Press Kit

Click button for the downloadable version (pdf) or get more info below. To inquire about interviews, speaking, teaching, or writing, please email Laurie.

About Laurie

Laurie McAndish King grew up in rural Iowa, studied science and philosophy at Cornell College, and has traveled to nearly forty countries — observing with an eye for natural science, and writing with a philosopher’s heart and mind.

Her award-winning travel essays and photography have appeared in many publications, including Smithsonian magazine, Travel Channel partner site iExplore.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Best Women’s Travel Writing Travelers’ Tales anthology, as well as other magazines and literary anthologies. An extended bio is here.

About Your Crocodile has Arrived

Your Crocodile has Arrived: More true stories from a curious traveler

Available in July, 2017
Whether your taste runs to crocodiles or chocolate, ancient relics or flying saucers, you’re sure to find entertainment and illumination in this collection of 21 true stories. Join in as the author…
•    Makes a pilgrimage to see a 2,500-year-old tooth.
•    Checks out the world’s largest earthworms — some are as much as twenty feet long.
•    Receives a full-body chocolate massage.
•    Participates in a shamanic ayahuasca ritual and discovers a hidden world.
•    Learns the secrets of alien spaceship propulsion — from an Ivy-League astrophysicist.

Advance praise for Your Crocodile has Arrived from travel writing luminaries and regular readers:

  • Laurie is one of those intrepid female travel writers who…continually stumbles into dangerous, disturbing and terribly odd situations. Always worth the read.
    Tim Cahill, Author, Jaguars Ripped My Flesh and Lost in My Own Backyard

  • King’s curiosity is contagious—whether she’s visiting a shrine to Buddha’s tooth, undergoing shamanic surgery, or crashing a convention of flying saucer sighters. Her tales glow with wit, warmth and a sense of wonder.
    Jeff Greenwald, Author, Shopping for Buddhas and The Size of the World.
  • Marvelously entertaining and often profoundly moving.
    Linda Watanabe McFerrin, Author, Namako, the Hand of Buddha, and Dead Love
  • Every chapter is a gem! You’ll want to pack up and go in search of adventure.
    Julie Freestone, journalist and co-author with Rudi Raab of Stumbling Stone


  • I couldn’t stop reading … elegantly and perceptively written, intelligent and entertaining.
    Wanda Hennig, Author, Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir about sensual pleasures, freedom from dark places, and living and eating with abandon
  • Original and funny … riveting yet slightly disturbing—I really enjoyed the read!
    Lisa Alpine, Author, Wild Life: Travel Adventures of a Worldly Woman and Exotic Life
  • Brave and bold.
    Jules Older, Author, Death by Tartar Sauce: A Travel Writer Encounters Gargantuan Gators, Irksome Offspring, Murderous Mayonnaise & True Love.
  • Wonderful evocative writing, irresistible narrative voice. Once I started reading, there was no turning back.
    Philip O. Chomak, Author, Beside the Point: Close Encounters in the Global Classroom

Available in July, 2017

Your Crocodile has Arrived: More true stories from a curious traveler will be available at independent bookstores and online behemoths in July, 2017. Published by Destination Insights  •  ISBN: 978-0998661513  •  paperback  •  $14.95  •  280 pages

About Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive!

LKEA-cover-thumbWhether she is lost in a parallel universe, kidnapped in the scorching Tunisian desert, or eaten alive by the blood-sucking rainforest creatures, King’s stories — poignant, quirky, and often quite funny — are always inspiring and entertaining.

It’s an award-winning book:
Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive! True stories from a curious traveler won these awards in 2017:

  • North American Book Awards: Silver Award in the Travel category.
  • San Francisco Book Festival: First Place Winner in the General Non-fiction category.
  • Independent Press Award: Distinguished Favorite in the Travel category.
  • BATW-Best Awards: Gold Award in the Travel Books category.

