Metro Detroit native Laura Lee is the author of more than a dozen non-fiction books with such publishers as Harper Collins, Reader’s Digest, Running Press, Broadway Books, Lyons Press and Black Dog and Leventhal. Her Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation has sold more than 85,000 copies. She has also written two collections of poetry, a children’s book (A Child’s Introduction to Ballet) and two novels, Angel (which will be released in a second edition in November) and Identity Theft. She brings to her writing a unique background as a radio announcer, improvisational comic and one-time professional mime. The San Francisco Chronicle has said of her work, “Lee’s dry, humorous tone makes her a charming companion…. She has a penchant for wordplay that is irresistible.”
When not writing, Lee produces educational ballet tours with her partner, the artistic director of the Russian National Ballet Foundation. The project has taken them to all but 7 of the continental United States (Lee notes that Edinburgh, Scotland is her favorite place to have lived). The entertainment industry is a natural fit for the author, who attended the Specs Howard School of Broadcasting after receiving an independent major in theater studies at Oakland University. Though Lee’s first paid gig as a writer was when she was 12, for a piece titled “My First Day of Junior High School,” she’s built quite an interesting resume of work experience along the way to the above noted published books.
Laura Lee began her radio career as an intern at the alternative music station 89X in Detroit, cuing vinyl records. She went on to become a radio announcer, but notes she received “way more comp tickets and opportunities to do cool rock n’ roll type things as an intern than I ever did as a radio announcer in my own right.” She recalls a highlight of her radio career as the time she was a "celebrity judge" for country Karaoke and got yelled at by a guy she didn't pick as a winner. Radio and communications are in Lee’s blood. Her great uncle, James Jewell, oversaw the writing staff that created the Lone Ranger for radio station WXYZ in Detroit and her grandmother was the radio actress who played Miss Case in The Green Hornet.
Lee notes that her best brush-with-fame story was when she was working in a hippie tye-dye shop and Harrison Ford walked in. Unless, she says, you count the fact that she had the same high school theater teacher as Madonna did (different years), and her brother babysat for a family who were Madonna’s dog-sitters.
Despite an illustrious radio career and ill-timed, intersecting paths with the Queen of Pop, Laura Lee is meant to be a writer. Once, while in London, a stranger approached her on the street and told Lee that he could see her aura. He insisted that “they” were telling him that Lee was supposed to be writing and she wasn't and that this was very important. No surprise there; the proof is in the pages of Angel, Identity Theft, and each of the author’s other published works.
Find Laura Lee: