A world on paper: Local author brings life through fiction

Published 7:00 am Saturday, September 26, 2015

local talent: Laura Ewald is not only a writer, but also creates puppets and hosts shows.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

local talent: Laura Ewald is not only a writer, but also creates puppets and hosts shows.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

For local author Laura A. Ewald, fantasies come to life when they are transferred from within the confines of her mind to words on a page.
She was born in Philadelphia, but grew up in the northwest United States. She received her masters in library science from Indiana University and also holds degrees in drama, classical studies and organizational communication.
For the past 13 years, she worked as a reference librarian at Murray State University and Greenville College in Indiana.
Then she decided to become a freelance writer.
“I’ve always loved books, but realized becoming a librarian is more about the computers than books,” Ewald said. “Research is the fun part of libraries.”
About a year ago, Ewald moved to Picayune where she continues editing, proofreading and ghostwriting.
However, her writing doesn’t end there. She is also the author of four novels, numerous short stories and plays.
Ewald’s books are based in the world of science fiction and romance with a Christian world-view.
In 1990, Ewald wrote her first book.
“It’s a bad book,” she said. “However, some day, after it’s rewritten, it will be the fourth book in my Commonwealth Chronicles series. It’s going to be a good book.”
Her love for science fiction grew during her time in musical theater. She was given “Star Trek” novels and wanted to write stories based on her own universe.
“I’ve always had a very active imagination,” Ewald said. “My fantasy life is good, and now I write it down. I love science fiction because it’s a social science. You can put an issue of today in another universe and show how characters deal with it in a fictional way. The characters and their lives are the center of the story. It’s about how they interact with what they’re up against.”
The chronicles series takes place in the Commonwealth of Planets in the center of the galaxy and every once in a while, a visitor from these planets comes to Earth either via a crash landing or to investigate, she said.
Even her science fiction world is Christian and her aliens have faith, she said.
“I think people of faith are more interesting and have more going for them and more to talk about,” Ewald said. “I have to respect and like my main characters and so does my audience.”
Ewald’s “A Chance for Life” is a pro-life book and the story came to Ewald in a dream.
Today, she will be speaking at the Picayune Writers Group symposium on the topic of taking a subject one is passionate about and telling the story in a “non-preachy” manner.
“Words to Love By” tells a tale of faith and redemption.
“It’s about a librarian who dabbles in theater who meets a girl who’s lost her mother,” Ewald said. “She then meets the father, who is a Shakespeare romance instructor.”
Ewald said once the characters are “out of her head,” she knows their stories are done.
In addition to writing, Ewald also has a love of puppetry.
In the spring of 1984, she took a puppetry class at the University of Washington in Seattle, taught by renowned puppeteer Aurora Valentinetti, who also taught Mississippi born puppet master Jim Henson.
“I even took an independent study marionette class,” Ewald said.
She not only creates puppets, but also writes fables as well including “The Hamster and the Wolf,” and “The Porcupine and the Pig.”
She has held many puppet shows and is hoping to hold more in Picayune. Last year, she performed “The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” at St. Barnabas Anglican Church during the holidays.
She is hoping to garner more interest from older teenagers, who in turn will pass on the knowledge to their younger siblings.
“My dream is to get enough kids interested and put on some real shows,” Ewald said.
She is also a member of the Picayune Writers Group and Golden Quill Writers Group.
“There are a lot of writers here and I’m excited about that,” Ewald said. “Picayune is a writing kind of place.”
Learn more about Ewald at www.lauraanneewald.com.
She can be contacted by phone at 618-409-4489 and through email at lauraanneewald@gmail.com.
Her books are available for purchase at www.amazon.com.

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