February 17, 2023

A Gift That Keeps On Giving!


Larry B. Gildersleeve

Typing – a gift that keeps on giving

The world’s most successful novelist, James Patterson, eschews the use of a computer and writes all his books longhand – in pencil. As did the late Pat Conroy, whose bestselling works of fiction were many times the word-count of Patterson. It’s something that as a relative newcomer (four novels published over the past eight years) I struggle to get my mind around because I learned early-on how essential constant editing and re-writing are in the process.  

I regard my computer’s software as a “comb” at my fingertips to remove the tangles and smooth things out until the finished product looks just the way my editor and I want. Conroy obviously had a different editor relationship than mine, once quoted as saying: “I send her (Nan Telese) the manuscript and she finds the book in it.”  

When I was a junior in high school decades ago, I enrolled in typing class. My mother thought the skill would come in handy in my future, and I anticipated befriending girls in a classroom setting I might assume were otherwise unapproachable. Both of us were right. I still remember the phrase the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog uses every letter in the alphabet, and to this day I remain a fairly fast touch-typist who isn’t slowed down looking at the keyboard.

I owe my mother, a librarian, my love of reading, and my typing. Just wish she’d still been with us to read my books. Her opinion would have meant so much to me, and I think she might’ve been just a little bit proud.


Studying authors – as well as their writing

Authors, especially fiction-writers, are constantly encouraged to be avid readers, especially in their genre(s). Sage advice I follow, as well as reading outside my genre to study how other authors, the likes of Robert Parker and Stuart Woods, weave dialogue into their storyline. But over the past few years, I’ve also begun reading about the authors I’ve come to admire, recently and over time.

Stephen King reveals himself in his On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft, for my money, the best book ever written on the subject. I felt I really got to know Pat Conroy in the biography My Exaggerated Life, with which he cooperated, and A Lowcountry Heart, published after his passing. There’s Mockingbird about Harper Lee, published in 2008 while she was still alive and updated following her death. In 2022, James Patterson released his autobiography with his name as the title, and Kurt Vonnegut – The Making of a Writer, was published by one of his longtime friends.

I got a relatively late start in life as a novelist, and I have so much to learn. For me, reading about authors in addition to their work makes it a much richer experience.    

Finalist: Writers Digest 2022 Rhyming Poetry Contest

Bronze Award: Illumination Awards - Romance Fiction Category

Blue by You tells the uniquely romantic story of a man who falls in love with the same woman twice, decades and a thousand miles apart, but is a total stranger to her both times.

Daniel, a former D.C. trial attorney, has fled to Colorado following the cancer death of his young wife, a woman he'd known since their childhood. It's in a rural mountain setting two years later that a chance encounter results in a one-week love affair with Paula, a lifestyle writer from Nashville.

Paula is a person of faith; Daniel was while his wife was alive, but no longer. There is a soft-touch Christian theme throughout the book, especially about the power of prayer and the reality of redemption.

Paula leaves after the seven days, promising to return, but doesn't. And Daniel never hears from her again. They are reunited over twenty years later in Nashville, but a rare illness has deprived Paula of any memory of Daniel.

The two former lovers have been living very different lives over the years before they're brought together again by an up and coming country music singer who might be their daughter.

Daniel struggles with reliving his Colorado memories while falling in love with the same woman again who now can't share those memories with him. Together, they make new memories they can share -- until time runs out.

The book's title is wordplay on the song Blue Bayou, with Blue being an Australian Shepherd Paula comments is often by Daniel's side.

Larry B. Gildersleeve

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.


  1. Thank you for sharing this Larry. I really enjoyed your book.

  2. Blue by You sounds intriguing. Best of luck with it!