Naghilia is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WomLEAD. WomLEAD is…
Women leaders are all around us. They are not only business owners but also dominating in other professions such as writing and as authors. I recently sought out the opportunity to speak to Laura Shovan, a remarkable author, and poet. She is a person who has had multicultural influences in her childhood which shaped her writing skills and perspective on life. I have tried to compile a few excerpts from my interview with Laura and put narrow down her multidimensional personality in words…
Laura, could you tell me what drove you to take up writing?
My parents are from the Bronx and a Jewish family. His dad was from France. He met my mom at the 1964 World’s Fair, and she comes from a small town in England near Nottingham. My dad at the time was a business professor, and he got a visiting professorship in Bangkok. As a result, we had two boys from Thailand who came to live with us. Having all that cultural stuff going on was important to me, and it did make me think about how people use language and how language ties to different cultures. So I guess that’s why I became a writer because when you’re writing, you can be very intentional about how you’re using language.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote a short story in second grade that was published by the PTA newsletter, so that was my very first publishing credit. I always liked to read and write, and reading Jane Eyre, my mother’s favorite novel and other adult novels made me say I want to be a writer someday.
How did your professional writing journey begin?
I was first published CityLit press after I won a poetry contest. It just built from there. I then got involved the Maryland Writers Association and edited a poetry anthology for them. I went on to co-author a book for the school program at the Maryland State Arts Council with my friend, Virginia Crawford. I have always wanted to write for kids and two novels, ‘Takedown’ recently and ‘The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary’ earlier were published with Random House. My friend, Sadia Farouqi and I have begun collaboration on a new novel which will be out in 2020.
I appreciate your efforts to address the issue of being an American when you come from a bicultural or multicultural background. So what is the thing that kept you going on during your journey?
Laura – I think the fact that I kept my toes in and I never really stopped writing, even when my kids were little. I signed up for every opportunity I could get and learned so much about writing, public speaking, newspaper journalism and so on.
What would you say to mothers that are stay-at-home parents?
Being a mother can be a difficult and isolating job. Working and doing something other than being a mom helped me be a happier person. You can find an in-between path and work part-time if possible.
Would you say that being an author is fulfilling a personal and business role at the same time?
Absolutely! By 2020, I will have six books out! A considerable part of being successful can be attributed to my coaching program, mentors, and social media too. So I try to get involved with teaching kids and mentoring and help others reach where I am.
You are a role model for other mothers, and you also show your children that you can do both – work and be a mom! It is an essential lesson for our sons and daughters to see their mothers in a leadership role.
What would be the best way for authors to find the best mentor for themselves?
I think you have to put yourself in a position to learn from somebody who knows more than I do, no matter how expert you are or what you have achieved.
Laura and I talked about how women are increasingly taking the steps toward becoming leaders and taking what they deserve. Her book takedown furthers our thoughts as it is an unconventional story about a young girl taking on the boys in the sport of wrestling. I asked Laura about her plans towards the end of our talks, and she is working on her book projects for now but hopes to travel and locate a space to conduct writing retreats in the future. I wish her all the best and hope that this conversation helps other women aspiring to be women leaders in their own right!
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Naghilia is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WomLEAD. WomLEAD is a print and digital leadership Magazine that made its debut in 2017. We are the first magazine to celebrate women who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their professional endeavors and have been recognized as “Women Leaders ”. So, with women in mind, Naghilia brings you the best of education trends.