Category: Uncategorized

July: Bonnie Pipkin and her Aftercare Instructions/Questions

 

  1. Why did you choose to begin the story immediately following the abortion, rather than when Genesis is making the decision whether or not to have the abortion?

 

I never wanted there to be any question whether she would go through with it or not. Taking this angle, I hope to reinforce that there are lots of women who have already made the choice, and it doesn’t mean they have to walk around with the weight of stigma. It’s a choice that people have made, are making, and will make. And life continues. This story is about life continuing.

 

  1. Why did you incorporate theater into the telling of the story?

 

Theater and performance have always been a big part of my life. It can be a powerful way to heal and grow. In the book, Genesis has to rediscover her love for theater as part of her healing process.

 

  1. What is the biggest takeaway you hope a reader will have?

 

I think the biggest takeaway is in the tagline: “It’s what we do after the hurt that matters.” You can never fully prepare for what life will throw at you. And once it does get to you, it’s okay to make mistakes as you figure things out. What gets you through at the end of the day is caring for yourself, and the people you surround yourself with. Like Genesis, I get through the toughest times with the aid of my superhero girlfriends.

 

  1. What’s your favorite book of 2017 so far and why?

 

I’m going to say your book, But Then I Came Back, for its beautiful, skin-melting prose. I didn’t feel obligated to say so! 🙂 I’ll also say that my favorite non YA book this year is Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. I felt like I was eating each sentence, and then having to hold my heart from the emotional depth.

 

  1. For the writers out there, what’s your best piece of writing advice?

 

My best piece of writing advice is to not be hard on yourself when you’re not writing. I do believe that discipline is important, but we all spend so much time getting down on ourselves for what we’re not doing. If you’re not doing, then go live. Go for a walk. Go eat something you’ve never tried. Go dance in the other room with the music on full blast. All that stuff makes its way back into the writing.

 

  1. For people who have suffered any kind of trauma, what is your best aftercare instruction?

 

I think the best aftercare instruction after suffering a trauma is to be patient with yourself and the healing process. My most common advice to friends is probably: go easy on yourself. There are so many stages to healing, and you have to live each one. While you’re being patient, make sure that you have someone to talk to as well. You don’t have to go through it alone.

 

For more on Bonnie Pipkin, please visit her at bonniepipkin.com or follow her on twitter at @bonnie_pipkin

 

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY HAPPENING NOW!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

This Raging Light

by Estelle Laure

Giveaway ends March 07, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Love and fear

We all get a pass for November.

Most people I know fell into a post-election depression, couldn’t write, couldn’t sleep or slept all the time and couldn’t get their shit together in the day. I personally don’t quite remember it.

I do know the morning after the election I went to the local health food store early so I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew. My face was puffy and also mascara streaked. I wasn’t the only one employing this avoidant strategy. I sobbed in my friend’s arms most inappropriately. This happened two more times with various levels of friends before I left the store. And it happened again and again all that week. Wake up, cry for humanity, read the terrible news, work, parent, sleep. I had to come out of my sad coma long enough to move houses and visit my doctor who informed me I tested positive for H-pylori, so…ulcers. I think somewhere I hoped if i slept enough I would propel myself into the version of the multiverse where this tacky-ass dangerous turn of events never happened and maybe then my ulcers would also disappear.

By the middle of November, I was never out of sweats, and I was really into carbs, whichever kind I could get my hands on. Preferably with an assload of dairy on top. I was listening to NPR so much I would hear the same show twice a day. I zombie cooked and zombie worked and everything hurt.

The Gilmore girls saved me. I’m not playing. I don’t know why I finally decided to watch that show after all these years, but praise Lorelai. Glory hallerory! I watched all seven seasons plus the new one, and I allowed myself to become obsessed with all those boys and the mom and Sookie and OMG Jess and Luke. I had never seen a single episode and it completely propelled me into this fantasy world because WTF even is Stars Hollow… and Kirk. Jesus. It’s not bombs and bad choices and freedom threatened and big men playing dangerous games at everyone’s expense. It’s not a total disregard for decency. It’s just simple, every day drama. Easy to tend to.

And then, December. December has been good, like roots, like rain, like waking up from a deep sleep, like great books and art and remembering the world isn’t a complete piece of shit and that people are mostly good.

