Saturday, May 24, 2014

Writers4Higher features Leslee Horner

Welcome to Writers4Higher


The purpose of the Writers4Higher blog: to feature authors in a new light, a fresh look at the way writers use their talents and life energies to uplift humankind. Writers4Higher doesn’t promote religious or political views. Authors are asked to answer three simple questions: simple, yet complex.


This issue, Writers4Higher features

Leslee Horner




Hi, Leslee. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!

1. Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.

My name is Leslee Horner and I am a mother, wife, and author. I left my teaching career ten years ago, moved to Florida, and became a stay-at-home-mom. In 2007, while spending my days with my then eighteen-month-old and three-year-old, my passion for writing was reignited and I began work on my first novel. I have written four novels since that time and recently published one of them.  

SUMMER OF STARS (THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY~BOOK ONE) is the first book in a four-book Young Adult series that follows a fifteen-year-old girl named Lola as she deals with the stresses of adolescence while simultaneously flashing back to the past lives in which she died the day before turning sixteen. In SUMMER OF STARS, Lola’s family is falling apart at a time when all she wants is to be normal. It’s bad enough that her bipolar mother slips into a deep depression and her father has a mysterious online friend but now she’s having dreams and visions of a life in the Holocaust. With the help of Ian, the new boy across the street, she realizes that it is her family’s past life together that she is seeing. Ian helps her make peace with both the past and the present, becoming her best friend in the process. Of course, being best friends with Ian isn’t exactly uncomplicated.

I get much of my inspiration from my fascination with the mysteries of life, particularly the journey of the human soul. Many people find easy answers to those questions in religion or science where as I tend to get caught up in the “yes, but, what if?” And that question is where all of my novels begin. With THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY series, I used the theme of reincarnation (what if our souls really do live many lives in different times and bodies?) to also write about points in history that I find to be incredibly important. We need to remember where we’ve been in order to see how far we’ve come and to also not repeat tragedies of humanity.

2. Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?

In the next two years, I hope to have completed and published the entire Lola Ray series. Book two, AN UNREQUITED FALL, will be released in the fall of 2014. I may revisit my first two unpublished novels, HEALING NIGHT (women’s fiction) and A CIRCLE HOME (new adult) and polish them up for publication. I also hope to complete a current work in progress, LIFE IN THE WAKE (women’s fiction), about three women dealing with the sudden and tragic death of their best friend. I also have another Young Adult book series idea floating around in my head that, if the stars align, will make its way onto the page and out into the world in the years to come.

3. How do you use your talents/time to help others?

Something that I have always enjoyed is working with and being a role model for our youth. It was this passion that brought me to the teaching profession and guides me as I write fiction for young adults. For four years now, I have been the leader of the teen program (Uniteen and Youth of Unity) at Unity Eastside Church in Tallahassee, Florida. I think it is important for young people to have adults in their lives that listen to them with open hearts and allow them to be who they truly are. I try to be this kind of presence for the kids I spend my Sunday mornings with.





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Be sure to visit the Writers4Higher Market! We have gear for the writer in you.

Rhett DeVane
Fiction with a Southern Twist





Saturday, May 10, 2014

Writers4Higher features Jack Pittman

Welcome to Writers4Higher




The purpose of the Writers4Higher blog: to feature authors in a new light, a fresh look at the way writers use their talents and life energies to uplift humankind. Writers4Higher doesn’t promote religious or political views. Authors are asked to answer three simple questions: simple, yet complex.


This issue, Writers4Higher features

Jack Pittman




Hi, Jack. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!



1. Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.

I have a science background — a BS degree in Chemistry from Loyola University in Baltimore and a MS degree in Technology Management from American University in DC. When I attended Loyola University, everyone was required to minor in philosophy. We science majors groused about this requirement. Give us more physics, not metaphysics, we demanded. But our professors would shake their heads. “As you grow older, you will find the lessons you learned from philosophy will be more useful in day-to-day living than the science courses you took.” I sincerely doubted that bit of passed-on wisdom at the time, but it has, indeed, turned out to be true.

I served twenty-two years in the US Army which included a tour in Vietnam with the First Infantry Division and graduation form Command and General Staff College. My Army experiences taught me discipline, loyalty, self-assurance, and the value of friendship.

I retired from the Florida Department of Health after thirteen years. This experience taught me the value of community service.

In 2014, my wife Jackie and I will be married fifty years. This experience taught me the values of acceptance and love.

All of these life experiences have inspired and colored my writings. The first book I published on Amazon was Spirit Walk through the Universe. I began writing this non-fiction book in 1999 but didn’t publish it until 2013. It is a collection of my personal essays on cosmology and the nature of God — pretty esoteric stuff, but it brought together the disciplines of science and philosophy in my mind and on paper. I did some research, as I wrote the book, and tried to make sure the science was up-to-date, but I had been a technical writer all of my life and writing non-fiction seemed relatively easy.

Although I had no education or experience in writing fiction, I wanted to write a novel. My first attempt was a children’s book titled The Land of Lost Socks. I floated it around to a few friends as a trial balloon. It got mixed, but mostly negative comments. The plot involved a five-year old Jeremiah (named after my grandson) who crawled into a dryer in search of a lost sock. The drum started turning and the dryer took him to another dimension. After meeting strange, yet familiar characters, the dryer took him back home. His mother tried to convince him that he was knocked unconscious in the spinning drum and dreamed his inter-dimensional experiences. But he knew what he experienced was real and vowed to find a way back.

The plot didn’t work well for me either. I decided to write an adult science fiction novel, Loose Strings, based on Jeremiah as a twenty-five year old genius quantum physicist whose research is leading him to find a way to open dimensional portals using string theory. In the first two chapters, Jeremiah is undergoing psychoanalyses to uncover the basis for his recurring dreams about inter-dimensional travel. The dimensional journey includes side excursions into quantum theory, dream theory, betrayals and conspiracies, mental augmentation, military operations, the code of the warrior, ghosts, dementia, a smattering of adult content, life after death, and the irrelevance of time — something to pique nearly everyone's interest. More information about the Loose Strings premise, plot, and characters is found at the web site; http://www.loosestrings-scifi.com/. The cover art is String Theory 2, a painting by Robert Hollingworth of Melbourne, Australia, used with permission.

Because I had no experience as a novelist, I had to learn about plot consistency, setting scenes, building characters, and writing dialogue. I attended a creative writing course presented by Adrian Fogelin in the spring and retained her as a creative writing coach. I’m still learning, but she gave me the inspiration, confidence, and courage to publish Loose Strings on Amazon.

2. Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?

I definitely want to keep writing. I am currently writing another science fiction book called Moon Shadows. It’s about the exploration and exploitation of our own moon and the moons of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. I haven’t quite decided on the format, it may be a collection of short stories strung together by a common theme — kind of like Ray Bradbury did in the Martian Chronicles. I may do a re-write of Spirit Walk through the Universe. And I left room for a sequel to Loose Strings. Life is good.

3. How do you use your talents/time to help others?

I work as a volunteer for the Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross as an orientation and a disaster response instructor. I also volunteer at Big Bend Hospice. Recently, I am hoping to get more involved at the Veterans Domiciliary Home in Lake City.










Would you like to find Jack?

Check out the links to this talented author:










Be sure to visit the Writers4Higher Market! We have gear for the writer in you.

Rhett DeVane
Fiction with a Southern Twist





Writers4Higher features author and blog master Darrell Laurant

  Hi Darrell. Welcome to Writers4Higher. Tell us about yourself. I am something of a hybrid creature, geographically speaking...