Meet Laura Bradford, author of A Portrait of a Sister, on July 1st from 6:30pm-8:30pm.
A Portrait of a Sister
Katie Beiler was always the follower to her twin sister Hannah’s lead. That is until Hannah left their Amish upbringing for an English life—leaving Katie to find her own footing in a world that no longer looks as it once did…
Katie has always imagined her life being just like Mamm’s. It’s why she chose baptism and why she’ll soon marry Abram Zook. But ever since Hannah left, the only thing that truly makes Katie smile is the sketchpad in which she indulges her talent for drawing faces—a sin that, if discovered, could get her shunned by her family, her friends, and even Abram. Yet Katie sees her secret pastime as the only way to quiet a growing restlessness she’d just as soon ignore. That is until their Mamm’s untimely death brings Hannah back home to Pennsylvania, with a new outlook on life, a man she adores, and, soon, an invitation for Katie to visit her in New York City.
Suddenly, Katie is experiencing a freedom she’s never had, in a world she never imagined. She’s also spending time in the company of a fellow dreamer, someone who sees her as strong and brave and makes her laugh. But it’s when Hannah shows Katie’s drawings to a gallery owner that she truly finds herself at a crossroads between the only life she’s ever known and the powerful lure of an unfamiliar future.
From Laura's website
While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend's house more than forty years ago, Laura Bradford fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil.
Those early attempts at the craft had her writing and illustrating stories for young children. Wise beyond her years, Laura saved her first writing attempt in a hand decorated shoe box (complete with sparkly stickers) and moved on to her next idea. Her second book—O’Casey’s Wish—was so utterly brilliant, she sent it off to a well-known New York publishing house at the tender age of ten, confident she was on the verge of becoming the next Don Freeman (Corduroy) or Shel Silverstein (Giving Tree).
Months later, she received her first form letter rejection.
While she wasn’t of the mindset to save that first crushing blow for posterity, Laura did save the original copy of this particular literary masterpiece in the event the letter was a mistake.
Desperate to prove her flexibility as a writer, Laura soon found herself dabbling in jokes (for her Girl Scout troop’s newsletter), stories of angst (a somewhat autobiographical look at her teenage years), movie reviews (for the Xavier University Newswire), and countless news and feature articles (for newspapers in CT, SC, TN, and MO).
It wasn’t until Laura was home raising children of her own though, that she was finally able to dust off that rainy day dream and bring it back to its original form—writing fiction. Today, she is a bestselling mystery author with Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin Publishing), and women’s fiction author with Kensington Publishing. She lives in New York with her family.
Oh, and if you meet Laura at a book event in the future, ask her about O’Casey’s Wish. It tends to travel with her everywhere she goes.