Laura’s international and #1 New York Times bestseller, An Invisible Thread, brings to life the inspiring true story of an 11-year-old panhandler, a busy sales executive, and their unlikely meeting with destiny in 1986. When Laura first met Maurice on a New York City street corner, she had no idea that she was standing on the brink of an incredible and unlikely friendship that would inevitably change both their lives forever. Laura’s unexpected lunch with Maurice quickly turned into a weekly Monday night ritual where she learned heart-wrenching details about Maurice’s horrific childhood of poverty, drugs and violence.
Sprinkled throughout the book is also Laura’s own story of her turbulent childhood. Every now and then, something about Maurice’s struggles reminded her of her past, and how her father’s alcohol-induced rages shaped the person she became and, in a way, helped form an unbreakable bond with Maurice. Laura offers Maurice simple experiences he comes to treasure: learning how to set a table, baking chocolate chip cookies, trimming a Christmas tree, visiting her nieces and nephew on Long Island, and Maurice teaches Laura how to appreciate the simple joys in life and the true definition of lunch in a brown paper bag. Laura now shares this heartwarming story of a friendship, which is based on trust and a bond that would continue to grow over a quarter of a century.
Since the launch in November 2011, An Invisible Thread has been on the New York Times Best Sellers list for a total of 39 weeks and is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including a Christopher Award, a DreamCatcher Award, a Local Hometown Hero Award presented by New York Congressman Steve Israel and a finalist for Books for a Better Life. Recently, Laura spoke alongside Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former First Lady Laura Bush, and bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell at Leadercast 2014, and An Invisible Thread film rights have been purchased by OddLot Entertainment. Furthermore, schools continue to adopt An Invisible Thread as a required read and Simon & Schuster Education Team has developed An Invisible Thread ELA Common Core Standards Curriculum Guide written by Pam B. Cole, Associate Dean and Professor of English Education and Literacy at Kennesaw State University. Just recently the New York City Board of Education purchased a large bulk order of copies of An Invisible Thread to be used in New York City schools.
Laura’s new book, An Invisible Thread Christmas Story, was released on September 22, 2015 and targets children ages 4 - 8. The sweet picture book retells the story of the first Christmas that she and Maurice spent together. She shares how Maurice gave her a stuffed white teddy bear with a red heart, the only thing he had that he could truly call his own—to show her how grateful he was for their friendship. This heartwarming tale captures the true meaning of the holidays and will be one you’ll want to share with your family year after year as a reminder that a gift from the heart is always the best present under the tree.
Over her thirty-year career in advertising sales, Laura has worked with several major media companies, including Time Inc. and Conde Nast. Born and raised on Long Island in New York, Laura was part of the advertising team that helped launch and make USA Today a successful national newspaper. Before helping launch three of the most successful start-ups in Time Inc. history - InStyle, Teen PEOPLE, and PEOPLE StyleWatch - she was also the New York Division Manager at PEOPLE magazine. Laura has also been the New York Ad Manager at Ms. Magazine and Associate Publisher at Brides.
The Sonoma County Women in Conversation series is produced by locally-owned Sonoma Media Investments, Sonoma County's leading print and digital media publisher of The Press Democrat, Petaluma Argus-Courier, Sonoma Index-Tribune, North Bay Business Journal, Sonoma Magazine, LaPrensa Sonoma and associated websites.
The goal of the Women in Conversation series is to provide an inspirational forum for the women of Sonoma County and encourage empowerment through experiential sharing.
Questions? Contact Ginger Hopkins
Ticket price includes all three speakers. Individual tickets are not available for this series.
Early Bird Special:
$100 until December 18, 2016, using discount code "Earlybird"
$135 after December 18, 2016.
Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa 95403
Located in the East Auditorium - Driving Directions