For instance, this poem blew my everlovin’ mind:

Good Bones
BY MAGGIE SMITH
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

 

For instance, this book blew my everlovin’ mind:

I mean, it blew my mind. 

And I went to New York and saw brand new babies and aunties from Greece and I went to the Met for the first time and saw my wonderful, wonderful Folio family. The writing started up again, it got better. I didn’t feel like I had weights in my shoes anymore. Nicolas Cage sat atop my Christmas tree and my kids made me laugh and I started getting that teary connected feeling again that I always have when my daughter sings.

Art and good people and being so insanely grateful for every free minute on this earth–all of that helps mitigate the rest. I have remembered myself, and that myself is passionate about everything on this planet. Myself is hopeful and the best antidote to all types of fuckery is a steady diet of inspiration, because in the midst of all this bullshit, people are doing great things.

Yesterday when I was listening to The Tim Ferris Podcast (highly recommend for any creative person), he quoted Oprah, so this is me quoting TF quoting Oprah. Could be like a copy of a copy, but take it for what it’s worth.

  1. There are only two emotions, love and fear. If you aren’t coming from love you’re coming from fear. Stressed out is just the ambitious person’s word for scared.
  2. Never be a vehicle for darkness. It is all around you, but don’t let it use you. Be a vehicle for light.
  3. Run your own race. It’s about you and your goal. You can never run anyone else’s race, so focus on yourself. If you watch the other runners, you’re going to fall behind.

For me, that’s enough of a hint about what I want 2017 to be. Those are my resolutions. Because it’s fucked out there and there’s nothing I can do about it except pay attention, call it out, give where I can, and focus on my role in the world. I have to run my own race, and so do you.

Never hit snooze. Be a good person. Don’t let sad-comas take you down. The shock has passed. Stars Hollow doesn’t exist but we do. And we make things. And we give. And that means everything.

February 6, 2016

~ This week I read Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill.  This pleasantly dated work was published in 1988, and is a series of short stories that examines women’s roles, self-perceptions, explorations, often as seen through a mal41cw+tmfduL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_e lens, playing with narrative, and totally chaotic. Lots of sexual content and human underbelly. It is aptly named.

~Quote, from the story “Connection.”: “Connection” was a vague word when applied to humans. What did it mean? She remembered a man she’d had a short affair with before she’d met Steve. He was a sweet, practical person who never read books, rarely went out, and didn’t seem to care strongly about anything except a few friends and a martial art he practiced with fanatic zeal. They had nothing in common. In most ways he bored her. Yet when she touched him she felt  a sensitivity in his body, a sense of receptivity she rarely encountered in men. When he held her against his chest, she felt secure and protected in a way that had nothing to do with his muscular body. She felt that they were nourishing each other in some important, invisible way. But they could barely hold a conversation. 

At times, she had thought this was the only connection you coulsimone_de_beauvoir_2-662x662d have with people– intense, inexplicable, and ultimately incomplete.

 

~ Work habits fascinate me, and the more I read about them the more inspired I am, so now I’m sharing them with you, one a week. I’m going to start with Simone de Beauvoir, because she was a bad ass lady. Simone worked from ten to one every day, then socialized with her partner, Jean-Paul Sartre, from one to five, then rushed back to work until nine pm. She took annual vacations that lasted one to two months, every year.

Obviously, not to be done with kids, but sounds kind of dreamy to have time to socialize AND be a dedicated artist. Eh, I wouldn’t trade it. I really like my kids.

 

~ Movie wise, I watched The Big Short. I, along with many people I know, have always felt like I was undereducated about the economic crash. The movie was smart, fun, witty and in the end I know what happened and exactly how insane it is that the banks were bailed out.

Iceland, people, ICELAND!

 

~And so I know where to find it, this article, 13 Writing Tips From Chuck Palahniuk, is a keeper. I especially like and fear number seven: “Let yourself be with Not Knowing. This bit of advice comes through a hundred famous people, through Tom Spanbauer to me and now, you. The longer you can allow a story to take shape, the better that final shape will be. chuck-palahniuk-essaysDon’t rush or force the ending of a story or book. All you have to know is the next scene, or the next few scenes. You don’t have to know every moment up to the end, in fact, if you do it’ll be boring as hell to execute.”

