December 4, 2023

Laurel Schmidt – How to Be Dead: A Love Story – 496

Author: Steven Miletto

Laurel Schmidt talks about her novel How to Be Dead: A Love Story. This is episode 496 of Teaching Learning Leading K12, an audio podcast.

Laurel Schmidt is a lifelong educator (teacher, principal, district director), art lover, and writer. She’s the author of a critically-acclaimed novel, How to Be Dead – A Love Story, and four non-fiction books on art, learning, and brain development. 

She’s a nationally recognized expert who has helped thousands of docents and museum educators master the art of leading dynamic inquiry-based conversations that have museum visitors and students longing for more. 

Laurel also works with the education departments of numerous museums in Los Angeles and New York. She is a consultant to The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), and co-author of Contemporary Art Start: A Curriculum Guide to Contemporary Art and Culture, published by MOCA in 1985. It is the centerpiece of an inquiry-based art education program. She is a consultant to the Guggenheim Museum, The Met and MoMA in New York City and presents at their annual Teacher Institute on The Arts. 

She was a member of the Education Advisory Board of the Natural History Museum and served for eight years on the Landmarks Commission in the City of Santa Monica, California. She has published numerous articles in national journals for parents, teachers and school leaders.

However, writing is her lifelong passion. She is the author of Seven Times Smarter: 50 Activities, Games and Projects to Develop the Multiple Intelligences in Your Child (Three Rivers Press, 2001), Gardening in the Minefield: A Survival Guide for School Administrators (Heinemann, 2002), and Classroom Confidential: 50 Things Great Teachers Do Behind Closed Doors, and Putting the Social Back in Social Studies (Heinemann, 2007). Laurel is also a consultant, university lecturer and professional development specialist.

Laurel received a BA in Art from Mt. Saint Mary’s College and a Masters Degree in Art History from California State University in Northridge. Her thesis was on contemporary photorealism. She also studied art history at Oxford University. 

When not writing, she enjoys painting, reading, watching good films and happy hour with friends.  She lives with her writer husband, Durnford King, in Santa Monica, California. Next life—Paris. Her blog can be found at For more information, please consult: 

Today we are focused on her novel – How to Be Dead – A Love Story.

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Length – 39:32

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