BRENDA WARNEKA TALKS ABOUT LAUGHLIN
Brenda Warneka answers questions here about her book Arcadia Images of America Around Laughlin, which was published in late 2018. She is a board member and secretary of the Colorado River Historical Society. Autographed copies of the book are for sale in the museum gift shop.
What prompted you to write the book Around Laughlin and how long did it take?
Warneka: I wrote the book after moving to Laughlin in 2010 and joining the Colorado River Historical Society. I first started to learn the history of the area through the society’s monthly programs and going on museum field trips. At the end of 2012, I began to research and collect the almost 200 photographs required for an Images of America book with Arcadia Publishing, a publisher I was familiar with. However, my work was interrupted by my husband becoming seriously ill. It was early 2018 before I could submit the manuscript and images to Arcadia.
What was your goal in writing the book?
Warneka: There were no other history books written about Laughlin, so I wanted to give readers a basic understanding of the history of the area and how the town of Laughlin evolved to where it is today. Understanding the prehistory of the area is important, so I started my book there. How much I could write about a given subject was limited by the length of the book.
Why didn’t you make the book longer?
Warneka: Around Laughlin is part of a series of local history books by Arcadia Publishing that follow a template that requires exactly 128 pages. If readers read Around Laughlin from beginning to end, however, they will be surprised at how much history is included in this small book. Hopefully, their curiosity will be whetted to continue learning on their own, perhaps by getting involved with the Colorado River Historical Society. The museum is always looking for volunteers. Readers are invited to join my Facebook group page called Around Laughlin if they are interested in being part of an ongoing discussion about the history of Laughlin and surrounding areas.
What part of the process of writing Around Laughlin did you enjoy the most?
Warneka: History speaks through the experiences of those who live it, and I most enjoy researching and writing individual stories of people. I hope readers enjoy meeting the people I included in Around Laughlin.
How has the book been received, and do you have a new book in the works?
Warneka: Laughlin residents tell me they love having a history book available about the town and want more. Right now, I am putting together a presentation for the Arizona History Convention about early artists and photographers of the Mojave. I haven’t decided what my next writing project will be.