 

~ Recently, Ive been feeling like I’m not that into chocolate, but my agent, Emily, sent me some when I got my book deal and I remembered the company this week. The figs with ganache and whiskey are my favorites. So, I wound up sending out some thank yous and some happy birthdays and, in fact, ordered enough chocolate that John of this company, John and Kiras, sent me a note saying he wanted to read my book. So I feel like they’re actual people, it’s a small company,  and I’m telling you, the chocolate is effing deeeelicious. You can order on johnandkiras.com, or just stare at the picture like I do. hpvalentines_figsHappy filling of your wells! ~el

 

Friday Five January 29

~This week my daughter has been playing this song over and over. I’m not really sure it’s a good song, musically speaking (I’m not sure it’s not either/I’m conflicted), but I have been thinking about the words. “WAKE UP YOU NEED TO MAKE MONEY!” Check out: Twenty-one Pilots Stressed Out

~ I read two books this week, both of them a great idea for artists to have around. I am personally the worst with time management and I’m easily distracted by kids, the dog, the weather, dirty dishes. This book, Manage Your Day-to-Day was actually really helpful. My favorite tip had to do with the way temptation works and the argument that we should front load our creative tasks in order to mcover170x170aintain focus for the important things. “…results show that it takes energy to resist each temptation, and that we use more and more of this energy as the day goes on, we have less and less of it left, which increases the chances that we will give into temptation.”

For a minute there, I had been trying to convince myself that I could work at a leisurely pace, sleep in, start my day at 6:30 like a regular person. This reminded me that I wish it were so, but it is not. I absolutely have to take advantage of the early morning hours when everyone is asleep, or I’ll never get my writing done. For some reason when my day starts that way, it’s easier to get back to it when the time comes.

The book also talked about cycles and how brain function only allows us about 90 minutes of creative focus at a time, which also helps figure out how we break up tasks. For what it’s worth, my workdays have been much more organized and productive than usual since reading.

Daily Rituals was another great one because it’s basically a reference book about artists and their habits. The through-line seems to be consistency and discipline regardless of mood. It’s been fun to read about people and their habits though. Licover225x225ke Truman Capote only wrote in bed and smoked but could have no more than three butts in the ashtray at a time. It’s a good one to have lying around and read a page at a time when in need of inspiration.

~Speaking of, for my inspirational person this week, I pick Octavia Butler. She actually wrote her intentions into her journal and then made it happen. I am sometimes driven mad by the Secret-ish notion that anyone anywhere can magic their lives into whatever they want, but I do think there’s something to habutler-notebook-696x396ving an intention and doing everything you can to make it happen.

~And on a more personal Folio day job note, two novels I care a lot about have been acquired. My sweetie friend Bonnie Pipkin and her boundary-pushing Aftercare Instructions, and Hadley Dyer’s Here So Far Away, which just plain kills me. I’m so excited for them. I’m positive you’ll hear their names a bunch. I feel all “Go Team!” about it.

~Last thing: David Arnold’s Kids of Appetite had its cover reveal this week. I am totally going to cheat on my women only year of reading for this one because I can’t wait. Has to be done. Anyway, he claims to look good in drag, so it’s okay, right?12647147_10208606189171301_5295106865127278192_n

Fill the Well Friday 1-22-16

~Pride. This movie is to die for. I bawled, mostly because some cynical piece of me I keep hidden in a corner is always shocked and amazed when human beings show up for each other. This story, of an LGBT group during the miner’s strike in 1984, is a glorious example of what can be accomplished when people put themselves out for each other, and it also had real historical results. Brilliant. WATCH THIS MOVIE!

Pride_poster

 

~Just to finish up about Making a Murderer, this New Yorker article perfectly sums up the issue I had with the show, so I won’t try to say it better (because I can’t), but you can read it here.

160125_r27578-320

 

~I discovered a jellyfish cam. WHAT? I never knew there was such a thing. You know I’m totally fascinated by jellyfish? How can they be so beautiful, so deadly, and we now know that because of climate change (the pockylypse is afoot) jellyfish are taking over everything, killing the ocean. But they’re so pretty and light. So, I dunno, maybe it’s like staring the devil in its tentacle, but I find it soothing and horrifying in equal measure, watching them bandy about. Click here to join me in my morbid fascination.

jellyfish_2690225b

 

~I hesitate to even mention this one, because if there’s anyone under eighteen reading this, please do not read this book. But for my unsqueamish writer/reader people I highly recth-1ommend The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavich, with reservation. There’s every kind of violation and sex you can think of so please please do not read it if you’re going to blame me for the innocence you will lose in its reading.

