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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Featured Author - Leslie Soule! - Part 1

Writing begins with reading. My father used to read to my sisters and I when we were little. We insisted on my father reading us bedtime stories. Eventually though, it came time for us to learn to read. From what I’ve heard, with my sisters, the process was gradual. With me, though, it was like I learned to read over night. Ever since I first started reading, books have been fascinating to me. Contained within their pages is the power to transcend time and distance and to send messages to the entire world. That’s why I’ve realized that as writers and consumers, we have to be careful about the kinds of messages we create and also about the kinds of messages we take in. That is because cultural phenomena does not just happen out of thin air. The cultural ideas and values we encounter in our everyday lives are reinforced by the various forms of media that we constantly encounter, whether it’s the words in a book, the lyrics in a song, or the plots of television dramas.

That being said, I’ve written for as long as I can remember. I benefit from (I wouldn’t say “I suffer from”) the effects of an extremely over-active muse. My muse did need some help and encouragement along the way, though. That’s what my stepfather provided for the ten years that I knew him. My stepfather Richard A. Anderson, author of the novel The Temple of the Heart, was my literary mentor. Although I began writing my first novel, Fallenwood, after his death, I could not have written it without his gentle wisdom and patient guidance.

My stepfather died in 2002, the year I graduated from high school. I was devastated, and I had absolutely no idea what to do with my life. My twin sister enrolled me in community college classes at the same time she signed up and my aunt was kind enough to give us the money for textbooks that first semester. I figured that taking General Education courses would give me time to think of what direction I wanted to go in. After taking two years of General Ed., I realized that I’d come to the point where I had to choose. I liked to write and was good at English, so I became an English major. This was a great decision for me, because it exposed me to a lot of the literature that is out there. I think it is important for a person to be well-read, if for no other reason than that you’ll pick up on the myriad literary references that are made in news stories, comics, television shows and video games.

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