At 24-years-old, Palm Beach County native Laura Saltman was certain she knew how her future would unfold. Young and driven, she packed seven suitcases and hopped on a plane to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming an entertainment reporter. She landed a two-week trial run at “Access Hollywood.” On day three, she was hired. It was as if she had everything figured out.
“My entire career trajectory was to work my way up to co-host on an entertainment show,” she says. “That’s where I was heading.” Saltman, 46, an Emmy-nominated journalist, spent more than 17 years at “Access Hollywood,” with a few yearlong stints as a producer for Sharon Osbourne, Ryan Seacrest and NBC’s “Today” show. She interviewed numerous high-profile celebrities, including Kerry Washington, Adam Lambert, Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez, and spent weeks on red carpets and movie sets.
“I was [the first ‘Access Hollywood’] online digital reporter before any other outlet had digital reporters,” she says. “I was further than I ever expected to be, but then my life took a complete turn.”
Her brother was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer in November 2013. After he died, Saltman’s father took his own life a year and a half later. During this time, Saltman also suffered two miscarriages. When she and her husband tried to adopt, they were matched with a baby, but the parents changed their minds the day the baby was born. Saltman and her husband subsequently divorced after four years of marriage.
“I was meant to work in entertainment,” she says. “But I was also meant to open up and start a new path. And those tragedies are what it took to get me there.”
Saltman left “Access Hollywood” and spent the following months in search of a greater purpose. She turned to journaling as a therapeutic outlet. A few weeks later, she had written more than 400 pages.
“I would sit down in the middle of the night and just write,” she says. “I never thought I would turn it into a book. I was just trying to get my feelings out and ask the questions that I needed answers to.”
In January, Saltman’s first book, The All of Everything, A Spiritual Guide to Inner World Domination, landed on bookshelves across the country. Saltman calls it “a late-night Q&A with God.”
It’s a spiritual guidebook of sorts, covering everything from the human world and how it works, to plastic surgery, celebrity gossip, relationships, infertility and financial struggles.
“I knew I had to share my writing,” she says. “When I sat down late at night and asked myself all of these questions, the answers just started to come to me. It’s vulnerable, but everyone is struggling. Hopefully people can look at my life and my struggles and be changed by them.”
Today Saltman lives and writes in Delray Beach. She hosts “Designing Spaces,” a home improvement series on Lifetime and has a second book underway with plans for a summer release.
“The second book will go more in-depth than the first,” she says. “There will be a third in the series too, and I’m also halfway done with writing a children’s book.”
She adds, “When you look back, it’s easy to forget how grateful you should be. My purpose now is sharing positive uplifting stories, and helping people find their way.”