Next up is Mary Gaitskill’s Bad Behavior. Going down a dark road!

~Music-wise, I was trying to get to Pandora’s classic indie station and accidentally landed on the indie classical station and I can write to it! It’s kind of awesome. Check it out if you’re like me and find lyrics too seductive to ignore.

~Last Friday I happened to be on the road and was listening to NPR when it was taken over by a local New Mexico guy, young. He introduced a segment call Mixtape that was kids from World College telling stories. I was transfixed. The stories were gorgeous, the kids from all over. One girl from Mexico City described her father covering her eyes just before she was sent to school in the US, trying to protect her from seeing people hanging from a bridge.

The segment was not only touching, the kids could really write. I mean, I was inspired. Plus when I was fourteen and we moved to New Mexico, my grandfather really wanted me to go to that school and get my baccalaureate. I had gone to a French school in San Francisco and was already on that track and he thought it a shame to throw it away. I refused. I didn’t want to go to boarding school anywhere, much less in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Listening to that, I felt like some parallel part of me was there, learning to write well early on, surrounded by kids from everywhere.

The suck is that I can’t find it online. I’ve been searching and searching. It’s driving me crazy. So if any of you out there happen upon it and want to share, please get in touch with me. I was planning on devouring the whole thing. BOO!

 

~I don’t know where this came from. I think I pulled it for writing inspiration. I’ve been looking at it a lot lately. Maybe it will inspire you, too. tumblr_inline_mxbkvnYz5p1rh39ns

 

~I will leave you with this quote from Annie Dillard.

A schedule defends from chaos and whim. 

Ah, yes. This is why she gets the Pulitzer.

 

 

Back to the writing. Now go fill the well! Love.

Fill the Well Friday 1-15-16

This was a surreal week for me. One, as a massive David Bowie fan, his death had me forehead to counter, trying to hold back tears, flashing through all the ways in which he’s affected my life. It doesn’t end. Each of his incarnations has inspired me. I always hoped I would meet him sometime.

Then, like two seconds after I got that awful news, my boss/agent/friend texted me that Matt  de la Pena had won the Newbery for his picture book (whaaaaa?) Last Stop on Market Street, and that Laura

th-3Ruby had won the Printz for Bone Gap. It’s a big long story why they are each and both so important to me, but tth-4hey are. I adore them both and every time I think about the fact that they won, I start to bubble over, with pride, with excitement, with anxiety. I’m beside myself.

 

 

~ I went to see Revenant Monday in the middle of the day at this great theater in Santa Fe (http://santafe.violetcrowncinemas.com) that serves food and beer, and which I sometimes (rarely) visit because grown-up movies are out in the evening, what with the progeny.

I didn’t know much about it except that Leonardo DiCaprio was in it and that’s enough for me.

Oh holy bananas.

I cried my face off beginning about ten minutes into the movie, and then proceeded to re-cry every time I thought about the thing that made me cry in the first place. It’s so beautiful, so human, the cinematography is ridiculous, the acting perfect. Obviously it has now been nominated for 12 Oscars so duh, but yes. Go see this movie and hold on to your heart. images

 

~ Writing wise, this article brought to me by YA author Ingrid Sundberg (spectacular human and writer), entitled “Why the Young Adult Fiction Sexual Revolution is So Necessary” is a thoughtful, important read. Have a look  here.

ya-lead

~I marathon watched Making a Murderer on Netflix. No one on that show is likable. Everyone seems shady and sad. I don’t like things that smack of Schadenfreude, but it was so hard to make up my mind about what I thought that I couldn’t stop and so…ten episodes later.

Anyway, I had it going during dishes, laundry, as I was falling asleep. Weekend, done.

Making_A_Murderer_Title

 

A couple of years ago, I listened to a Radiolab podcast, entitled “Reasonable Doubt” . It turned out to be the first act of this story, the one where the woman mistook Stephen Avery as her attacker. Definitely worth a listen. It gives a whole other perspective.

