Author Bio

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Laura Nowlin is the NYT bestselling author of If He had Been with Me and This Song is Not for You.  She holds a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Missouri State University.  In addition to being ambitious  writer Laura is also an avid reader who believes that books allow her to live many lives in one lifetime.  When she isn’t at home agonizing over her own novels Laura works at the public library where the patrons give her plenty of inspiration for her writing.  She lives in St. Louis with her musician husband, neurotic dog, and  psychotic cat.

Represented by Ali McDonald at The Rights Factory: alison@therightsfactory.com

48 thoughts on “Author Bio

  1. Laura, I just finished ‘If he had been with me’. I started it yesterday at work & would have been finished last night but knew I should get to bed. Can I just say that it is now at the top of my list of favorite books!! It had me in tears! I really hope you make a second part, actually PLEASE make a part 2. I got the book from the library, but I will now definitely go buy it so I always have my own copy!!!

  2. I loved the book but i HATED the ending.! why would you make him die.?! they were the perfect couple , why couldnt it be a happy ending instead of a sad one.?!

    1. Hi Racheal, I’m sorry that you hated the ending of the book. The story was inspired by a dream I had about a girl who loved a boy who had died, and who thought that if he had been with her, he would still be alive. As I wrote the book, I fell in love with Finny and wished that he didn’t have to die, but I felt that I needed to follow through with my vision. However, I did change the story enough for Autumn and Finny to get to have a little bit of time together before he died, and I added a spark of hope for Autumn to get to have a piece of Finny with her forever.

  3. I loved this book! It is one of my favorite books. Is there going to be another book in the series? Or is there only going to be one book?

  4. It is currently 630 in the morning for me. I am never awake at this hour. The reason I am is because I started your book late last night and could not put it down.
    The writing style is beautiful. It is written with great depth and is the type of book you have to read at least twice, the first time for the story and the second for all the little nuances.
    The main character talks about being someone who tries to guess the end as they are reading and from the first chapter I knew how it would end. But I got so wrapped up in the story, the heartbreak and anguish, the love and the romance that it wasn’t until he was going to pick Sylvia up that I remember. I was completely caught up in the story that the ending blindsided me, bringing tears to my eyes.
    I read a lot of YA novels and few have touched me the way this one has. Actually, a quote from the book describes it perfectly, “This book is a treasure; I did not suspect it would be so good when I picked it up, but now I can feel the printed words seeping though my skin and into my veins, rushing to my heart and marking it forever.” (p141).
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of writing with the world. You have a great talent and I cannot wait to read more of your work.

    1. Elizabeth, thank you so much for letting me know. It amazes me that I’m lucky enough for my book to end up in the hands of a reader like you, someone who really sees and understands what I was trying to do. Thanks again, so much.

  5. I’m sixteen years old. I’ve read more books then I can count. Fell in love with so many authors. Lasky, Riordan, Stephenie Meyer, Dan Brown, Jane Austen. And I can say your my favorite. Your writing was so easy to understand, so perfect. After the first page I knew how the book would end. It all felt so real. But I couldn’t stop reading. I fell in love with your book, and I don’t want it to be over. I normally don’t read book types like this. You had so much details that all made sense that all connected. The almost Romeo & Juliet ending. With the biggest plot twist at the end. I think I cried more over the fact that it was over, then the fact Finny died. I’m going to take a creative writing class next year. And Its what I want to major in. I have you to thank for figuring a lot all my problems and writing my future all in one book. I related so much is so many ways. It’s crazy how much of me I saw In this book. But I just finished writing my report on you. We had to write about our Idol someone we thought would be our bestfriend if we met them. I don’t think I could ever write a novel that could ever compare to this. You book gave me hope. And I always go to another world when I read, and its like a snow storm when I try to come back to reality. It’s so hard for me to get in to books and when I do I never want to stop reading. I want to thank you. Hopefully one day I get to meet you and tell you all this in person. I’m so excited for more of your work. Trust me all of my friends are going to read your book. I’m going to make sure everyone falls in love with it just like I did. And hopefully ends the book with another piece of their self they did know was there, just like I did. Thank you.

    1. Devon, I’m so sorry to have not replied to you sooner! Thank you so much for your kind message, it means the world to me to know that I was able to touch a teen who is so like I was at that age. I hope that we do meet some day so that I can give you a hug! Good luck with your writing, and thank you again!

