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In a luxe read with weighty questions at its center, debut novelist Laura Holtz’s Warm Transfer [May 29, 2018, Gatekeeper Press] breaks into the new media landscape forged by the #MeToo movement with a story of self-discovery, newfound joy and reinvention.
Tamsen Peel isn’t happy in her marriage. Issues ranging from the run-of-the-mill to the run-for-the-hills plague her relationship with high-powered advertising executive Victor. Amid their lavish lifestyle in the uppermost echelon of Chicago elites, Tamsen has lost her sense of identity and hope for the future. Enter an attractive and thoughtful young musician hired to give guitar lessons to the Peels’ special needs son, and Tamsen is ushered into the Warm Transfer she needed but didn’t know she wanted.
It was during a routine customer service call that Holtz learned that the act of an operator remaining on the line with their caller until that caller is successfully transferred to another agent is called a warm transfer. It immediately set her creative wheels spinning and Warm Transfer is the work that grew from that original draft. Metaphorically speaking, a warm transfer happens any time we help others find safe passage to their destination. Warm transfers move us forward, and they are at the heart of Tamsen’s journey.
Ten percent of the profits from Warm Transfer are being donated by Holtz to The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
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Laura Holtz graduated from Northwestern University back when Allison Hall was still a single-sex dorm. She took a mid-career break from her job in sales promotion to accept a graduate teaching fellowship and earn a master’s degree in Special Education. When the head of the creative department at her former agency went on maternity leave, however, Laura couldn’t refuse the offer to step into her dream job. She remained in the corporate world until she had children.
Laura has taken on copywriting endeavors ranging from industrial sales brochures to an ad campaign that ran on Chicago Transit Authority buses for two years. She put her talent for writing toasts in rhymed verse to use by composing book and lyrics for her original musical, Gatecrashers, which was a finalist in the Ball State University Discovery New Musical Theatre Festival. Clogs, avocados, and a great co-parenting arrangement with her ex-husband are among the things for which Laura is grateful, but the thing that gives her purpose is the privilege of being Henry, William and Kat’s mom.
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