Laguna Beach author’s first novel is a labor of love

Laura Ford loves cats so much that the two in her Laguna Beach home sometimes act more human than feline.

Ford and her husband Michael Russell have a pair of Siamese cats. They are potty trained.

“These kind of people panic when they visit,” Ford said with a laugh. “You go to the bathroom, and there might be a cat on the toilet. “

Ford loves animals and their relationship with humans. There is a cat on the cover of her debut novel, “Sounds Like Love,” which is available in paperback and hardcover, as well as ebook editions, at major retailers. including Amazon.

Ford is hosting a tea party and book signing Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Los Rios Tea House in San Juan Capistrano. Those interested are asked to RSVP to [email protected].

The novel for young adults tells the story of a young web designer, Wendy, who wants to find love and travel the world. Her life changes when she finds an extraordinary cat in her grandmother’s house.

“It is about strength in the face of adversity and just reaching out to people to say, ‘You are not alone in your struggles,'” said Ford. “We all go through hard times, but you are stronger than you think. “

Laguna Beach resident Laura Ford is hosting a tea party for her new book Thursday night in San Juan Capistrano.

(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Ford said the cat in the book is based on the one she rescued while on vacation in Greece.

Writing the novel was a natural progression for Ford, 34, who has written short stories since his childhood in the UK, Essex.

Ford, who immigrated to the United States almost seven years ago, grew up with parents who were both artists and went to the Royal College of Art.

“Our house always had amazing artwork on the walls,” she said. “It was a very expressive environment. We have all been encouraged to paint, draw and write.

During this time, she forged her own path, earning a law degree from Anglia Ruskin University in England.

Ford has said that while her first novel is not autobiographical, there are aspects that she borrowed from her own life. She said the ideas for the story came quickly, adding that she finds it funny but also moving.

One of the main goals she has with the novel is to show the power in everyone, she said.

“In the movies, they often think it shows women that they are strong if they hold a bazooka, hit someone on the head, or do something violent,” she said. “But you know what, my mom is an incredibly strong woman, and she doesn’t have to be violent to be incredibly strong… It’s the lowly people that interest me, and the personal strength and resilience of people and how special it is. People carry their strength within them, and it doesn’t show in everyday life.

In addition to her writing efforts, Ford is the founder of the nonprofit Laguna Beach Pollinator Protection Fund, and began work last week on a monarch butterfly habitat at Heisler Park after it was approved by city council. She said she worked with Robin Jones, a local master gardener.

Russell said he was proud of his wife, but added with a smile that he doesn’t really interfere with his artistic process.

“It’s a constant flow [of ideas], and it’s always interesting and fun, ”he said. “It’s fun for me to watch it develop, but I mostly listen and read something when it’s ready. I do not probe, because it flows very well on its own.

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