Laura Stampler Puts the NYC in SF (Event Recap)

#LittleBlackDressesLittleWhiteLies | September 19th 2016

Laura brought Harper back to her roots with a trip to the Bay Area.

When Laura Stampler wrote Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies, she created a Bay Area city for main character, Harper, to grow up in. We learned tonight that Laura previously lived here, hence the affinity with the Bay Area. However, we were sad to learn that Ice Cream and Ink is not a real place in NYC. "There is a St. Mark's Place, though. It's a street that has a lot of sushi places. A very real, very crowded place," Laura shared. 

Audience members were eager to hear about Laura's transition from non-fiction journalist to writing a novel. "It's more complicated than I thought it would be. It was hard to close the computer for work and then reopen my computer to write the book," Laura revealed, "With journalism, there are facts and a structure. With books, a conversation can happen anywhere and it can change the entire meaning of the book. Two hundred words could get me stuck for a day or longer." 

Plot and characters do not come at the same time for Laura. She shared she has two different projects, once where she knows all the characters but not what they are doing and the other where she knows the plot but not who is in the story. "In YA, everything is more important because everything is new. It's all you know because your life experiences are so limited," Laura divulged. She also shared that editing something bad is an okay thing and that deadlines can be helpful to get through writer's block. "Go somewhere else in the story where you know where you're going. Write about the pug prom!" Laura laughed with the crowd. Also in the audience that night was Laura's thesis advisor, who shared that stopping in the middle means you have something to pick back up on the next day.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Princess the pug is based on a real life pug, also named Princess.

We reviewed (and loved) Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies earlier this summer, which you can find here. Book Passage has signed copies available for your order!


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