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GEORGIA eats her blanket. Aiden gets drunk on Red Eye and falls in a bathtub of wallpaper paste. Alice loves a one-legged Mexican cowboy. Parallel to Paradise: Addiction & Other Love Stories makes the ordinary, askew.

My story lines tend to be hard, perhaps controversial. I like a reaction. I had 95 words printed in the Reno News & Review cause the Catholic League to tell their followers to boycott the paper for printing my tiny story. The story was about a young girl’s first communion and I actually thought my story was sweet. But even sweeter was to have a mere 95 words garner comment from a national organization. That’s what a writer lives for!

But Parallel to Paradise is not about shock value. The stories are about everyday people who are either impacted by events outside of their control, or by their own actions, and where those actions lead them. I am not dealing with big subjects. I am dealing with the small struggles we face in our very human lives. To me, Parallel to Paradise is about beauty. Even a crumbling building covered in graffiti has beauty; even an addict has beauty.

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Parallel to Paradise includes a story about a young Catholic woman contemplating an abortion; a gay Irish boy growing up in the Wild Wild West; a mother of a heroin addict; a young white woman from 1910s Wisconsin falling in love with a one-legged Mexican cowboy.

It’s hard to describe my own work, but I hope what you’ll like best when you read this book, is the writing itself. I love words! I love to play with words, and how they sound and interact with each other. I spend more time thinking about a specific sentence and how I want those words to impact you, then I do about the story as a whole. I believe (and hope!) that when you read Parallel to Paradise you will stop and re-read a line, just because it caught you off balance, or I have said something you have always known in a different way.

I hope you buy my book!  And I hope you will correspond with me and let me know your thoughts.

Thank you,

Laura Newman Sig

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