We’re excited to have Larry Gildersleeve visiting today. His latest novel ranked #15 on Barnes & Noble’s best-seller list a few weeks ago. I’ve read Blue by You, and it’s a wonderful book in the Christian Romance genre.
Larry, how did you choose this plot?
I was intrigued with the idea two people could have a very brief love affair, and when reunited many years later, only one has the ability to remember the other. And would it be possible for them to fall in love again, with one a total stranger to the other and without the shared memory of their earlier time together?
Readers are often drawn to a book description that reminds them of another book they enjoyed. Is that possible with yours?
Absolutely. Readers have told me that Blue by You reminds them of The Bridges of Madison County. My storyline differs in two fundamental ways. First, mine has a role reversal for the male and female protagonists; second, unlike Bridges, the two lovers actually do meet again decades later in a completely different setting.
How did you come up with the title?
I’m a huge fan of both Roy Orbison, who wrote and recorded Blue Bayou, and Linda Ronstadt, who covered the song more memorably, to me at least, than any other artist. As readers learn within the first few pages, Blue is the name of my male protagonist’s dog and is seldom away from his side, thus the wordplay title.
How long did it take from your initial concept to a published book?
About eighteen months to have a finished product I was proud of, and another four months or so to see it through the various steps to become available on the top domestic and international online distribution platforms.
Since you are self-published, did you work with a professional editor?
I did. The editor for all four of my novels is Lynda McDaniel, a widely-published and award-winning author of both fiction and non-fiction offerings. I live in Kentucky, Lynda lives in California, and we’ve never met. Each iteration of my full manuscripts has gone through a line-by-line exchange with Lynda before we’re both satisfied, and reached our destination.
How did you come to writing novels?
A long-deferred dream dating back to high school finally happened when I sat down at my computer eight years ago in my mid-60s and simply began to write. I found Lynda on a referral from an author friend who had worked with her, and through her editing and coaching she essentially taught me the ins and outs of writing fiction, though I still have so much to learn.
You write in the Christian and Christian Romance genres. How did that come about?
I’m a person of faith, so that part is easily explained. Long after I began weaving Christianity into my storyline with what I refer to as a “light touch”, to hopefully appeal to a wider, secular audience, I learned my genres are second only to mystery/thriller in reader appeal.
Do you have a formula that influences your writing?
I do. It’s evolved over the course of thousands of hours of research and study, as well as writing four novels. My books are dialogue-driven, much like a screenplay, with less attention than most authors to narrative descriptions of things like clothing or the physical environments the characters occupy. My chapters are short, and I strive for page-turning endings to keep the reader engaged. And fewer named characters, down to four or five in Blue by You from upwards of twenty in my first two books.
Are you currently working on another book?
Yes. Two actually. Remaining in my genre, one I hope will find appeal among first responders, and a second one with a Christmas theme. But I’m keeping the titles to myself since I believe they are both clever wordplay like Blue by You.
Larry B. Gildersleeve says, I am American by birth and Southern by the Grace of God." Larry was born in Knoxville, TN, and raised and educated in Virginia and Kentucky. A three-decade corporate career took him across the country and around the world before he returned to Kentucky in 2014 to realize his long-deferred dream of becoming a published author. His three Parchment Series novels were released between 2016 and 2019, and his fourth novel, Blue by You, was published in mid-2022. All of Larry's works of fiction will be in the Christian and Inspirational genres. He is a member of the Association of American Christian Fiction Writers, the Academy of American Poets, the Alliance of Independent Authors, the Author's Guild and the Bluegrass Writer's Guild. Larry is married; the father of two and grandfather of four.