Laura Elvebak sometimes feels she has led several lives, but throughout the years her passion for reading and writing never faltered. Before the twenty-something years she worked for lawyers and oil and gas executives, she held a variety of occupations, including working as waitress and even as a go-go dancer in the late sixties in Philadelphia. Born in North Dakota and raised in Los Angeles and San Francisco, she settled in Houston after living in parts of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Florida. She is happily unmarried after six attempts with men who would make fascinating characters in books but didn’t succeed as husband material. Her standalone thriller, The Flawed Dance, came out from Black Opal Books, on July 11, 2015.
I had two dreams growing up. I wanted to be a writer and see my words printed like the books I read. I dreamed up stories every night as if they were on a movie screen. Previews first, please. When I wasn’t reading books by the fireplace at home with my grandparents, I was dancing to the music on the radio.
I was raised with classical music. My father played classical violin. My grandmother would accompany him on the piano. After my mother died, I lived with my grandparents in Los Angeles. They introduced a new world for me with books and music that opened my mind and filled my heart.
When I turned eight I went to live with my father and stepmother. They enrolled me in ballet lessons and took me to see such performances as Swan Lake and The Firebird. I imagined an entire ballet whenever I heard music. I was going to be the next premier ballerina. When I wasn’t dancing, I would write stories. When I thought they were good, I sent them off to the Ladies Home Journal and McCalls, with visions of making my fortune. Of course, the handwritten pages were returned.
Then I grew up and the world changed. I did not become the world famous ballerina, but dancing came as naturally as eating. In order to eat on a daily basis, I became a go-go dancer. To keep sane, I filled notebooks with stories.
Forty years later I knew I had to write about those five years in Philadelphia. Not a memoir, but the fictionalized story of Erin Matthews, who makes bad decisions and worse choices after running from her much older lover. Add in murder, ruthless mob guys, Atlantic City in the late sixties, racial tension, guilt, sex, and go-go dancers in the demimonde world of entertainers and hustlers, and you have A Flawed Dance, where Erin learns the difference between ballet and go-go dancing.
Readers, where do you get your stories? Do you have a checkered past? Or do you make it all up in your head? Or a combination of both?