Mentor Monday ~ Laura Toffler-Corrie

Welcome to Laura Toffler-Corrie! Thrilled to have her here on Mentor Mondays!Laura is the author of the hilarious, THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF AMY FINAWITZ, a character being called, “The Tina Fey” of middle grade readers. I highly recommend you pick up the book and put a sitting aside to get to know this hilarious, quirky girl!

From Booklist:

It can’t get any worse for Amy Finawitz. Her best friend, Callie, has abandoned their life in New York City to stay with relatives in Kansas for the year, leaving Amy to cope with eighth grade alone. Thankfully—or not—God sends Amy a replacement friend in the form of Miss Sophia, the little old lady who lives down the hall. Miss Sophia hooks Amy into solving a decades old mystery left in a very old journal. The dynamic duo soon becomes a Terrific Triumvirate when Miss Sophia also asks her fifteen-year-old nephew, Beryl, a Lubavitch Jew, to join their little investigative team.

And if Amy thought her year couldn’t get anymore random, she can add the following items to her list: Houdini’s grave, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, cross-dressing magicians, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, crochet circles, Abraham Lincoln, a raucous rendition of Fiddler on the Roof, and a secret treasure.

To get through it all, Amy’s going to need a serious Chanukah miracle


Praise For The Life and Opinions of Amy Finawitz…

“Entertaining…genuinely funny…” –Publishers Weekly

“…value and sweetness.”–Kirkus Reviews


In my early twenties, I decided to return to graduate school and pursue a degree in Dramatic Writing at New York University. I was excited but also terrified. Did I have the courage to share my work? Did I have talent? Could I succeed? On the first day of class, cowered by my insecurities, I decided that the best approach was a cautious one. I would sit in the back of the room and say very little.

However, the professor, Lee Kalcheim, had other ideas. His class was going to be a full participation experience. We would spend the semester writing and sharing our work. At the end, we would mount our own one act play to be performed in front of an audience. When I heard that, it took everything I had not to run out the door and never look back.

Somehow, week after week, I screwed up the nerve to write and present new work and, week after week, Lee was supportive. He encouraged me to develop my writing voice, he laughed at the funny bits and offered supportive criticism when needed. He taught me about character and plot and dialogue. Through his gentle guidance and the supportive atmosphere he created in class, my work improved and my confidence bloomed. On the last day, I did indeed mount my own one act play, in a professional, black box theatre, in front of an audience; one of the most frightening, and exhilarating experiences of my life.
I believe that Lee’s support was instrumental in giving me the courage to pursue a career in writing, with all its attendant rejection and disappointments, and to achieve my dream of being a professional author.As far as the author goes, she’s pretty hilarious and quirky, too! 😉 THANKS, so much, Laura, for gracing us with your presence here on Mentor Mondays!

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