  6. I finished today ‘If He Had Been With Me’ and I just have to say that it has been adding to my list of favorite books! (Although now I am so depressed because it’s over!) I can’t wait to read what you put out next. I want to be an author when I’m older and the way that you seem to get so into your work truly inspires me!

  7. I randomly checked out If He Had Been With Me from the library. Yes, I did judge a book by its cover and then liked the synopsis as well.

    Page 2 you mention Vogt Elementary: hmm, must be an important person in history who warranted many schools to be named after them. Page 3 you mention Church Street: well that is a weird coincidence. Then you write “our large Victorian house on Elizabeth Street.” What the heck? I immediately flip to the author bio to find that you live in St. Louis. I literally laugh out loud because I live in one of the Victorian houses on Elizabeth. The entire book I picture that Autumn and Finny grew up in my neighbor’s and my house, and I tried to figure out which house you must’ve lived in. How funny!

    I really enjoyed the book. Having struggled with depression most of my life, I appreciate it having a voice in your book for the many young people who may read your book and relate to it as well. I loved the ending, but I tend to lean toward a gritty rather than neat and happy ending. As Autumn said, sometimes sad things can be beautiful.

    I look forward to your next novel. Feel free to drop by and visit me anytime. 🙂

    1. Hello Carissa! What a funny coincidence that must have been for you! I grew up in Ferguson, but not on Elizabeth street, though I had friends and babysitting jobs who lived there. I wanted to live on Elizabeth street as a teen, so that’s where I put Autumn and Finny. Next time I visit my parents and drive down that lovely street, I’ll be wondering which house is yours!

  8. Ms. Laura Nowlin, I could sit here and tell you how great your book is, but I’m sure you’ve already heard it before. Because it is. It may be by far the only book that has touched me in such a personal manner that I can’t even explain. I want to thank you so much for your great book… For putting into words things that can’t be explain. I have been able to relate to Autumn and found out many things about myself that I never realized. I loved how I can see myself as Autumn. We are very similar but different at the same time. I think that’s what made me so emotionally attached to your book. I fell in love with Finny. I loved the fact that even though he was gone, she still had a piece of him with her. Not all endings are happy and as much as I would’ve liked for Finny and Autumn to live happily ever after, the reality that life doesn’t always go our way makes the story much more real. We always think of the “what ifs” of life… Wishing we could change our course… But realizing it to be too late. As I read the part where Finny leaves to break up with Sylvie I mentally beg Finny not to go. What if he had stayed for just one more day? Maybe the rain would not have been deadly. But I love how he couldn’t. I love even more that he didn’t stay in the car. Crazy right? But that just shows what kind of guy Finny was. In my eyes he was a hero. He died as one. Didn’t deserve to though. Ms. Nowlin, I would love to hear more about how this story came to be. (I also would want to know if you thought about what happened to Sylvie. I hope she feels guilty. She’s so dramatic) I hope that you are well and again, it brings me joy that I got the honor to find your book. So thank you so much.

  9. If He Had Been With Me broke my heart but it is near the top of my favorite books lost, which is quite long considering how much I read…I read this book in one sitting and just loved it completely. I relate so well with the main character, the way she thinks and acts. Can’t wait to read more by you!

  10. I was wondering if there was any way to like personally ask you questions like by email or snail mail. I’d really like to send you a few questions and I was wondering if there was a way besides on here. I also loved the whole book. I was crying like the whole entire end of the book though but that’s how you know it’s a good book.

    1. Hi Emma. Are you on twitter? If you are, I’ll follow you and you could send me a direst message. Or we could send messages back and forth on Goodreads if you are on that.

  11. I love if he had been with me. It’s the best book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. But WHY ON EARTH DID HE HAVE TO DIE? I know everyone does but still. It’s like you made my heart swell and explode with love, then stomped on the pieces. It is without a doubt my favorite book and don’t plan on giving it back to the library. Thank you so much for writing such a lovely novel.

    1. Hi Jazel, Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed the book! Finny had to die because that how it happened in the dream I had that inspired the novel, though it did kill me to do it. Please though, do return the library’s copy of the book! I want other people to have the chance to read it. Thanks again!

  12. I absolutely loved this book! I can’t stop thinking about it and I am extreamly excited for your next one to come out. You are an amazing author and your book is now my favorite book! Thank you for such a great read!

  13. Hey Laura is Autumn pregnant at the end of the book. Are you going to write anymore novels; I would really like to see a book from Finny’s point of view.

