Laura Smith works as a medical coding and reimbursement specialist in Northern Minnesota. She spent her youth on a small dairy farm in Northeast Minnesota. She was married two weeks after her high school graduation. Three years and two children later, she was facing divorce and single parenthood. She moved to a college town in north central MN where she hoped to earn a degree and make a life for her and her two young daughters. There she met and married the love of her life. Together they embarked on a life together as a ready-made family facing all the challenges that comes with it. They had no idea that the life experiences they walked through early on and one life altering event would prepare them for the ultimate challenge, the possible death of their daughter.
VS: I want to thank you, Laura for being my guest here on The Writing Mama today. I really enjoyed reading your book, In All Things: Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost. I was wondering; how long have you been writing?
Laura: This is actually my first published book. I have however had a poem published as well. I do write regular medical coding articles for my employer and have written articles for the American Academy of Professional Coders’ national magazine.
VS: What inspired you to write your book and share your personal story?
Laura: Originally, I did not intend to share my story, as it was so personal and painful however, when God gave me the vision he did one Sunday during a church worship service and it instantly healed my broken heart, I knew it was big. A few months later, He spoke to my heart that I needed to get this vision out for other hurting people who have suffered miscarriage or abortion. And that it was not only for women but men as well who have been touched by these two events.
VS: I think it is wonderful you did choose to take that leap of faith and share your story. It is not easy to do. What is a typical writing day like for you?
Laura: Well, I still work a 9-5 job so writing for me is whenever I can steal away an evening or weekend from my family and other duties.
VS: Sharing a personal life story not only means you are exposing yourself, but also those you love. Is your family supportive of your writing?
Laura: Yes, my family is very proud of me for publishing my painful journey in order to hopefully help others through similar events.
VS: Can you share with us a little about your current book, In All Things: Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost?
Laura: In All Things is my spiritual journey through real life issues; divorce, single parenting, re-marriage, the desire to have a child and being told it would not be possible then to experience the miracle of pregnancy and then devastating loss. It is about the lessons I learned through these experiences to always trust Him and to look for the “gold” and when bad things happen, ask the Lord to show me the situation through His eyes so that I can find that gold because it is always there.
VS: What did you find to be the most challenging part of writing your book?
Laura: The hardest thing was re-living the loss of our baby numerous times as I wrote, edited and edited again numerous times. Also to write these experiences in such a way that will honor the Lord and our family but also to find the words that carry such power that they will have the impact and bless everyone who reads them so they can find peace and healing .
VS: What part of your book do you feel really stands out to you personally?
Laura: The most impactful part of my book is the vision the Lord gave me in church one Easter Sunday. That experience was so very powerful that it healed me instantly from the pain I was suffering after my miscarriage. I still cry every time I get to that part. However, it is a good cry and helps me to remember my angel in Heaven that I will meet one day. The lesson I learned through that experienced taught me to always see things through His eyes.
VS: Your book is considered a memoir as well as inspirational. What event do you feel was the turning point to your story?
Laura: I would say it was again the vision the Lord gave me. It was through that amazing experience that a few years later helped me to realize that our suffering and experiences are not about us. They are about learning to look beyond ourselves and to reach out to others who are hurting and need us. If not for that experience and without giving away too much of my story, I may not have a relationship with my daughter today.
VS: Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them?
Laura: Yes. I am currently working on book #2 in the In All Things series called “Expect a Miracle!” It is about my dad’s two-year journey through cancer. Through his entire life, he was a very bitter and angry man with no relationship to speak of with his immediate family, siblings, and even his own children. I will share how God worked in all of our hearts during that time and beyond.
VS: Sounds like another wonderful book. What tips can you give writing parents with children at home to help them see publication?
Laura: Never give up! Never stop believing in yourself. Nevertheless, always be a parent first. Those amazing gifts the Lord gave you are precious and are your ultimate legacy.
VS: What do you think are the basic ingredients of a good book?
Laura: I would say it is the ability to capture and hold the reader’s attention from the very beginning. I have been so blessed to hear from all of my readers that they started reading my book and were not able to put it down until they finished! Some even stayed up to the wee hours of the morning to finish. If it is non-fiction as mine is, always be honest that way it will always reflect your heart. Do not hold back the hard stuff because you never know who might be reading it that might need that very message in order to find peace or healing.
VS: What do you feel as parents we need to do to help our children see success?
Laura: Encourage, encourage, encourage! Always build up, never tear down. Let them know that no matter how many times they may fall you will always love them, believe in them and help them back up. Instill personal responsibility and good values that will carry through to the next generation.
VS: Have you received any awards for your writing?
Laura: I did receive an award for a poem I wrote years ago, however since this is my first published book and it is so newly published I will say “not yet”. I hope to however my main goal is to help others through its message.
VS: Where can the readers of The Writing Mama find out more about and your writing?
Laura: Halo Publishing: www.halopublishing.com
I regularly update my Facebook and Twitter pages: https://www.facebook.com/InAllThings
VS: Is there anything else you would like to share with us about being a “Writing Mama or Dad”?
Laura: When your child comes to you with dirty faces and dirty hands, and you are in the middle of writing a very important section of your project, just put it down and thank the Lord for these little interruptions. You will never get those opportunities again.
About the Book:
Experience an incredible journey that will make you laugh out loud and cry tears of joy and sorrow. Learn how one miraculous encounter with God created an unshakeable faith that would later give Laura Smith the strength to face the near death of her oldest daughter.
Get a sneak peek of the book at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4KBlLlBXhQ
Halo Publishing and the World of Ink Network are touring author Laura Smith’s, In All Things: Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost published by Halo Publishing Int. You can find out more about Laura Smiths’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/77nwvdt
To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit http://worldofinknetwork.com
Last Stops on Laura Smith's Tour:
Families Matter Book Review
Writers and Authors – Guest Post
Writing to the Hearts of Children – Guest Post
Putting Words Down on Paper – Book Review & Giveaway
The Patient Dreamer – Guest Post
Home School Blogger - Book Review
Facebook Event Page Wall Chat at 8pm EST
Rambling of a Coffee Addicted Writer – Spotlight & Giveaway
4 the LOVE of BOOKS – Spotlight & Giveaway
The Maggie Project – Guest Post
Interview on From My Mama’s Kitchen Radio Show at 11am EST
From My Mama's Kitchen® - "Personal Success Begins at Home"
Host: Johnny Tan
The New Book Review
BlogCritics Book Review
Writer’s Sanctuary—Guest Post