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Tucsonan’s novel explores single mom’s life, love in Old Pueblo




Laura Fitzgerald is one of Tucson’s most intriguing novelists.

When she was 20, she promised herself that she would accomplish two things before reaching her 40th birthday: write a novel and finish a marathon.

Shortly before she approached that important birthday, her first novel, “Veil of Roses,” was published to critical acclaim. Her second novel, “One True Theory of Love” (New American Library, $14 softbound), is being released this week.

It is no accident that both books are set in Tucson. Even though Fitzgerald was born in Wisconsin, she considers the Old Pueblo home and lives in midtown with her family.

In one of the first interviews about her new book, the 41-year-old Fitzgerald points out that her latest novel is much different than her first book.

“‘Veil of Roses’ was basically about a Persian woman who relocates to southern Arizona where she hopes to find a sponsor for residency. But Meg Clark, the main character in my new novel, is different in that she is a single mother raising a 9 year-old son,” Fitzgerald explains.

“Meg is accessible since we all know people just like her: single women raising a child or children and hoping eventually to find someone to love and love her back.”

Following a painful divorce from her childhood sweetheart who leaves her for another woman the very day she tells him she’s pregnant, Meg swears off men. Her life changes and her plans go out the window when she and her son, Henry, walk into a neighborhood coffee shop and meet Iranian-born Ahmed Bourani.

“So many important things happen like that, just by chance, and that, combined with the fact that Meg, who is the ultimate embodiment of the modern woman, are at least two reasons why I think readers will find Meg and her story so appealing,” Fitzgerald says.

All of her characters are fictional, the author says, and none are based on anyone she knows.

After taking a sip of coffee, she smiles and adds that only the Tucson locales are real.

According to Fitzgerald, she frequents the same places her fictional characters do. For example, both she and Meg see movies at the Loft Cinema, shop at the Rincon Market, and take their children to Himmel Park. These local touches will be of special interest to Tucson readers.

When Fitzgerald is working on a literary project, she follows a fairly disciplined routine.

“I have a small guesthouse office where I try and write at least an hour each day,” she points out and adds that she does her best work during the very early hours of the morning.

“I brew coffee, listen to classical music, and write. If I reach a point where I need a break, I exercise, which helps me sort things out in my head involving both my plot and characters.”

Her latest literary project is a third novel that will include a main character introduced in “Veil of Roses.”

Fitzgerald, like most writers, appreciates the work of others. “Fools Rush In” by Bill Carter left a lasting impression on her.

“I was amazed by the honesty of this book and think that it is an exceptional piece of writing,” Fitzgerald says.

With two published novels and a third being crafted, the only goal left for this amazingly talented woman is that pesky marathon.

Tucsonan’s new novel single mom’s life, love in Old Pueblo


What: Laura Fitzgerald reads from and signs copies of her book “One True Theory of Love”

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Antigone, 411 N. Fourth Ave.

Price: free

Info: 792-3715, www.antigonebooks.com

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