Lauri Schoenfeld - A Tale of Truth, Redemption, and The Hope That Urges us Onward
Lauri Schoenfeld currently resides in Utah with her hubby, three kids, and dog Jack Wyatt Wolverine. She’s a child abuse advocate, a Nancy Drew enthusiast, and is part cyborg. Teaching creative writing classes to her community is one of her favorite things to do. When she’s not having long conversations with her characters and creating stories, she’s hosting the Enlightenment Show, reading, or solving a mystery. Lauri’s a well sought-after speaker and a frequent guest with multiple writing groups, podcasts, and businesses, talking about Connecting to Your Artist, Embracing Your Fears to Succeed, and Learning to Love Yourself After Abuse. She’s the owner of Inner Enlightenment, a business built around connecting to your inner light and child within through stillness, creativity, play, and self-expression. Lauri teaches and holds creativity workshops, retreats, and one-on-one coaching.
Please give us a short introduction to what Little Owl is about.
Adaline and Cache Rushner move to Salt Lake City in the wake of their daughters' abduction and murder… only Adaline believes they’re still alive. They risk losing their marriage in exchange for what might be false hopes as they face missing memories and past trauma.
What inspired you to write this story? Was there anything in particular that made you want to tackle this?
About eleven years ago, I was going through quite a bit of PTSD and didn’t know how to express some of the fears and worries that plagued me consistently. They were so bad that I struggled to function. My biggest fears were losing my children, abandonment, being lost in addiction, and no one believing me. I began to write down why I was feeling these fears, and before I knew it, a story and characters began to form, investigating the very things that I was looking into as well.
Why did you decide to write about a married couple whose daughters are missing, presumed dead?
Great question. I wanted to write to the reality of life within a marriage that when a couple is faced with pain, loss, trauma, and heartbreak, that there’s often that point where they don’t come together. Instead, they pretend, hide, turn against each other, or question one another because they’re hurt. We often turn on the ones closest to us in our moments of weakness and pain, even unintentionally.
Tell us more about Adaline. What makes her so special?
Adaline is willing to do whatever it takes to find answers no matter what people think of her. She listens to her instincts and doesn’t give up. She’s willing to step outside the box and get uncomfortable. Adaline also finds beauty in people and things and is very sentimental.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I love to play the piano. I’m really good at making pumpkin and zucchini bread, and I make friends everywhere I go. I love people. I also do enjoy making scrapbooks and creating mystery hunts for my kids.
Interesting cover. Please tell us more about how it came about.
I was so pleased with the cover. I gave the cover artist a few ideas on colors, theme, and fonts, and she hit it right on the nail on the very first shot. When I first saw it, I was ecstatic. The cover resembles a place that Adaline remembers as a kid that propels her to find answers about who she is and some missing pieces about who took her when she was younger.
Childhood is an important theme in this story. Why did you take this approach?
Growing up with abuse in my home, I carried a lot of negative beliefs that I was told as a kid into my adult life, and for a long time believed that’s who I was. As I’ve walked through my healing journey, I’ve realized that I can change the cycle of abuse, but only if I do the work to be a healthy version of myself. I wanted to bring this to light on how our upbringing can affect us either positively or negatively, depending on our experiences, but we still have a choice to change or stay put at the end of the day.
Why did you title this "Little Owl?”
Owl necklaces are left at crime scenes, and Adaline, my main character, is taunted by someone who calls her his "Little Owl." This is a trigger for her a big part of her story.
Which of your characters was the most challenging to create?
Wow. That’s a brilliant question. I would say The Owl Keeper because I knew what scenes needed to be written, and some of them were sinister. I didn’t want to get into their head. It’s those scenes where I’m writing at night, looking over my shoulder, making sure no one was there. I’d scare myself.
Do you plan out your entire story before you start writing? Or does some of it just "happen" along the way?
I’m a hybrid writer, so I typically have a few plot points right away, then I write and see what happens from there. I’m constantly surprised as my plot points always change, and they go a completely different direction than what I originally planned, but it’s a nice beginning road map, at least.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I do have an interesting writing habit. I have rods in my back holding my spine in place, so I get sore when I sit for long periods. So, I write for 45 minutes and then stand up and do exercises/stretches for ten minutes. Then, I go back to writing for another 45 minutes and do it all over again. I do this multiple times throughout the workday. For me, an average day of writing is a blend of brainstorming the next scene, writing it out, and finding pictures or music to visually and auditorily help me feel into the next chapter or scene.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on two YA realistic fiction books and brainstorming the 2nd book tied to Little Owl.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
They can find me at www.laurischoenfeld.com or reach out to me on any social media platform.