I’d heard of author Laura Lee before because she’s very accomplished and well-versed in publishing. She’s published a plethora of books with publishers like Harper Collins, Reader’s Digest, Lyons Press, Running Press, etc. I knew her name from her non-fiction work. But what I didn’t know what that she had branched out. She’s been writing a ton of different things, which now include fiction novels.
There’s the book, “Angel“, in which a minister sees an angel in his church and thus sets off a series of events and causes him to examine his beliefs. Love the concept! For you audiobook fans, the audiobook is available here. In addition to the interesting concept, it was pretty cool for me to read what other people were saying about this book. That it was thought provoking. That it was unexpected. That it causes you to step back and examine your life and yourself. Naturally, I immediately added this one to my TBR list on Goodreads.
And then of course there’s “Identity Theft.” Now, “Identity Theft” is another interesting read, as made obvious from reviews. Readers are calling it “genre-defying” because it’s hard to narrow it down to just one category. Readers love its twists and turns. Readers are finding it funny, sexy, smart. So naturally, when I talked to Laura about her book, I was excited to read it myself.
When drew me to “Identity Theft” was the concept. There are a zillion television shows out there about it, but really, there aren’t that many books out there that I know of, that are able to masterfully weave a catfishing tale together so seamlessly. For those of you who aren’t familiar with catfishing, the dictionary defines it as to “lure (someone) into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona.”
Let me introduce you. World, meet Identity Theft. Identity Theft, meet world.
Identity Theft (short blurb):
When the rock star she idolized responded to her e-mail, Candi was thrilled. When he started to flirt with her, she thought all her dreams could come true. The fantasy takes over her entire life, but none of it is true. The man of her dreams is not a rock star at all, but a bored office worker whose internet game quickly spins out of control.
Identity Theft (long blurb):
Candi Tavris is on the verge of turning 30, she works in the packaging department of a company that is downsizing and she is hounded by calls from creditors who mispronounce her name. She wakes up every morning praying that the folks at Life Lock will perform their work in reverse
and give her “identity” to someone else. Her younger sister, never a serious student, married a rich executive and lives in a mansion. Candi’s only solace is escaping into the music and image of the 80’s pop star Blast.
Ethan Penn, a 22 year-old college dropout who smokes pot and lives in his mother’s basement, works in the rock star’s office. (His desk sits under a framed gold record with a dead spider caught in the glass.)
His boss, whose real name is Ollie Thomas, is as socially awkward off stage as he is charismatic on stage. He is depressed about his pending divorce. His greatest fame is behind him, his biggest hit “Partly Cloudy Thursday (Blast With Me)” was a clichéd monstrosity written to
please record executives. His rock n’ roll lifestyle mostly consists of finding ways to keep his laundry from stinking while on the road and trying to remain anonymous while buying Preparation-H.
Blast assigns the task of keeping up with his social networking to Ethan. Ethan starts to correspond with Candi through e-mail and chats in the guise of the rock star. The conversation soon becomes steamy. The game spirals out of control when Blast performs a concert in Candi’s hometown and Candi is mistaken first for a groupie and then for a delusional stalker.
Candi must try to prove (and retain) her sanity. Ethan must decide whether to risk jail by telling the truth. A terrified Ollie has to come to terms with his relationship with his Blast character and the consequences of his fame.
Identity Theft Excerpt
You can read more of the excerpts here but here’s one of the excerpts I really like where we meet Ethan (the one catfishing in the novel) and he is explaining what he does for a living and how he got the job. I love Laura’s dry and humorous tone here.
“How did you get this job? You are so lucky.”
He’d gotten the job through a friend, which was the way Blast filled most of his office positions– personal recommendation. Ethan spent a lot of time hanging out in bars with live music. He’d gotten friendly with a bass player whose best friend was the sound guy on Blast’s current tour.
“So drop out of college and spend your time in bars, that’s my career advice,” he said. It always got a laugh.
The female fans sometimes flirted with him. He knew they were hoping to get in with him to meet Blast. He wasn’t the type of guy that got swooned over. He was 22 years old, 6’2” and skinny, all arms and legs and knees and elbows. “Lanky” his mother called him. “Gawky” is what it meant. His nose was too big for his face and he had a mop of curly brown hair.
A lot of the visitors would follow up by asking how they could get a job. There was one guy who came in carrying a skateboard. When Ethan said they were all set for employees, he said “Can’t you fire someone or something?”
The most common fan question was “Does Blast ever come in here?” and its variants “Is Blast here now?” “Do you know him?” “What is he like?” “What is it like working for him?” “Do you get weird fans in here?”
“What,” he always wanted to say, “You mean besides you?”
There was one middle-aged woman who wanted to buy a Blast T-shirt. Ethan went into the back and got it for her. Then she wanted to know if Blast had worn the shirt. When he said he was pretty sure he hadn’t, she suggested that they could make more money if they had Blast put on all the shirts before they sold them. She also thought they could make a ton of money by selling locks of rock star hair on Ebay. This freaked Ethan out a little bit.
About Laura Lee
Laura is the author of 16 books with such publishers as Harper Collins, Reader’s Digest, Lyons Press and Running Press. She is best known for humorous reference such as The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation, which sold 85,000 copies for Black Dog and Leventhal. Her first novel was Angel published by Itineris Press and will soon be released in a second edition by DPS. 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.”
Laura Lee is fantastic and is giving away THREE copies of her book! You can enter to win below. It’s an easy entry which means you don’t have to do anything at all to enter, besides click the enter button. Woohoo for her making it simple!!
Join the book buzz using hashtag #IDTheftLee