Hey it’s Daniela! Welcome to this week’s #BeyondTheBio segment. Today I am joined by yet another remarkable author, Laura Creedle! An avid guitar player and owner of more than one pair of cowboy boots, Laura's also the author of the upcoming book The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this beautiful story. Lucky for you, her debut novel will hit bookstores later this month. You can pre-order it here! You’ve probably already heard about Laura, but if not, you can find her on Instagram and Facebook. I am sure you will love this book so, I won’t keep you waiting. Let’s get started!
Daniela: Hi Laura! Thank you for joining us today on #BeyondTheBio. Your novel is amazing! I loved every character! Can you tell our readers a little bit about what they should expect?
Laura: Thank you so much! Lily has ADHD and Abelard is on the autistic spectrum. Neither of them is great at communicating in real life, so they start an online relationship texting each other quotes from The Letters of Abelard and Heloise. They are smart, socially awkward nerds who spend way too much time inside reading and playing games.
Daniela: The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily is your debut novel. What’s the best part about being a debut author?
Laura: I’m ADHD and dyslexic and many of Lily’s struggles come from my own life. Being neuro-diverse can be isolating and lonely. When readers tell me that Lily is just like them— well, it’s the most amazing and affirming experience.
Daniela: Abelard is awesome! He is undeniably quirky. In the book, we can see he has a passion for chess. Do you have the same love for chess or are there any other board games in particular that you enjoy?
Laura: I’m not a great chess player but I do like to play. That said, I am a complete board game freak! My favorite game at the moment is Betrayal at the House on the Hill. It’s Scooby Doo meets monsters in a house that shifts more than Hogwarts. Very Cabin in the Woods. I love it!
Daniela: The novel was definitely packed with emotions, and that makes me wonder: which part of the book was the most difficult to write?
Laura: How to say this without spoilers! Lily and Abelard fall in love very quickly, but there is a point in the novel where Lily does something destructive and impulsive. She doesn’t think things are going to work out with Abelard, and so she blows it all up. It was very true to some of my early relationships. I wept when I wrote it.
Daniela: Your book brings a lot of insight about what it’s like to live with ADHD and Asperger's syndrome. What is the most important thing you want future readers to understand about neuro-diversity?
Laura: People in the autistic spectrum community are fond of saying that there are as many types of autism as there are autistic individuals. I think the same is true for people with ADHD. I like the term neuro-diverse, because it’s a blanket term that includes everyone. Think about it. Even if you are neuro-typical, you are part of the amazing, neurologically diverse human community.
Daniela: Some of the teens who read your novel might be struggling with similar issues as Lily and Abelard. What advice would you give to them?
Laura: When you’re a teen, school is your job, and if you suck at your job it can be very discouraging. Find something you are good at, and do that as much as possible. I played guitar, and I wrote. It helped me survive failing out of high school. Also, demand your 504 accommodations at school. I’d be thrilled if everyone owned neuro-diversity and wore it proudly. To me this is a civil rights issue. Fight for yourself! Fight for those in your community!
Daniela: I absolutely loved this book! Why do all good things have to come to an end? So, I have to ask: Will Abelard’s and Lily’s love letters be continued? Or do you plan on writing a different YA novel?
Laura: Thank you so much! I’m working on a YA novel about a girl whose mom vanishes at a music festival, leaving her alone with her baby brother. At an alternative high school she meets a boy coming out of a major depressive episode. They start a band, search for her mother, and fall in love, though not necessarily with each other.
That’s it for today’s interview with Laura! We’re going to be taking next week off for the holiday, but we’ll be back on New Year’s Eve. James will be interviewing best-selling fantasy author Amanda Hocking about her new book, Between The Blade And The Heart. See you then!