Laura Kandewen was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and migrated to the United States with her family in 1988. Against her parents’ wishes, she joined the Army right out of high school and began her military career at Ft Jackson, SC.

After serving for seven years on Active Duty, Laura received the call that she would be deploying to Iraq along with members of her unit. Surrounded by sand and loneliness, her profound love of words surfaced, inspiring her to become an author in the midst of the unmerciful desert storms. Her love for words grew, which prompted her to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Writing from Drury University. In the midst of a war, Laura was carving out her writing style, studying her craft, and staying alert for the known adversaries.

Laura Kandewen began to shape a writing career of her own. Having written multiple short stories and read her fair share on the art of writing, she wrote her first book of poetry, A Soldier’s Heart. With limited resources in Iraq, Laura managed to write and self-published her first poetry book under her publishing company, Lyrical Soldier Publishing. The desert land and the possibility of death gave Laura insight into emotions and character development, “Living day by day with your weapon by your side, and driving in an open desert field highlighted just how fragile life really was,” Laura explains. Laura went on to become the recipient of the Editors’ Choice Award from the International Library of Poetry for 2003 and 2004 for outstanding achievement in poetry. Laura has retired from the military after serving 22 years on Active Duty.