Friday, October 28, 2011

The New Kid

Thirty-three years ago, when I was asked to stand in front of the class and introduce myself to a room of fellow fourth graders who looked at me as if I was an alien from outer space (or, New Jersey, as was the case at the time), I was beside myself with fear. Would I say something dumb? Would I trip over a word? Would the cool girl in the back laugh at my sock selection? Would the cute boy in the front row see me as anything other than a shy dork?

And so it went from that day forward whenever I was faced with "the new kid" syndrome. Sure, the fears changed as I grew, molding to fit my life at that time, but still they were there, making me second guess myself and whether I would ever fit.

I guess it's probably that way with all beginnings whether they're of the first-day variety or something more. You wonder if it will go okay or if somehow you'll do something stupid to trip yourself up. But here's the thing about getting older... You start to gain wisdom, or, as I often think of it, an experienced set of eyes with which to view things in a different way--like this whole "new kid" thing. Beginnings bring new opportunities, new experiences, and that's not always a bad thing.

So today, I'll take my spot in front of the class and tell you who I am. And as you'll see, I know a lot about beginnings.


I was ten years old when I fell in love with the idea of being a writer. At the time, I imagined myself a children's writer. But my course changed after I read my first Mary Higgins Clark book when I was 14. Here I am (on the left) posing for a picture with my mystery-writing inspiration, MHC. I was a total and complete fan girl at that moment.

After breaking into the world of novels via a small press publisher, I landed my first big publisher deal with my Southern Sewing Circle Mystery Series (pen name: Elizabeth Lynn Casey). Seeing something I'd written...with a Berkley/Penguin logo on it? Wow. Just wow.   Here I am at the launch party for the first book in the series, SEW DEADLY. Those two beautiful girls--who were my best beginnings ever--are mine and they light my world every single day.

A few months ago, I signed a deal with Berkley/Penguin for a second series under my own name, Laura Bradford. The Amish Mysteries will debut its first title, HEARSE AND BUGGY next June.  That's me, conducting a little research.


If you watch the changing photos at the top of the blog, you'll notice that I have a romance novel under my belt. Well, I have three, actually, and a fourth on the way in late 2012 or early 2013. I never intended to write romance but found myself with a story idea that refused to be a mystery. So, at the urging of my muse, I tried a romance...and then another...etc. That first romance, KAYLA'S DADDY debuted in 2010 and was followed by two more that year, with MIRACLE BABY winning me my very first writing award ever--RT Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Harlequin American of 2010. It was a total pinch-me moment I'll never forget!  This is me, back at the hotel room (in L.A.--another first) with my award.

Behind the Scenes:

Since there's more to me than just writing, I'll mention a few other "beginnings."

Like the Brady Bunch in the 70's, My Special Guy and I found each other when we were on our own--he with three kids, and me with my two girls. We got married in April and just got back from a belated honeymoon this week.  Here's a shot from our special day.

Since the cat, Angus, is a boy, we really are a modern day Brady Bunch...although I don't look as good as Carol Brady.  :)

And finally, as is the case with a few of the ladies on this blog, I, too, dealt with a health crisis a few years ago, one I will continue to deal with for the rest of my life. In 2006 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I'm doing great and helping the cause whenever I can.  Here's me at a President's Circle event for MSAA in 2010. In this shot, I'm giving a talk at Madame Toussard's in NYC and that's Times Square over my shoulder.

So that's me (or at least a tiny snapshot of me). The new kid.

Here's to beginnings! 


P.S.  Oh...and I have a new book coming out on Tuesday. It's the fifth in my Southern Sewing Circle series--DANGEROUS ALTERATIONS.


  1. Laura, we are so happy that you have joined our merry band. Or as one of our other bloggers calls us (I think it's Bethany), the Stiletto Gangers. Makes us sound tough. Sometimes we are. Mostly we are just mushy. Thanks for being the "new kid" and for letting us know everything about you! And this, right after your honeymoon! Maggie

  2. You did great. Can't wait till thursday!

  3. You got it all over Carol Brady, sweetheart. Glad to see you here.

  4. Welcome Laura. Mazel Tov on the wedding, the new book on Tuesday, the new series, and lots more.

    So glad you're a member of the "gang."


  5. I love that picture and you're welcome in NC any time.

  6. Hi Laura! I remember being the new kid in third grade - and for my small school district - up through graduation. LOL

    Love the dip into your writing life - good luck with your launch on Tuesday! Can't wait to read the book.


  7. Congratulations on your new book coming out. Yet another in the series I can't wait to read. God bless you & your newly combined family.

    -charlies angel

  8. Welcome to our group, Laura. I used to be shy--now that I'm an old lady I talk to everyone. Raised 5 kids of my own, good luck when they're all teens. Thanks for posting and letting us know so much about you.


  9. Have enjoyed the Southern Sewing Circle Mystery Series and look forward to the newest book. I hope to catch up with your other books too.

  10. Thanks, everyone! And Marilyn (a.k.a. Meredith), they ARE all teens now and it's nuts! :)

  11. Laura! You know how excited we are to have you here! And, yes, I was the "new kid" lots of times growing up, too, so I'm familiar with the feeling. ;-) It's been so fun to watch your career grow as it has. I feel like a proud sister or something. Best of luck with the latest book and with everything you do (always!).


  12. I only heard about your sewing mysteries books the other day from another blogger, and immediately added them to my list!

    As someone that was the new kid more often than I would've liked, I smiled a lot through your post!!

    Congrats on your success, and I hope there is plenty more to come.

  13. Hi Laura! It's me, the other Laura--plus, I'm also w/ Berkley! Freaky, huh? But what an interesting story you have!! I enjoyed reading it, and I'm so glad you're here!! Welcome!! And many good wishes for mega sales with your book next week!

  14. Thank you!! Wow, this new kid stuff really does get easier with age! ;)

    Bella, thanks for adding my sewing circle books to your list!

    Laura, perhaps we'll get to meet one day?

  15. I've often been the kid who trips himself up--and I'm grateful for the falls. The scrapes and bruises have taught me humility and compassion. Don't know that I'd own those had I moved through life with grace.

    Congratulations on settling in with a new writing family.

    And keep being the new kid as often as life allows.

  16. Hi Laura,

    Welcome to this group. You're going to love it here.

  17. I was the new kid too many times to tell. We moved alot. But if I had had the grace you display in this blog I would have been completely at ease every time. And you are right....growing older does make you more comfortable in your own skin. As you already know, Dangerous Alterations is already on my NOOK, preordered and waiting to be released into my oh so excited brain.
    I love your stories....made up and real life.
    Lori Cimino

  18. Very inspiring post. Now there's a face to go with the book I have on the shelf. Good luck with your new life!

  19. Wow. I'd say this was most certainly a warm welcome! Thank you so much, everyone!

  20. Hi Laura,

    As the other new kid on the Stiletto block - WELCOME! I am excited for your new series and I am beyond delighted you have joined us in our blogging adventure.

    BTW - Great post! I loved the photos.

  21. Hi Laura, Welcome! Love all the great pictures!

  22. Thanks Joelle and Maria. Thanks to Susan, I figured out I could drag the pictures where I wanted them. Phew.