  14. I started reading your book the other day and it was so hard to put down!! I wanted Finny and Autumn together sooooooo bad!! I personally hated yet loved Jaime because I wanted Finny with Autumn but Jamie was. But your book was amazing and I’m so happy I stumbled upon it! I’m so broken about Finny’s death but I understand that, as the author, you had to do it. (I don’t really understand fully but I wish I could) I still really wish Finny and Autumn had gotten more than one night together… I love love love your book and I hope you make more books in general because your such a good writer!!

    1. Thank you so much Lauren! I really appreciate your note, especially the part about you (kinda) understanding that I had to do what I had set out to do, which was tell a story to show how regrettable not being true to your heart can be. I do have another book coming out in April 2015. I hope you’ll like it just as much. Thanks again!

  15. Hi Laura,
    I loved your book of course. It was amazing and really touched me. You put an emphasis on how Autumn is pretty but I was wondering if you, in your mind, have a more detailed description of her physical looks such as hair color and eye color and height etc. I was trying to create a picture of her in my own mind throughout reading but I just couldn’t settle on an image that satisfied me. I know you probably left out the details so the readers could come up with their own idea of her image. But I would love to know how you picture her looking.

    Thank you! And I can’t wait to read any new books you write!

  16. I’m a 17 year old avid reader. I read If He Had Been With Me last year. You are such an amazing writer and I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to read it. This year for a project for my Graphic Design class, we had to choose a person who inspired us, and I am proud to say that I chose you. I read a lot, but for some reason, your novel has stuck with me, and is one of my all time favorites. I’m looking forward to reading any other books that you write.

    All my love,
    Meg

  17. I purchased your book a while back on Book Bub and finally finished getting through my last few series books to sit down and read it and I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN! I have been obsessing over Autumn and Finny the last couple days and I finally stayed up late and finished the book this morning. I knew what was going to happen before it happened, yet the moment still took me by storm and I have been grieving Finny all day. Even in my grieving post about it on Facebook, I think I have sold 4 copies of your book. (You’re welcome, lol!) I know my cousin already downloaded it to her Kindle 🙂 Your words are beautiful and I felt so connected to Autumn, like she was me when I was in high school, although Autumn is far cooler and more creative than I could ever hope to be. I love the love that she and Finny share and their last moments together are beautiful enough to cry over. Thank you for your book. I love love loved it!

    1. Hey April! Thanks so much for your message! I’m so glad that you loved the book, and thanks so much for the sales! Word of mouth is so important for books and it means so much to me that you are spreading the word. Thanks again!
      ps I wasn’t as cool as Autumn either in HS.

  18. Hey! This is for Laura specifically: I have a few personal questions about If he had been with me, and if you can email me (hopefully you can see my email) i would really like to talk to you!

    1. Hey girl, I’d be happy to answer any questions you have, but I’m kinda protective of my private email. Can you ask me the questions here? Or you can send me a message on facebook or tumblr and I’ll reply. I’ll even follow you on twitter so that you can send me a pm. 🙂

  19. Hey, my name is Grayce. I have been reading books forever, and fell in love since the day I picked up my first book. I loved your book If He Had Been With Me, it was an amazing book , and inspired me to start writing one of my own. Your book relates so much to the reality, and opens up a perspective that not everyone notices. The ending made me cry, it was so sad, but I understand your reason for that, to fulfill your vision for the book. I can’t wait to start reading some other books that you will publish soon. After reading this book, I could not have helped, but to tel my friends about how amazing it was. I loved the foreshadowing you used in the book towards the middle. This book made me feel as if I was in the book sorta. I’m so glad though that Autumn got a chance to spend time with Finny at the end, and have a piece of him with her. I just have one question, how will Autumn’s new life without Finny be like, and is Jamie ever going to find out, and of course how is Aunt Angelina going to take it? Okay more like a few questions, lol. That is all I wanted to ask. Thanks for taking the time to read this letter, and understand how your book made me feel from my point of view. Take care, and God bless.
    Love,
    Grayce

    1. Hi Grayce! Thanks so much for you message, it really means to world to me that you loved the book. Thanks so much too for telling your friends about the book; word of mouth is sooooo important for writers!
      I feel as if when I was writing I was viewing another world, but the window closed when the book ended. I like to say that Autumn is probably pregnant, and that she probably named her baby Lysander, but I couldn’t tell you the sex.
      I think Aunt Angelina would be foremost concerned about Autumn, since she is only 19. Then, she would be naturally be excited about being a grandparent. Even Autumn’s mother would eventually feel that way. I also have faith that Autumn will work hard and raise her kid and finish school. It will be more difficult and it will take her longer to reach her goals, but she will get there.
      Congratulations, no one has ever asked me before about Jamie finding out about Autumn’s pregnancy. He inevitably would find out. He would be somewhat judgmental and condescending about it.
      Thanks again for your message. Good luck with your writing!

