Laura Kelly Robb was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Mark and Anne Kelly, the fifth of six daughters. A railroad executive, Mark moved the family frequently and Laura attended schools in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New York, and eventually went to college in Toronto, Canada.
Thinking about a journalism career, she studied Political Economy and wrote for the University of Toronto daily The Varsity, but after college decided to travel to learn languages. She stayed a summer in France, but then resided five years in Spain. She taught at the Colegio Universitario de Vigo and studied at the University of Santiago. She married and had two children, a girl and a boy.
Returning to the United States, she worked in business, becoming the Human Resources Manager for ZymoGenetics in Seattle. After her divorce, she married Seattle teacher Paul Robb and studied secondary education at the University of Washington. She taught History and Spanish for over a decade in Seattle schools. A third child, a foster daughter, joined the family.
Writing occupied much of her free time. In Spain, mostly for amusement, she wrote a play and a few stories. In the U.S., she sent one of her stories to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was admitted to a three-week workshop. Subsequently, three stories were published, and she began her first novel, China Rock. She also wrote a book review column for the suburban paper, The Beachcomber, and briefly optioned a screenplay, May Your Hope Arise.
In 2013, she began Mark House, her own publishing firm. The company put out China Rock, and also two editions of the West Seattle Wildlife Calendar. The calendar featured photographs by a former colleague, Mark Wangerin, and sold well. Profits were donated to Chief Sealth High School students to fund an environmental conference.
In 2016, she and Paul purchased homes in Boise, Idaho and St. Simons, Georgia. Laura wrote full-time and produced a sequel to China Rock, several short stories, and began her current novel. In Boise, she joined a writers’ group. Employing practices similar to those observed in Iowa, the group of five writers each submitted a novel and contributed extensive critiques of each other’s works.
Now living part-time in Washington State, closer to Paul’s family, and part-time in St. Simons, closer to Laura’s family, she is happy to be associated with TouchPoint Press. Publication of The Research Club is expected in 2021, and two more novels are in a draft phase.