Tag: This Raging Light

My UK book birthday!

The U.K. version of  This Raging Light came out this week. It’s of special significance to me for a couple of reasons. One, I lived in London when I was little

IMG_6428
My beautiful family

and it’s one of my favorite places on the earth. The street art, the food, the fashion, and I even love the tube. Plus, I have lots of family there and I don’t see them enough. I have dreams of living there when I’m older.

IMG_6412IMG_6414

 

But also, the team at Orchard is extraordinary. Beginning with the letter they wrote during the auction and continuing with a delicious dinner when I went to London, during which I discovered that my editor Sarah and the publisher Meagan could not be more spectacular people, and then most recently what I’ve experienced with their marketing team. It’s one of my favorite things about writing how lovely the people are who find themselves drawn to children’s literature.

IMG_6448
My beautiful editorial team

CYKEIvGWsAAZNg8

Anyway, I’m so happy to be with them, can’t wait to get back to them, and am in utter admiration of everything they’re doing! So thank you, England! I’ll see you soon.

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

 

CYKEIvGWsAAZNg8

“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

Folio Jr high res teal black 1