Anyone out there read The Rag and Bone Shop by Robert Cormier? Should be required readinth-2g if you’re going to watch this show. It’s about a boy who may or may not have murdered a little girl. The entire book takes place as he’s being interrogated. It goes to show how a person can be persuaded of something. Utterly brilliant.

 

 

~I finished my first blurb book, This is the Part Where You Laugh. You know, it made me realize that there’s realistic, and then there’s real realistic. Hot damn, this book is a gem. I can’t wait til it comes out. Summer, summer! Unknown

 

~I’ve also discovered Dazbog coffee (well, really Anna from Sol Food discovered it, FYI Taos people). It’s all Russian and hearty and smoky. It feels a little dangerous. If you see it anywhere, I encourage you to buy it. Like, for real.

daz-bog-coffee

 

And then, Alan Rickman. I can’t. I mean, I cannot. I love him. Moreover I fell in love with him years and years ago when he played Jamie the ghost in Truly Madly Deeply. You can watch a really goofy scene from the movie here. Sigh.

 

So from grief to elation and back again, there’s never a damn dull moment around here.

Now go forth and fill the well! xx

Taos Author Pens Hit Novel “This Raging Light”

Link to the Taos News
Rick Romancito Dec 21, 2015
Writer

DSC01269
Courtesy Zoe Zimmerman
Taos author Estelle Laure
There are times when reading “This Raging Light” by Taos author Estelle Laure that it’s easy to forget you’re reading a book from the Young Adult section of your favorite book shop.

Told with a mature writer’s skill for defining character traits and unspooling that quirky teen-speak rooted in offhanded intuition and unknowing literacy, she makes this story of a young woman finding love at the worst time in her life feel authentic and heartbreakingly real.

Although billed as her debut novel, Laure says she’s been writing young adult stories for about eight years. “I always had the characters Digby and Lucille. I just had them under different circumstances.”
She said this particular book arose from the kind of jangly situation her protagonist endures in “This Raging Light.” “I think that I was in a place where everything was kind of falling apart and coming back together,” she said over coffee at Elevation in El Prado, “and I was moving back here, and a lot of things were changing in my life. It was just a way for me to process everything … there’s something wild and unbridled about Taos … this is where home is.”

trl-cover-72dpiLink to Taos News Article
The book jacket for ‘This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Her publisher’s blurb says this about the book: “When Taos resident and debut author Estelle Laure was 6, her parents uprooted her family. From then on, it was a VW bus and a different school each year. By 16, she graduated high school, moved into a tiny apartment in Taos with friends, got a job, and bought a car for $500.” She said that the book possesses a good deal of herself when she was growing up, especially in the way a kind of posse grew up around her, people she connected with and has stayed close with right up to the present. “We’re all still friends,” she said. “All my ideas of community come from Taos.”

In the book, which sees its release Tuesday (Dec. 22), “17-year-old Lucille must care for her little sister and pay the bills after her parents skip town — all while falling in love for the first time. Despite its serious subject matter, Laure used her own experiences to craft a hopeful novel about a teen going through a tough time, showing that stability is not necessary to overcome adversity. When it came time for Laure to raise her own children, she returned to Taos and to the neighbors who helped her by providing food and support when she was a teen.”

One of the people who helped support her was her first boss, Fred Muller of Taos’ El Meze Restaurant. Those familiar with the chef will take note of the way Laure describes the appearance of women he was known to hire. “Yes, I know Fred’s,” Lucille says in the book. “Everybody does. Reviewed in every major magazine, so people come from all over. Fred is supposed to be some kind of crazy food god with a posse of busty babes at his side. Part performance art, part Mexican restaurant, all wild. Or so legend has it. Scary.”

Laure said she worked for Muller for years. “I think he’s brilliant and eccentric, madly enigmatic and surprisingly loyal, and he has a distinct and unusual set of priorities and a fantastic personality. This is, of course, my fictionalized perspective on Fred – I would never claim to have all the information about what goes on with him – but as I was writing and knew Lucille had to get a job, I could think of no better hands for her to fall into. Fred read the book before it was submitted and gave me enthusiastic permission to use his name, so I did. His placement in the book [is] an homage, as for a time he was present for me in a way very few people have been in my life. I still consider him family.”

