Dreams coming true
Local author publishes first novel
Altoonan Laura Bossi, 39, has self-published her first novel, which includes more than 200 illustrations. “The Enpirion Project, Book 1: Exordium” is the first of a trilogy written under the pen name L. Bossi.
She describes the first book of the trilogy as a love story that explores the difficulties of interpersonal relationships. Set in the high-fantasy world of Aetrelys, home to the ancient, energy-wielding Seri, she recommends the book for ages 16 and older due to its mild sexual content and exploration of LGBTQ+ and mental health themes, which include depression, anxiety and self-confidence issues.
She turned to writing and illustrating novels seven years ago to cope with her chronic illness.
“It started as a series of pretty realistic, intense dreams that I had. At the time I was in school at DigiPen Institute of Technology out in Seattle. It’s the school for the game industry — it was founded by Nintendo. It’s the MIT of the game industry,” she said. She moved back to Altoona in 2017.
“You are so involved in creativity it invades your dreams and everything else. The characters to me are as real to me as anybody I know in real life. They’re as real as family. I let them tell me the story. All I did was write it down.”
The writing of the second and third books in the series is completed and she is working on illustrations for each. Bossi declined to reveal their titles as she hopes to land a publishing contract.
Bossi combines her interests in Asian Studies, fashion and graphic design. As the owner and designer of Onmyodo Footwear, she designed sneakers for Asian pop culture for seven years. Her fashion talents are displayed through the detailed apparel and footwear in her illustrations.
Upon her graduation from Altoona Area High School in 2000, she obtained a degree in East Asian Studies from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. While at Dickinson, she spent a semester in Japan, which “had a pretty significant influence on my art style,” she said.
She also has degrees in footwear design/technology, CAD/CAM and manufacturing from Leicester College in Leicester, England. She then attended DigiPen from 2014 to 2017.
“With my art and design, I was completely self-taught until I went to DigiPen for their BFA program, which was actually done as a means of refining my skills. I’ve been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil,” she said.
She has worked in various roles within the graphic design industry and continues as a freelance designer. Ultimately, she hopes to pursue a career in the game industry as a concept/design illustrator while continuing to do commissioned art pieces.
Bossi’s debut novel is available for pre-order through her website www.piriproject.com and on Amazon starting Aug. 12 (408 pages, 200+ illustrations; hardback; $39.95). She also has Enpirion Project merchandise, including bookmarks, stickers and signed prints available for sale.