From a very young age, Larry Benjamin Gildersleeve knew he wanted to be a published author. He saved many of his creative writing documents from both high school and college years, as well as continually updating multiple journals containing plot ideas and character descriptions as he traveled coast-to-coast with several corporate relocations.
“I started numerous books over the years, but never got very far,” Gildersleeve says, “because like legions of other aspiring writers, the important commitments to family and career intervened. So my dream of becoming a published author was put on hold for several years.”
A Southerner born in Tennessee and raised in Virginia and Kentucky, his executive positions in the resort timeshare industry took him to Indianapolis, Orlando, Miami, Washington, D.C. and Seattle, eventually returning with his wife, Kathleen, to Kentucky in 2014.
“Coming home to Bowling Green ignited both my passion to write and, more importantly, a commitment to actually act on my desire to be a published author. My dream finally became a reality in 2016.”
Gildersleeve describes finding his writing coach, Lynda McDaniel, as the single biggest factor in successfully completing his debut novel.
“I had all the necessary ingredients, but it was Lynda who provided the recipe that brought it all together. She literally taught me how to write dialogue,” Gildersleeve says, “and how to evolve a plot and story-line from one chapter to the next.”
The long-distance collaboration of a Kentucky author and his California coach over less than a year resulted in Dancing Alone Without Music, and they have completed the sequel, Follow Your Dreams. Gildersleeve is now among approximately 500 members of the American Christian Fiction Writers.
Still working full time as a resort industry consultant, Gildersleeve is active in a leadership capacity in church, community and university activities, devoting early morning hours and weekends to his writing. His daughter and her two daughters live in Chicago, and his son lives in Denver with his wife and their daughter and son.