  20. Let me just say this, I picked this book randomly at the book store and it took me only two days to finish. Within those two days I cried 5 times, felt like I had a break up with a Jamie, and lost a Finny in my life. I have never ever EVER been so attached to a book and their characters as much as I am now. I keep rereading the last couple pages hoping it will change and Finny will be alive. You have broken my heart, but I am so happy that you did. Reading such an amazing book like this makes me want to write till I can’t write anymore. Hopefully one day I can write such a touching book and have girls like me crying on their breaks at work.

    Thank you so much.

  21. Hello, my name is Emily! I just wanted to let you know that If He Had Been With Me is my favorite book of all time. I cried at the ending. It’s the most emotionally attached to characters in a book I have ever been. It was so well written and it made me think about Autumn and Finn for days afterwards. I closed the book with that great satisfaction you get after knowing you have read an amazing book and you haven’t wasted your time. It has been a year since I read it and no book I have read has compared! I should of emailed you earlier but that just proves to you that I’ve been thinking about it all year. I loved the darkness of it all, it was compelling. After I read it I was completely inspired to have something signature about me, like Autumn with her tiaras. I went into grade ten with a series of different bows and suddenly that was what i was known for.. it felt good to have something different about you that people noticed. Romeo and Juliet is one of my favorite reads, so i loved what she said about it- “sometimes sad things are beautiful” which is an amazing line I often use with my glass half full boyfriend who doesn’t appreciate anything unless its glimmering and happy. Thank you, this book is always going through my mind and has become a part of me. You are brilliant and I hope one day i will be able to write something as artistic and beautiful as If He Had Been With Me. Xoxo

    1. Thank you so much Emily! It’s so amazing to me when I hear of someone who loved my book as much as you. It really means the world to me. My next book is coming out in Jan 2016!

  22. Hello, my name is Emily! I just wanted to let you know that If He Had Been With Me is my favorite book of all time. I cried at the ending. It’s the most emotionally attached to characters in a book I have ever been. It was so well written and it made me think about Autumn and Finn for days afterwards. I closed the book with that great satisfaction you get after knowing you have read an amazing book and you haven’t wasted your time. It has been a year since I read it and no book I have read has compared! I should of emailed you earlier but that just proves to you that I’ve been thinking about it all year. I loved the darkness of it all, it was compelling. After I read it I was completely inspired to have something signature about me, like Autumn with her tiaras. I went into grade ten with a series of different bows and suddenly that was what i was known for.. it felt good to have something different about you that people noticed. Romeo and Juliet is one of my favorite reads, so i loved what she said about it- “sometimes sad things are beautiful” which is an amazing line I often use with my glass half full boyfriend who doesn’t appreciate anything unless its glimmering and happy. Thank you, this book is always going through my mind and has become a part of me. You are brilliant and I hope one day i will be able to write something as artistic and beautiful as If He Had Been With Me. Xoxo

  23. Hello, I’d like to say that your book If He Had Been With Me, has caused me great heartache. I have yet to finish the book, but I can tell what’s happening. I’d like to thank you for writing a good book, but at the same time I want to cry into my pillow. You are a very good author and bring so much emotion to your readers with your work.

  24. Is there a chance of you writing an alternative ending to IHHBWM? Dont get me wrong, I loved the irony and the lesson along with the implementation of beauty in sadness-but what about those who seek a more positive tone? I know it wasnt your initial idea, but i think it would be fun for you to release a teaser chapter to replace the one where Finny dies. It could be called Because He Stayed With Me or something. I just feel with all of the negativity in the world, showing what could happen of you take a chance could teach from a different angle than simply saying what will happen if you dont.
    Im a huge fan of you and your book and i look forward to reading your next piece!

    1. Hi Heidi, I’d love to answer your questions. Feel free to send me a message on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. Or, we can do it in the comment section here if you like.

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