Madison author ready to release debut novel set in Wisconsin
Laura Anne Bird's first book, "Crossing the Pressure Line," is out March 1st
MADISON, Wis.– Laura Anne Bird’s life could be about to change.
“It’s crazy to me that something I wrote at a local coffee shop and then revised and edited at my kitchen table is now being published,” Bird told News 3.
You know who else wrote their first book at a coffee shop? J.K. Rowling.
Like the Harry Potter author, Bird is rather reserved mom who finds solace out of the spotlight, with a secret, wild imagination, although hers doesn’t involve wizards… only Wisconsin.
15 years ago, an image of a girl popped into Bird’s head while playing with her toddlers. Bird would eventually give that girl a name, Claire, and that idea a title, “Crossing the Pressure Line,” which has now become her debut novel.
For Bird, the “pressure line” is a specific spot: northern Wisconsin, where 39 crosses Highway 8, just north of Tomahawk.
“The first time I went north with my now-husband, we crossed that point, and my husband rolled down all the windows and yelled, ‘We’re crossing the pressure line. Do you feel it? There’s more oxygen in the air. Leave your worries behind,'” Bird remembered, with a smile.
Like many Wisconsin families, “up north” is synonymous with summer fun and family memories.
“It’s where my husband taught my kids to fish. It’s where I ran into a bear on the bike path myself,” she explained.
That last anecdote, a true story that made it into the book, possibly also ignited the fearless tenacity the first-time Madison author displayed during her decade-long writing process. But it wasn’t until the pandemic that Bird decided to wholeheartedly chase her lifelong dream.
“I just reached the point where I was like, ‘Gosh. If I die tomorrow, I wouldn’t be satisfied. I didn’t do this one thing I always wanted to do since I was a child,'” she said.
So, during the first months of lockdowns, Bird found a publisher- Orange Hat in Waukesha- and, while her kids were learning at home, she revised her own assignment.
Now, her 254-page book is ready, and Bird is excited for readers to jump into the world she created: no wizards… only Wisconsin.
“I can’t wait for kids to read it. I think it’s going to bring them comfort and joy and inspiration after a couple of really hard years,” she said.
“Crossing the Pressure Line” is out Tuesday, March 1st. You can find it in many Madison-area bookstores, including Mystery & Me on Monroe Street.
Bird is already working on edits and revisions for her second book: a companion novel, focusing on a boy named Jack.
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