Biography and Media Kit
This page has biographical background and publicity materials for reference and download. Photo PDF and TIFF files are best for print, while JPEG is provided for online use. If you would like to contact me for an interview, use the email link on the bottom of any page or go to the contact page.
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. To keep a day job, she got degrees in Chemistry and Systems Analysis. She spent nine years as an USAF Officer, holding operational command positions and having the opportunity to escort Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty inspectors. Her civilian jobs have ranged from Research Chemist to Software Development Lead. Her first novel debuted from Roc (Penguin/NAL) and began a military SF series about Major Ariane Kedros. Her fantasy series, called The Broken Kaskea, starts with a murder-by-magic mystery and builds to epic fantasy. She currently lives in Monument, CO with her husband and a Shiba Inu who runs the household.
For an equally formal headshot to go along with the above, go to the Image Downloads section below. For a sappy remembrance of growing up with dogs and horses, here's an ode to the animals (non-human only) in my life.
Where do you get your ideas?
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).
I've tried to provide some of the underlying ideas behind the plot and characters for each individual book—go to specific book pages under each series.
How did you become published?
Ever since the fifth grade, I was building SF/F worlds and starting novels. I was very good at starting novels, but they always fizzled out around chapter six. Around 1999, I decided to get serious about my fiction writing and worked from earlier notes on my fantasy world (see Where do you get your ideas? 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, so I made a list of the six SF/Fantasy imprints that accepted unsolicited manuscripts. I sent off my manuscript, and waited nine months to receive the rejection (this was approximately 1999). After that, I realized I was down to five imprints, but only if Canadian publishers 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), when I pitched "a fifteen-century Honor Harrington."
Publication didn't immediately follow. My agent finally decided that fantasy wouldn't 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 started in the Air Force (see Where do you get your ideas? 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.
What did you do in the Air Force?
After getting a commission through R.O.T.C. at Colorado State University, I worked in several scientific and operational specialties. First, I programmed and maintained a database of nuclear safety reports 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 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 (GLCM) 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 of active duty, I decided to leave the AF and move back to Colorado.
Positions and Organizations: Nuclear Science Officer, Data Analysis, Directorate of Nuclear Surety, AF Inspection & Safety Center; Chemical Warfare Defence Operational Test Officer, Tactical Air Warfare Center, Tactical Air Command; GLCM Missile Combat Crew Commander and Instructor/Evaluator, 302d Tactical Missile Squadron, US Air Forces in Europe;
What's your educational background and how does it affect your writing?
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 additional engineering courses and I'm ABD in a Computer Science Doctoral program. ABD means "all but dissertation;" I had completed the coursework, passed the comprehensives, and was four months into my dissertation but then... several professors on my dissertation committee left the university and I was told I'd have to start the dissertation approval process all over again with a different committee. In considering this, I realized I'd spent more than half of the 12 years after getting my M.S. taking more graduate classes. I didn't want to add up the money I'd spent on tuition. At that point, I decided I was finished with school—what helped this decision along was the fact a doctorate in Computer Science didn't help my software development career. 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 my education allows me to postulate "plausible" technology in my SF and build "logical systems" of magic for my fantasy worlds.
Images for Download
Warning: some of these files are hefty, so check file size before downloading. Note that JPEGs can only be RGB. If you need any of these pictures converted to CMYK, use my CCM store form to request this (fees are waived for promotional pictures). Images may not be altered, dismantled, or used for purposes other than promotion of the depicted work or person.
- Souls for the Phrenii Cover, 300 dpi JPEG (~2.7 Mbytes)
- A Charm for Draius Cover, 300 dpi JPEG (~2.7 Mbytes)
- Pathfinder Cover, high resolution TIFF, RGB color (~6.5 Mbytes)
- Vigilante Cover, high resolution TIFF, RGB color (~7.5 Mbytes)
- Peacekeeper Cover, high resolution TIFF, RGB color (~7.5 Mbytes). These high resolution images are here due to a tip from Fantasy Debut blog. Thanks!
- Color Head Shot, PDF (~10.5 Mbytes)
- Color Head Shot, JPEG (481 x 601, ~170 Kbytes)
- B&W Head Shot, PDF (~6.1 Mbytes)
- B&W Head Shot, JPEG (481 X 601, ~156 Kbytes)
Interviews and Background Articles
- Buy the Book, 12/16/2010, by Kristen Akens, published in the CO Springs Independent. Local authors make suggestions for book gifts.
- Science Fiction Inspired by Real Life (PDF clip), 9/11/2009, by Nicole Chillino, published in the TriLakes Tribune. Specific interview showcasing Vigilante.
- Transcript of Interview with BSC by Professor Crazy, 2/20/2009
- A Tale of Two Authors, 1/09/2008, blog post by Jennifer Jackson, explaining how lucky I am to have such a stubborn agent!