Laura Reeve grew up near Boulder, CO. Her parents fed her SF novels and provided her with a typewriter, but had no idea they were creating a lifelong obsession with building worlds and stories. To keep a day job, however, she got degrees in Chemistry and Systems Analysis. She spent nine years as an USAF Officer, getting eclectic training in nuclear and chemical warfare. After leaving the Air Force, she labored in software development sweatshops while keeping up her hobby of writing. Her first novel, Peacekeeper, debuted from Roc and began a new SF series about Major Ariane Kedros. Her fantasy series, The Broken Kaskea, recently debuted with A Charm for Draius. Laura currently lives with her husband and scientific advisor in Monument, CO, where she writes, gardens, and plays role-playing games.
For an equally formal headshot to go along with the above, go to the Image Downloads box below. For an informal and sappy remembrance of growing up with dogs and horses, here's an ode to the animals (non-human only) in my life.
Hmm... everything in one's life is fodder for characters, stories, and fantastic worlds--how does one not get pelted with ideas? Specifically, Minoan Space and the Ariane Kedros Novels started in 1989 while I was getting a briefing from the AFOSI regarding the arriving Soviet inspectors. We were shown pictures of inspectors, and told who were KGB agents and who were scientists. After seeing Soviet inspectors pretend to not understand English (and only during working hours), the seeds for the world of Minoan Space were sown. The alternate world history grew from my interest in Philip II of Macedon and his son, Alexander the Great. I wondered what history might be like if they'd both lived longer. In all this, I placed a character who carries a burden of guilt, conflicting with her sense of duty.
The The Broken Kaskea Series is set in a world I started creating in college. My travels and experiences since then have developed it into a strange meld of European mythos and cultures. The Tyrrans are consummate horsemen and their society reflects, in a small part, my Finnish heritage (sort of The Kalevala merged with the horse tribes of the Huns).
Since the fifth grade, I was starting novels. I was very good at starting novels, but they always fizzled out around chapter six. In the late 1990s, I decided to get serious about my fiction writing and worked from earlier notes on my fantasy world (see the Broken Kaskea, above). In a year or so, I'd finished a stand-alone fantasy which I hoped to publish. I did my research--at that time, one sent paper manuscripts and Writer's Market was the only way to find publishers--and made a list of six SF/Fantasy imprints that accepted unagented manuscripts. I sent off my manuscript, and waited nine months to receive the rejection (this was approximately 2000-2001). After that, I realized I was down to only five imprints--that's if the Canadian one accepted U.S. authors. That's when I realized I needed an agent. Luckily, that was also the time I discovered the Pikes Peak Writers Conference. I went to the conference and learned about the publishing industry. I went back the next year, and the next, ad infinitum. After pitching to agents and querying, I finally got representation for my fantasy (around 2004).
Publication didn't immediately follow. My agent decided the fantasy wasn't going to be my first published novel, although she still considered it salable. I changed horses, mid-writing-stream, and pulled out notes on some military-flavored science fiction I had started in the Air Force (see Minoan Space, above). It took another two years to write the novel... but that was the one my agent sold in late 2007 (see A Tale of Two Authors, where you can see how lucky I am to have a stubborn agent). I didn't originally intend to write a series, but I was lucky enough to be offered a three-book contract for novels about the same character, Major Ariane Kedros.
After getting a commission through R.O.T.C. at Colorado State University, I worked in several scientific specialties. First, I programmed and maintained a database at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque NM. My second assignment was Eglin AFB in Ft. Walton Beach FL. There I tested chemical agent detectors, sometimes in full protective gear (see picture) with sweat pooling in my gloves and my breath sounding in my ears like Darth Vader. After that, I career-broadened into tactical nuclear missile operations by training for Ground Launched Cruise Missile at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson AZ. Just before I left for Sicily, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was signed by Reagan and Gorbachev. This treaty gave me the opportunity to escort USSR treaty inspectors on Comiso Air Station. When the Berlin Wall came down, I felt the impact of that event all the way down in Sicily. After nine years, I decided to leave the AF and move back to Colorado.
I have a B.S. in Chemistry from Colorado State University, and an M.S. in Systems Analysis from the University of West Florida. I've also taken core engineering courses and I'm ABD in a Computer Science Doctoral program (ABD is "all but dissertation," meaning that I completed all the coursework, comprehensives, and dissertation-subject approvals required to advance to the dissertation, but then... things happened). Around 1998, I realized that I'd spent 14 of the 17 years after getting my B.S. taking college courses. I didn't want to add up the money I'd spent on tuition. At that point, I decided that I was finished with school and that's when I got serious about writing SF/F.
Did all these classes help me get jobs? Definitely. Did they help my science fiction and fantasy writing? I think so, in the sense that I either postulate "sensible" technology in my SF, or I build interlocking "systems" of magic for my fantasy worlds.
Warning: some of these files are hefty, so check file size before downloading. Images may not be altered, dismantled, or used for purposes other than promotion of the depicted work or person.