Welcome to Writers4Higher
This issue, Writers4Higher features
Lori Nelson Spielman
Hi, Lori. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!
1.Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.
I’m 52 years old—quite possibly the oldest debut novelist ever! I’m married to a wonderful college professor and have two step-adults and three grandchildren. Like the protagonist in The Life List, I’m a homebound teacher in an inner city school, where I teach sick children in their homes or at the hospital, a job that allows me to glimpse a slice of life I wouldn’t normally be privy to.
Early on in my job, I was assigned to teach a group of expelled teens, and began writing vignettes for these students as part of their English credit. These stories of conflict resolution reignited my passion for writing. From there, I began taking classes and working on a young adult novel. Ten years and three novels later, I had an impressive collection of rejection letters.
Then one day I came across an old cedar box, and tucked inside was the life list I’d written when I was fourteen. I was pleased that I’d accomplished many of the goals, but others had eluded me. Were these childhood goals valid, even today? And what if I were forced to complete this silly list? This became the seed for my story, The Life List.
2. Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
I’m terrified of the sophomore slump, so I’m relieved to say I’ve finally landed upon an idea I’m really excited about! My agent and editor would like me to write another book of the same tone and genre of The Life List. Luckily, I love this type of story—not too dark, not too fluffy. I’m taking a year leave of absence from my job, and hope to write book two while I’m off work. Yikes, I said it! Let’s hope I didn’t jinx myself!
3. How do you use your talents/time to help others?
I’m a bit uncomfortable talking publicly about what I do to help others. But I will say two things—first, I’m incredibly grateful for the letters I’ve received from readers, telling me how The Life List has inspired them to make changes in their lives. One of the central themes in the novel is to go after your dreams. I’d love to think that perhaps my story gave someone the courage to do exactly that.
Second, I was lucky to be born with a fairly happy disposition. I genuinely like most people, and they seem to like me. At some point in my adulthood, I began to wonder about my purpose on earth. Finally, it dawned on me that my purpose was to make others feel good. Not necessarily by visiting hospital bedsides or doing missionary work, but by being kind, each and every day, to everyone I encountered.
Mind you, I sometimes fall short of this goal. But I firmly believe that every one of us has the potential to make the world a better place each time we enter a room. We can do it with a warm smile, or by treating a stranger with respect, by asking someone about their day and really listening, or by complimenting someone who’s doing something well. It’s incredibly easy, and you’d be surprised how it can change the mood of a waitress or a clerk, a colleague or a friend.
Would you like to find Lori?
Check out the links to this talented author:
Facebook Author Page: Lori on Facebook
Twitter:Lori on Twitter
Amazon link: "The Life LIst" on Amazon
A former speech pathologist and guidance counselor, Lori Nelson Spielman currently works as a homebound teacher for inner-city students. Her debut novel, THE LIFE LIST, has sold in 16 countries and Fox 2000 has purchased the film option. Lori and her husband live in Michigan.
Fiction with a Southern Twist