With award-winning stories:
The story “Silk from Ashes” won a Lowell Thomas Gold Award from the Society of American Travel Writers—that’s the premier competition for travel writing, akin to the Pulitzer Prize for travel journalism. And the story “Lemurs and Leeches” won the grand prize in the Bay Area Travel Writers international Planet Earth contest.

Other stories have won awards from Travelers’ Tales (multiple years), Bay Area Travel Writers (multiple years), the Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference (multiple years), and more.

Widely published:
Sixteen of the stories in this collection have been previously published in magazines or travel anthologies, including Lonely Planet’s The Kindness of Strangers, five Travelers’ Tales anthologies (30 Days in Italy, The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2009, The Thong Also Rises, Venturing in Ireland, Venturing in Italy) and three Wanderland Writers anthologies.

Well reviewed:

  • Publisher’s Weekly said it’s “Part cultural tour, part prayer to the natural world … circles the globe with lively adventures and intimate insights.”
  • Kirkus Reviews called this “An engaging, meticulously observed journey that brings other cultures alive.” The Kirkus reviewer enjoyed the book so much she interviewed the author for a spread in the magazine’s “Interviews & Profiles” section.
  • Other readers have called it witty, intelligent, savvy, quirky, fresh and fun.
  • More reviews of Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive! are here.

Join Laurie studying French kissing in Paris … tracking lions on foot in Botswana … searching for signs of an ancient erotic goddess in Ireland … accidentally marrying a Maasai warrior in Kenya … chasing lemurs in Madagascar … sampling the world’s most expensive coffee in Bali … and eating her way through southern Italy.

Speaking and Teaching

Laurie is available for book readings, interviews, classes, and panel or solo presentations about writing and independent publishing. She has participated at dozens of venues, appearing on public radio and at bookstores, libraries, museums, and prestigious travel conferences, including San Francisco’s LitQuake and Jamaica’s Calabash International Literary Festival. Here are some popular examples:

Panelist or Presenter

  • Self-Publishing for Authors (Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference)
  • Cross-Platform Travel Guides (Bay Area Travel Writers)
  • Creative Collaboration (Bay Area Travel Writers)
  • How I built my website, and what it’s done for me lately (Bay Area Travel Writers)
  • How to get the Most out of the Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference (Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference)

Teacher

  • Travel Memoir — Navigating the Wilds of Your Soul (San Luis Obispo County Junior College District, CA)
  • From Sense to Sensuality — Enliven Any Genre (San Luis Obispo County Junior College District, CA)
  • Travel Writing (San Luis Obispo County Junior College District, CA)
  • Marketing with New Media (San Luis Obispo County Junior College District, CA)
  • Self-Publishing for Authors (San Luis Obispo County Junior College District, CA)
  • App Happy — Developing destination-based mobile applications (San Francisco, CA)
Awards

Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive! True Stories from a Curious Traveler, won the following awards:

  • North American Book Awards 2017: Silver Award in the Travel category.
  • San Francisco Book Festival 2017: First Place Winner in the General Non-fiction category.
  • Independent Press Award 2017: Distinguished Favorite in the Travel category.
  • BATW-Best Awards 2017: Gold Award in the Travel Books category.

 

Many of King’s individual essays and photos are also award winners; here is a partial list:

  • The Lowell Thomas Gold Award for Cultural Tourism (2013) was awarded to the story Silk from Ashes, about the impact one woman, her bra, and 11,640 insect eggs made on war-torn Croatia.
  • Smithsonian magazine’s annual international photo contest (there were 60,000 entries) awarded King’s photo of a tiny frog  first place in the Natural World category.
  • Bay Area Travel Writers
    • Planet Earth Award for travel writing that helps to sustain or enhance the unique and valuable character of a place (2008, 2010, 2017)
    • BATW-Best Photography (2017)
    • BATW-Best Travel Article/Essay (2008, 2010)
  • Travelers’ Tales
    • Solas Awards (2007, 2008)
    • Editor’s Choice (2002, 2003)
  • Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference: Conference Travel Story awards (2003, 2013)