliott. Laura is an award-winning Washington-based magazine journalist, covering women’s issues, mental health, and the performing arts, before becoming a New York Times best-selling author of historical and biographical fiction. Her novels explore a variety of eras (the Italian Renaissance, the American Revolutionary War, WWII, and the Cold War), and are written for a variety of ages. Many of her works have been named NCSS/CBC Notables (National Council of Social Studies and Children’s Book Council), Bank Street College Best Books, Jefferson Cup Honor Books, Kirkus Bests, and Grateful American Book Prize winners.

Today, we talked about several of her books including the two that she'll be featuring during a book event at Winchester Book Gallery (located at 7 N. Loudoun Street on the Old Town Walking Mall in downtown Winchester) on Sunday, May 28, 2023, from Noon til 2pm. 

Bea and the New Deal Horse is a lyrical middle-grade historical novel set during the Great Depression - a moving tale of the spirit of American persistence, found family, and the magical partnership between girl and horse.

Storm Dog is a whimsical, contemporary story of a young teen misfit finding her voice through the redemptive magic of nature, music, a stray dog, the power of her imagination, dog-dancing, and an apple blossom parade.

Laura explained how she researches her books, offered suggestions for encouraging your teens/young adults to read - particularly boys - and talked about her love of historical fiction.

Our conversation continued after the radio show ended where she told me how she chooses the names for her characters and talked about the struggle she faces to stop researching (the fun part according to her) and start writing.

During our chat today, she talked about a few of her other books:

Under a War-Torn Sky about Henry Forester, a downed B-24 co-pilot saved by the French Resistance.

Walls is the story of two cousins in 1961 Berlin—caught on opposite sides of the Cold War standoff between American and Soviet forces and the city’s constant espionage—confronted with the overnight raising of the Berlin Wall.

Hamilton and Peggy! A Revolutionary Friendship is a biographical novel about the “wicked wit” Peggy, the youngest of the Schuyler Sisters made famous by the musical Hamilton.

Louisa June and the Nazis in the Waves is a homefront portrait of a young teen living in Hitler’s U-boat hunting grounds along the VA coastline, trying to help her family survive sudden loss, with the help of the indomitable, cat-charmer Cousin Belle. 

Da Vinci's Tiger is a biographical novel about Ginevra de Benci, the celebrated young, protofeminist poet in Leonardo’s first portrait (the master’s only work permanently housed in the United States), set in the intrigue and pageantry of the Renaissance’s mecca, the Medici-run city of Florence.

You can find/order her books at Winchester Book Gallery and many other independent booksellers.