Alumni Profile: Lauren Zurcher
By Zoe Victorine, third-year media studies and English major
Lauren Zurcher graduated from DU with a BA in media studies and French with a minor in marketing in the spring of 2020, an unprecedented time to enter the professional world. Like her fellow early-COVID graduates, she was unsure how the start of her career would look.
“I was thinking I was going to take the marketing and communications job route, but I love writing and drawing so much more than sitting behind a computer.”
As she spent the following months isolating at her family home in Denver, Colorado, she had ample free time to explore her creative side. With the world at a standstill, Zurcher spent time outdoors in the beautiful Denver weather, drawing inspiration from her backyard for watercolor pieces. She befriended a rabbit who frequented her garden, and he soon went from being the subject of her paintings to the main character of a children’s story.
She developed her story idea for several months, and, with the support of her sister’s newly founded publishing company Spring Cedars, "They Call Me Lucky" was released in March of 2021. Her second book, "Good Boy, Nicco," came out the following October.
“Becoming an author was never something I really considered, but as a kid I was always writing stories. I have a book saved of the stories I used to write and looking at it now, I wonder if it was underneath all this time.”
Now Zurcher is using the skills she honed while studying media studies in MFJS to maneuver the interactive and marketing sides of bookselling.
“The marketing aspect of the media studies program really has been helpful, especially with promoting my books on social media. Having used platforms like Twitter in my classes has been so useful with promoting my books.”
In additional to marketing via social media, Zurcher has taken a “boots on the ground” approach to promoting her work, travelling to bookstores and getting to meet sellers face-to-face. She visits local schools to read her book in classrooms, which is helpful for sales and also allows her to build a personal connection with her readers. This has been Zurcher’s favorite part of the book release route: getting to meet children and their families and see their faces as they listen to her stories and look at her illustrations.
“It’s literally the best part of all of it – getting to see the kids look at my books makes me so happy.”
After the success of her first two books, Zurcher is planning to write a total of ten stories along the same vein, all with an animal as the main character. She plans to continue to write stories drawn from her own life experience and create art for her and other authors’ books along the way.
Zurcher is working hard on her third book now, which she hopes to release this spring. While she is keeping the story a secret for now, she has started hinting at the topic on her Instagram as the release grows closer, dropping clues to help her followers guess which furry friend it will feature.
What started out as boredom relief during quarantine has blossomed into an exciting career for Zurcher, and with the support of her family and MFJS education she will continue her creative journey with each new story she tells.
Lauren Zurcher’s books are available on Amazon, Google Books, Barnes & Noble, and many other major book retailers, as well as on her website.