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Rigler, Laurie Viera (Laurie Viera)

Rigler, Laurie Viera (Laurie Viera)

PERSONAL:

Education: State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A. (summa cum laude).

CAREER:

Freelance book editor. Conducts writing workshops and classes; has worked in various jobs in filmmaking and production, including production coordinator, producer, screenplay reader, and scriptwriter. Jane Austen Society of North America (Southwest Region), webmaster.

MEMBER:

Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Phi Beta Kappa.

WRITINGS:

(Under name Laurie Viera; with Sheree Bykofsky) Popping the Question: Real-Life Stories of Marriage Proposals from the Romantic to the Bizarre (nonfiction), Walker (New York, NY), 1996.

(Under name Laurie Viera; with Richard Roeper) He Rents, She Rents: The Ultimate Guide to the Best Women's Films and Guy Movies (nonfiction), St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 1999.

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (novel), Dutton (New York, NY), 2007.

ADAPTATIONS:

Also author of the blog Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict was adapted as an audiobook.

SIDELIGHTS:

Laurie Viera Rigler is a novelist, nonfiction writer, and freelance book editor. She conducts workshops in creative writing and often teaches classes in storytelling techniques at Vromans, the oldest and largest independent bookstore in Southern California. A summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, Rigler holds a bachelor's degree in classics. She has worked in various roles in the film industry, from producer to production coordinator to scriptwriter and rewriter.

Rigler is the coauthor of two works of nonfiction, written under the name Laurie Viera. The first, Popping the Question: Real-Life Stories of Marriage Proposals from the Romantic to the Bizarre, written with agent and author Sheree Bykofsky, contains stories of unusual, ultraromantic, and creatively inspired situations in which marriage proposals have been offered. The book provides background information on the profiled couples, including how they met and how their courtship progressed: proposals are made underwater, while scuba diving; on horseback, while dressed in armor; and in the air, over an airplane's intercom system.

Rigler teams up with noted movie critic Richard Roeper in He Rents, She Rents: The Ultimate Guide to the Best Women's Films and Guy Movies. The book is a "humorous, gender-specific guide to movie rentals," according to the author's Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict Web site. Rigler and Roeper "embrace the video-rental gender gap," noted a Publishers Weekly contributor. They assess fifty movies each and consider them in terms of what makes them appeal to either men or women. Roeper's films for men are rated in terms of action, explosions, and nudity, while Viera's ratings consider romantic content, tears, and the presence of strong female characters.

Rigler's debut novel is Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, a "comedy and love story exploring an identity in crisis," commented a California Bookwatch reviewer. The novel's protagonist, Courtney Stone, is a single woman living in Los Angeles. Her engagement has fallen apart after discovering that her fiancé has been cheating on her with the wedding-cake designer. Reeling emotionally, she curls up in bed and seeks solace in the familiar worlds of Jane Austen's literary works. When she wakes up, however, she finds herself in a place that is strangely familiar, but which is not her own. She is no longer Courtney Stone but Jane Mansfield, a thirty-year-old gentlewoman in 1813 Regency-era England, the very timeframe in which Austen set her popular novels. At first confounded, Courtney/Jane soon finds herself settling into the Austen-inspired world around her even as some of her twenty-first century ideals clash with her new experiences. Some aspects of her new home are hard to accept. Unmarried at age thirty, she is not allowed to travel alone and must be accompanied by a chaperone wherever she goes. She chafes against the restrictions placed on women and their activities in this time period. She discovers that the personal hygiene of the time is a great deal more lax than in the modern era. However, there is much to enjoy as well, including the lavish balls, grand meals, and the attentions of dedicated suitors. Courtney/Jane even has a brief encounter with her idol, Jane Austen herself. However attractive Austen's milieu may be, however, Courtney realizes that she must soon decide which world she most wants to inhabit.

"Fans of the ever-expanding inspired-by-Austen-lit garden party will find a winner here," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Similarly, a reviewer on Mischievous Muse called it "a book that any lover of the books of Jane Austen is sure to relish and appreciate!" Rigler's "frothy take on literary time travel" will find fans among readers who are familiar with Austen's "memorable characters and themes," noted Alison Block in a Booklist review. "Charming characters, matchless plot-lines and a great Austen flavor make this debut a must-read," concluded Blogcritics.org reviewer Jill Hart.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, July 1, 2007, Allison Block, review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, p. 25.

California Bookwatch, November, 2007, audiobook review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.

Good Housekeeping, August, 2007, "For a Twist on a Classic," review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, p. 168.

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2007, review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.

Library Journal, July 1, 2007, Bette-Lee Fox, review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, p. 84.

Publishers Weekly, March 22, 1999, review of He Rents, She Rents: The Ultimate Guide to the Best Women's Films and Guy Movies, p. 84; June 4, 2007, review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, p. 28.

ONLINE

Ascent Aspirations,http://www.ascentaspirations.ca/ (February 26, 2008), Joanne Ross, review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.

Blogcritics.org,http://blogcritics.org/ (August 30, 2007), Jill Hart, review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict Web site,http://www.janeaustenaddict.com (February 26, 2008).

Conversations with Famous Writers Web log,http://conversationsfamouswriters.blogspot.com/ (August 18, 2007), Cindy Bokma, interview with Laurie Viera Rigler.

Get Lit Web log,http://pojogetlit.blogspot.com/ (December 9, 2007), review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.

Mischievous Muse Web log,http://alaydhien.blogspot.com/ (July 25, 2007), review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.

PopMatters,http://www.popmatters.com/ (August 31, 2007), Ann Hellmuth, review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.

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