Branching Out with Author, Mentor & Teacher Lauri Schoenfeld of Utah, USA.
As part of our ongoing series of Authors represented by Creative Edge of Saskatoon, this week the Scribbler is fortunate to welcome Lauri Schoenfeld.
I visited Lauri’s blog page – see it here – and discovered open and heartfelt dialogue of things that are important to her and her followers. A brave writer, she shares intimate moments of pressing issues and answers, encouraging readers to “…embrace your fears…” “…learn to love yourself after abuse…”
The following was taken from busy-mom.com:
It’s a true pleasure to have Lauri as our guest, so, let’s chat with her.
Allan: Welcome to the Scribbler, Lauri, and thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Before we get into the interview, can you tell us a bit about yourself, family and life in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.
Lauri: It’s my pleasure, Allan. Thank you for hosting me! I’m a mom to three amazing teenagers, two of which are the same height as me. My hubby and I are high school sweethearts. We met in chorus class, and history was in the making when I asked him out on our first date. I’m a Nancy Drew enthusiast and like to pretend that I’m her sidekick, solving my own mysteries with her still leading the way. I’m a child abuse and Scoliosis advocate. I love writing and interviewing people, a beautiful blend of my curious, talkative, introspective, expressive, and passionate self. I learn a lot about myself and other people through writing, creating stories, and hosting The Enlightenment Podcasts.
Allan: Your novel – Little Owl – due to be released August, 31st, has already earned exceptional reviews. From the intro we read as follows: Author Lauri Schoenfeld's psychological thriller is a suspenseful tale of family trauma, discovering our inner strength, and understanding the power of forgiveness. Please tell our readers about the story and how it was inspired.
Lauri: Little Owl is about an unstable woman, Adaline Rushner, who wants to create safety and consistency within her home and life, but is spiraling from childhood trauma and PTSD. She wants to change but has no idea how to do this. She’s essentially coasting, pretending to put on a happy face while she’s caving with crippling depression and anxiety, but her family is the one thing keeping her grounded. When her two daughters are kidnapped from their front yard and pronounced dead, Adaline can’t accept that this is her reality and searches what happened to her daughters. As she goes down this dark path, Adaline begins to see the lies she’s told herself and the secrets those around her have kept from her, too.
A true event inspired the story. I grew up in an abusive household and have experienced and still go through PTSD episodes and panic attacks. Right after I had my second baby, my fears were extremely heightened that something terrible would happen to her. My PTSD kicked in full gear where I was mama bearing her all the time and wouldn’t let her out of my sight. One morning, I decided to take a shower. I lasted for three minutes before that distance of not seeing or hearing my girls set me off in full panic mode. I got out of the shower to check on them, and they were completely fine, but the intense fear sat with me. I had to place that fear in a spot where I could try to understand why it was there, and this is where Little Owl was born.
Allan: Please tell us about your role as Inner Enlightenment Show Host. Sounds interesting.
Lauri: A few years ago, I had an idea that I wanted to interview people and hear their stories about things that they struggle with, or a moment in time where they hit rock bottom. But, also talk about the different steps they’ve taken to move forward within their life to find joy, wonder, and creativity that’s helped them be where they are today. I would say this is the Nancy Drew/Chicken Soup for the Soul part of me that wanted to open a safe space for truth, understanding, and inspiration. When I started it, I had no idea if it would be something that I’d do for an extended period as it was a fun test while getting to know an amazing human. After a few months of the show, I knew that this was something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The stories, experiences, and people I talk to each week have greatly inspired me and brought so much heart and voice to the show. People are fascinating, unique, and radiant!
Lauri: Yes!! I was asked a few years back if I could write a short story for this beautiful Christmas anthology. During that time, my grandma was dying. She was one of the only people who validated my experiences as a kid and always told me how special and amazing I was. She saw me in a way that no one else did, and it meant everything to me. Losing her around the holidays felt devastating, but as I was unpacking Christmas boxes and putting up decorations for my little family, I found an ornament that she gave me when I was a teen that said, “Treasure every moment.” Christmas Treasure is all about the grief and pain of losing someone you love during the holidays and treasuring the moments you had with them.
Allan: Can you share a childhood memory and/or anecdote.
Lauri: Sure. I liked to hide under pine trees and collect pinecones. It was a safe space where no one could see me, and I could hide, but it felt magical being hugged by the branches and also felt sleuth-like, wondrous, playful, and fun.
Allan: You are a Creativity Coach. Please tell us about this role.
Lauri: I teach people how to enjoy the moments of creativity away from judgment, perfectionism, shame, and guilt. When you have PTSD or childhood trauma, there’s this natural part that becomes very much a piece of you to shield and protect yourself at all costs. When that occurs, vulnerability and creativity leave the building. That’s often where the term “writer’s block” comes in. As a creativity coach, I teach people how to let those walls of protection come down, step by step, by using art and music as a connective form of expression and voice to break those barriers.
Favorite movies: Nancy Drew, Shutter Island, The Fault to Our Stars, Little Women, Beaches, Fried Green Tomatoes.
My favorite dessert is, hands down, cherry cheesecake!
Allan: Tell us about your writing habits. Do you have a favorite spot to write? Do you prefer silence or background music?
Lauri: My writing habits change depending on what writing stage I’m in. When I’m writing my first draft, I prefer silence. But when I’m in my editing stages, I’ll listen to background music. Editing to me is like a giant puzzle, and I love puzzles. Having music on and putting the pieces together feels mysterious and adventurous to me. It also sets the tone for me, which gives more depth and richness to my setting and characters. My two favorite spots are in my downstairs office, surrounded by lights and toys, or under our beautiful tree in the backyard.
Allan: Anything else you’d like to tell us about?
Lauri: We all have a valuable and important story to tell that will speak to someone out there who needs to hear the very things you’re placing on paper.
For all you wonderful visitors wanting to discover more about Lauri, please follow these links:
Amazon.com: Little Owl: 9781735233116: Schoenfeld, Lauri: Books