Most people consider insomnia a curse but Laurie Breton is not among them. "As a child, I was an insomniac," she says. "While I lay awake each night, waiting to fall asleep, I entertained myself by making up stories." It was not until adolescence, however, that she realized other kids didn't have people living inside their heads.
Laurie describes herself as a "closet writer" during the next period in her life, secretly writing "The Great American Novel" while struggling with an approach-avoidance conflict. "I never finished anything. I spent literally 20 years writing, and rewriting, and rewriting yet again, the same book. But I could never seem to finish it."
Laurie pursued a number of careers during these years, secretary, carhop, nurse's aide, college student, Tupperware lady, spinner in a cotton mill, clerk in a dry cleaner's, "but every time I vowed to quit writing and become a real grown-up, the muse would wail her plaintive siren's song, and eventually I'd fall off the wagon and start writing again." While ultimately proving to be dead ends, all these vocations and experiences have provided Laurie with an abundance of grist for the story mill.
By age 40, Laurie had what she calls an epiphany. "I realized that if I really wanted to be a writer, I had to finish something and show it to other people." To this end she joined several online critique groups until finding "the world's greatest critique partner" and finishing the book she had spent the better part of twenty years not writing.
After hurdling that mental barrier there was no slowing Laurie down, after all, she had 20 years to make up for. Her second book took three weeks to write. A third soon followed. After 18 months' worth of rejection letters Laurie finally sold her first book (the third written), and after a few revisions, her original manuscript was also snapped up by a publisher.
That first book, Black Widow, earned four stars from Romantic Times magazine and was nominated for a Reviewers' Choice Award from Romance Communications.
The mother of a grown son and a teenage daughter, Laurie lives in a 100-year-old house in Augusta, Maine, with her husband and daughter.