The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Writer credits teaching

By Matt Koper/ne news editor

Novelist says 2-year college job helped in her writing 

Teaching at a community college impacted her writing when Laura McBride  was working on her first novel We Are Called to Rise, she told a NE audience April 8.

McBride, who teaches at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, said her students learn to answer the question “What is writing?” by calling back “Communication.” This helped her keep the reader in mind when writing her novel.

Laura McBride discusses her book We Are Called to Rise with a NE student April 8. Photo by Brendon James/The Collegian
Laura McBride discusses her book We Are Called to Rise with a NE student April 8.
Photo by Brendon James/The Collegian

“My purpose in this small ritual is to remind students to think about their reader as they write,” she said. “And when I was writing We Are Called To Rise, I was always thinking about readers like you. I was always thinking about the experience you would have as you read my story.”

McBride said her students helped influence one of the main characters Luis, a 21-year-old soldier in the Iraq War.

“I created that character, who was entirely invented, because I had been so moved by the conversations I had with my own students who were soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 10 years,” she said.

McBride said finding ways to get students in her classes to write helped her own self-discipline.

“In writing the novel, I also followed the advice I give to my own students,” she said. “And I pretty much had to use every trick that I have ever used with a student on myself to get myself all the way through that book. In so many ways, We Are Called To Rise would not exist were I not a community college teacher.”

Following her presentation, McBride read two excerpts from her book on Luis and the young boy Bashkim, answered the audience members’ questions and signed copies of her book.

NE student Morgan Cook said McBride’s love of writing was impressive.

“One of my favorite parts was how she talked about her passion for writing and how it’s just something she loves to do,” she said. “It kind of inspired me to try and find that passion.”

Student Kayla Apple said she enjoyed McBride reading excerpts from her book.

“I think she did a really good job describing the book without giving anything away, to where it was interesting to people who haven’t read anything,” she said.

McBride said she wanted to connect with her readers through her book.

“It’s about making a connection with another human being,” she said. “So talking directly with someone about the book after, or signing their book, or hearing what their thoughts were vis-à-vis the book, is a form of that communication. It’s extending that communication. It was my goal all along.”

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