Monday, 27 September 2010

Interview with Laura Schultz

What? The weekend is over already? I think I can ease your Monday morning blues with my next interviewee. Laura Schultz is a fantastic writer whom I've connected with through Twitter and Facebook. She's always supportive and has a terrific attitude. Let's get to know her a little more.

Welcome, Laura. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in a small border town in California into a political family. My father was a farmer turned politician and mother was a painter/sculptor. As a child I was greatly influenced by what I saw there in the 1950’s during an idyllic time much like old American television shows. Meeting notable political figures was quite interesting. They came to our cozy little town to campaign for my dad who was running for a Senatorial seat from our district in 1964. We had horses and lots of great animals on the ranch we had. As with many of us my childhood influenced my adult life, including what I have chosen to write about now.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing poetry almost all of my life to get me through the good times and mostly the many tough years. However, I began writing professionally about 4 years ago and began by writing for national magazines. I write a myriad of genres including true crime, poetry, articles related to relationships, sexuality and book reviews for the New York Journal of Books in genres that I am credentialed to review. I have also been a licensed Psychotherapist for over 20 years which also influences my writing style.

Wow, sounds like you've got your hands in every jar. That's awesome. Tell us about the book of poetry you have out with a publisher.

My book involves poetry of love, loss and personal struggles of having an incurable but manageable physical illness for many years. The collection of poems is reflective of my philosophy about life and writing from the soul. There will be more details forthcoming when it gets closer to publication.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I gather my inspiration from many sources including other poets and writers--mainly those who struggled throughout history. But also those I have had the privilege to come to know presently. My mom’s fabulous artwork and gourmet cooking talents have also influenced my desire to create something artistic. I have no artistic talent per se like she had but I know that she would be proud of me now. She was way ahead of her time and was also a somewhat renowned artist for her generation of women. Unfortunately she is in the last stages of Alzheimers and cannot witness what I have accomplished.

Sounds like she's an amazing woman.

Tell us, do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers?

I don’t necessarily enjoy writing critique groups but my best friend is a prolific writer, scholar and film teacher. He has also been my writing mentor and best teacher for over 6 years now. I also recently created a writer’s group called Writer’s etc. along with my Co-Director Italia Trent. The group has over 600 members from many genres as well as members of the Hollywood Community. I have received and hopefully give support to all the writers in the group as much as I am able to do along with my many writing deadlines.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part for me, Dorothy, is maintaining a balance in my life between writing, friends taking care of myself and having some semblance of a healthy relationship. That will take more time for me to learn to do well. Many of my non-writer friends are disappointed that I don’t have much time to spend with them anymore and don’t understand why I work such odd hours, in their opinion.

I understand. I've often wished for a way to freeze time so I can do all the things I need to do and stay connected to everyone I'd like to.

Do you have any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

For me writing at night when it’s quiet is the best time for me to focus. I realize every writer has their own personal preference when it comes to this issue. I also feel that my outlook on life in general helps me get through the waiting or dry periods (so to speak) that can cause great angst for many writers including myself. I’ve been very lucky to have such great support for the writing life the past few years. Though I dreaded the thought of social media at first, I have learned to enjoy networking with other writers and sharing our mutual concerns.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Must haves for me are inspirational pix or quotes from people I admire, an old-fashioned writing pad that I carry everywhere I go and in my office I am surrounded by award-winning paintings that my mother created years ago.

Cool! Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

I am very grateful to the many people who have supported me in the last few years from all over the world especially Stuart McCallum, Italia Trent, Roz Morris, Anton Mueller, Don Odom, Nancy Denofio, Russ Bryant, Amanda Haines, Deborah Riley, Derek Haines and Dan Hays. All of them can be found on twitter or facebook or both. And all have special writing talents of their own. My stepfather Joel Rudof, cousin Mark Goldenson and brother Mike Schultz have been very supportive family members. And Dorothy you have also been very supportive. Thanks for interviewing me. This almost sounds like an Academy Award acceptance speech doesn’t it?

LOL, yeah, but it's fitting. And finally, where can people find you online?

The best place for people to read samples of my work is I am just getting my blog up and running but am enjoying people stopping by to leave comments, etc.

Laura, thank you so much for chatting with us today. I look forward to more information about your book, and I wish you lots of success with all your writing endeavors.


Darcia Helle said...

Great interview! I enjoyed getting to know more about you, Laura! I'm so sorry about your mom's battle with Alzheimer's. But it's wonderful that you surround yourself with her paintings for inspiration!

Unknown said...

Laura, Congratulations, great interview. Thanks for sharing more about yourself and your life. Russ

Anonymous said...

Wonderful interview! Interesting to get some more depth perception of how your writing process works! Dorothy asked you some great questions, and I loved your answers!

I'm honored to be included in the list of people who are supporting you!

Eileen Schuh: said...

Wonderfully homey and relaxed interview! Way to go, gals.

Eileen Schuh, Author
Schrodinger's Cat

Pamela DuMond, D.C. said...

Nice interview Dorothy. The same can be said for you Laura, my little dynamo! Good job.

Susan Schreyer said...

Enjoyed the interview, Laura and Dorothy! And Laura, I'm looking forward to reading your book--it sounds like it will be something I'll keep on my nightstand to savor for quite some time.
(Love the picture of you on your horse, too! :) )

Roz Morris aka @Roz_Morris . Blog: Nail Your Novel said...

Lovely interview, girls - and great to see a little more of you indepth (so that's why you were Facebooking at 3am)... I so agree with your point about how friends find it difficult to understand why we work weekends, late at night - indeed every hour possible. Writers understand it's a way of life.
I was very touched by the mention - thank you. You're doing a great job for us all with your Facebook group - and I hope you get even more recruits and fans from people who read this.
And another special round of applause goes to the horse and your riding outfit.

Anonymous said...

Dorothy you are the most incredible interviewer and hope all my writer friends here can see much, much more from you and about you!! Your style is just perfect and you do your utmost to make a writer feel confident and comfortable:) BIG HUGS to you and a salute to who you are as a person and a writer!

Stuart Ross McCallum said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your interview Dorothy, with the fascinating and talented, Laura Shultz. I am fortunate to have connected with Laura via Twitter. In the short time, I have known Laura. She has demonstrated a genuine friendship and admirable spirit. Thank you Dorothy, in providing many people a deeper insight into this remarkable woman.

Unknown said...

Laura: I am honored and proud that you include me as an inspiring source. I am doubly proud of the work that you have done and what you have accomplished over the years. The questions and responses to this interview are outstanding--A++. Keep up the good work. Love, Daddeo Joel.