Laura Ruby is the author of books for adults, teens and children. Her short fiction for adults has appeared in various literary magazines, including Other Voices and The Florida Review. A collection of these stories, I'M NOT JULIA ROBERTS, was published by Warner Books in January 2007. Called "hilarious and heart-wrenching" by People and "a knowing look at the costs and rewards of remaking a family," by the Miami Herald, the book was also featured in Redbook, Working Mother, and USA Today among others.
Ruby is also the author of the Edgar-nominated children's mystery LILY'S GHOSTS (8/03), the children's fantasy THE WALL AND THE WING (3/06) and a sequel, THE CHAOS KING (5/07) all from Harpercollins. She writes for older teens as well, and her debut young adult novel, GOOD GIRLS (9/06), also from Harpercollins, was a Book Sense Pick for fall 2006 and an ALA Quick Pick for 2007. She followed this with the teen novels PLAY ME (2008) and BAD APPLE (2009). Forthcoming will be the YA novel BONE GAP and the middle-grade trilogy YORK. She is on the faculty of Hamline University's Masters in Writing for Children Program.
Raised in the wilds of suburban New Jersey, Laura Ruby now lives in Chicago with her husband, Steve, and two cats that serve as creative advisors.
Long, rambling bio
Though Laura Ruby writes for adults, teens, and kids, her first novel, LILY'S GHOSTS, happened to be a book for children. When this novel was published in 2003, some people asked if it was anything like Harry Potter. If it wasn't, they wanted to know, why didn't she write something like Harry Potter so that she could buy a castle in Scotland like J.K. Rowling did?
Despite its lack of resemblance to Harry Potter, LILY'S GHOSTS was the winner of numerous awards and was nominated for an Edgar for Best Children's Mystery. Ruby is also the author of the children's fantasy THE WALL AND THE WING (3/06) and a sequel, THE CHAOS KING (5/07) both from Harpercollins. "In a world where fantasy novels proliferate," said VOYA, "this series is an exceptional standout." Forthcoming is the new middle-grade trilogy YORK.
Ruby writes for older teens as well. Her debut young adult novel, GOOD GIRLS (9/06), also from Harpercollins, was a Book Sense Pick for fall 2006 and an ALA Quick Pick for 2007. She is the author of the teen novels PLAY ME, published in 2008, and BAD APPLE, published in fall 2009. Her books for teens are notable for their "heartbreaking" characters (School Library Journal), "pertinent, provocative, and dramatic" storylines (Kirkus), and their "frank, realistic portrayal of teen life," (VOYA). Her novel BONE GAP is due out in March 2015.
Her short fiction for adults has appeared in various literary magazines, including Other Voices, The Florida Review, and Nimrod, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A collection of interconnected stories about blended families, I'M NOT JULIA ROBERTS, was published by Warner Books in January 2007. Called "hilarious and heart-wrenching" by People and "a knowing look at the costs and rewards of remaking a family," by the Miami Herald, the book was also featured in Redbook, Working Mother, and USA Today among others. Ruby's favorite quote about I'M NOT JULIA ROBERTS has to be from the Boston Globe, which said, "Chick lit this may be, but it's not for sissies."
Critics have praised Ruby's work for its quirky, biting humor, but readers have said that they see themselves reflected in her characters, however extreme or fantastical their circumstances. Ruby's books have sold in England, Australia, Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, Serbia and Montenegro.
Born in the Midwest and raised in suburban Wayne, New Jersey, Laura Ruby is the daughter of a psychologist and a cop. This means that she is both nosy and deeply suspicious. She received a degree in English Literature from Rutgers University, which made both her parents rightly terrified for her future. Before becoming a fiction writer, she held such illustrious jobs as a page in the public library, where she and the other pages had book cart races behind the stacks; a server in a fine restaurant called "Stuff Yer Face"; and a copywriter for a "collectibles" company, where she waxed poetic about porcelain fairies, Pooh bear picture frames and swivel-hipped Elvis ornaments.
To friends and neighbors, Ruby is best known as a deranged tennis fan, wife to Steve and stepmother to Melissa and Jessica. They divide their time between a cozy Chicago bungalow and a castle in Scotland. Her birthday is April 17th, the same as Posh Spice. She has one beloved sister, a much-adored niece, an enchanting nephew, two cats, and a relentless squirrel that makes his home on her porch.
Ruby's favorite color is red; her favorite holiday is Thanksgiving; her favorite flower is the lily. She has the lady-writer's cliched love for kitties, for which she is completely unapologetic. One of her favorite words is the German term "schadenfreude," which she interprets as that inappropriately gleeful feeling you get when bad things happen to people you don't like. She is also partial to the German word "kummerspeck" which can be loosely translated to "grief bacon," that is, the weight you put on when you're cranky. Recently, she discovered that she comes from a long line of Lutheran ministers, many of them German, going back centuries. She feels this explains a lot.
Her pet peeves are long lines at the post office, incomprehensible tax and/or insurance forms, those packing peanuts that get all over the place when you open a box, and people who sniff their food before eating it.
Ms. Ruby is currently on the faculty of Hamline University's Masters in Writing for Children Program. She has been a featured speaker at BookExpo, The American Library Association's national convention, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual convention, the Miami Book Festival, the Florida Association of Media Educators (FAME) convention, the Midwest Literary Festival, the International Reading Association's annual convention, and Illinois Reading Council annual conference, among other venues, and she has presented programs and workshops for both adults and children at numerous schools and libraries.
Currently, she is working on several thousand projects, drinking way too much coffee, and searching for new tunes for her iPod.