Interview with Dr. Laurel Shaler

Dr. Laurel Shaler was one of the winners of the Promising Beginnings contest last year. She chose to attend the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference. I’m thrilled to see the ways that her writing journey has continued to grow. 

Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed on my blog, Laurel.

  • What blessings did you receive at the SoCal conference that you didn’t expect?

Probably the greatest blessing was meeting Mary DeMuth, who wound up endorsing my new book, Relational Reset: Unlearning the Habits that Hold You Back. 

  • When did you first discover an interest in writing, and when did you recognize a specific attraction to the genre(s) you write in?

It’s funny … I have enjoyed some creative writing since probably middle school but never really loved writing. In fact, I thought my calling was primarily to be a speaker. But then, I started planning to attend a conference that offered the opportunity to meet with book editors. I had an idea on my heart, so I pursued that path. It was pretty easy to settle on Christian-based books related to mental health and emotional well-being since that is where my experience lies. 

  • How do you define “success” as it relates to your writing?

Success is not so much about how many books you sell but what kind of impact they have on individual readers. Hearing from folks whose lives are improved as a result of the words God has entrusted me with is my definition of success. 

  • What have you done that had the most impact on your writing success? (For example, attending writers’ conferences [which ones?], starting or joining a critique group, committing to specific writing goals, hiring a freelance editor.)

Attending conferences, listening to my agent, and taking a humble approach with my editors has gotten me the furthest in my writing. 

  • What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Holding the finished book in my hands for the first time.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

I am very active in my church and community and stay busy with my full-time job for Liberty University. My favorite time is spent with family: my husband, daughter, and extended family. 

  • What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? 

Stay the course. If you feel called to write, don’t give up. Stop the comparison game because it’s one you won’t win at. And don’t be too hard on yourself. 

  • What are you currently working on?

I am excited about my new book, which is being released on February 5 by Moody Publishers. Relational Reset: Unlearning the Habits that Hold You Back is the book for people who are serious about improving any kind of relationship in their lives. My prayer is that those who read this book will find that their relationship with the Lord is the one that deepens most of all. 

Dr. Laurel Shaler is an associate professor at Liberty University where she serves as the Director of the Master of Arts in Professional Counseling program. Her book Reclaiming Sanity: Hope and Healing for Trauma, Stress, and Overwhelming Life Events is available now, and her second book “Relational Reset: Unlearning the Habits that Hold You Back” will be released by Moody Publishers on Feb 5, 2019. You can learn more at

The SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference is from June 20-22, 2019. Register today!