A Dream Realized
From Southern Writers – Suite T
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Being a published author had been a dream of mine since my high school days, but it took about fifty years to begin that journey.

My first two self-published novels using CreateSpace (now Kindle Direct Publishing) received favorable reviews in newspapers and magazines. My third novel and my first non-fiction work, both self-published, will be released later this year, and I’ve begun an aggressive search for an agent to hopefully gain access to a mainstream publisher.

I’ve never taken a creative writing course or other formal instruction. I learned to write fiction through exchanges of emails and iterations of my manuscripts with Lynda McDaniel, my outstanding writing coach and editor. Since I live in Kentucky and Lynda is in California, we’ve never met, but that hasn’t diminished the process in any way.

Because I had so much to learn, I wrote, and Lynda edited, six versions of my first novel before finally publishing the seventh in 2016. My second, released in 2017, began with a detailed chapter-by-chapter outline to aid me in focusing on development of my characters, as well as aligning the story line and timeline. The outline was critical to planting seeds of tension and conflict, and then harvesting them.

I wrote my first novel without thinking about things like genre or writing style. I had a story in mind, and just began to write. I’ve since focused my writing in two genres, Christian and Inspirational, yet striving to appeal to a broader secular audience. The more I wrote, the more my style evolved — short, fast-paced chapters with page-turning endings and hopefully believable and memorable characters. And fewer characters. My first two novels had fifteen and eighteen characters respectively; the third has only four.

The biggest change in writing the second book came with following the chapter outline. With the third, in addition to the outline I’ve adopted the approach of going back to re-read all that I’ve previously written before continuing on a different day. Laborious and time-consuming, yes. But it keeps me immersed in the evolving story and the characters, as well as ferreting out repetitions of words and phrases, sometimes from one paragraph to the next. I liken it to repeatedly passing a comb through tangled hair, getting a smoother and smoother pathway to my desired outcome.

My research revealed the two most important considerations for marketing a book by a new author are the title and the cover, so I’ve given very careful consideration to both. It’s what will catch a reader’s eye when they see the title in print, or a picture of the cover on or other online marketing channels.

My long-deferred dream has finally come true. As another author once said, I write for pleasure and publish for profit. There’s been some profit, but more important is the pleasure I find every day that I write.

Newspaper Clippings

From “Kentucky Monthly” – Nov 2017

“Reconnecting”  by Alex Sandefer
Review of the book:  Dancing Alone Without Music” by Larry B. Gildersleeve
     Bowling Green’s Ben Taylor was raised by his Southern father to be a Christian man.  Readers meet him as an adult in the diametrically different, materialistic world of the financial industry in Chicago.  Although considered by some of his closest friends to be a little narcissistic, Ben worked hard for everything he could ever want in this world: a beautiful wife and a son on the way.  Ben’s world changes dramatically when his wife and unborn baby are killed in a car accident, and then again when he loses his job in the 2008 Great Recession.  He returns home to Bowling Green to recover and rediscover who he is after losing everything.
     Larry B. Gildersleeve’s debut novel, “Dancing Alone Without Music,” follows Ben’s life several years after losing his wife and son. While not always the most likable protagonist, Ben undergoes a change of character when he returns to his hometown, making him relatable to readers who may be dealing with their own difficulties.  With a cast of characters there to support him, including his pastor, best friend, and father, Ben reconnects to his Southern roots, which eventually helps him connect with himself.
     Gildersleeve, a Western Kentucky University alumnus, and his wife live in Bowling Green.   — Alex Sandefer
Newspaper Clippings a
Newspaper Clipping 1

An Evening With (Two Pages An Evening With news release .docx