She said the characters in her book evolved first, coming in bits of unconnected prose, some of which never went anywhere or wound up pushed aside. But, eventually, this story began to emerge. “The first scene I wrote turned out to be almost the end of the book,” she said. “But, I knew they were going to be in it. I knew there was going to be a best friend (named Eden). I knew there was going to be a sister. So, it just kind of happened like that.”
Laure is age 41, but she believes there has always been a 16-year-old inside her, yearning to break free.

She’s also enormously grateful for landing what she says is the perfect job. She’s an editor with Folio Literary Management, and her boss, Emily Van Beek, is also her agent. And, although Folio is located in New York, Laure gets to work here in Taos. Thanks to technology, she said as long as she gets her work in on time, she can work in Dubai for all her boss knows.

Laure’s book is now poised to hit the big time. She is preparing to travel to a variety of book festivals and take interviews with journalists and bloggers galore. Entertainment Weekly featured “This Raging Light” in its Fall Book Preview, and rights have been sold in 15 countries so far. Pay attention to her work. This one’s a keeper.

A companion novel, “These Mighty Forces,” publishes in the fall of 2016. The story, she says, takes place in the same universe, but through the eyes of different characters. Her fans, we’re sure, can hardly wait.

“This Raging Light” is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It retails for $17.99 and is recommended for readers age 14 and up. Visit hmhco.com.

Things people have said about This Raging Light!

cover-and-author

 

Winter 2015-2016 Kids’ Indie Next Pick!

“Readers finding themselves with increasingly mature accountabilities will appreciate Laure emboldening Lucille with a savvy resilience that withstands the pressures from adult authority, even while learning the invaluable life lesson that we are all in this together.”
—Booklist

“I loved this book. I was torn between wanting to devour it in one breathless read and needing to stop and savor each gorgeous turn of phrase. This is a remarkable debut.”
—Morgan Matson, author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and Since You’ve Been Gone

“This Raging Light is a funny, poetic, big-hearted reminder that life can—and will—take us all by surprise sometimes.”
—Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and The Geography of You and Me

“Estelle Laure writes with power and lyricism—but more than that, she writes honestly from the heart. Definitely a writer to watch!”
—A.M. Jenkins, Printz Honor winning author of Repossessed

“With This Raging Light, Estelle Laure establishes herself as a literary heavyweight. Laure’s characters mimic her writing, at once visceral and brave, unafraid to confront love in its every facet—surprising, surpassing, flawed. This book is a thick quilt in a cold room, and I want to wrap myself in it.”
—David Arnold, author of Mosquitoland

“[Laure] has a raw, authentic voice and a passion for storytelling.”
—Matt de la Peña, Pura Belprée honoree and award-winning YA novelist of The Living and Mexican WhiteBoy

 

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“Estelle Laure’s This Raging Light might be YA, but it’s got plenty of grown-up appeal.”
—entertainmentweekly.com

“A heartbreakingly hopeful, lyrically told exploration of the abandoned children-selfish parents trope.”
—Kirkus

“In an assured debut, Laure gives Lucille a fierce stubbornness that keeps her going. . . The characters are well drawn, and Laure effectively depicts the adrenaline rush of love.”
—Publishers Weekly

“This Raging Light is a funny, heartwrenching, and soulful read as Lucille develops her own personal family, bloodline or not. It’s not one you’ll soon forget.”
—Bustle

“Estelle Laure’s prose is utterly gorgeous, even as it lays out the story of a girl dealing with the failings of her parents, death, and her own insecurities.”
—BookRiot

“Lucille’s fresh, first-person voice spills over with metaphor, poetically capturing her emotional landscape with force and fury, frantic love and absolute exhaustion.”
—Shelf Awareness

“Laure’s debut is brilliant and not to be missed.”
—RT Book Reviews

Estelle Raging Light branding 2

“Lucille may not take down a beast or assassinate any super bads, but she’s what heroines look like and love like in real life.”
—Justine magazine

“Laure captures the desperation for acceptance on a variety of levels in this poetic, heartbreaking read that will resonate with teens.”
—BookPage online

“The narrative rings authentic, especially as Lucille wrestles with romantic pangs. Thankfully, there’s enough wry humor to balance the worry and poignancy. Above all, you’ll love steadfast Lucille and keep caring about what comes next.”
—Atlanta Journal Constitution

“Lucille is a steel-strong, deeply human heroine fighting against impossible odds.”
—BNTEENblog

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