For September we welcome Utah-based author Lauri Schoenfeld. Lauri is a well sought-after speaker and frequent guest with writing groups, podcasts, and business, talking about art, embracing fears, and learning to love yourself after abuse.
She’s the owner of Inner Enlightenment and is a child abuse advocate. Her business helps people connect with their inner light and child within. Believe it or not . . . she is part cyborg.
Let’s welcome Lauri Schoenfeld to the blog.
Thank you, Lauri Schoenfeld, for joining us! Can you give us an introduction to yourself and what got you into writing?
Hello. Thank you for the lovely introduction. Glad to be here. I’m a lover of people, art, and mystery. Yes, I’m the girl who likes to figure things out and ask a lot of questions, but I’m often the quiet girl in the back observing everything around her, too. I got into a writing when I was eight. I made investigator journals about my family, and their different moods and such to help me understand what the problem might be 😊 Growing up in an abusive home, I feel this was my way of finding a solution and something tangible that I felt I could do. The journals led to writing songs and poetry, then later to stories where I could be any character and go on adventures with them instead of being where I was. Writing has supported me many times over in.
Your psychological thriller novel, Little Owl, Launched August 31, 2021, can you give us a summary of the book?
Absolutely. It’s about an unstable woman, Adaline Rushner, who’s trying to establish a sense of home and certainty for herself and her family. She struggles with how to do that with the PTSD and anxiety attacks that keep plaguing her. When her daughters are kidnapped from her front yard and pronounced dead, she’s determined to find answers to what happened to her girls. Adaline opens up a web of childhood trauma and secrets that makes her question all she thought she knew about her life, herself, and the people she cares for the most.
Part cyborg? Please share with us!
When I was thirteen, I was diagnosed with severe scoliosis. I had to wear a huge Boston brace for 22 hours a day for a year. It was this hard plastic piece that hugged you tight like a girdle, except not cute or appealing. After that year passed, my back continued to get extensively worse and I was told I’d need to have back surgery or I’d be crippled by thirty. We went with having surgery and I’m now the proud of owner of two titanium rods on each side of spine, holding it in place. I’m a fantastic weather detector 😊
You’re a child abuse advocate and run your own business related to the issues. Has this influenced your writing?
Absolutely. What got me through the hardest moments of my life was writing out honestly how I was feeling and validating my voice. In an upbringing where my voice was often muffled or discounted to keep things quiet, writing gave me a place to be Lauri and to hear my truth on paper. To remind myself that what was happening to me wasn’t my fault and that I wasn’t crazy. Overtime, that truth led to being brave and reaching out for help. Often times, our voices are taken from us at a young age. I’m passionate about helping others to be able to express their truth in creative ways that helps them to feel safe, heard, seen, and validated.
What’s next for your writing career?
I’m currently writing the second book of Little Owl. I also have a realistic fiction story called Voiceless about a girl named Lyra whose dream to be on Broadway is shattered the day she loses her voice. She’s faced with letting go of her dreams for good or adapting to unfamiliar territory to stay on stage even if its’ not what she planned.
For aspiring and new writers, what’s one piece of advice you would give?
Enjoy the journey. There will be ups and downs along the way, just like life. Write down all your milestones and pull it out often. It will help remind you of all that you’ve done and how far you’ve come, especially on your down days. Write from your heart and be open to learning. Don’t take everyone’s feedback. If there are multiple people giving you the same advice, then take a look at it, but don’t change your story with every piece someone tells you. At the end of the day, you know your story better than anyone else.